7 Hidden Gems Tourists Don't Know About

Letohrádek Hvezda

 This white Renaissance building in the shape of a regular six-pointed star was built by Austrian Archduke Ferdinand of Tyrol in 1555. It is definitely one of our favorite hidden gems in Prague. Its unusual look, history and beautiful park attract mainly locals. It is a big mystery why it has the star shape it has even today.

Hvezda interiors exhibit the history of the Archduke Ferdinand of Tyrol and the history of the building. It also tells the story of the Battle of Bilá Hora (White Mountain), the first important battle during the 30 Years War. It is also utilized as a concert hall for classical music concerts and other cultural and social events.

In 1962, the summer house was included in the list of national cultural monuments. Unfortunately, it is only opened from April until the end of October. You can, however, still, go for a walk to the park that surrounds this never-ceasing-to-amaze us Summer Palace.

Our Local Guide Tip

  • Letohradek Hvezda park area is quite flat for you to play endlessly with your kids or train your dog. You could even go for a picnic with the whole family and spend a nice calm afternoon there, or perhaps go for a jog. Make sure to take a picture of the Letohrádek Hvězda at the sunset.

 

Grebovka Park - Romantic Park

 People always ask us on our tours about quiet places where they can relax, drink coffee, beer, wine, or maybe just read a book and be surrounded by nature at the same time. The total area of gardens and parks in Prague is 3,965 ha, which is approximately 8% of the city area. Of these areas, 2,649 ha are owned by the city. If you are looking for a romantic, quiet, and out of this world spot Grebovka Park is the place for you.

The owner of the land and the two-story villa in the 19th century was Moritz Gröbe. Together with the land, he purchased two homesteads with vineyards. If you are a wine connoisseur or simply an aficionado, you will be happy to know that Miller-Thurgau, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir are produced in the park. The vineyard has an area of 1.7 hectares and the annual wine production is 4000 liters.

Are you excited already? Inside the park, there is an absolutely gorgeous grotto cave that was recently renovated. The inspiration for this unique grotto comes from the Berlin Aquarium, fountains in Kassel, and artificial rocks in Görlitz. You cannot miss this opportunity!

Our Local Guide Tip

  • Take a walk to Grebovka from the city center. It takes about 40-50 mins but it also gives you the chance to see more of the architecture of Prague and its scenery. 

 

Steam Train Ride

 The Czech Railways Transportation company (České Dráhy) organizes the so-called nostalgic steam train rides. Their rides are not going often, however. In June 2020 two rides were organized to the Prokop valley and on the way there the views that accompanied were those of Vyšehrad rock, Prague Castle, and the Pankrác Plain with its modern buildings.

Our Local Guide Tip

 

Vrtba Garden

If you are looking for Borque gardens from the 18th century you will find them in Malá Strana. Vrtba Garden is accessible from Karmelitska street. The three masters of high baroque cooperated in creating these mind-blowing gardens. Frantisek Maxmilián Kanka as the main architect, the sculptor Matyás Bernard Braun and the painter Václav Vavrinec Reiner. Vrtba Garden has been protected by UNESCO since the 1990s and the most beautiful garden of its kind north of the Alps. You will be able to experience Exquisite views of the church of St. Nicholas from there.

Our Local Guide Tip

  • The entrance fee to the Vrtba Garden is 100 CZK.

 

Glass Blowing in Pragl

  Bohemian Crystal has hundreds of years of history in the Czech Republic. The most popular glass factory is called Moser. It is visited by thousands of tourists and is located in the city Karloý Vary 3h away from Prague.

However, if you are in Prague for only a short time then you have to visit a Bohemian Glass Making Shop called Pragl located right next to Old Town Square. You will have the opportunity to make your own glass souvenir for as low as 600czk or 23EUR. The experience will take you 20 minutes for this price, and you will have to pick up your creation the next day because it needs to cool down slowly overnight. Don’t forget to plan the Pragl visit. Remember that Pragl also has a museum with a lovely collection of statuettes, vases, and other objects made of glass. 

 

Devil’s Cemetery

 Get ready for an adventure full of history, spookiness, and architecture. Devil's Cemetery was built in the unique style of Cubism in 1912-1914 according to the project of architect Vlastislav Hofman and to this day it is the only cubist cemetery in the world. There are 81 tombs, 3,203 graves, 4,817 urn graves, 696 columbariums, and 1 scattering meadow. Unidentified persons, suicides, and other unwanted dead people are buried here. If you watched the movie “Anthropoid” you will be surprised to hear that the 2 paratroopers that assassinated “The Butcher of Prague” in 1942 Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubíš together with their colleagues are buried in this cemetery.

Our Local Guide Tip

  • If you want to learn more about the story of paratroopers and the assassination of the most brutal Nazi officer, check out our WW2 Free Tour!

 

A Not-So-Secret Funicular

  You've probably heard about the famous funicular in Prague that takes you up Petřin hill all the way towards Petrin Tower, right? However, the funicular we will tell you about is a different one… A  “hidden” one.

The Smichov funny-looking funicular will offer spectacular views of Prague as it takes you uphill. The maximum capacity is 12 people and the ride takes less than 2 min to the top. This funicular goes from Hotel NH Prague City on Mozartova Street up to the top of Mrázovka Hill.

We have to mention, however, that in recent years the popularity of this "hidden" funicular has been growing progressively. The hotel that owns the funicular, NH Prague City Hotel, even had to limit times when tourists can take a ride on it (10:30 am to 11:30 am, 3 pm to 6 pm, and 10 pm to midnight). Bear in mind, that this funicular is also a means of transport for parents with strollers and the elderly, so we encourage you to give way to Prague locals.

Our Local Guide Tip

  • Take the ride at 6 pm or midnight and your chances of having the funicular just to yourself at these hours are definitely increased.

 

This article is not sponsored.

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Author: Nicolas Cortes, Prague guide certified by Prague City Tourism agency. Nicolas has worked in tourism for over 6 years and has guided thousands of Prague visitors.