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The Best Hikes in Prague

31 December, 2021by Bounce

With its well-preserved medieval core, its beautiful churches and bridges, and a fascinating history that goes back millennia, Prague is a European city that needs little introduction. During the Communist era, Prague was behind the Iron Curtain, and was closed to most visitors from the West. But since the fall of communism in the Czech Republic, Prague has embraced its status as a world-class tourist destination. With gorgeous architecture, fascinating cultural attractions, and unbelievably cheap beer, Prague is a city that attracts both upscale culture vultures and boozy bachelor parties from around the world. It's a testament to the endless variety the city has to offer those who visit that these groups can coexist so easily. It's also a place that is surprisingly affordable given everything it has to offer. If you're wondering what the best free things to do in Prague are, check out our guide.

Many visitors to Prague will be so enchanted with the beauty of the city itself that they won't want to go anywhere else. And that's understandable. But the countryside around Prague is also well worth exploring. Whether this is your first trip or your hundredth, it's never a bad idea to hit some of the local hiking trails and embrace what central Europe has to offer. When visiting Prague, one of the best things to do, free or not, is to do some walking and discover beautiful places both in the city and near Prague.

That's why we've put together this guide to the top hiking destinations near Prague. And before you go hiking near Prague, don't forget to make your trip a little bit easier by dropping off your bags at one of our Prague luggage storage spots. Travel light and enjoy some of the best trails near Prague and in the surrounding countryside.

Our Top Hiking Trail Picks in Prague

Prague Castle

There are certain attractions you just can't avoid when you visit Prague. Prague Castle is one of them. You'll see it everywhere you go in the Old Town, dominating the city from the hill on the far side of the Vltava River. And Prague Castle is one of the city's most visited tourist attractions for a reason.

The castle grounds are home to some of the most important buildings in the city. The castle itself dates back to 880 A.D. and is still the residence of the Czech president. But the hill the castle sits on is also home to St Vitus Cathedral, the spiritual heart of the city and one of its most important historic sites.

Prague Castle is often considered the largest castle in the world. As a result, you can easily get some serious miles clocked walking around the castle, the Cathedral, and all the other historic sites in the area. The walk up the hill from the Charles Bridge may be enough to get your heart pumping by itself, and if you're up to it, you can enjoy some of the most incredible views of the city from the spire of the Cathedral by climbing the spiral staircase to the top.

You can enjoy exploring Prague Castle by yourself by picking up one of the free hiking maps from the city's tourist information center. Alternatively, you could take one of the many walking tours that will teach you more about the history and beautiful architecture of this incredible place. But however you choose to visit the political and spiritual heart of Prague, you won't forget your trip.

Old Town

Prague's historic heart is practically made for walking. Whether you're a keen hiker or just a person who enjoys a gentle stroll, you won't run out of places to explore when you visit Prague. Taking Prague's Old Town Square and its famous astronomical clock as your starting point, you can set out on an exploration that will take you through medieval churches, Renaissance squares, and relics of the global conflicts that have shaped the city. As with visiting Prague Castle, it might be a good idea to take a guided tour that will take you on a route through the city and explain Prague's history and culture to you. But it can also be fun to explore for yourself.

Of course, the best part about staying in town is that you can stop wherever you like for a bite to eat or some amazingly cheap good beer. If you find yourself in need of a midmorning pick-me-up, check out the best places for brunch in Prague.

Petrin Tower Lookout

The Petrin Tower is one of Prague's quirkier landmarks. Built in 1891 on a hill overlooking the city close to the castle, this tower was used as an observation point and a radio transmitter. The resemblance to the Eiffel tower is not accidental; the Petrin Tower was modeled after its more famous predecessor in Paris. But the Eiffel Tower doesn't offer the hiking opportunity this Czech Republic version does.

Petrin Park holds the tower and is the largest open green space in Prague, making it one of the best parts for hiking in the city even without the addition of the tower. You can ride a funicular railway to the tower itself if you only want to enjoy the view, but real hiking fans will prefer to walk. The walk to the tower itself takes around 30 minutes, but the switch-backed hiking trails are enough to get your heart pumping. And then, of course, there are the 299 steps to the top of the tower itself to consider. Still, it's all worth it for the views from the top, 324 m above sea level. There's no doubt that this offers one of the best hikes in the city.

