The Hunger Wall which runs through Petrin Park is one of the largest and most visible structures in the whole of Prague. It was built in the 14th century and formed an integral part of the defences for the southern and western perimeters of Mala Strana and Prague Castle for more than 500 years. These days, about 1.2km of the original wall remains, in a remarkable good state of repair.
The Hunger Wall was commissioned by the Holy Roman Emperor and Czech King Charles IV in the 1360s. Legend has it that it was constructed during a famine and that the project was intended to provide work for the poor who received food in return for their labour. Certainly there is record of a famine over this period, but one must be realistic and accept that medieval monarchs are far more likely to have been motivated by defensive rather than humanitarian motives!
The Hunger Wall crests the hills close to the Petrin Tower, an unexpected bonsai version of the Eiffel Tower. Indeed, it was inspired by its Parisian cousin, but differs in certain details of its design. Until the commissioning of the monstrous Zizkov TV tower in the 1990s, the Petrin Tower served as the TV broadcasting antenna for Prague but is now exclusively a tourist attraction with a lovely view out over the city. The lame and lazy will be delighted to know that there are two options to reach the top of the 60m tower: walk up the stairs or take the lift!
On the issue of mobility, it's worth noting that the hike up Petrin Hill is beautiful but fairly strenuous, especially if the ground is icy. A better alternative for those with limited mobility is to catch the funicular railway from Ujezd Street in Mala Strana.
At the base of the Petrin Tower, there is the Mirror Maze, a hall of mirrors, which is an interesting throwback to the way that funfair attractions used to be. The Maze is a relic of the Prague Exhibition Grounds dating back to 1891 and apparently the wooden construction imitates the Gothic part of the fortification in Vysehrad. I was 6 months pregnant at the time, and was hard pressed to tell the difference between the conventional and the distorting mirrors!
Compare the view of Prague here with that of Letna Park. I know which one I prefer, not that this is a bad view, and to be fair, there are several more views than this one as you get a full 360 degree view here compared to Letna Park.
This view shows the bend in the river, Charles Bridge is the right most bridge in the picture. You can see the whole city from here, but I normally find aerial views from towers to be a little disappointing when it comes to photographing them.
"Prague's miniature Eiffel Tower"
The tower stands on the top of the Petrin Hill, where it was built in 1891 (in only 53 days) for the Prague exhibition. The tower is 63, 5 m high (well I know that the "real one" is 324 m, but to height of the tower, one must add the height of Petrin Hill, 318 m ...). The tower has two viewing platforms. The top deck is reached after 299 steps, but the stunning views of the city makes it worth it!
In order to spare your feet & legs...I'd recommend taking the funicular railway up to Petrin Hill and walking down...The ticket cost 12 CZK, unless you have a travel pass. The cable car makes two stops; on the very top of the hill where the tower stands, and about halfway up, where the famous Nebozízek restaurant is located. Also from here you'll have great views of Prague! Actually, some scenes for a recent Bond movie were filmed here.
Prague is filled with terraces and towers in churches that offer great views of the city. The absolute best view was from the top of the Petrin Tower. You could really appreciate the size of the city and remind yourself that the tourist bits only offer a small part of Prague to the visitor. Go to Petrin after a couple of days familiarisation with the old town and castle and then you can identify the buildings that you have seen at closer quarters earlier in your stay. I don't think my picture does it justice so you will have to go yourself to appreciate the view.
The Petrin Tower in Prague is a MUST!
The tower is perched high on a hill in the western section of the city. (The hill is pretty steep, and you can take a tram to the top of it.) I climbed the stairs to the top on one of the hottest days in August, but at that height there was a constant breeze that made things more tolerable. There were a lot of stairs, but it was definitely worth it! The view was incredible!
The surrounding park is very shady and also very beautiful, and there is a small restaurant at the base of the tower.
I can't tell you something new, which hasn't mentioned in other tips. I can just emphasize again: It's probably the best view in town, so you have to go up there! Admission is 50 kr (40kr for Students).
Well, having been up The Tower at St Vitus, Petrin Hill seemed like a good idea: so it was done and not regretted whatsoever. Get the funicular, that's the easy way! If you have followed my advice ( my vice ads?) so far, then your 7 day pass is also valid for this, this is definitely well worth doing.
Get up Petrin Hill and chill, just enjoy the simplistic beauty of the gardens - very much plural!
Take in the observatory and then consider The Petrin Tower ( the mini Eiffel). I looked up at it, looked from all sides, said to myself : "Hey, no way, The Great South Tower at St Vitus damned near killed me yesterday, there is no way whatsover I am even going to contemplate climbing this.
Ach, went for it anyway! It is a very gentle stairway, with stop off points en route (cigarette break points!) photo-ops abounding.
Thjis (forgive stray J, but cannot be bothered correcting) is another MUST.
Also cafe at bottom sells beer!
Cheers, John! HIC!
The design of the Petrin Tower is such that it is possible to take in breathtaking views of Prague while ascending or descending the stairs.
It certainly helps take your mind off of the seemingly endless climb!
If you think this Observation Tower looks like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, that is because it is a loose copy of it. It was built in 1891 for a Jubilee Exhibition. It is much smaller than the Eiffel Tower however being just 60 metres high (approx a quarter the size of the Eiffel Tower).
The Tower is now open again after being restored. There is no life however so you must climb all 299 steps to get the views, which are quite good, but I preferred the view from Letna Park, and that was free!
As I said, Prague reminds me of Paris and oddly enough there is a miniature version of the Eiffel Tower on top Petrin Hill. The tower was constructed out of recycled railway track for the 1891 Prague Exhibition, and though it’s only one-fifth-scale copy of Paris's Eiffel Tower, its location on top of the hill gives it an amazing unobstructed view as Petrin Hill is 1043 feet high. As with everything in Prague, the cost for the entrance to the tower was low, less than $1. The biggest problem was the 299 step climb to reach the viewing platform 195 feet up, but once there you get a view of not only Prague and the castle, but also of the outer suburbs of Prague including many communist era apartment complexes and the stadium. On a clear day it is possible to see the highest peak in the Czech Republic, Snezka, which is 150km from the tower.
Though you can take a funicular railway to the top of the hill I recommend the walk as the view along the way is part of the attraction. There were some amazing gardens and a relaxing natural setting on the way and it only takes less than a half hour at a very leisurely pace.
Jan-Mar: Sat & Sun 10:00-17:00
Apr: Daily 10:00-19:00
May-Aug: Daily 10:00-22:00
Sep: Daily 10:00-19:00
Oct: Daily 10:00-18:00
Nov-Dec: Sat & Sun 10:00-17:00
You can see the Petrin tower from many places in the city as it sits on the top of the Petrin Hill (318m). It was built in 1891 for the Prague Exposition and it is 60 meters high. If you don't mind the heights, don't mind paying 30Kc and love to climb 299 steps, you are welcome to do so:)
A great way to get to the castle, if you like walking, is to take the Funicular to the Petrin Tower and wend your way down to the Castle from there. It is a really beautiful route through some stunning gardens and of course wonderful views over the city. The road twists and turns, but eventually you will get there. It's just a great way to see so much in a relaxed fashion.
Take the tram no. 12, 22 or 23 to the Funicular station. If you have a day pass for public transport, the funicular fare is included in that.