Prague is made for walking. Picturesque nooks and crannies beg to be explored. Discover Prague on foot and put on your walking shoes. Forget about high heels because the center of Prague is a maze of cobbled streets that beg for flat comfortable footwear. Bring a pair of snow boots when you visit in winter. A pack of snow is quite usual from November to March. Alternatively, get a pair of boots from Bata Shoe shop at Wenceslas Square. They always have a large selection of winter footwear at very reasonable prices.
Prague's historic center is pedestrian only. Cars stop short for pedestrian crossings. But, remember that trams always have right of way and run in two directions. Take good care when crossing the tracks because they travel at a fairly high speed.
If your hotel is in Stare Mesto, Nove Mesto Town or Mala Strana, you may not need public transport at all. Finding your way around Prague on foot is easy because brown street signs point to the most important sights and streets. If this doesn't feel comfortable enough, get a free map from the Tourist Information Centre at Old Town Square. Alternatively buy a city map from one of the many bookstores, souvenir shops or newsstands.
Vystaviste Exhibition Grounds — Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone
City Walk from Vystaviste Exhibition Grounds to Troja Castle
Hop on tram 12, 17 or 24 and get off at Vystaviste stop.
1. Follow asphalt path, keeping the Vystaviste Exhibition grounds on your right side. Pass the round building which houses the Planetarium on your left. Continue along the main road. You will see on your left the building that is home to Marold's Panorama of the Battle of Lipany, the largest picture of ahistorical event ever painted in the Czech Republic.
2. The asphalt path bears left. You are now walking along the edge of the Royal Deer Park. Continue for about seven hundred meters and take the first turn to the right.
3. Pass under the railway bridge and climb up a flight of stairs. Cross the bridge across the shipping canal built in the early twentieth century to make the Vltava River navigable.
4. You are now on Cisarsky Ostrov, the Imperial Island which belonged to Emperor Rudolph II. The island is now cluttered with a riding school and minor industries.
5. Cross the Troja footbridge spanning the Vltava River. Stop for a moment to take in the view of Troja Castle. Continue along the castle wall, turn left and walk straight to the entrance of Troja Castle.
Troja Castle — Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone
Surrounded by a large garden in French ornamental style, Troja Castle is a seventeenth-century summer palace rather than a castle. A sweeping staircase festooned with sculptures depicting gods and goddesses fighting the Titans leads to the main entrance. The interiors of this Baroque palace host exhibitions from the collections of the Prague Municipal Gallery. Highlights of the interior are frescoes depicting victories of the Emperor Leopold I of Habsburg which cover every inch of wall and ceiling in the main hall.
Troja Castle is open from Tuesday to Sunday from April to October and closed from November to March. The gardens are open and free of charge all year.