Sporting in Prague

You might be here for a short break, your honeymoon or on a business trip, whatever your reason to stay in Prague, sporting can contribute to an alternative perspective of the city and its inhabitants. Here we suggest a few sporting activities that you can enjoy in Prague whatever the season you’re visiting in.

Rollerblading in Ladronka While you can do this in Stromovka and Letna too, Ladronka is certainly a roller skater paradise. Here you can skate along the nicely paved tracks, the longest of which is more than 4km long. To get here, take tram number 22 from Malostranska and get off in Vypich. While you’re in that area you might take half an hour off to go see the Letohradek Hvězda (Star Summerhouse) a unique and beautiful star-shaped house (like the name hints) built during the Renaissance in 1555.

Cross country skiing in Stromovka During the summer this is one of the most enjoyable parks for a quiet Sunday walk while in winter it becomes an ideal setting for cross-country skiing. The park is huge (almost 100ha) and beautiful  bordering on one side the area of Prague zoo. While it can be impractical to bring or rent some proper cross country ski in the city you might have some fun by bringing a pair of blades (the short skis, otherwise known as snow skates).

Jogging in Letna Never mind the dogs (which in Czech Republic are very well behaved) this is one of the two best running spots in Prague, the other one being Stromovka, which we talked about above. But where Letna beats Stromovka is in the variety of training options in virtue of its steep slopes and the presence of a huge stairway (both of which you can easily avoid staying on the flat side) where you can make a really good Rocky impersonation. The flat track of Letna takes around 10-15 minutes to complete and after 3 or 4 rounds, in the summertime,  you can even enjoy a beer in the park and rest your eyes on one of the most beautiful views in Prague.

Swimming outdoor in the winter While most hotels nowadays have really nice swimming pools, there is nothing that can beat the experience of swimming outdoor in the winter. The place to go is Podoli and in the winter one of the outdoor pools is kept at a temperature of 25°C/77°F. Unless you’re really good at swimming under the surface and keep moving though you’re not going to feel warm but it is for sure bearable. Podoli sports also another outdoor and one indoor swimming pool. During the summer you can also have fun on the waterslide and sun-tan in the garden. To get to Podoli, take tram 17 from Palackeho namesti and get off in Dvorce.

Playing beach volley in Zlute Lazne Just opposite Podoli there’s one big facility by the name of Zluty Lazne (Golden Beach). Here, besides sipping Mohito while sun-tanning you can play beach volley or beach soccer on an artificial beach. The place has a number of restaurants and beer stands and you can see some brave people even swimming in the Vltava river.

Diving in the Vltava on Boxing Day Is this even a sport? Maybe not, just a stunt but if it’s the 26th of December and you’re visiting Prague, can you think of anything better than taking a swim in the freezing cold waters of the Vltava river? Since 1946 people of all ages and nationalities gather for this now traditional swim on St. Stephen’s day. In the most recent editions about a hundred people turned up. The event is organized by the brave men at the Otuzilci Prague Winter Swimming Club. Although I would never dare I find this practice extremely interesting; if you want to know more about winter swimming you can have a look at the Extreme Winter Swimming site.

Trekking in Sarka Who would have ever thought that just a few minutes from Prague airport you could get lost in the mountains. The place is called Divoka Sarka (Wild Sarka) after a legendary woman that lived in the 6th century, before the city of Prague was founded. To get here take the bus 119 to the airport and get off at the Divoka Sarka stop (right in front of a Mc Donalds). Walking fast you can reach the highest tip of these hills in 1 hour, unless you decide to stop for a swim or a beer in the facility within the park.

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