Surviving the summer heat in Prague is easier than you would think. The narrow streets of the Old Town and Lesser Town provide cooling and shade and the churches are often a few degrees cooler inside. And then there is of course the Vltava River and its waterfront, not to mention fountains as well as parks and gardens offering a place to rest under centuries-old trees. Where can you find these places?
Along the Vltava
Heat is more bearable near water than in the streets, and the first helping hand is offered by the Vltava River and its waterfront. The perfect place for refresh yourself in the summer is Náplavka waterfront, especially the section lining the Rašínovo Embankment on the right bank, from Vyšehrad to Jirásek Bridge. Those who have the desire to cruise the river can take advantage of one of the many cruise ships. Paddle steamers sail from here to the confluence of the Vltava and Elbe in Mělník, the Slapy Dam or Prague Zoo. You can also enjoy the numerous cafés and bars, feeding the ducks and swans, or just refreshing your tired feet in the river. Shorter waterfronts can be found on the left bank along Hořejší Embankment and a bit lower downstream between the Mánes and Štefánik Bridges. Paddle boat and boat rentals can be found on Slavic Island and Smetana Embankment between Charles Bridge and the National Theatre .
Summer in the Yellow Spa (Žluté lázně)
If you go from the city center upstream along the Vltava, you will arrive in the city district of Podolí. Besides the large swimming facility that comprises an indoor pool and a summer outdoor pool, you can also find the Yellow Spa, a sports and leisure complex directly on the bank of the Vltava River with grassy beaches, which is among the ten best city beaches in Europe according to CNN. There you can play netball, beach volleyball, pétanque and table tennis or try water skiing or paddleboarding. In addition to all kinds of sports equipment, you can also rent boats and bikes, kick scooters, in-line skates and bicycles. Ale-houses and bars, a dance hall and a playground for children are also located in the Yellow Spa complex.
To the vineyards and gardens
Gardens also offer relief from the burning sun. Right in the center of Prague is a secret oasis of greenery, the Franciscan Garden, which you can get to through the Alfa passage from Wenceslas Square, the Světozor passage from Vodičkova Street or the entrance from Jungmann Square. Vojanovy gardens with their pond offer similar shelter from the bustle of the city in Lesser Town. Nearby, you can visit the Herget brickyard building with its very original "peeing fountain" and the Franz Kafka Museum. The gardens around Prague Castle with Queen Anne's Summer Palace, Petřín gardens, the large park Stromovka and the Botanical Garden with the Fata Morgana greenhouse and St. Clare Vineyard also offer a refuge from the heat. Sitting with a glass of chilled wine on a terrace under tendrils of grapevines with a spectacular view of the Vltava river valley, Troja Chateau and Prague panorama is just right for those hot summer days.