Whether you have only a little time on your hands or just fancy a quiet afternoon in Prague, here’s our very favorite walk in Lesser Town (Malá Strana in Czech) that will allow you to see this charming part of Prague and not get too tired before you head off on another adventure. On the way you will find an astonishing amount of lovely cafés, colorful sweet-shops, sweet-smelling bakeries and old-fashioned bookstores. And sitting down for a coffee and a crepe will make your tour through Malá Strana the perfect combination of sightseeing, nature walk and pleasure.
When it comes to tourism and sightseeing in Prague, it can be hectic. Whether in summer or at Christmas there are always many tourists. But what if there’s a place in Prague where you can do some sightseeing and enjoy the quiet? The Lesser Town or Malá Strana is such a place.
Lesser Town Bridge Towers and Alchemist Museum
We begin our walk at the Lesser Town Bridge Towers because that’s where our favorite hotel in Malá Strana is. The towers are at one end of the Charles Bridge and the taller of them two offers breathtaking views of the city from its observation deck. Our first steps lead west to Mostecká street and the Lesser Town Square (Malostranské náměstí) at its end. The Church of Saint Nicholas is the Baroque dominant of the square, however, there is much more to admire, such as the Grömling Palace or the Šterberk palace.
We continue from the northwest corner of the square to Nerudova street, pass the St. Kajetan Church and then down the street called Jánský vršek. About a halfway down on the left you can enter a lovely little patio with a café and visit the Alchemist Museum located in the building that the famous alchemist Edward Kelley called his home in the 16th century. Although the interior has been remodeled, the original 500-year-old staircase is still there and a part of the exhibition.
Back in the daylight we walk down the street and turn right on the Vlašská street, past the Lobkowitz Palace and enter the garden complex. The first part of the enormous park if the Lobkowitz Garden and it’s the ideal way to enter if you have children with you because there’s a children’s playground. We could actually spend the whole afternoon in the gardens; however, we are going for the highlights here and so, we continue south to the Petřín Lookout Tower. If you reach the top of the hill you can enjoy the view from the tower or stay down and take a walk through the Mirror Labyrinth. The cable car takes us down to the exit from the gardens from which we continue our little walk north on the Újezd street.
After just a few meters we turn right to Hellichova, then left to Nosticova and Maltézské náměstí which is a square named after the order of the Knights of Malta and finally, we turn right to the square whose Czech name is a real tongue-twister – Velkopřevorské náměstí.
From here we cross to the final stage of our walk – the Kampa island. We head south along the Čertovka river which separates Kampa from the mainland and enjoy not only the beautiful garden but also the fairy-tale like statues and we mustn’t forget the house of the legendary late actor and screenwriter Jan Werich. We walk back north on the other side of the island to see the former mills which have been restored and now are the headquarters of the Kampa Museum. On the north we stop for a while on the playground before crossing and making our way up from under the Charles Bridge back to the Lesser Town Bridge Towers.
Did we encourage you to take a walk in Malá Strana or did you already enjoy it? If so, you’ve probably noticed that this part of Prague is full of interesting little details and mysterious nooks. Here are some more photos.
By the way, did you know that the most visited geocache of the world is in Malá Strana? Read our post Czech Republic – Geocaching Superpower to find out where.