After couple of days in Prague, if you have had enough beer and dumplings and feel like you need to compensate with some cardio? Are you a sport junkie and need to get in your exercise? Or do you just want to do something different than just visit museums and the top sights in Prague? Either way, we would love to share with you a few tips on being active in Prague.
Running in Prague
Going for a run is the easiest sport you can do on your travels. All you really need is running shoes and some comfy clothes. You can always just take off into the streets around your hotel or apartment, but there are a couple of nice parks not far from the city center that you can try. If you do go for a run in downtown, it's a good idea to get up early or go later in the evening, when the streets are emptier and there is not so much traffic. Great runs and sightseeing can certainly be found along the river, especially with an occasional circle around one of Prague islands. As for parks, head to Stromovka (Královská Obora) in Prague 7, Riegrovy Sady in Prague 2 – this park is rather small, but with a nice view of Prague and a fun beer garden, Letná Park in Prague 7 – a famous park with its giant iconic metronome and great viewing points, or Petřín hill in Prague 1 – where you can find some intense almost mountain like terrain, an amazing view of the Prague Castle and the Petrin Lookout Tower, alias Prague Eiffel Tower! For those who love to run happy, the 2nd annual Prague Colour Run is taking place on 4th June 2016, and tickets are still available. Finally for those who love to run LONG DISTANCE, the 22nd edition of the Prague marathon is coming up in May!
Swimming in Prague
Going for a swim is another fun sport you can easily take up on during your travel. The only thing you really need are a swimsuit and a towel, which you can grab from your hotel room. Just be careful that customs and rules in Czech public swimming pool might be different from what are you used to. You will not find any changing cabins at the older swimming pools, people just change by their locker. It is also common to shower without swimsuits in the gender separated showers. You can also expect to be ask to take off your shoes when entering the changing rooms. Just watch what the others do and you will have a fun, cultural sport experience. The biggest (though quite old) swimming complex with wonderful outside pools (a warm one is open the whole year long) is Podolí. A new swimming complex with an aqua park and steam rooms is Aquacentrum Šutka in Prague 8 (this one is a little further from the city center). Right at the city center you can find the AXA 25 meter long pool, sauna and steam room. This little spa complex is part of hotel AXA, but open for public. Another new 25 meter pool is at Barandov, a bit further from the center but easily accessible by tram.
Climbing in Prague
Maybe it does not seem like it, but even for climbing, you really do not need anything except some comfy clothes. You can rent all the equipment and just have some fun on the wall! There are two climbing centers near the shopping mall at Anděl in Prague 5 - Smichoff, where you can conquer 331 routes, some as high as 15 meters. Next to regular profiles there are also some natural walls. The other option in Prague 5 is at Lokalblok, one of the biggest bouldering centers in Europe. After climbing, take advantage of their great bar and restaurant there! Another climbing opportunity near the city center is at Holešovice in Prague 7, which is a little bit smaller than Smichoff.
Sport in Czech History
As we love history, we would also like to share with you some insight into one aspect of the history of Czech sport! The largest sport community with the longest history is Sokol (falcon). Sokol is a sport movement, which was founded in 1862 by Miroslav Tyrš and Jindřich Fügner. The small fitness training club spread quickly through the Austro-Hungarian Empire and later became very popular in pre-WWII Czechoslovakia. One neat tradition is that the members of Sokol call each other brothers (“bratr”) and sisters (“sestra”). When Czechoslovakians left their country for various reasons during the 19th and 20th century they took their Czech traditions with them. Therefore, you can find Sokol organizations in many other countries over the globe, even in America, where the American Sokol just celebrated 150 years and have over 35 Sokol units across the North America. Who knows, maybe you even have a Sokol in your hometown!
As always, we are here for you if you have some further questions about sport in Prague, or need help with booking activities! Enjoy your active holiday in Prague!
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