The summer months—July and August—are usually the warmest in Prague. On the other hand, during the summer, it is possible that a hot summer day is suddenly replaced by a refreshing shower or a proper downpour and storms. Fortunately, in Prague you will find many places where you can enjoy the summer and at the same time where you can hide from inclement weather. Do you like water, walks, romantic boat rides…or would you rather see an interesting exhibition somewhere? Then summertime Prague is the destination for your holiday. What’s better than spending summer in the Heart of Europe, in Prague – the City of a Hundred Spires?
Prague by the waterAlthough Prague is a metropolitan centre, you can find several swimming pools that offer a pleasant haven even during the hottest summer days. The natural swimming pool in Radotín on the southwest border of Prague is actually an artificial water reservoir, however, its appearance is quite natural and, moreover, it is sanitised biologically – without chemicals, only using plants and ecosystems in filtration lagoons. This makes swimming here suitable for families with small children as well as allergy sufferers. You can find another popular pool at the edge of Prague 6 – the Džbán swimming pool – located next to the Divoká Šárka nature reserve. Add to your day by renting a boat or playing various sports – beach volleyball, football or frisbee. The pool in Podolí, close to the city centre, is a Prague classic. That is why it is quite busy here, even if you can swim in two outdoor pools. The well-known Yellow Spa (Žluté lázně) is located nearby, right by the Vltava River. It serves as a place for relaxation for people of all ages. In addition to swimming, you can find beach volleyball courts, football tennis, eight pétanque terrains, table tennis, boats, pedal boats, dragon boats and giant chess. You can rent a small boat or pedal boat and head out for a beautiful ride along the Vltava River. If you’re not confident in using a pedal boat, you can also take advantage of Prague’s seasonal ferries linking the right and left banks of the Vltava River. All you need is a public transit ticket and you can enjoy a ride along the Vltava in the centre as well as in the outskirts of the city. And once you arrive at the Dvořák embankment (Dvořákovo nábřeží), visit the Brewery (Pivovar) boat. As its name suggests, this boat is literally full of beer. In addition to its specialities, you can also taste famous Czech beer and excellent traditional Czech cuisine.
Prague on a walkIt isn’t very comfortable walking around Prague’s monuments with the hot sun overhead; that’s why a walk around Prague’s islands is ideal. Head out to Children’s Island (Dětský ostrov) with the kids. As the name suggests, the island is home to a complex of playgrounds. Slavonic Island (Slovanský ostrov) near the National Theatre (Národní divadlo) attracts visitors to the legendary Mánes exhibition hall, or you can check out the water tower. Shooter’s Island (Střelecký ostrov) and Kampa are just the spot for romantic strolls. Just next to the Holešovice Exhibition Grounds, the Royal Game Reserve (Královská obora), familiarly known as Stromovka Park, is an oasis of peace and relaxation. It is Prague’s largest city park and, in addition to a multitude of paths, you can find five ponds and a nature trail. Extensive lawns offering picnic space and playgrounds are the pride of Rieger’s Orchards (Riegrovy sady) in Vinohrady.
Prague – a never-ending funA summer in Prague has a lot to offer. One of the vibrant places that thrives during summer life is the Karlín Barracks. This complex former barracks, which can be found in Karlín and are awaiting their future reconstruction, is currently being used as a place for alternative culture. The enclosed courtyard is alive with music, exhibitions and film screenings. Children will have fun in a giant sandpit, while adults will appreciate the many bars and cafés that are located there. There is also a pre-arranged programme that can be enjoyed almost every evening throughout the summer. We highly recommend this place to all lovers of independent culture.
Another place that has established its position among the best places in Prague is the Lucerna Roof. This is actually on the roof of Lucerna Palace, almost in the centre of Wenceslas Square. Even though this year’s COVID-19 pandemic thwarted almost all plans, life is gradually returning. The summer programme is not scheduled, but there is almost always something happening here. Concerts, sunset yoga or an evening barbecue with neighbours. The Lucerna Roof – a place between the heaven and earth, as its slogan aptly summarises. This unique space is open every Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
And there is one more tip for an unusual evening spent in Prague. The Prague Náplavka, which is in fact called the Rašín Embankment, stretches along the Vltava bank from Mánes to Vyšehrad. The space offers an inexhaustible number of activities in the summer, from regular farmer’s markets on Saturday to sports, cultural and gastronomic events. The originally reconstructed dungeons in the walls of the embankment have recently been opened to the public, in which there are now shops, cafés, a library and bars. They are entered through a round revolving window. You simply have to experience it!
If you get hungry in the evening and don’t particularly fancy going to a concert, try sitting yourself down in one of the beer gardens. Almost every restaurant has one, whether in the centre or somewhere on the outskirts of the city. However, if you’d like to experience an evening like a Prague local, head out either to Riegrovy sady in Vinohrady, or to Letná near the National Technical Museum. Both places have a large garden, an evening view of city panorama and very good beer.
Would you like to please your soul and go visit an exhibition? So long as you follow hygienic and anti-epidemic measures, this is definitely possible. For example, you can try the two main events this year. The exhibition Sun Kings at the National Museum (until 30 September) and Toyen: The Dreaming Rebel in the National Gallery, held in the Trade Fair Palace (until 15 August). Both exhibitions are in great demand and it is necessary to check the capacity in advance. The National Gallery has also prepared an interesting exhibition of graphics titled Peter Paul Rubens and the Master Engravers of Antwerp (until 8 August). Rubens is famous for his prints based on his paintings. And it is these graphic sheets that can be seen here. In the DOX gallery of modern and contemporary art, you will find an interesting exhibition called Vanitas (until October 10). The exhibition portrays death and dying as one of the important themes of contemporary art. In the next part of this Holešovice gallery, you can see a remarkable exhibition by Siegfried Herz entitled On Love (until 19 September). This artist voluntarily shut himself off from the outside world 10 years ago and devotes himself only to his work. Fans of the world-famous graffiti artist should not miss the immersive exhibition and experience for all generations, titled The World of Banksy, in the consecrated church of St. Michael the Archangel at the Old Town Square.
Prague during summer holidays will once again be enriched by the Summer Festivities of Early Music festival. From 20 July to 5 August, this festival will introduce you mainly to the music of aristocratic courts—from the Middle Ages through to the Renaissance and Baroque to the Rococo period. The concerts will take place at Troja Palace or the Strahov Monastery. Tickets must be obtained in advance here.
Letní Letná—this is the name of the festival of a new circus, theatre, music and visual arts, which will take place as usual in Letenské sady from 12 to 31 August. This year's busy programme is full of foreign stars of the new circus, which is dominated by four French ensembles.