Sázava Region

If you prefer to see a wilder side of the Czech Republic, consider heading out of Prague to take a hike in the Sázava region. Most visitors use the town of Davle as the starting point to explore the gorgeous valley of the Sázava river where it meets the Vltava. Don't miss the Sázava Pacific trail, which runs alongside the river through a stunning natural gorge before exploring quaint Czech rural villages.

Davle is around 40 minutes from Central Prague by car, and you can also reach the town by train thanks to the excellent public transport in the region. From there, you can explore the stunning scenery of this underrated region for a single day or on a multiple-day trip if you prefer. Either way, you'll be glad you took the trouble to experience one of the best day trips from Prague train station to this memorable small town.

For more on the transit options in and around Prague, don't forget to check out our guide on how to get around Prague.

Karlštejn Castle

Located not too far from Prague itself, Karlštejn castle gives visitors a chance to step back in time to the 14th century when the fortification was built. This is undoubtedly one of the most popular day trips from Prague, and for good reason. The castle itself is stunning and offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of the Czech Republic. But also, the castle is close to the Berounka River and the deep forest that grows on its banks. Plus, there are several other castles in the area that are worth exploring, and you can take a hiking trail from one to the other to immerse yourself more fully in the country's history.

Bubovice

Just because you're taking a city break in Prague doesn't mean you can't see some of the best of the beautiful nature of the Czech Republic. If you've taken the train to Karlštejn station to see the incredible castle, you owe it to yourself to go a little further on one of the best hiking trails in the country, if not in all of central Europe. The yellow trail leads from the railway station east across the Berounka River, then joins the red hiking trail which will take you to the famous Bubovice waterfalls.

The trail leads through a beautiful forest that will make you feel as though you've left the city far behind. Once you reach the waterfall itself, you'll know exactly why so many people make the trip here from Prague. The waterfall is the perfect place to enjoy some tranquility, and hiking in this natural reserve is guaranteed to rejuvenate you. Don't forget your camera to capture not only the waterfalls, but the fascinating towns and castles in the area that you'll pass on the way.


Bohemian Switzerland National Park

Heading a little further out from Prague itself allows you to explore some more dramatic scenery. Bohemian Switzerland National Park, despite its name, is located in the Czech Republic and is one of the best places to go for a hike in the entire country. Established in 2000, the park covers an impressive 79 km² of mountainous terrain, and it's the mountains that have given the park its name since they resembled the alpine peaks of Switzerland. In the park, you'll discover dozens of hiking trails that will bring you to castles, natural arches, gorges, ravines, rivers, lakes, and even a rock labyrinth. It's undoubtedly one of the best hiking destinations in central Europe, and one of the absolute best places to go hiking near Prague.

Easy Hikes in Prague

Though surrounded by hills, Central Prague is relatively flat, making it a great place for easy hiking. Exploring the Old Town will give you plenty of opportunities to rest and relax, and will keep you interested with beautiful architecture and historic monuments. Therefore, a hike through the Old Town, whether on a guided tour not, is probably the easiest way to explore Prague on foot.

Intermediate Hikes in Prague

For those who want to test themselves a little more, hiking near Prague has plenty to offer more advanced walkers. The trek up to Prague Castle or Petrin Tower is enough to get your blood pumping without leaving the city. If, however, you prefer to do your hiking in more natural surroundings, the Sazava region has plenty of villagers and natural wonders to explore without being too challenging.

Difficult Hikes in Prague

If you really want to take your hiking to the next level, you'll need to head out to the city to some of the more challenging trails you can find in Bohemian Switzerland National Park. The mountainous terrain of this colossal park means you will never run out of stunning views and challenging hiking.

Conclusion

When most people think of the city of Prague, they picture gorgeous architecture, culture, or maybe the legendary Bohemian beer. What they may not think of quite as readily is hiking. But in reality, the Czech capital has tons of places that offer nice views and a good walk. Whether you prefer a long walk along the Vltava river or a much more challenging route through the unspoiled nature of the countryside around Prague and its national parks, you'll be glad you brought your hiking boots with you. So drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Prague and enjoy some fresh air and good hiking when you visit Prague. When it comes to walking, the city has far more to offer than most people realize.

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