Prague Districts: Vršovice – part II.

Prague Districts: Vršovice – part II.

for Vršovice – part I. click here

Families and children
As an environment for families, Vršovice is in some ways better than the neighborhoods already covered in this series, because expats can choose from a variety of housing categories, including houses with gardens.
There are few attractions in the district aimed at children, although the play area in Havlíčkovy sady and the park itself is a favorite spot, as is the park adjoining the Villa Gröbovka. The Eden shopping center (see below) has a kids´ corner, known as “Edík“.

Education
There are no international schools or higher education institutions in the district. As elsewhere, expat parents living in the area can have their children taught in Czech schools if they so wish.

In terms of publicly funded education, there are eight nursery schools (including one school for musically-gifted children), seven elementary schools and, at the high school level, one grammar school (gymnázium) in the neighborhood.  There are no Czech or international higher education institutions in Vršovice.

Sport and leisure
For Praguers, Vršovice is synonymous with football as two of the capital´s soccer teams, Slavia and Bohemians 1905, are based there. Slavia plays at the Synot Tip Aréna and is one of the leading clubs in the Czech Republic, although it´s currently going through a very serious financial crisis. Bohemians 1905 was formed after long-established club Bohemians Praha went bankrupt in 2005.

Those wanting to play sport rather than watch it can choose from a number of privately owned facilities as there are no publicly-run sports and leisure centers in Vršovice. The facilities of the Sportovní klub Slavia Praha complex, east of the Slavia football stadium, are mostly designed for club members, although groups can use them upon written agreement and payment of a fee.  The swimming pool and sports halls are open to the public, however, as is the Slavia Fitness gym. Other gyms in the area include the BBC Oasis fitness center and MegaFitness.

Sports facilities in Vršovice include squash at Squash u Pilotů, and there is an ice rink at the Zimní stadion Hasa.


Entertainment and culture

Choice is more limited in Vršovice when it comes to entertainment and culture. Communist relic Kulturní dům Eden, opposite the Eden shopping center, continued to function as a cultural center after 1989 but is now closed. The new Slavia football stadium opposite the cultural center serves as a venue for mega concerts; bands such as REM have played there. Otherwise, those wanting to attend cultural events will have to travel to nearby Vinohrady or other parts of Prague.

Shopping and services

Mall culture hit the area a few years ago, when the Eden shopping center opened. Many residents campaigned against it, believing that the mall would have a detrimental impact on local shops, but the plans went ahead, and Eden offers the standard mix of stores, as well as a small food court.

Supermarkets in the area include a small Billa on Korunní and Tesco in the Eden shopping center. The nearest Albert supermarket is close to Flora metro station.

Otherwise, like many older Prague neighborhoods, Vršovice is characterized by plenty of small, privately owned stores and specialist shops, lining the main thoroughfares and side streets. The main shopping streets are Vršovická, Francouzská/Ruská and Moskevská. Bear in mind that the southern side of Korunní, from the U Vodárny junction eastwards, is strictly speaking in Vršovice and not Vinohrady. Shops of particular interest to expats include Shakespeare and Sons bookshop, on Krymská.


Eating out
Neighboring Vinohrady is a popular among expats when it comes to eating out, but Vršovice has its attractions too, and there is more to the district than just the obligatory beer and dumpling joints, pizzerias, cheap Chinese restaurants, and the food court in the Eden shopping center. Italian restaurant Osteria da Clara offers Tuscan fare.

Healthcare
One of Prague´s main hospitals the Fakultní nemocnice Královské Vinohrady (teaching hospital), is located in Vršovice, at two sites, and there are doctors and dentists surgeries in the neighborhood.

SUMMARY

Strengths

·    Good quality housing stock
·    Excellent public transport links
·    Good location for professionals
·    Attractive green spaces
·    Good range of local shops and large shopping center
·    Good range of sports facilities
·    Reasonably-priced restaurants

Weaknesses
·    Air quality can be a problem
·    Lack of off-street parking
·    Limited choice of supermarkets
·    Distance from international schools
·    Lack of cultural facilities


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