New in Prague? Discover the Best Parks

Prague is one of the greenest cities in the World. According to the HUGSI Index, an AI-powered satellite solution that quantifies the greenness of cities around the world, Prague is ranked 13th globally and 9th in Europe in terms of availability of public green spaces. In fact, they represent 56% of the city’s urban area.

The city has a lot to offer to its inhabitants, with 179.8 square meters of green space per person divided in numerous parks, all designed with proper running paths and all welcoming dogs as well (even though sometimes only on a leash).

So, which are the most famous parks in Prague?

Letná Park

Letná park was established in 1860 in Prague 7, one bridge away from the city center. It is actually located on the site of a former vineyard and is one of the biggest parks in Prague. Today it’s a prime stop for relaxation and entertainment with its beer gardens and its stunning view over the city.

Between 1955 and 1962 it was the home of the world’s largest monument to Josef Stalin. The monument measured 15.5 meters (51ft) in height and was 22 meters (72ft) long. It was taken down with 800 kilograms of explosive. Letna Park’s signature monument, the ticking metronome, now sits on the remains of the Stalin one. The area around the ticking metronome is also a popular spot for skateboarding and rollerblading.

The park is also the home of the oldest preserved carousel in Europe, currently under renovation and, every August, of the Letni Letna circus festival.

Letna park Prague Stromovka Park

Known as Prague’s Central Park, Stromovka is also its biggest park at almost 250 acres. Also located in Prague 7, it was founded in 1268 by King Přemysl Otakar II as a royal hunting ground for his summerhouse.

Today it is a popular place for runners, bikers, and bladers: it is the perfect place to be active or to just relax, away from the hustle of the city.
One of its main attractions is the Dubový pahorek, a raised island where several oak trees grow.

Riegrovy Sady

Located in Prague 2 on the site of a former wine-yard, Riegovy Sady offers a striking view of Prague Castle. At sunset, it is the perfect place to have a nice date or enjoy a drink from its beer garden!

As it is located on a steep hill, it’s also the perfect place for runners looking to get an intense workout or for families wanting to have a delightful picnic.

Petřín Hill

As many other parks in Prague, Petřín Hill is also located on the site of a former wine yard. It is also the park with the greatest elevation in the city of Prague: in fact, it is located 320 meters above sea level!

As it is the home of the famous Petřín Lookout Tower, it offers one of the most stunning views of the city. Visiting the park, however, can be quite a hike. If you would like to avoid the long walk, you can also take the Funicular to Petrin, which can be ridden using regular public transport tickets. However, please be aware that long lines can be expected during the touristy season.

When visiting Petrin Hill during Spring and Summer, we also recommend a stop in the nearby “Angelato” for a refreshing artisanal gelato.

Petrin Hill Tower Prague Havlíček Park (Grebovka)

As it faces away from the city center, Grebovka can offer a unique outlook on the city. It is located in the Vršovice neighborhood, on the site of a vineyard which is still fully operational to this day, being open every Friday evening. This vineyard is all that remains of the one originally founded by Charles IV in the 14th century.

This park is quite unique as it was inspired by the Italian Renaissance. It thus features several pavilions, fountains and statues. We would also advise you to visit the artificial cave present in the park.

Divoká Šárka

Divoká Šárka is located at the outskirts of the city, in Prague 6. More than a park, it is actually a huge natural reserve that offers a variety of sights and activities to its visitors and is the perfect place for a hike during the weekend.

Its history starts in the 9th century, with the first fortified township of Prague, of which the remains can still be admired in the park.

In the middle of the reserve one can find a swimming pool and a small bistro, where it is possible to stop for a small lunch, beer or ice cream. During hot days, one can also put their legs into the steam running through the park to enjoy the refreshing water.

Prague: The Dog Lovers Capital of Europe

Last summer, Prague was named the 4th most Dog-Friendly city in the World. For locals, this comes as no surprise: in 2019 it was reported that over 40% of households in the Czech Republic included a dog.

Czechs simply love dogs, and this translates into the culture.

Dogs are allowed almost anywhere in Prague, including the Prague Zoo, and where they are not welcome (mostly Supermarkets and mini Markets), it is clearly indicated and a space is arranged for the dogs to wait for their owners. At bars and restaurants, it is common for patrons to have a furry friend under their table and for waiters to bring out water bowls for them unprompted (and often even before the customer’s order makes it to the table).

Dogs are also allowed on almost all means of transport with a muzzle, leash and a special ticket, however on some occasions it can even be for free. Visit the public transport in Prague website to learn more about the rules and restrictions of travelling with animals.

