People have always enjoyed taking in views of their surroundings. There is nothing more calming than a panoramic view of the countryside or a city. And the roofs, terraces, and roof gardens of townhouses are simply made to provide breathtaking views of the sunset or the street life below. We will show you where to go!
Lucerna and Kotva – Two Roof Gems in the Centre of PragueThe roof of the Lucerna Palace in Prague is simply a must-see. The Lucerna Palace is worth seeing on its own: located on Wenceslas Square, it is a beautiful, century-old shopping arcade with a large concert and community hall, a café, the oldest cinema in Prague, a music club, and a gallery. On the roof, there is a summer café and a set of terraces that allow you to gaze at the heart of Prague from above. This year, the roof of the Lucerna has been transformed into a garden full of thermophilic Mediterranean plants, and it has been booked for occasional cultural and social events. You can visit the roof of the Lucerna on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays from 3 pm to dusk until the end of October. And the last tip – you can hop in the historic and rare paternoster lift that will take you to the very top. The lift never stops, so you have to hop off on the correct floor…
The roof of the Kotva Department Store also offers a great atmosphere. It is at náměstí Republiky near the Municipal House. Kotva welcomed its first customers in February 1975, but the Sluneční terasa T-anker restaurant on the fifth floor is much younger. It has the largest terrace in Prague, with an area of 650 m2 and a beautiful view of the Old Town with many church steeples. The restaurant is open until 10 pm when legally mandated quiet hours go into effect and outdoor spaces must close. The restaurant specialises in beers from breweries large and small, local and foreign. It is an ideal place for an evening get-together.
Museums for More Than Just LearningThe National Agriculture Museum at Letná in Prague also has a beautiful terrace. The museum has been recently reconstructed and restored to its 1930s look, a process that also made the roof terrace accessible. It offers views of the city, including Prague Castle. The roof is also home to man-made beehives and an herb garden, and you are welcome to have a picnic there when the weather permits.
The historic building of the National Museum at Wenceslas Square also offers a new view from the roof. The cupola was opened to the public this year and provides an unusual view not only of Wenceslas Square below and houses in the vicinity, but also a panorama of Prague from the very centre of the city.
The roof of the National Memorial at Vítkov offers a view that might make you dizzy. The impressive roof terrace is open all year round, from Thursday to Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm. From there, you can see the Žižkov neighbourhood and its TV tower, the expanding Karlín neighbourhood, the New Town, the National Museum, and dozens of church steeples. Prague has long been called the ‘City of a Hundred Spires’ and this view proves it.
Prague Restaurant TerracesIf you don’t mind splurging a bit on dinner, you can try out a few restaurants with amazing views of Prague, such as the restaurant in the U Zlaté studně hotel, which is regularly ranked among the best hotels in the world by TripAdvisor – the view of the roofs of Malá Strana from the restaurant terrace definitely plays a role in this international renown. Similarly iconic places are the Terasa U Prince restaurant at the Old Town Square, rated as one of the most impressive roof restaurants in the world by several guides and magazines, and the Villa Richter restaurant on the premises of St Wenceslas Vineyard near Prague Castle.
Views of Ostrava and BrnoIf you squint hard enough, you could say that the northeast city of Ostrava also has its share of lookout-friendly roofs. One of them is in Dolní oblast Vítkovic, an extension of Furnace No 1, now called the Bolt Tower. There is a café, a space commemorating the industrial history of the city, as well as a club and a viewing terrace, where you can see the city from a height of almost 78 metres. The second roof view is at the lookout tower of the New City Hall, which was built in 1930 and stands at a height of 73 metres. When the weather is good, you can see the whole region – from the Beskydy Mountains to the flatlands in Poland.
The South Moravian capital of Brno also has a nice lookout point, and this one features a telescope! It is on the seventh floor of the converted Renaissance palace known as Dům pánů z Lipé, above a café and stylish nightclub. It offers an unusual bird’s eye view of Náměstí Svobody and St James Church and it is usually open from March until the first snowfall. You can also enjoy a traditional view of the city from the Old Town Hall tower, or from the steeples of the St Peter and Paul’s Cathedral.