Written by Zofia Froněk
My first stop on the village trail was Nebušice. Lying on the city boundary but officially still within the Prague 6 district, Nebušice is a lively village with a population of just under 3000. The focus of the village is definitely the International School of Prague, which has approximately 600 students on roll, a state-of-the-art campus and fees which can reach $22,000 a year in the high school. Since the International School opened in Nebušice some ten years ago, the village has seen much new development, largely due to the families attending the school. This is the scenario that has real-estate developers rubbing their hands together in anticipation. Along the main street, Nebušická, a host of luxury family houses have sprung up in the last few years. It has meant a considerable hike in prices, too – you can expect to have to come up with around 5-7000 EUR per month to rent one of these properties, and sale prices of large family houses and villas commonly range from 15-30 million CZK, with several in the nearby Šárka Valley currently on the market for 40-45 million.
The village itself is pleasant, with a small but sufficient Albert supermarket and post office, and is within easy reach of both Evropská street, where many offices are based, and the busy Dejvice area of Prague 6. It is also a short hop to the airport. This is very convenient when you have to pick up Aunt Polly or another of the seemingly never-ending stream of international family and friends coming through Prague, but not so great when you wish to relax in your garden without the thunder of incoming planes making conversation impossible.
Plans for a new runway have residents of Nebušice and those villages between it and the airport understandably worried. Prague airport currently sees up to 11,000,000 passengers a year through its terminals, and this is set to rise. Building standards in the surrounding area require noise-proof windows to be fitted, in some areas paid for by the airport, but this doesn´t help much when you are outside enjoying the peace of your yard or the beautiful nature around the villages.
If you are visiting the area by bike, there are plenty of picturesque lanes and forest tracks to explore. Nearby, linking Evropská and Nebušice you will find the beautiful nature reserve of Šárka Valley. This wild area is perfect for an afternoon´s outing. There are plenty of bike tracks, and you can also find a couple of swimming areas, camping, karting, petanque and golf (for more information on this area, click here).
If you are a local to Nebušice and keen on sport, you can take advantage of the tennis centre (see www.tenis-centrum-mandlik.cz) in the village – dig out your racket and book a lesson, but brace yourself for a work-out – their website boasts that they are into training future champions!
For a wider range of activities, check out the Nebušice Centre (formerly Fusion Centre). As part of the International School of Music and Fine Arts Prague (www.musicschoolprague.com), not only can you enroll to learn a musical instrument, but you can enlist yourself in one of the huge variety of other courses. All the old favourites are available for kids – ballet, gymnastics and judo classes – as well as such delights as hip-hop and rock n‘ roll; all taught by well-qualified instructors. Parents are not left out either – among the diverse choice of classes for adults are belly dancing, aerobics, history of art, several foreign languages and even PC courses; with wine-tasting and ballroom dancing coming soon. You can also arrange children´s parties there or attend one of the programme of family concerts. “Nebušice Center is a place where you can meet your friends, make new ones, get to know people from all around the world, tune up your body through sports lessons, refresh your mind with the educational programmes or develop your creativity through the music and dance classes” says Andrea Vlachová, head of the music school.
After an hour or so of salsa or trumpet practice, you may be in need of a little refreshment. Until this year, the centre has run its own ‘Fusion Cafe‘, but the word on the street is that Bohemia Bagel may be heading up a new restaurant on-site at the Nebušice Centre in the near future. The village waits in anticipation for the taste of bagels, hash browns and pancakes with maple syrup, as well as all the other golden-oldies to be found at their city-centre branches (for a comprehensive menu, see www.bohemiabagel.cz).
Alternatively, if you are in search of more traditional fare, try Restaurace U Ády across the road; they serve typical low-cost Czech food (it is also a penzion). Or, if you are feeling more adventurous, you might want to discover the delights of Mlyn Restaurant (see www.mlyn1999.cz ). This Croatian establishment has a fine fish and seafood selection on the menu – including oysters, calamari and cuttlefish risotto – which they procure from all over Europe, depending on the season. The atmosphere is Mediterranean and the service excellent. You´ll find it at Jenerálka bus stop (roughly halfway between the village and Evropská), next to the campus of the International Baptist Theological Seminary. The latter is also home to the 3-star Jenerálka Hotel, housed in an 18th-century country mansion and which caters for weddings and conference groups (www.hotel-jeneralka.cz), and also to Neverland pre-school, an international kindergarten for kids aged 18 months to 6 years (www.neverland.cz). As you can see, it´s quite a village for education!
Those new-arrivals who chose to locate themselves in Nebušice purely because of the International School will no doubt be pleasantly surprised by the village and its surroundings. It is also ideal if you are a frequent international traveller, jetting off regularly from Prague airport. There are plenty of activities for younger members of the family, too. Maybe one drawback to the village is that you do need to travel some distance in search of resonable shopping facilities; however the rich natural beauty of the area goes a long way to make up for this inconvenience.
How to get there:
On public transport – From Dejvická metro stop (line ‘A´), buses 161 (journey 13 mins), 116 (journey 23 mins), 254 or 312 to Nebušice village. Regular service, including weekends.
By car/bike – from Dejvická, continue up Evropská. Turn right at Horoměřická street (by Horoměřická tram stop).
Photo courtesy International School of Music and Fine Arts Prague