In this series you will find the SWC team’s tried and tested tips for trips that you won't find in official guidebooks and that are therefore less known and largely undiscovered; so much so that you will forget that you are still in Prague. We will mostly show you routes that lead directly from Prague to the destination of choice, so you can walk or bike there straight from your house. We hope you have a great time!
Žižkov - Hrdlořezy - Hloubětín - Kyjský pond
On foot or by bike
This pleasant and flat route almost fully follows marked bike trails, with most of it leading through a forest. What’s great about it is that it is spacious and that it’s not crowded or filled with refreshment stands. If you feel like biking, there is a bike-sharing station next to the Kaufland supermarket where you can both rent a bike and return it afterwards, as you will be returning to the same spot. The trail mostly leads through an unpaved forest road, so it is not suitable for inline skates.
You will set off from the Kaufland supermarket in Jarov, Prague 3 (tram 9, terminus “Spojovací”). First, you will pass through the Třešňovka orchard, which offers a beautiful view of Prague. At the end of it you will have to go down a steep hill leading around the local community garden behind which Hrdlořezy is located. The bike trail will then take you along an upward sloping asphalt road. After about 200 meters, you will take a right turn leading to a meadow interwoven with meanders of the Rokytka river in the middle.
You will then cross the meadow and continue across the Hořejší pond. Make sure to keep to the A25 bike path (which alternates with A26 for a while). Once you go over a small hill and through the edge of Hloubětín, you’ll have reached your destination – the picturesque Kyjský pond. If you are thirsty or in the mood for a snack, there are 2 restaurants there where you can get a hot meal throughout the day. You can also take advantage of the beautiful setting and relax at the edge of the pond.
The trail is suitable for hiking, and it makes for a great half-day trip. If you go by bike, there are several bike paths leading from the Kyjský pond to Hostavice, Dolní Počernice and the edge of Černý Most. You can take the same route back to Prague 3.
Smíchov – Řeporyje – Požáry Quarries
By train and on foot
This reasonably easy trip will be appreciated by a former boy or girl scout or a trapper, people who do not want to travel far away to get out of Prague, amateur geologists or Jurassic Park fans. Yet, there is no need to worry – you will not meet a dinosaur on your way. However, if you are lucky, you may discover some fragments of trilobites or other prehistoric arthropods or shellfish. You will be taken to green and rocky (at times muddy) country in the outskirts of Prague, to former quarries Požáry that were closed in the middle of the last century. You will meet nobody there except for a few dog keepers. You’d better set off when the weather is good! Make sure you wear a pair of good walking shoes and comfortable clothes. A torch or at least a well-charged phone, box of matches or lighter and magnifying glass will become handy too. You may as well pack a few sausages for roasting, bread and some drink.
The trip starts at Smíchovské nádraží station. You will need to go by train to Řeporyje train station (train connection: Prague, Smíchovské nádraží station – Beroun; via Rudná). The journey takes about 13 minutes. Get off at the third stop. The train operates every hour at the weekend and twice an hour on the weekdays. A one-way ticket is 30 crowns. If you have your public transport card lítačka arranged, use it. You do not need a train ticket then. While travelling by train, you may enjoy the views of the picturesque Prokop valley and the outskirts of Prague.
When you get off at the Řeporyje train station, walk down the hill to get to the square. If you do not plan to roast sausages, you may have lunch or some snack at the cafe Kavárna Na náměstí. They serve lunches, delicious cakes and coffee till 8.00 p.m. (except for Mondays).
Walk across the square to Dalejská street, then go under the viaduct and take the first to the left to K Holému vrchu street. Go past the service station (Autoservis) on your right until you almost reach the entrance to the Řeporyje stone quarry. Right before the main gate, take a small path to the right. You will see a bit old metal staircase which you will need to walk down (picture no. 1). Turn right and continue walking straight the path overgrown with weeds for about 500 metres. When you see the entrance to the former limestone quarry (picture no. 2), it is time to start your exploring. Get through about a sixty metres long corridor; follow the light until you reach the bottom of the quarry, where you may examine or admire local stratotypes and fossils. You may also continue to the other part of the quarry. The second tunnel is only partially accessible. It is roughly cut, so if you want to explore this corridor, you should use your torch or some source of light.
At the end of this trip, you may visit the local Řeporyje brewery (2 minutes walk from the square) and taste local beer there. To return home, retake a train or go by bus no. 174, which terminates close to the centre of Prague. The more active tourists can take a nature path marked by green sings Údolím Dalejského potoka and walk for about 7 kilometres to Prokopské údolí. It is possible to go on and walk all the way to Smíchov. However, this path is very popular among the citizens of Prague, especially at the weekend or during holidays.
