This is my ultimate guide to Prague’s four main botanical gardens – Troja, Na Slupy, Malesice and Pruhonice, including opening times, tickets, directions, facilities and history.
Prague has a lot of green spaces, gardens and parks and also official botanical gardens.
Most people are aware of the large botanical garden in Troja, but there is also a smaller botanical garden close to the Charles Square in the centre of Prague, which is often overlooked.
On top of that, you also have not so well know botanical gardens in Malesice and Pruhonice.
If you want to stay within the Prague centre, then the Charles University Botanical Garden is the best one to start with.
The main botanical garden in Troja and Malesice is more suited for a day trip (or at least 1/2 day) and the botanical garden at Pruhonice is best linked to Pruhonice Chateau and Park visit and it’s a whole day trip.
Over the years I’ve visited all of the botanical gardens many times, but I keep coming back to the Charles University garden regularly, mainly because it’s close to the centre and because they put on regular exhibitions thought the year.
Here is my quick summary for ‘best in’ because every botanical garden is different and unique in it’s own way!
- Best botanical garden for facilities – Troja
- Best to visit in winter – Fata Morgana Greenhouse
- Best for (flat level) walks – Pruhonice
- Hidden Gem & No Crowds – Malesice
- Best for exhibitions (small, but in depth) – Charles University
- Closest to the centre – Charles University
- Best for free entrance – Malesice – all year round, Troja – outdoor part – only in the winter season
MORE GARDENS AND PARKS TO VISIT IN PRAGUE
Botanical Garden of Charles University
This botanical garden is a little hidden gem right in the centre of Prague, very close to Charles Square. It’s either a very short walk from the Karlovo Namesti (Charles Square) underground station or you can also take a tram.
This botanical garden is (in comparison to the main botanical garden in Troja) very small, but it will keep you entertained for 1-2 hours, and the entrance fee is only 100 Kcz (adults) and 50 KCZ children.
The botanical garden is run by the Charles University Natural Department and it’s surrounded by various old buildings that still form part of the Charles University and also a local hospital.
This botanical garden was originally founded in 1775, but at that time it was located at Smichov (Prague 5). By 1840 the garden was already well established with more than 13 000 types of plants.
The botanical garden was built quite close to Vltava river, and because it was flooded several times, it had to be moved. By the end of 19 century, Smichov was a prosperous manufacturing quarter (now part of Prague 5 district) which was expanding fast and it needed more buildings, factories and houses for the workers, which is why the botanical garden had to move again.
This time the garden was moved to its current location between the streets Benatska and Vinicna to other side of Vltava river. All the existing plants have been carefully lifted from their original location and replanted in the new botanical garden.
During this time Charles University had both Czech and German faculty and the botanical garden was equally divided between the two.
It’s quite ironic, that when Prague was attacked in the controversial bombing by American Forces on 14 February 1945, it was the German part of the botanical garden that was damaged, not the Czech one.
Today, the Charles University Garden consists of outdoor garden and a few interconnecting greenhouses, that house rare plants, but also birds.
The botanical garden organises several exhibitions throughout the year. These usually include cacti, succulents, orchids, citrus plants and meat-eating plants exhibitions. My favourite exhibition includes the annual Christmas decorations exhibition, but you can also see the rare birds and budgies exhibition and also the small aquarium fish exhibition.
The facilities in the garden are very basic – there are toilets (payable), but no refreshments. There are, however few cafes on the main street outside the garden.
Opening Times – open all year round, every day 10-3 pm
Entry Fee – 100 KCZ adults, 50 KCZ children or 250 KCZ family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children)
Location – Na Slupi 433 /16, 128 00 New Town, Prague 1
How to get there – Trams no 1, 2, 14, 18, 24, 25 stop just outside the Botanical Garden (stop is called ‘Na Slupy’. The nearest underground station is Charles Square (Karlovo Namesti) and then it’s about 10 – 15 minute walk.
Botanical Garden in Troja
I have a fond memories of Troja botanical garden. The first time I visited it was as a teenager with my mum for a day workshop about making handmade paper with dried flowers.
Next time I visited it was probably more than 30 years later on a very hot summer’s day and everything looked very different – the garden was considerably bigger, the greenhouse was built and I was pleasantly surprised at the different areas of the garden with explanation panels and plenty of space to walk around.
There are modern sculptures, bee keeping corner, native America plants with a large teepee tent and large rope hamocks to rest in.
One thing you need to be prepared for, is that this botanical garden is very hilly and it’s not great for walks with push chairs, baby prams or anyone with mobility issues.
Whilst this botanical garden is probably the most know one from the Prague botanical gardens it is the youngest one – officially founded in 1969.
During the next 20 years the garden was being slowly developed and planted with various trees, plants and rare flowers, but sadly stayed closed to the general public for most of that time.
Apart from a few open days, the garden was never properly opened. The garden was finally opened to public in 1992 although the area opened wasn’t that big. Over the next few years, more areas become opened to the public such as the Japanese Garden, the plants of Turkey and Mediterian and a large collection of flowering irises.
The Fata Morgana greenhouse is a relatively new addition, opened in 2004.
The vineyard of St. Clara was incorporated into the garden in 1995 and over the years more exhibitions about wine growing was added. You can now taste the local wine in a small wine bar next to the vineyard, where you can see all the different types of grapes.
Fata Morgana Greenhouse
If you want to see a tropical forest in Prague, you will need to visit the Fata Morgana Greenhouse in Troja. While it’s run by the Botanical Garden, the entrance is separate from the main area and you can visit the Greenhouse separately without going to the rest of the garden (and get a separate ticket too).
