Czech name: Park Letná
Prague is known for its old world beauty. Every street you turn down, every building you visit looks as though it was pulled out of the past and standing in front of you in the present. Everything looks old and feels old, but is so magnificent that you can’t help but be in awe.
The same holds true for its natural attractions, like Letná Park. Letná Park is where residents and tourists alike come for picnics and enjoy the scenery all around them. The park is on a high bluff overlooking the Old Town, providing numerous opportunities for scenic pictures and tourist memories. There is more to see and do here than you might expect, and it should not be the last stop on your list when you visit this park on the Vltava River.
Location & How to Get There
The park is located on the northern bank of the river just as it bends to head east. There are several roads that go around the park and a few that turn into the park’s parking lots. You can drive there if you like, but most residents in Prague tend to take the city buses, bicycle, or walk to the park if it isn’t too far from where they live. Its central location makes it easy to get to on foot. If your hotel is near the park, within two miles, you might want to walk the distance or rent a bike to get there. From farther away a bus or cab can help you traverse the distance.
Opening Hours & Entry
The park has several entrances to match its many walking and biking trails. Sidewalks go all the way around the borders of the park and lead into the park, making it easy to traverse around and through, depending on where you are headed next. It is generally open all year round, although the most popular time of the year for locals is during the summer. Many festivals, concerts, and live performances in the warm weather make the park a very busy place.
What to Do & What to See
The park boasts a beer garden in the southeast corner. People who love beer and want to get an authentic bite of Czech food with their beer will find this very enticing and gratifying. There’s a giant metronome in the middle of the park, from which the whole city can be seen. The metronome replaces the world’s largest statue of Lenin, which was pulled down and removed when the people here receded from the Soviets’ rule. In August, a massive month-long festival of live theatrical performances runs every day all day. If you are visiting in August, you will see a new live show every day that you visit the park.
In the past, famous musicians like Michael Jackson have performed here. Many famous musicians are slated to perform here again in the future. You will need to check the city’s website to see what entertainment acts are booked next year. Make sure you buy your tickets well in advance if you want to see a music act in Letná Park when you visit. They are very big to-do events for the residents and locals, and tickets sell out fast.
The park was established in the beginning of the 19th century when a wealthy Czech resident bought up the land on the bluff and decided it should be a park for the people. After the people overturned the Soviet Socialist regime, another piece of the park was added; the flat plan that now makes up a large part of the park. It has played a minor part in the history of governing parties that have been in and out of the Czech Republic.
There are still small reminders and plaques everywhere stating what happened at different areas of the park. Commemorative plaques remain to mark where other statues and signs of old government vestiges once stood. Several laps around the park’s many trails would be required to see all of these historic spots, but it is worth it if you have the time built into your touring schedule. On occasion, you may be able to get a guided tour too.