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 recreational area in Malá Strana covered with grass, lush gardens, and trees.
Kafka and Kundera
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.
Views and Mini Eiffel Tower
Attractions include Petřín Lookout Tower, a mini version of the Paris Eiffel Tower. It was built in 1891 for the Jubilee Exhibition. I hiked up the hill and climbed the tower’s 299 steps to enjoy 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 in the garden and enjoy the captivating scenery and excellent espresso or coffee – very pleasant. Czech families were relaxing in the crisp morning air admiring the view.
Petřín Outlook 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 climbing hills, you can catch the funicular in Malá Strana and ride it through greenery to the summit.
After climbing the tower, I walked down the other side of Petřín Hill and wandered 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. Entertaining waiters at School are friendly, and the food is delicious. As usual, it was interesting exploring Prague’s wonderful sites and observing the eclectic, happy Saturday crowd streaming by the banks of the Vltava.