|The Petrin Lookout Tower (Petřínská rozhledna) was conceived as a mini version of Paris's Eiffel Tower. It was built in 1891 for the Jubilee Exhibition.|
The steel-framework observation tower is 63.5m high, which doesn't seem particularly tall until you consider that it sits atop Petrin Hill, which itself is 318m (1043 feet) high.
Climb the 299 steps to reach the top and the view over Prague is magnificent; on a clear day it is possible to see the highest peak in the Czech Republic, Snezka, which is 150km away.
Surrounding the Petrin Lookout Tower, set in extensive landscaped gardens are several visitor attractions:
-a Rose Garden
-the Štefánik Observatory (Štefánikova hvězdárna), which is open to the public and has a large telescope and a museum
-a Mirror Maze
-The Church of St. Lawrence
-The Cavern (a small mystical building)
-the Hunger Wall (Hladová zed), which was commissioned by Emperor Charles IV in 1360-1362. It forms part of the city's medieval fortifications, and gained its name because it was built in hard times to provide employment for the residents of Prague.
Small entrance fees apply, but there is no need to pre-book.
There are also several cafés you can take refreshments at.
The summit of Petrin Hill is a calm and pleasant area to stroll around at any time of the year, in contrast to the hustle and bustle of the city below (and the views are terrific, even without climbing the tower).
Much of the stone used to build the historical buildings in Prague was quarried out of Petrin Hill. Today this is hidden beneath the park and woodland that cover the hillside.
To reach the Petrin Lookout Tower and the other attractions at the summit of the hill, take the Petrin Funicular.
The funicular departs from Ujezd street in the Lesser Town (Malá Strana), near Ujezd tram stop.
Other routes to the top are:
1. take a 30 minute stroll up Petrin Hill - the climb is steep, but the walk is pleasant, passing through gardens and wooded areas;
2. take tram 22 or 23 to Pohorelec, then walk 10 minutes along Strahovska street;
3. take a taxi.
Following a visit to the summit, it is worth strolling down to Nebozizek Restaurant, which is located on the side of Petrin Hill.
Alternatively, the funicular makes a halfway stop at Nebozizek on its journey up and down Petrin Hill, which makes it easy for people who wish to dine there.
For young children, there is a well-equipped children's playground at the base of Petrin Hill, near the funicular terminal.
Petrin Funicular forms part of the
Prague public transport network, so travel is included in the 1-Day and 3-Day travel passes.
Alternatively, a single ticket can be purchased at the base, top and halfway points for 60 CZK.