Dogs just wanna have fun

Dogs are allowed to run free in most parks, making Prague a true paradise for dog lovers. Note that the parks have special signs showing where the dog must be walked with a leash (mostly on the asphalt path where people are cycling) and where it can run free.

As dogs are welcome in parks, and with so much nature around and within the city, there are no parks dedicated to dogs only in Prague. However, in some places you can find free-access dog agility training areas. Municipalities often set up these dog playgrounds with various obstacles to allow dogs to play and exercise without restrictions, as dogs are not allowed in playgrounds for children.

All this is great news for expats, who often live alone or far from their families. After all, having a four legged friend in the city is not just a great company, it is also the perfect way to break the ice with neighbours and get to know the community. 

I just got a dog… now what?

If you adopt a dog in the Czech Republic, you will need to register it at the municipality closest to your address. You will then be required to pay a yearly fee that will contribute to the city expenses for dog-friendly services such as free dog waste bags and cleaning. You can find the bags in parks or in gardens in the neighborhoods, however they can also be placed on special marked columns on the streets. 

The only dogs not subjected to the dog registration fee are approved guide dogs assisting people with special needs, trained rescue dogs, and police dogs.

How much is the annual dog registration fee in Prague?

  • 1500 CZK for the first dog kept in an apartment
  • or 600 CZK for the first dog if kept in an independent family house
  • or 200 CZK if the first dog is registered by a pensioner whose only income is their pension

For any additional dog registered by the same owner, the fee will be 150% of the basic dog registration fee.

Example 1: If you pay 1500 CZK / year for the first dog and get a second dog, you will pay 2250 CZK / year for the second dog. 1500 + 2250 = 3750 CZK / year for two dogs kept in an apartment

Example 2: If you live in an independent house with two dogs, the calculation is as follows: 600 (for the first dog) + 900 (for the second dog) = 1500 CZK / year for two dogs kept in a house.

On a special note, dogs coming from shelters in Prague are exempt from paying the fee for a two year period if living in Prague.

All dogs must have a chip by law, and you may be subject to a fine if you have not arranged it. If you have adopted a dog from a shelter or adult dog from another family, the dog most probably will already be chipped, but the you have the obligation to update your new ownership at the registry. If you adopted a puppy, you have to arrange the chip yourself. Your vet may be able to guide you or simply contact ReloCare for dog chip and registry support.

Too confusing? Download our free simple summary to know your responsibilities as a new dog owner in Prague.

Adopting a Dog in Prague

As a foreigner, however, adopting a dog in Prague might be challenging as most of the shelters and organizations do not speak English. The dogs are often hosted in foster homes and you will be required to travel to a specific location to meet with the dog. Normally, there will be few “enquiries” for the adoption, and the most fitted match will be chosen by the shelter/organization. They will do their best to fit the specific dog needs to reduce the risk of the dog returning to the foster home. Non EU individuals with a valid permit and EU members with a resident permit can adopt, but must provide a proof of the permit.

Fortunately, there are many private shelters you can contact if you do not have a valid permit. The adoption normally costs a symbolic fee to help the non-profit organization to continue their important animal saving activities.

Where all the cool dogs hang out?

ReloCare can recommend Cool Critters sanctuary, a safe-haven for unwanted, abandoned and neglected dogs and cats. It is based in a countryside farmhouse about one hour from Prague and is run by a fellow expat from the UK, Jaq, together with a group of dedicated volunteers.

For adoption, they require the completion of an adoption application to best match you with potential new furry friends. They also require that you agree that in the case you end up leaving Czech Republic you will take your adopted pet with you.

To contact or support Cool Critters you can visit their website or you can email hello@coolcritters.org

In conclusion, Prague can be a great place for you and your furry friend to have fun. However, if the rules for owning a dog in Prague are too confusing for you, we have prepared a simple summary for you. We can also support you through the whole process, so you and your pet can enjoy Prague stress-free. Download the summary for free by clicking here.

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ReloCast #8: Insight to ReloCare Challenges and Success

Episode #8 Insight to ReloCare Challenges and Success

This week’s podcast is very special as ReloCare is celebrating the 12th year anniversary! With the managing director Dana Pick we talked about challenges of being an expat entrepreneur, how it is to found and manage a company as a foreigner in Czech Republic and how immigration changed in years.

ReloCast is a podcast from ReloCare in which we want to bring you current and interesting topics from the world of immigration and relocation to the Czech Republic.

You can find more episodes here.

Do you have any questions or remarks to the topic? Contact us here. We will be happy to help you.