Yes, it´s that time of year again: the time to enjoy the many pleasures of summer in Prague. Two of the most popular places for this are Letná and Riegrovy sady. Both attract mainly locals, so you if you want to eat and drink there you can do so without fear of being ripped off.
As soon as sunny weather arrives this superbly located park, with its tremendous views over the city, becomes a magnet for Praguers.
Eating and Drinking: One of the focal points of Letná is at the Letenský zámeček, a pale yellow Neo-Classical building in the eastern section of the park, not far from the National Technical Museum. If you simply want to sit and enjoy a drink then this is the place to do it. There´s a beer garden here, and even when it´s busy you should be able to get a seat. You can sit under the welcome shade of the trees and enjoy the views over the Old Town.
If you want something more substantial and/or classy you can try the Letenský zámeček itself, which houses a smart but reasonably-priced restaurant. More humble fare is on offer at the Výletná Restaurant, which is tucked behind Letenský zámeček. Both places have outdoor seating.
Other Activities: Letná is probably the city´s number one spot for roller-blading, with special paths for enthusiasts. Jogging is another possibility, as is the less strenuous petanque, and there are gravel areas where you can play this game.
Getting there: You can easily walk to Letná from the Old Town by crossing Štefáníkův Bridge and then climbing up the steps to the metronome. Once you´ve reached the top follow the paths to the left, and this will take you to the Letenský zámeček restaurant. Alternatively take tram nos. 1, 8, 15, 25 or 26 to the ‘Sparta´ stop and walk across the vast space towards the metronome. The Letenský zámeček is over on your left once you arrive in the park.
It´s not just the left bank of Prague that has a monopoly on summer haunts. Riegrovy sady in Vinohrady is another of the city´s well-known open spaces.
Eating and Drinking: Like Letná, Riegrovy sady has a number of attractions on offer. There´s a large beer garden, serving drinks and the usual array of life-shortening snacks. There is also a restaurant (Park Café) next door, with space for sitting outside in the summer.
Other Activities: The beer garden also has a large screen showing football matches and other sports events, and you can also enjoy a game of table football here.
The park is also a favoured place for sunbathing, frisbee tournaments and games of football (if you like non-level pitches). Riegrovy sady also has superb views over to Malá Strana and Hradčany.
Getting there: One way to approach Riegrovy Sady is to take Tram 11 to the Vinohradská Tržnice stop and then turn onto Budečská from Vinohradská. Ahead of you is the large Sokol Vinohrady building. Here, cross the road to the park. The beer garden is roughly in the middle.
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