Stromovka Park is one of the largest parks in Prague at just over 90 hectares and although it’s not exactly in the centre of Prague, it’s only a short tram ride away.
It’s perfect for an afternoon stroll with plenty to see and do. You can visit the nearby Exhibition Area, have a picnic in the park or walk all the way to Prague ZOO or Botanical Gardens on the other side of the Vltava River.
There are plenty of walks, places to explore to rest and relax, to have a coffee or even to borrow a book and read on one of the many park benches.
Where is Stromovka Park?
Stromovka park is on the banks of the Vltava river, nestled between the industrial Holesovice area and the residential area of Bubenec on the other. It’s about a 15-20 minutes ride from the centre of Prague by tram.
- Large woodland park in a lovely setting
- Great facilities
- Plenty to see & do
- Easy access to public transport
- Great to visit with children – the park has a playground and it’s largely flat to walk on.
Stromovka Park was originally part of a hunting ground used by the royal family back in the 13 century. The king Premysl Otakar II established it as a deer park in around the 1268. The park was used for hunting and recreation for most of the 13-16th century, but in 17th and 18th century the park was used for military purposes, as a camping site.
King Rudolf II extended the park and established the central lake, which was only recently renovated and re-planted. The park was open to the public in 1804, a century earlier than other Prague parks like Kinsky Garden or Havlickovy Park (Grebovka).
The park was badly damaged in the Prague floods of 2002, but was renovated to its original glory and re-opened only a year later.
What to see in Stromovka park
Stromovka Park Lakes
There are a couple of lakes in Stromovka, which were fairly recently restored in their original places.
This large building was built as a restaurant with a large entertaining hall, where dances were held.
It was originally a Royal Hall built at the end of the 17th century and later re-built and adapted for use as a restaurant. The last building additions were done in a neo-Gothic style by Bernard Gruber in 1855. This style was particularly popular in mid 19th century.
By the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the Second World War the restaurant was run by Vaclav Slechta.
It’s been closed to the public for a long time due to repairs, but it looks like it’s now nearly finished and will re-open once more. There are beautiful flower beds in-front of the building and you can get refreshments from the side kiosk.
My great aunt recalls in her diary from 1933, that once she went dancing there with my grandmother (who was 3 years younger) and two boys they knew back then. They had a lovely time dancing in the Schlechtova ballroom, but they were told by the parents they must return by 9 pm!
My great aunt writes, that they paid for their refreshments bill at 9 pm and since she knew they were already late, she suggested the quickest way home to Smichov. But the boys thought they knew better and decided on a different route.
The problem was that the boys didn’t live in Prague (only studied there), and they got lost so badly they didn’t arrive back home until about 2 am. What I think makes this whole thing worse, is that they didn’t have money for the tram so they walked all the way.
I can’t possibly imagine walking in dancing shoes for 5 hours on cobblestones and dusty town streets!
Rudolf II tunnel
Built during the Rudolf II reign to supply water to the newly created lakes in the park.
Governor’s Summer House (Mistodrzitelsky Letohradek)
Originally built in 1495 for the Vladislav Jagellonsky king, this was the original hunting lodge. It was re-built at the end of 16th century by Rudolf II. It’s now used as an archive of the National Museum, so it’s rarely open to the public.
The park gate
Located on the further side of the park toward the Bubenec, this Renaissance-style gate is a great reminder of how important (and royal!) the park once was. It’s worth walking through the gate and into the few streets around, as it gives you the sense of how Prague looked in the olden times.
Stromovka Park, Prague 7 – main entrance from U Vystaviste or any street from Bubenec – there are no gates or walls to prevent access from around the whole park
How to get there
Trams – 12, 17, 24 – tram stop Vystaviste Holesovice. Trams no 12 & 17 often terminates here.
Ideas for longer walks
There is no immediate underground station, but if you wanted to, there is a nice town walk from Hradcanska. As you walk down the hill to the Stromovka, you can see all the beautiful 19th and beginning of the 20th-century townhouses.
Many were built for noble families and over the years a great number of famous people lived there. Some large houses are now used as embassies. If you manage to weave around to the street called ‘Ke Staremu Bubenci’ you’ll appear behind the Governor’s Summer House and you’ll be able to admire the beautiful views across Prague and see Prague Zoo & Botanical Gardens.
On a clear day and especially in the morning you can hear the elephants calling out from the ZOO across the river. From the Governor’s Summer house you only need to use the steps and steep paths to get to the bottom of the hill and you’ll find yourself in Stromovka Park
Completely free and open all day long (no gates or locked areas)
There are several places where you can get refreshments in the park.
Vozovna Restaurant was originally the shed depot from a tramline that connected Stromovka with Letna Park. It’s great for tea, coffee and snacks and there are both indoor and outdoor sitting areas.
Until the main restaurant opens in the main villa, there is an outdoor sitting area with a refreshment booth serving simple hot snacks, drinks and homemade ice-cream. The ice-cream is made by a local ice-cream maker and last time we tried Raspberry & Buttermilk Icecream which was just out of this world!
There are quite a few mobile toilets placed around the park. The Vozovna Restaurant has a toilet facilities for their customers.
Children’s playgrounds include rope climbing, swings and the usual kiddies playground roundabouts. There are about three different areas in the park that you can explore
There is also one of the best inline skating paths in the Prague because it’s quite long and completely flat. Perfect for beginners and children too.
You’ll also see a lot of people cycling and running – there are separate lanes for walkers, which makes it even easier for everyone to enjoy the park.
What else you can see nearby
- Prague ZOO
- Botanical Garden
- Exhibition Area – Vystaviste. Different exhibitions throughout the year
- Planetarium – Great for finding out more about the sky, stars and cosmos in general.
- Letna Park
- Lapidarium – has the largest painting created for the Exhibition in 1891
- Prague National Gallery (in the Trade Fair Palace)
- Old wastewater treatment plant – recently opened to public, fastinating history and a great coffee shop!
STAY IN TOUCH
Hope this blog post inspires you and as ever I’d love to what you think! Let me know in the comments below or catch up with me over on Instagram.