Smíchov – Dívčí hrady
Don’t have time for an all-day trip? No problem! Even a short distance from the vibrant centre of Prague, you can find many green niches with untouched nature and very few visitors. One such place is Dívčí hrady, just 10 minutes by bus from the bustling streets of Smíchov. In addition to romantic walks, you can look forward to one of the most beautiful views of Prague.
At the Na Knížecí stop, take bus no. 231, which will drive you up to the top of Dívčí hrady hill through winding streets lined with villas. Then just turn left over a small railway bridge, and after a few minutes’ walk, turn right onto Nad Konvářkou Street. After about 60 metres, you will see an inconspicuous path in front of you (image 1), which looks a bit desolate, but you can continue on it without any worries. On the righthand side, there is the wall of the Radlice cemetery. After another 10-minute walk, you will come to the plain of the Ctirad nature reserve.
On the righthand side, you will soon see an enclosed yard for rare Przewalski’s horses – the last species of wild horses still in existence today. Currently, four mares live in Dívčí hrady. You can see them up close from three vantagepoints, which offer a view not only of the animals themselves, but also a panorama of Prague.
From the enclosure, go across the meadow to the left towards the river. After about a 10-minute walk, you will discover a beautiful view of the whole city – the river, Vyšehrad, Podolí, and the modern skyscrapers of Prague Manhattan. If you continue to the right, you will walk along the contour line to the former fortified settlement of Děvín, where, according to an old Czech legend, there was a fortress of Czech “Amazons” – women who resisted male supremacy. During the whole journey, you can enjoy the view of the right bank of the Vltava on the left side.
It’s up to you whether you would like to return the same way back to the Dívčí hrady bus stop or descend from Děvín to Hlubočepy and visit another Prague green oasis – the Prokopské údolí nature reserve.
A trip on foot or by bike, for young and old
The picturesque village of Unětice is located a few kilometres north of Prague. In the 1870s, important burial grounds from the Bronze Age were discovered here and the village gave a name to so called “Únětice culture” or Aunjetitz culture. The burial grounds are no longer exposed but you can still enjoy your trip to Unětice in the local brewery, for example, or taste delicious cakes at “U Lasíků” pub.
The journey starts on the outskirts of Prague in Suchdol, which already has the characteristics of a village. You can get there by taking metro line A to the Dejvická station and then bus no. 107 to the final bus stop in Suchdol.
From the final bus stop in Suchdol, return to the Suchdolská road and turn left. Go round the corner of the T. G. Masaryk primary school, named after the first president of Czechoslovakia and walk past the monument to the victims of the First World War. Continue going down and then steeply up Pod rybníčkem Street. You will then see a short staircase on the right side. Go up the stairs until you reach the old fire station and the renovated bell tower. Continue towards the farm with a yellow-painted façade and a horse’s head above the gate. Here, the road is already marked with yellow tourist signs.
At the crossroads near the nature reserve, turn left down the U kapličky path and immediately turn left onto a wide footpath. At the end of the path on the right, you will see a centuries-old, majestic birch tree. Cross the footbridge over the stream and then turn left. The tourist sign changes from yellow to blue. At this point, you are very close to Unětice, but take your time and enjoy a lookout named after a famous Czech painter Aleš. The climb up to the lookout point is for more venturous hikers. The hill in some places is quite steep. However, the reward is an amazing view of Prague.
In Unětice, first stop for cake at U Lasíků. You can recognize the place by the number of people and the old red Ford car in front of the building. The Unětický brewery is just a short walk away, and the way is signposted. You can taste their specialities at the brewery, such as the special St Wenceslas 14-degree beer. They also have good food here.
If you have enough energy, you can return to Prague on foot. Follow the blue sign to reach Roztoky and then take the train. It is an undemanding 3.5 km path through the Tiché údolí (Quiet valley), which will take you all the way to the railway station in Roztoky. The train to Prague runs every 30 minutes, and the journey takes 15 minutes. If you want to return from Unětice, you can take a bus directly to Prague or to Roztoky and then continue by train. You can plan your trip in advance at idos.cz.
Old Hostivař – One of the oldest villages in Prague
On foot and preferably on a warm spring or summer day
To get to the starting point of today’s Prague journey, take tram No. 22 or 26 (to Obchodní centrum Hostivař) or bus No. 177 (to Hostivařské náměstí). I personally enjoy taking this trip a lot as the route is not too frequented by city dwellers, and it leads through a piece of untouched wilderness in the middle of a busy city.
