Petrin Hill and Lookout Tower in Prague
Petrin is the big hill overlooking Prague’s Lesser Quarter to the left of Prague Castle (when looking at the castle from the other side of the river). It is a popular park (and a popular dating location among the locals), ideal for taking a break from sightseeing, especially when the cobblestone streets of Prague’s city centre get too hot and crowded on a summer afternoon. That said, the Petrin hill has a few attractions on its own.
Petrin Lookout Tower
The most significant place of interest is the lookout tower at the top of the hill (Petrin Tower), whose design was inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It was built in 1891, two years after Paris Universal Exposition of 1889 that introduced the Eiffel Tower to the world. Prague’s tower is much smaller (only 60 metres tall and partly hidden in trees), but given the hill and Prague’s generally higher altitude, the top of Petrin Tower is a few metres higher above the sea level than the top of Eiffel Tower in Paris.
From 1953 to 1992 the Petrin Tower served as the main TV broadcasting tower for the city of Prague, until this role was overtaken by the much higher and then newly built Zizkov TV Tower. Originally the Petrin hill was also considered as a possible location for the new transmitter, but it was eventually rejected due to its proximity to Prague Castle and significance for Prague’s historical panorama.
You can visit the Petrin Tower and enjoy spectacular views of Prague city centre. There are 299 stairs leading onto the observation platform, or an elevator.
Petrin Hill Funicular
To visit the lookout tower, you can get to the top of Petrin hill by funicular from Lesser Quarter. The bottom station is located in Ujezd, near Best Western Hotel Kampa. The closest metro stations are Malostranska (line A) and Narodni Trida (line B). The funicular is operated by Prague public transport authority and therefore all tickets for metro, trams and buses are also accepted at the Petrin funicular.
Victims of Communism Memorial
There is a memorial to the victims of communism at the foot of the Petrin hill not far from the bottom station of the funicular. It is at the intersection of Ujezd and Vitezna street. The latter is the street that becomes the Legions Bridge (Most Legii) and takes you to the National Theatre, back to the Old Town side of the river.