Most people who visit Prague focus only on the picture-perfect Old Town, Mala Strana and Hradcany. And while those places are beautiful and make people fall in love with Czech capital there are also other neighbourhoods in the city that are the reason why Prague is among my favourite cities in the world, the one I often return to!
One of these places, besides Holesovice that I adore, is Zizkov. That’s the alternative area of Prague, a former working-class district, the most authentic neighbourhood of the Czech capital and the quintessence of its awesomeness.
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A brief background of Zizkov Prague
Located behind the main train station Zizkov Prague until 1922 was a separated city. It was built in the way to squeeze as many people as possible in the very small space, hence the area is full of narrow, usually steep streets and high tenement houses.
It has always been an alternative, edgy place and the residents – most of them were workers, wretches, drunks, madmen and artists – were very proud of the bad reputation Zizkov has. Up until now it is often called “Free Republic Zizkov”.
Sadly, as it often is in this kind of places, the neighbourhood is going through gentrification and is slowly changing towards more wealthy area. But so far it still has its authentic, unique vibe that so many people look for in Prague and a place where some cool street art can be found!
What to see in Zizkov
Zizkov makes a perfect getaway from crowds in the Old Town and a offers a great chance to see the real Prague. That’s where the life goes by in its own pace, where the atmosphere is much more authentic and where you can meet local people in one of the pubs (Zizkov is number one district in Europe when it comes to the quantity of pubs, there’re over 300 of them in such a small area!).
Of course eating options are much better and more affordable here too! After stuffing yourself with delicious Czech food and even more awesome Czech beer you can wander around some more. That’s also one of my favorite areas to stay at in Prague.
Be sure to check the former train track, now a walking, biking and roller skating path at the bottom of Vitkov hill – not only it’s a pure pleasure to walk there but also you can take a look at the back of the tenement houses and have a small impression of the life in Zizkov!
While you are there go up to Vitkov hill for some of the amazing views of Prague. But the panorama isn’t the only reason why it’s worth to visit the hill. You will find there the National Monument in Vitkov that, besides the mausoleum of Klement Gottwald and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, is home to the third largest equestrian statue in the world – of Jan Žižka (a Czech general who died in 1424).
But the most known attraction of Zizkov Prague is the TV tower that looks like a big drill. You can see it from most of the points in the city and it has become some sort of the symbol of modern Prague. The tower is also famous for the giant children climbing to the top – it’s one of the works of the controversial Czech artists David Cerny.
Not far from the Zizkov tower you will find Riegrovy Sady – one of the hidden gems of Prague, visited mostly by locals. This green oasis in the heart of the city offers not only good areas to relax (like the beer garden) but also some amazing views of Prague. It’s best to be here around the sunset for the best pictures and most vibrant atmosphere.
Where to eat and drink in Zizkov
Zizkov is full of bars, cafes and restaurants. Below you can find some of the best of them:
Where to stay in Zizkov Prague
I highly recommend finding the accommodation in Zizkov. You are far away from the crowds yet with good public transport connections to the main Prague attractions. When staying in Zizkov you can get a taste of the real Prague and not only the Disneyland-alike center. Moreover the prices in Zizkov are so much more affordable!
These are the places to stay in Zizkov you should consider:
How to get to Zizkov
Public transport in Prague is very good and you can easily get to Zizkov from most of the places in Prague. From the main train station you can take trams no 5, 9, 15 and 26 (one-three stops, depends where you are going). Before your trip I suggest you save on your phone the file with the map of Prague public transport – you can download it from the official website here. Once in Prague, depending on the lenght of your stay, get a 24 hours (110CZK), 3 days (310CZK) or 30 days (550CZK) ticket and enjoy the unlimited public transport rides.
Tours in Zizkov
If you would like to have a local showing you around Zizkov there are some tours available for you to join:
I am also offering travel planning services so if you would like my help with planning your trip to Prague, including Zizkov, get in touch with me so we can discuss the details. You will find more information here.
Zizkov Prague in pictures
And to give you a proper idea of how Zizkov looks like below you will find a little photo walk through the neighbourhood.
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