Most people who visit Prague will only see the main tourist sights that are featured in travel guides; we think that’s a shame as there as so many unique and cool hidden spots all over the city (both in the city center and out) that only locals know about. Here are our top picks for hidden spots of Prague.
Re-purposing former industrial spaces is all the rage in Prague these days. These so-called cultural centers pop-up in various places and sometimes quickly disappear. Vnitroblock is the newest of Prague’s multi-functional cultural centers, a contemporary space which meshes several art forms into one with a design store, cafe, dance studio, art exhibits, and even an underground cinema.
For those who get tired of the city atmosphere and want to get away, Divoká Šárka is the perfect getaway. Located a short tram ride from the city center, Divoká Šárka is a large nature reserve filled with peaceful hiking trails, rock formations, numerous fruit trees (help yourself), and wide open fields. Also, one of the best kept secrets in all of Prague can be found here – Koupaliště Divoká Šárka – a retro swimming pool with spring-fed water, quaintly nestled among the cliffs and beautiful nature.
Still relatively unknown to tourists, Manifesto Market is a gastro and cultural paradise in the center of Prague and also the first cashless market in the city and one of the first in Europe. The premises – transformed from a derelict and empty plot – have been tastefully constructed of re-purposed shipping containers. When you’re ready to eat, there is a staggering array of options at your fingertips. In addition to being foodie heaven, Manifesto Market organizes regular film screens and an evening called Food ‘n Beats with an up-and-coming DJ pumping out the jams.
Everybody knows about the famous John Lennon wall, but not many know about Těšnov, one of Prague’s many legal graffiti walls and, luckily, centrally-located. The wall is open to anyone who wants to leave their mark. The best time to go is the early mornings or weekends, when the parking lot is emptier and cars won’t be blocking your way. If you want to learn more about Prague Street Art, check out our unique tour!
Pragovka is an art district located in Prague 9. Their mission is to create a collaborative environment where ideas can be exchanged. Artists, filmmakers, and other creative types come here to work on their craft. But the public is also welcome to go and check their stuff out. They have galleries to showcase different artists’ works. They also put on events, so you can also go to enjoy a concert or a vernisagge.
If you are a collector of antiques and random items, Kolbenova is the king of Prague flea markets and is a must on your visit to Prague. It’s the biggest flea market in Europe, spanning over 50 square meters, and it’s filled with every item you can think of, from car tires to guitars to laundry washers to posters and all the other items you would expect to find at a flea market. There is a 20czk entrance fee, but it’s worth it to explore the items locals accumulate and display.
Just across the Charles Bridge is this hidden Prague palace and art gallery that most people pass by. The interior of this building is stunning and because not many people know about it, it’s usually empty. You can take your time to bask in the beauty of this palace. Amadeus was shot here too! The best part is that it only costs 30czk for students!
Located in the neighborhood of Žižkov, this park is the perfect setting for picnics and dog walking. It features a couple of playgrounds for children and a local pub and beer garden. At the top of the park, you get a nice view of the Žižkov TV Tower and on a clear day, Prague Castle as well. In this park is also Bunkr Parukářka, an underground night club that used to be a nuclear bunker.
Hidden Spots for Spring & Summer
This garden is one of the few baroque gardens in Prague and will take your breath away. Vrtbovská Garden is tucked away just below the slope of Petřín Hill in Malá Strana. The garden is filled not only with beautiful flowers but also statues of ancient Roman gods and goddesses. And if you climb all the way to the top of the garden, you’ll get a gorgeous, up close view of Prague Castle. The garden is open from April to October and can be accessed for a small fee.
Biotop Radotín is Prague’s first and only eco public swimming pool. Instead of using chlorine, the pool is filtered using only water plants and substrate. A truly unique bathing experience, this man-made reservoir can be found along the banks of the Berounka River, and can be easily reached by local train to Radotín. The fun doesn’t actually end in the fall and winter as there is a lovely sauna available upon reservation, promptly concluded by jumping into the exhilarating biotop.
What used to be the largest monument dedicated to Stalin in the world has now become part beer garden, part cultural center, part skate park, and part lounging spot. Though the monument has long been removed, in its place a massive metronome was erected, keeping the beat of the city and from where spectacular views of the city can be had. It’s a cool hangout spot with an eclectic program featuring movie screenings, dance parties, and more – and all for free.
Contributors: Donna Mo, Amanda Bell