The first mention of Hostivař dates back to 1068. In 1922, the village was annexed to Greater Prague. One of the most notable Hostivař natives is Antonín Švehla, former Prime Minister of the Czechoslovak Republic. The former village square, now called Hostivař Square, used to bustle with life. Several farmhouses and mills stood there, housing numerous large families. Of the original large estates, only Koukal's farm, now called Selský dvůr, the Černý farm, the Švehla and Dvořák farms and the Dolejší mill still stand today. All the remaining buildings can be found near the K Horkám street, where the bus stop is located.
From Hostivař Square, walk up a slight hill to the first stop along the way, the picturesque Church of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist. The church dates back to mid-13th century.
Get refreshments opposite the church at the Na Kačabce pub, an original inn run from a house built in 1837, which offers a fantastic beer garden and excellent cooking. Afterwards, walk up the Selská and Kozinova streets. After about 3 minutes, you should reach a roundabout, next to which you will find a tactile path for barefoot walking – that is why I prefer to take this trip in the warmer months of the year. After walking the path, follow the adjacent Botič brook, which flows through Hostivař in winding meanders and presents a very peaceful part of the whole trip.
Once you get to the edge of the little forest, you will pass a horse corral – continue on from there. After about 10 minutes, you will reach a vast wild meadow where you can stop to have a picnic. If you keep going straight, you will soon find yourself back in civilization, particularly on the U Záběhlického zámku street. Make a sharp right and continue along a narrow stream until you reach the Hamerský pond. Here you will find the Hamr sports center, a restaurant, and a wine cellar. This place has a livelier atmosphere as it is a popular destination for locals. You can have good lunch at the very reasonably priced restaurant buffet and then either take the same way back to where you started today's journey or go to the nearby bus stop and take bus 188 (from V Korytech) back to the city center.
Beroun, Svatý Jan pod Skalou, Hostim, Srbsko - a hike in the woods and rocks
My spring tip for a trip will take you to the surroundings of Prague, to the region of rocks and caves near Beroun, to the top of the rock Skála near Svatý Jan pod Skalou. Although the track (img.1) is only 14 km long, it goes through the hilly countryside in a bit challenging terrain (once you will even have to climb up the rock) and therefore it takes about 5 hours. If you consider the train journey and some breaks for the rest, the trip will take a whole day. However, more experienced hikers can make it without much effort in an afternoon.
First, you will spend about 40 minutes on the train. Trains leave from the Prague Smichov station every hour and end in Beroun. Follow the red signpost from the local train station and go past the Beroun hospital over the Herinky hill. This route is known as the oldest marked hiking trail in the Czech Republic. You can take your first break in the picturesque gazebo at the U Dubu (At the Oak) site and then descend to Svatý Jan pod Skalou.
You can finally have a snack or a drink at a local stall or restaurant in the charming Central Bohemian village of Svatý Jan pod Skalou (imgs.2,), which has grown up around a former Benedictine monastery. Don't miss the Cave of St. Ivan and the spring. The spring water comes out from the depths of the karst bedrock and is used as a source of water not only for the locals but also for all visitors. The trail continues to the Křížek viewpoint on the rock; just follow the red signpost (img.4) and hike around the Chapel of St. Cross. A steep uphill climb and steep steps (img.5) will take you to a breathtaking viewpoint near Křížek (the Cross) on the rock (imgs.6,7). Here you can enjoy the fantastic views of the monastery, and the village of Svatý Jan (imgs.8,9). Please be cautious in rainy and windy weather as the rock might get slippery.
To return from the viewpoint Křížek, you can use the same route back to Svatý Jan on the red trail and then follow the yellow trail and walkdown the road to Hostim or take the green trail through the Solvayovy Lomy (quarries) museum (imgs.11,12), where you can admire the old mining equipment and architecture. Then follow the green trail through the landscape reminding the Wild West along the forest path past the Arnika Cave through the Propadlé Vody (Sunken Waters) to Hostim (img.13).
When you get to Hostim, you can enjoy a delicious meal at the U Krobiána inn (img.14). For the final section of the route, you can choose from two options. You may continue along the more challenging green path (4km) through the hills, fields and old quarry to the village of Srbsko to catch the train back to Prague. The other alternative is to follow the yellow path (3.5km) through the woods along the Kačák stream, past Ice Age rock formations and along the Berounka River until you reach the train station in Srbsko. The train back to Prague runs every hour.
This trip is more strenuous than the usual walks in Prague, but you will get to know the beautiful countryside of the Bohemian Karst and experience an adventure you will not regret.
Enjoy the trip and have a nice walk!