Prague’s natural spaces and wildlife offer the best alternative for those who prefer to spend a peaceful time far from the agitated city life. There are plenty of green, open areas where you can see an abundance of wildlife and enjoy a range of sporting activities, such as cycling, walking or horse riding. Alternatively, they give you an opportunity to relax, find the stillness of thought and the clarity of the present moment. For those who prefer to stay central, you will find the list of Prague's top parks that also supply a breath of fresh air. This article lists the most beautiful nature reserves and woodlands in Prague.
Nature Reserve Říčanka in Dubeč
One of the oldest nature reserves in Prague, Natural Park Říčanka, is located on the eastern border of Prague on the areas of Běchovice, Dubeč and Uhříněves. It presents the opportunity to enjoy assorted landscapes, floodplain forests, irreplaceable wildlife and rich cultural heritage. Through the park’s many walking and cycling routes, visitors explore three Specially Protected Areas: the Quarry Rohožník in Dubeč, Lítožnice (a system of ponds, adjacent forest complexes, meadows and valleys around the Ricansky brook) and Uhříněves Game Preserve. Reserve´s other attractions include prehistoric settlements, a millhouse, and the area of Manor Garden with a playground and a natural labyrinth.
Located on the north western outskirts of Prague 6, a rocky valley Divoká Šárka is an uncrowded and peaceful area of natural beauty. Divoká Šárka is a huge nature reserve with a charming landscape, forest, a gorge, lush green meadows, steep cliffs, delightful streams and waterfalls. Nestled on the edge of the reserve, a short drive from Dejvicka metro station, a reservoir and a swimming lake Džbán (the Pitcher) offers a possibility to cool off in hot summer months. In the middle of the reserve, there is a swimming pool with stunning surroundings and crystal clear water, perfect for sunbathing, swimming or recreational activities. A large open-air amphitheatre hosts live opera performance each September.
Čimický and Ďáblický Groves
Čimický and Ďáblický Groves are woodland areas on the northern edge of the city on the territories of Bohnice, Ďáblice and Kobylisy, perfect for walking, cycling, jogging or cross-country skiing. However, most visitors enjoy these nature reserves for their relaxing and peaceful environment. In these two forest parks, you will find an outdoor gym for adults, five children's playgrounds, a picnic area, several ponds and lookout points, a gamekeeper´s lodge and the Observatory Ďáblice. Close to the Observatory at the top of the hill is, Vrch Ladvi, a lookout point with stunning views over Prague.
Forest park Hostivař
Forest park Hostivař in South East Prague represents an enormous open natural space. An oasis of calm in the middle of bustling city, a wonderful nature reserve with a reservoir, a gamekeeper's lodge with a mini zoo and a water-filled quarry, many play elements for children and walking paths is one of the most popular sites in Prague. When visiting Hostivař Forest park, you will have the opportunity to enjoy activities such as fishing, jogging, swimming, beach volleyball, bowls, table tennis or simply relaxing in a comfortable café. Set in the beautiful surrounding of the woodland, Hostivar Reservoir with a total area of 43,8 hectares is the largest natural swimming pool in Prague. It boasts modern recreational and sporting facilities, a clean natural water and gorgeous location. Forest park Hostivař is an ideal destination for a quick weekend getaway.
If you are looking for stunning scenery, Prosecke rocks with two lookout points definitely deliver. From sandstone rocks formed by walls of old quarries, to the system of artificial underground corridors created during the sand mining, this unique protected area will take your breath away. The Natural Landmark lies in the north-eastern part of Prague on the area of 2 neighbouring districts Prosek and Libeň. Surrounded by a beautiful forest and wildflower meadows, the place is perfect for walking or relaxing with a picnic. For the best view of the city, head to this natural wonder in Prague 9.
If you like taking a walk through an enchanting forest, Klanovicky forest is the right place for you. Take a walk or cycle along one of the wood´s numerous trails, passing ponds and meadows through captivating woodland. There are several children´s playgrounds, a gamekeeper's lodge and an educational trail. Home to a wealth of wildlife including hares, pheasants, foxes, roe deer and wild boars, Klanovicky forest (approx. 400 ha) is part of the Nature Park Klánovice-Čihadla (over 1000 ha). The largest continuous forest complex in Prague is located on the eastern border of Prague in the districts of Horní Počernice, Újezd nad Lesy and Klánovice.
Nature Reserve Vinořský Park
Natural elements like trees, plants, rocks, water and sunlight are said to absorb negative energy and bring back your vitality. Vinořský Park has it all. Its beauty will provide you with lots of inspiration and relieves the tension and stress. Yellow tourist sign and an educational trail, Vinořský park - Satalická bažantnice, lead along a dam of Vinorsky pond and "V Podskalí" street to Vinořský Park. Then it takes you along a beautiful old tree alley to "Satalická bažantnice" - a large area of foodplain forests. An enchanting stroll explores places of ancient human settlement as well as rare plants, sandstone rocks with water springs, animals and many species of amphibians and reptiles, including some highly endangered species, such as a newt, a blindworm, a toad or a ring-neck snake.
One part of the beautiful Bohnicke valley, south-facing rocky slopes above the Bohnicky stream, is protected as the National Natural Landmark. There are countless walks, activities, picnic areas and viewpoints to enjoy. Walk through Bohnice valley for fantastic scenic views, or explore some of the local animals, rare plants and trees.
Drahanske valley is not the most visited place in Prague. Yet, there’s no doubt that it is an area of outstanding natural beauty. A blend of the enchanting woodland, streams and dreamlike landscape make Drahanske valley one of the most charming locations in Prague. If you want to take your family on a tranquil retreat, it will not disappoint you. It is amazing for hikes and rambles as it includes several well-marked hiking trails. Cimicky pond is a good starting point of the trip. If you walk along the beautiful paths and walkways that follow Cimicky stream, pass by meadows and fields, you reach the narrow part of the valley, which is called Drahansky gorge. There are some fantastic vantage points that enable to admire breathtaking panoramic views.
Castle Park Průhonice
An English style park is situated in Průhonice in Prague West district and the Central Bohemian region. It spans an area of 240 hectares and is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. An neo-renaissance Chateau, a Botanic Garden, a cafe, an enchanting woodland, meandering streams or amazing flower scenery - the park has something for everyone. It offers a quiet place to sit or stroll, whilst looking over the tranquil brook Botič and ponds. So whether you want to visit the castle and the Botanic Garden or enjoy your free time by picnicking, walking or playing outdoor games at vast meadows, the Castle Park Průhonice is the place to be.