Petřín Hill is a large densely wooded park near the Vltava River in the middle of Prague. Much of the stone used to build Prague’s major sites was quarried from Petřín Hill. Now it’s a favorite recreational area in Malá Strana covered with grass, gardens, and trees.
Petřín Hill is “featured prominently in Franz Kafka’s early short story Description of a Struggle and briefly in Milan Kundera’s novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being”. It’s a beautiful place with a calm, peaceful atmosphere.
Attractions on the hill include a mini version of Paris’s Eiffel Tower. Petřín Observation Tower was built in 1891 for the Jubilee Exhibition. I hiked up the hill to climb the tower’s 299 steps and enjoy the spectacular views!
Half way up the hill there’s a café set back in the trees with panoramic views of the Vltava River and Prague Castle. You can sit at tables in the garden and enjoy the captivating scenery and espresso or cup of excellent coffee – very pleasant. Czech families and tourists were relaxing in the crisp morning air admiring the views.
The Petřín Observation Tower is surrounded by landscaped grounds, including a beautiful rose garden in full bloom. The walk through the woods isn’t difficult but if you don’t like steep hills, you can catch a funicular in the Malá Strana and ride up through the greenery to the summit.
After climbing the tower, I walked down the other side of Petřín Hill and spent time wandering around Malá Strana’s winding maze of streets. I passed by the US Embassy where three armed guards were watching it carefully. It was nice to see the US flag flying.
I walked across Charles Bridge (automobiles aren’t allowed) to the right bank of the Vltava and stopped at School Restaurant for a yummy spinach salad. The entertaining waiters at School are friendly and the food is delicious and reasonably priced. As usual, it was interesting taking in Prague’s wonderful sites and observing the eclectic, happy Saturday crowd streaming by the banks of the Vltava.