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Prague Routes and Trails

11 March, 2013

Best Places to Run, Bike, and Hike in Prague

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altWith spring weather just around the corner, most people in Prague have the outdoors on their minds. For many, this means heading to the city's many many parks and gardens to relax with friends, play some sports, or just enjoy the sun and some refreshing drinks. Others are searching for ways to exercise such as running, biking, and hiking. Luckily, Prague has plenty of options for these pastimes. All you have to do is find the spots.

Even though Prague's city center is a virtual "off-limits" zone for runners and bikers (due to the narrow cobblestone streets), these activities remain very popular among the city residents. You don't have to venture far from the center to get to a fantastic running or biking area. Among the best places for running and biking are:

Stromovka Park: This massive park is the largest of its kind in the city of Prague. The history of Stromovka dates back to 1268, when Premysl Otakar II used Stromovka as the royal hunting grounds. Stromovka has huge areas for running and biking, as well as relaxing or even taking part in the many activities that occur in the area (live music, sports, and more). The best way to reach the park is by tram to Vystaviste Holesovice, or by taking the Green Metro to the stop Hrad Canska, and simply walking or running the 6 blocks to the park.

Letna Park: Letna is one of the most cherished parks in Prague for its incredible views over the historic section of the city. It's also remarkably flat and wide, making it perfect for runners. You can reach Letna by tram to the stop Sparta, or by walking up the steep hill under the Prague "metronome" located just across the river from the Old Town.

Kunratice Forest: This massive area is ideal for runners, as it is filled with paths through a hilly and well-shaded area. It doesn't get too crowded, so you can really enjoy being lost in the nature. You can take the Red Metro to the Roztyly metro stop. 

Vltava River embankment: One of the favorite places to run and bike for locals is the long stretch of the Vltava riverside embankment, mainly the area stretching from the "Dancing House" all the way south of the city. This area is well-designed for runners and bikers, but is also suitable for a pleasant walk or even a picnic. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants around the area, and you'll also find an outdoor market there on weekends. Bikers have been known to take this trail all the way south to the Karlstejn Castle located well outside the city limits. Zbraslav Castle is another popular destination point on this trail.

Vitkov Park: This massive hill that stands between Zizkov and Karlin is really excellent for running, and it affords great views over the entire city. The only problem is that it is a little hard to reach. You can take the tram to Biskupcova and start your run from there.

Vinohradska Street: If you absolutely can't leave the city center, the long and hilly street called Vinohradska offers a decent place to run in the heart of Vinohrady (Prague 2). This is a bustling area with wide sidewalks and streets, and plenty of interesting places to see along the way. You can even veer off toward Riegrovy Sady for a hilly run in the park with breathtaking views.

If you're ready to take running a bit more seriously, you may want to sign-up for the competitive runs held in Prague each year. These runs are a great way to join in a major community event and also experience the thrill of running in the city center when all the streets are closed off for the event. Prague has various marathon, half-marathon, 10K events and more throughout the year. More details are available here.

Obviously hiking is not possible in the center of Prague, but you also don't have to go far to find great trails. In the city itself, one can visit Divoka Sarka (near the airport) for a massive forest with huge rock formations. But if you go just outside of Prague, the hiking quickly becomes much better.

Beroun Region: Beroun is a good place to start for beginners. It is only a short train ride away from the Main Station in Prague, and you can immediately find great trails leading to an assortment of interesting places, including Karlstejn Castle.

Czech Paradise (Český ráj): This massive hiking area is located north of Prague, in a region filled with natural beauty and attractions, such as rock formations and medieval ruins.

You can find many of these places for running, biking and hiking listed on the UPCES Google Map. Go out and enjoy!