Petrin Hill in Prague is a slice of wilderness in the heart of the city. It sits at 327 metres above sea level, towering over a sea of red roofs and the glistening Vltava River.
If you want to escape the crowds in Prague, climbing Petrin Hill can offer some much needed respite. You can hike through the trees, visit some unusual landmarks, and enjoy breathtaking views of Prague.
In this guide, we’ll look at how to get to Petrin, when to visit, and must-see attractions on the hill. Let’s dive right in!
Table of Contents
How to get to Petrin
Petrin Hill sits on the west side of the Vltava – on the same side as Prague Castle and the Lesser Town. There are different ways to get there, and you’ll find entrances at different parts of the hill.
Let’s look at different ways to get to Petrin.
If you’re staying on the other side of the city, you can get the tram and stop at Ujezd.
From here, you can get the funicular to the Petrin Lookout Tower, which is the main attraction on the hill.
The Petrin Hill funicular runs every 10 to 15 minutes. If you’re in Prague in summer, expect long queues at the station.
Also, the funicular undergoes maintenance twice a year, usually in March and October. During this time, the funicular is out of service.
You can visit this website to find out more about the Petrin Hill funicular, including opening hours and fares.
Alternatively, you could walk all the way to the top. There are several pathways on the hill, and most of them are in good condition.
You can enter Petrin from Ujezd and just follow one of the paths up the hill.
If you’re staying close to Prague Castle, there’s no need to go to Ujezd (unless you want to ride the funicular). Instead, you can take one of the streets that leads to Petrin.
For example, you can enter the hill from Vlašská Street or Strahovská Street. Just follow the brown signs!
Tip: You may not see signs labelled “Petrin”. That’s fine – you can just follow the signs that say “Rozhledna” (Lookout Tower).
When to visit Petrin (and other tips)
You can visit Petrin any time of year. It’s a popular spot among locals, so you may want to consider climbing the hill on a workday, when it’s a little quieter.
While most of the paths are pedestrian-friendly, they can get pretty slippery and muddy on rainy days.
Also, some parts of Petrin Hill may be a little tricky (and dangerous) to traverse in wintry conditions, particular when it snows.
I recommend that you wear a good pair of hiking shoes for climbing Petrin Hill. This way, you’ll feel safer walking down the steep bits.
You may also want to pack some snacks and water. While there is a cafe at the top of the hill, it may be a little busy in summer.
Top 10 attractions on Petrin Hill
Petrin Hill is dotted with curious buildings and attractions. In fact, you can spend almost a full day exploring the hill and its many sites.
Let’s look at the main attractions on Petrin Hill.
1. Petrin Lookout Tower
The Petrin Lookout Tower is one of the most visible structures in Prague. Built in 1891, the tower is 58.7 metres high and has 299 steps.
It resembles the Eiffel Tower and has been used as an observation and transmission tower.
As you can imagine, you get some staggering views of Prague from the Petrin tower. In fact, you can see almost all of Bohemia on a clear day.
The Petrin Lookout Tower is open every day, though opening times vary depending on the season. At the time of writing, the entrance fee is 150 CZK per person.
2. Strahov Monastery and Brewery
The Strahov Monastery is possibly my favorite attraction on Petrin Hill.
Founded in 1140, it is one of the oldest monasteries in the country and houses a wealth of medieval manuscripts and globes.
Plus, it’s home to the stunning Baroque Theological Hall and the Classical Philosophy Hall, which serve as libraries and are decorated with colourful frescoes.
There’s also the Strahov Gallery, which harbours a large collection of Gothic, Baroque, and Rococo paintings.
While you’re here, you may want to check out the 17th-century brewery. The Strahov Monastic Brewery serves craft beer and a wide selection of local dishes.
On a nice day, you can enjoy your lunch in the courtyard.
From here, you can continue walking up the hill, or make your way down to Prague Castle.
3. Memorial to the Victims of Communism
If you’re starting your climb from Ujezd, you’ll come across the Memorial to the Victims of Communism.
Created by the Czech sculptor Olbram Zoubek, the memorial consists of seven figures walking down the stairs, most of them missing parts of their bodies.
These figures represent the victims of the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia.
4. The Hunger Wall
This impressive 14th-century wall stretches across Petrin Hill.
Originally, it was 4 to 4.5 metres high and 1.8 metres wide, and it was built to protect Prague Castle and the Lesser Town against attacks.
The wall was built during a famine, and therefore its construction helped provide a livelihood for many poor families (hence the name “Hunger Wall”).
According to legend, Emperor Charles IV worked on the wall for several hours a day to help his people.
5. Mirror Maze
If you’re looking for something fun, check out the Mirror Maze at the top of Petrin Hill.
This castle-like building houses a labyrinth of mirrors. You’ll have to find your way around without walking straight into glass – or bumping into yourself!
There’s also a hall with warped mirrors. You can see yourself in different shapes and sizes!
The standard entrance fee for the Mirror Maze is 100 CZK per person.
6. Stefanik Observatory
Founded in 1928, the Stefanik Observatory offers public viewings of the sky, both by day and by night. You can also visit an exhibition on astronomy and learn about the instruments at the observatory.
The entrance fee is 90 CZK and the observatory is open till late on some days.
7. Church of St. Lawrence
Next to the Petrin Lookout Tower you’ll find the Church of St. Lawrence.
Originally built with wood, this church was later turned into a Romanesque building constructed entirely of opuka stone, which was mined on Petrin.
Five hundred years later, the church had another makeover. This time, it was given a Baroque appearance.
Next to the church is a small chapel with beautiful sgraffito decorations. The Calvary Chapel was built in 1737 and designed by the the famous Czech painter Mikoláš Aleš.
8. Kinsky Garden
Petrin Hill is home to several little gardens, each with its own unique charm.
Kinsky Garden near the bottom of Petrin Hill is characterised by zig-zagging paths, a small waterfall, and two ponds with crystal clear water.
Here, you’ll also find the Kinsky Summer Palace, which houses an ethnographic exhibition.
This is a great place to just sit down and absorb the sounds and smells of nature. You may even spot a few squirrels.
9. Kvetnice Garden
Kvetnice is a small, English-style garden with cute white benches and climbing plants. It’s located behind the old walls, hidden from sight, and offers a safe space to unwind.
10. The Rosarium
There’s also the Rosarium, or Rose Garden, located at the top of Petrin Hill. Home to thousands of roses of all shapes and colours, this place is an anthophile’s delight.
Frequently asked questions about Petrin Hill
In this guide, I tried to cover the most important things about Petrin Hill, including how to get there, when to visit, and what to see.
Let’s look at some frequently asked questions about this place.
How much does it cost to get into Petrin Tower?
The basic entrance fee for Petrin Tower is 150 CZK per person (at the time of writing).
How do I get to Petrin Hill Prague?
There are several entrances on Petrin Hill. You start at Ujezd and take the funicular (or walk up). Alternatively, you could get into the hill from one of the streets near Prague Castle.
Is the Petrin Tower worth visiting?
Yes! Petrin Tower offers staggering views of Prague and the Bohemian region.
Can you walk up Petrin Hill?
Yes! There are several pedestrian-friendly paths on the hill.
A map of Petrin Hill
Ready to explore Petrin? Here’s a map of the main attractions on the hill (look for the pink markers).
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