I have to admit that prior to today; Vrsovice was an area of Prague that I’d heard fantastic things about but had never actually explored in any real depth. Today I wanted to remedy that, so I packed my notebook and my camera and jumped on the Metro. I will say from the outset that Vrsovice absolutely blew my socks off with its beauty and easy charm. I was left wondering why on earth it had taken me so long to discover it. Of course you don’t have to travel far to find beautiful buildings in Prague but for me, Vrsovice had a real elegance and class, which is often lacking as you walk through the city centre, where beautiful buildings are adorned with flashing neon signs and giant advertisements offering cheap Thai Massages.
Top on my list of recommendations of things to do in Vrsovice is to simply put on a good pair of shoes and walk. As I wandered through Vrsovice’s cobbled and somewhat hilly streets, it took real self-control to not take a picture every couple of steps. This district is simply alive with colour and today in the early spring sunshine; the brightly painted facades of the buildings were really being shown off to their full potential. The architecture here is beautifully dramatic and I was blown away by the attention to detail clearly visible in many of the buildings here. This guy was one of my favourite cheeky details. A gold star goes to anyone who can manages to spot him…
A close second on my list of recommendations is the gorgeous Havlickovy Sady. Havlickovy Sady is Prague’s second largest park and it is like something out of a fairy tale. Its narrow paths twist and wind up and down hills and around towering trees. You will find waterfalls, fountains and even this rather beautiful grotto nestled into the hillside.
The park is also home to the Beautiful Villa Grobe, which stands proudly on one of the park’s hills and is surrounded by a functional vineyard. From the villa’s terrace you can take in some amazing views of the city.
As I set out on my quest, the weather was not playing ball. Black clouds were in the sky, the wind was roaring and I was even treated to a brief hailstorm but during my stroll through Havlickovy Sady, the clouds just melted away and only glorious sunshine remained. As I left the park I simply had to take a picture of the colourful U Havlickovych Sadu street in all of its sunny glory.
Next on my list of things to do was to check out the trendy Krymska Street, rumoured to be the centre of Vrsovice’s nighlife. On my way I got distracted by a couple of things. Distraction number one was this charming building on Voronezska Street.
Distraction Number two was this promising independent cinema and café “Kino Pilotu” on Donska Street. Unfortunately it was closed for repairs today but I made a note to return here. For more information about Kino Pilotu, check out their website.
As I turned onto Krymska Street, I immediately felt as though a party had just happened and nobody had gotten around to cleaning up yet. There was a lot of rubbish on the ground and the buildings had a much more delapidated feel. Unfortunately, as it was only around around midday, most of the bars on this street were closed, but I soon spotted Café and Restaurant PLevel which seemed to be packed with people. My legs were starting to feel the strain after the hills of Havlickovy Sady, so I headed inside for a quick pit stop.
I knew immediately that I was going to like the place when I walked in and saw the violently flowery wallpaper, the bookcases full of books and colourful artwork which adorned the walls. It wasn’t until I looked at the menu that I noticed it was a Vegan and RAW restaurant but the food looked simply delicious. Everything at Plevel is made using locally grown seasonal produce and is freshly prepared by their chef. Unsurprisingly, they have been voted best Vegan Restaurant by the Czech Vegan Association for the past 2 years. I will definitely return here.
- Plevel can be found at Krymska 2, Prague 10
- It’s open Mon-Weds 10am-11pm, Thurs-Fri 10am-12am, Sat 11am-12pm and Sun 11am-10pm
As I walked a little further down Krymska I noticed an old water tank sticking out of the wall, which told me that I had found Café V Lese. Café V Lese is a café/bar/music venue all rolled into one and is a great place for a night out. Its vibe is cosy yet mismatched but most importantly very welcoming. There is regularly live music shows here, which are often free of charge and it’s a fantastic place to check out the up and coming talent on the Czech music scene. It also boasts a slightly dubious claim to fame that its building was once home to a brothel, which was the first brothel in Prague to have hot running water.
- Cafe V Lese can be found at Krymska 12, Prague 10
- It’s open Monday-Sunday 4pm-2am
Café culture is big in Vrsovice and my next pit stop of the day took me a place which was rumoured to be one of the district’s best cafes/bars. I wasn’t disappointed. Café Sladkovsky had a really bustling and energetic atmosphere and they even had my favourite Czech beer (Uneticke) on tap. The décor was delightfully eccentric and service was fast and friendly. This is another place that I will definitely return to.
- Cafe Sladkovsky can be found at Sevastopolska 17, Prague 10
- It’s open Mon-Fri 10am-1am, Saturday 5pm-1am and Sunday 11am-1am
Next on my things to do list was to explore the district’s epicentre, the streets surrounding Vrsovicke Namesti (Vrsovice Square). This area had a really pleasing small town feel about it and was also full of surprises. Probably the biggest surprise was the very striking Kostel Svateho Vaclava (The Church of Saint Wenceslas). Built in 1929, this church couldn’t stand in greater contrast to the gothic and baroque masterpieces which you can see in the city centre but in my opinion, it is just as majestic and has a really powerful presence. The church was designed by Josef Gocar, after it was decided that the current Church of Saint Nicholas was not big enough for the size of the congregation. Gocar’s design was chosen out of 52 competing designs, which all attempted to show off the best of Modern Czech Architecture.
One of the most historically significant buildings in Vrsovice is the Rangherka or Vrsovicky Zamecek (Vrsovice Chateau). The building was originally a silk factory and is a state-protected cultural monument. Just behind the Rangherka you will find a small terrace with a gazebo in the middle of it. It’s a beautiful spot to sit and take in some nice views over Vrsovice. From here, you will get a good view of possibly my favourite building of the day, this rather unique yellow creation with a cross on top of it. Once upon a time it must have been a church but these days it houses a theatre and various shops.
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