Petřín is one of the most popular parks in Prague. On top of the hill is a Petřín Lookout Tower that might remind you of the Eiffel Tower of Paris. However, this park is hiding several interesting places, such as churches, rose gardens, orchards, but also an astronomical observatory and statue famous for all Czech lovers.
Petřín is the largest park in the center of Prague. Thanks to its location on the hill, you can enjoy great views over the city center and the nearby Prague Castle. You can find here several types of parks and gardens, such as a rose garden, orchards with fruit trees, an English type of park, but also waterfalls and small lakes. In the middle of the park is a medieval wall, called Hunger Wall, with a romantic viewpoint Citadel.
Memorial to the Victims of Communism
At the bottom of the Petřín hill, you can find an impressive statue of males decaying in front of your eyes. They symbolize victims of the Communist era between 1948-1989 when people waste away under the regime. It is an intense, but also a photogenic statue that made you stop for a while.
The easiest way on the top is by funicular. It is in operation (with some pauses) since 1891, and it will take you straight to the top of the hill. The funicular is part of the Prague public transport, so you need just a regular ticket to jump in.
Statue of Karel Hynek Mácha
If you decide to walk on top of the hill, instead of taking the funicular, you will have a chance to stop by the most famous statue of the Czech lovers. Karel Hynek Mácha wrote a poem about the 1st of May as a day of love. Until today, lovers come to Petřín on this day. They seek for the statue of Mácha as well as a blooming cherry tree to kiss each other. Unfortunately, Mácha died young on the day that supposed to be his wedding day. Today, his resting place is at the famous Vyšehrad cemetery.
Petřín Lookout Tower
On top of the hill is the main dominant of Petřín, the lookout tower that resembles the Eiffel Tower. It is not a coincidence since it was erected in 1891, only two years after the completion of the Eiffel Tower. Once you climb on the top, you have a splendid view of the city. During bright days, you can even see Sněžka, the highest peak of the Czech Republic. In the bottom, there is a small museum dedicated to Jára Cimrman, the famous but fictional character of our history.
St. Lawrence Church and Calvary Chapel
Next to the Petřín Lookout Tower, you can find a red church with a nicely painted white chapel. There are rumors that this Catholic church was built on site important for ancient pagan Slavs. The old Romanesque church was rebuilt by famous Baroque architect Kilián Ignác Dientzenhofer. Today, you can find here a modern interior design. Next to the church is a standing white Calvary chapel with sgraffito decorations.
This astronomical observatory offers you a sky watching all year round when the sky is clear. Thanks to the giant telescope, you can observe the sun during the daytime, and the moon and the other visible planets during dusk and night. I like the moment when the dome of the observatory opens, and the giant telescope comes out. Besides the observation, you can check the permanent exhibition about astronomy and see some meteorites from the moon.
If you continue walking behind the observatory and cross the Hunger Wall, you get to the Kinsky Garden. It is still part of Petřín, but with a bit different feeling. In the middle of the garden, you find a wooden Ukrainian church of Archangel Michael (UPDATE – it burned down in 2020). It was moved to Prague in 1929 from Transcarpathian Ukraine that used to be part of Czechoslovakia at that time. At the end of the park, there is a former summer residence of the Kinsky family, today an Ethnographic Museum presenting a rural life in the 19th and 20th centuries.
How to Get to Petřín
There are three most common ways to get to Petřin. From Újezd, you can take a funicular or have a walk. Another excellent starting point is from Strahov Monastery nearby Prague Castle – the nearest tram stop is Pohořelec. The third entry point to Kinsky Garden is from tram stop Švandovo divadlo and then walk through the garden to Petřín.