You will need about 60 – 90 minutes to visit the greenhouse which is organised in three different sections. You will walk through a jungle, dessert and tropical rainforest and can take as long as you want to admire the different plants on the way.
If you fancy a longer trip, you can visit the Fata Morgana in the morning and then walk around Troja or visit the Zoo or go to Troja Castle (it’s more like an art gallery)
Facilities – restaurant, wine bar, coffee stands, toilets, info centre, shop etc.
Opening Times – The outdoor part of the botanical garden is open all year round and every day. The Fata Morgana Greenhouse is open all year round too, but only Tuesday – Sunday (closed on Mondays).
Tickets – The outdoor part of the botanical garden (everything apart from the Fat Morgana Greenhouse) is free to enter during the winter season.
Summer time tickets are 150 KCZ. The entry to the Fata Morgana Greenhouse is 150 CZK all year round.
Location: Nádvorní 2, 171 00 Praha-Troja, Bus 234 from Holesovice underground station
To get to the garden and the greenhouse, it’s quite a bit of hike up the steep streets from the bus stop.
Botanical Garden in Malesice
If you want to escape the crowds, this botanical garden is the place to be!
This botanical garden starter it’s life as a garden of a large private villa owned by a local businessman Jirasko. During the beginning of 20th century the main villa was re-built as a neo renesance chateau. During the second world war the German army used the chateau as a hospital. After 1945 the chateau was re-quisioned by the state and in 1948 gardening school (originally from Vinohrady where it was founded in 1909) was moved in.
The garden now belongs to a local gardening school and it’s looked after by the students.
The whole area is about 11 acres, which includes some areas that are not opened to public.
The whole area has more feel of a park with unusual trees and beautifully landscaped areas and paths weaving around the lake. I like that because this is a practical learning environment for the students, all trees and plants are labeled with Czech and Latin names, so that I can learn the tree names as I walk around.
I visited in the early autumn and the trees had the most amazing colours ranging from yellow, dark green, red, orange and anything in between. It was pretty magical!
You can walk around the park and visit the large greenhouses, that are definitely worth seeing. The greenhouses are large than the more known botanical garden in Troja or Charles University botanical garden.
Opening times – The garden and green houses are free to enter, but the whole area is open to the public only during school hours during low season. During the main season (May – October) the garden is open every day.
Facilities – There is a small shop where the students sell plants, but appart from that there are no shops or refreshments on site, so bring a packed lunch and snacks with you. There are several porta loos in the park.
Location: Pod Taborem 17, Malesice, Prague 9
How to get there – This botanical garden is about 50 minutes from the centre by underground and bus. The buses leave the Vysocanska Underground station. Bus no. 195 take about 10 minutes to get there.(6 stops and get of at Botanicka zahrada Malesice).
Alternatively there is also bus 177 from Chodov Underground Station – travel 2 stops (about 3 minutes) to the same bus stop – Botanicka zahrada Malesice.
The standard 90 minutes public transport ticket will cover your journey there, but make sure that you also buy a return (spare) ticket (paper one) or have a way to buy your ticket via app on your smart phone.
Botanical Garden in Pruhonice
This botanical garden focuses on studying trees, shrubs and flowering bushes. The whole area is naturally part of the Black stream valley, which the garden shares with the Pruhonice Park.
The beginnings of the garden go back to 1922 when the owner of Pruhonice Chattau – Arnost Silva Tarouca offered space in his park for the collections of the Czech dentrological society. (Dentrology is a study of trees and shrubs ).
The botanical garden covers over 80 acres, which are mainly landscaped as a park with various trees and shrubs.
The garden organises annual spring tulips exhibitions as well as summer flowering plants.
The garden has only been open to public since 1990. Depending on which season you visit, the garden paths are market out so that you walk through the best parts of the garden for that particular season.
There are many different paths ranging from 30 minutes walks to 4 hrs. The short and medium walks are barrier free and suitable for wheelchairs and push chairs.
Location – Pruhonice, 252 43
How to get there – The best way to get to Pruhonice is to take the underground to Opatov (Line C) and then take the 385, 363 (or the 328) bus. From the underground, you’ll need to walk up to the road level. There are plenty of buses during weekdays, but only about 2 buses an hour at the weekends and late evenings.
It takes 20 minutes to get to Pruhonice from Opatov, but because Pruhonice is in the outer ring (1 zone), you’ll either need to get a ticket for 2 consecutive zones (the cheapest one for 14 CZK) if you have a day or three or monthly day Prague transport pass.
Your Prague pass is valid until about 3 stops before Pruhonice, so the cheapest ticket will pay for the difference between these zones.
If you don’t have any ticket, you can buy a longer time ticket valid for at least 4 consecutive zones.
Alternatively, you can buy a ticket at the driver or online via the Litacka app or a website.
The nearest bus stop is called ‘Cestlice, V Oblouku’ for buses 385, 363 or Cestlice – Kika – Aquapalace for a bus 328 and it’s about 3 minutes walk from the entrance to the garden.
Tickets – An adult ticket is 100 CZK and children and senior tickets are 60 CZK. Family ticket (2 adults + up to 3 children 270 CZK).
Opening times – The garden is open from the beginning of March to the end of October. Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays) 9 am – 6 pm (or 9 pm in the summer).
Facilities – Coffee place, toilets, plant sales.
Bring a packed lunch and drinks with you just in case the cafe has a limited menu or is closed.
This blog post was originally written on 24 January 2023 and last updated on 24 January 2023