Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hidden Prague - Playground in Old Town

Hidden Prague
Secret spots off the beaten cobblestones of Prague

: Kid's playground
Where: Corner of Malá Štupartská and Týnská in Old Town.
Public Transport: Staroměstská or Náměstí Republiky (each about 750 meters away)
Map: Click Here
Price: Free!
Looking for a place for the kids to run off a bit of extra energy while the "big kids explore the Gothic architecture of Prague's Old Town? Look no farther than the creatively named "Dětské Hřiště" or "Children's Playground," just a couple of blocks away from the famous Astronomical Clock of Old Town Square.

You really have to know this place is there to find it. It's worth the extra search though! The playground is hidden in an an urban canyon - tucked behind a fenced-in football pitch, and invisible from the road. A residential building forms two walls of the park, and a brightly painted mural the third. The play equipment and sandbox is new and well maintained, and the entire playground is covered with a rubber surface to save those little knees from all but the most tragic of falls.

There's a limited amount of parking in front of the playground, but driving through the warren of one-way streets around Old Town is never fun. Public transport to either
Staroměstská or Náměstí Republiky gets you to within about 3/4 of a kilometer from the park. Make sure you have a good map with you as you navigate through the narrow streets and alleyways leading out of Old Town Square.

When you get to the "T" corner of
Malá Štupartská and Týnská, turn around (facing East) and you'll see a small soccer field (with an artificial surface) surrounded by a chain-link fence. Go through the gates to the right of the field, following the signs to Dětské Hřiště. The playground is hidden out of sight, behind the soccer field.

Hungry after trying out all the playground equipment? Treat yourself to one of the many international food offerings on the top floor of the Palladium Mall - just above the
Náměstí Republiky metro stop. The restaurants of the Patro Gourmet aren't cheap... but they sure do taste good... and the gelato stands on the ground floor offer the best ice cream I've tasted outside of Italy!

Happy hunting!

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