Pivo in the Sun: Our Five Favourite Beer Gardens
Beer gardens combine two of the Czech Republic’s greatest passions, beer and nature, which makes these outdoor spaces the perfect places to experience local culture and enjoy the Prague sunshine.
For Gorgeous Views:
Letna Beer Garden
Under one wooden picnic bench, you’ll find neighborhood dogs lounging patiently at their owners’ feet, taking a break from a walk through Letna Park. At the next table, a group of international students are likely discussing how to say “cheers” in their native languages. Along the railing, travelers and Instagram fans take turns capturing panoramic views of Old Town and the Vltava River or snapping selfies. Every table is covered in plastic cups of Gambrinus, alongside an occasional cider or shots of liquor. Be warned – although it looks like a public park, visitors are not allowed to bring their own drinks or bottles of wine, so grab a foam-topped cup of the local stuff and enjoy the view.
How to Get There: If you don’t mind a hike, take the 6, 8, 15 or 26 trams to Dlouhá Třída, cross the bridge and climb the stairs to the top of the hill. For a gentler path, take trams 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 12, 14, 25 or 26 to Letenské náměstí and enter from the back of Letna Park.
To Sit Back and Relax:
Hospůdka Na Hradbách
This lesser-known beer garden is hidden in plain sight, tucked behind the Rotunda of St. Martin in the Vyšehrad complex. The vibe is mellow and family-friendly. Don’t be surprised to find baby strollers parked beside many of the picnic tables surrounding a children’s play area and small open field. Drop by after a visit to the nearby Gothic Church of Saints Peter and Paul, and toast the Czech legends like composers Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana and Art Nouveau artist Alfons Mucha, just down the road in the Vyšehrad cemetery. Hospůdka Na Hradbách serves a wide variety of food and beverages, including grilled meats and sausages, Pilsner and Kozel beer, cider, wine, cocktails, and homemade lemonade.
How to Get There: Take the red metro line C to the Vyšehrad stop and follow the signs towards the Vyšehrad complex, which is roughly a ten-minute walk.
To Get a Glimpse of Local Life:
Žižkov Beer Garden
If you’re willing to stray a little farther off the beaten path, you’ll find this laid-back local favorite on the edge of Prague’s Žižkov neighborhood. Dogs and kids run freely through wide open fields of dirt and grass while the adults chat over glasses of Staropramen beer – including a few lighter fruit-flavored options – in the shade of umbrellas. Techno remixes of pop hits from recent decades float through the air, giving the scene an easygoing, backyard BBQ kind of vibe. While you’re in the neighborhood, take a walk to the top of Vitkov Hill to see the National Monument and massive equestrian statue of Jan Žižka (who the area is named for) or take a five-minute walk to the local art house cinema, Kino Aero, and catch an evening movie. How to Get There: Take trams 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 23, 24, 25, or 26 to the Biskupcova stop and cross the intersection to enter the garden.
To Be Part of the Moment:
One of Prague’s most popular outdoor spots doesn’t exactly qualify as a “garden”, but that doesn’t stop locals and visitors from filling every inch of concrete along the riverbank known as Náplavka. In May 2017, The New York Times named it one of their “10 Favorite Places on European Rivers, Lakes and Coastlines.” Farmer’s markets draw huge crowds on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. Beer, wine, and food festivals often fill the space on weekends throughout the summer. Every night of the week offers a variety of beer stands and boat pubs lining the banks alongside young couples dangling their legs over the river’s edge, and you’ll often find live music or DJs spinning a soundtrack to Prague’s hippest outdoor scene.How to Get There: Take the yellow metro line B to the Karlovo Náměstí stop and exit the station towards Palackého náměstí. Trams 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 16, 17, 20, and 21 also go to Palackého náměstí. Then cross the street and head down any staircase or ramp to the riverbank.
For the Wine Lovers:
Prague may be best known for its beer, but there is an entire neighborhood, Vinohrady, named for the vineyards that used to cover the area. These days, wine fans congregate in Havlíčkovy sady park to share a bottle of local vino under a gazebo while surrounded by the 14-century Grébovka vineyards, which were founded by Charles IV. Afterwards, take a stroll through Havlíčkovy sady park, dotted with architectural gems just asking to be photographed, including an ornate stone grotto and fountain and an Italian Renaissance-style villa.
How to Get There: Havlíčkovy sady park is an easy downhill walk from the Náměstí Mírustop on the green metro line A, or tram stop Jana Masaryka on the 4, 13, or 22.