Perfect Spots in Prague: Klánovický Les (Forest in Klánovice)

When you visit Prague for the first time and you usually have only limited time, the schedule is somehow very easy to figure out. There is the Charles’ Bridge and astronomical clock to see, trdlovník or svíčková to taste and beer or Becherovka to get drunk with. No problem with that, it just works like that when it comes to fast traveling.

But! For those moments when you have more free time to spare, when you are slow traveling, when you move to the city in order to live and work here, or when you simply get stuck here as an expat in Prague due to the infamous coronavirus, you could (and should) discover there is so much more to see. And that these places are way better than the usual touristy places.

Perfect Spots in Prague: Klánovický Les (Forest in Klánovice)

Just around 25 minutes by train from the city center, at the eastern edge of Prague, there is a beautiful old quarter of villas dated back to the time of the first republic and surrounded by perfectly charming forest. The best connection to get there is simply to hop on S1 train on Masarykovo nádraží. You can enjoy a fantastic view from the window on the way and after about 25 minutes, you will get off the train on a stop called “Praha-Klánovice”. You will notice the forest outside the window yourself before you get there.

For me, this forest means childhood, games and visits at my grandma’s place. We used to go out with her and our grandpa, looked for the eatable mushrooms and my grandma never forget to carry surprise candies for us in her pocket. These were the times of innocence. ^^ Despite the fact that Klánovický les is grown for forest farming purposes, it remains to be as magical as I remember it to be.

A walk in Klánovice can be exciting on its own, especially if you admire old houses and villas from the beginning of the 20th century. There is lot to see and lot to admire and walking through the streets of Klánovice can ignite a spark of inspiration for your art. After all, the same can be said about the forest as well.

The forest is huge, and you can choose any direction you prefer for your walk – go west and your journey will lead you to Běchovice or Xaverov. Go east, and you can end up in Jirny or Úvaly. Go south and you will learn more about Újezd nad Lesy.

Don’t worry though, if you get lost, all of these points are easily accessible by public transport and Praha-Běchovice and Úvaly are also stops on the same line of S1 train. The paths in the forest are mostly arranged in a grid street manner so it should be easy to get a sense of direction. The forest is also crossed by the above-mentioned railway which can serve as a point of direction as well.

Forest in Klánovice remains an easily accessible area for connecting with nature for me. You will encounter lots of walkers, runners and families with small children as well, which just validates my words. Give it a try and you will see how charming the forest at the outskirt of Prague can be!

Perfect Spots in Prague: Vrtbovská zahrada (The Vrtba Garden)

When you visit Prague for the first time and you usually have only limited time, the schedule is somehow very easy to figure out. There is the Charles’ Bridge and astronomical clock to see, trdlovník or svíčková to taste and beer or Becherovka to get drunk with. No problem with that, it just works like that when it comes to fast traveling.

But! For those moments when you have more free time to spare, when you are slow traveling, when you move to the city in order to live and work here, or when you simply get stuck here as an expat in Prague due to the infamous coronavirus, you could (and should) discover there is so much more to see. And that these places are way better than the usual touristy places.

Perfect Spots in Prague: Vrtbovská zahrada (The Vrtba Garden)

This might come to you as a surprise, but I learned about this treasure hidden right in the heart of the city from my American best friend whom I was so lucky to meet through an exchange buddy program during my studies. She had a professor at Charles’ who probably knew Prague perfectly and recommended her this Vrtba garden, which I of course never heard of before, right next to Malostranské náměstí. She asked me if I’d like to join her and the journey began.

The first part of the adventure with Vrtbovská zahrada is actually the effort you have to make to find it. It’s hidden almost perfectly, and no big ugly sign will scream on you, so it might to take you several walks along the busy Karmelitská street before you actually notice the entrance. Inconspicuous doorway will take you right into the block of recognizable baroque buildings of Prague’s center. In the main hall, you will pay an admission fee, which varies between 80 to 100 crowns, depending on whether you are adult, senior, junior and so on, you know the drill. 

And then, you can finally enter.

I was so surprised to see such noble beauty can sprout in the middle of a city I used to think I know. Although I prefer the untamed beauty of wild nature, this was (and still is) worth seeing. The garden stretches more in height then width and this simply adds more uniqueness and a dreamlike touch to the actual experience of discovering the place itself. You rise, level by level, up up up, until you see the city from an angle you have never seen it before from. And it’s breathtaking.

The Vrtba Garden is, like most of Prague’s gardens, best to visit during the spring, summer and autumn time, since it stays closed from November to March. It’s unique position in the middle of the city center, ability to stay hidden, like a secret whispered in the wind, and relatively low admission fees make this a perfect spot, whether you want to run away from the world or just to see another nice corner of it.