Above it All

Fast Lane

Rooftop restaurants offer some of the best views in the city

Prague’s magical beauty can be spotted nearly everywhere: in the middle of Old Town Square; strolling across Charles Bridge; the magnificence of Prague Castle. But the truly best views always come from above. With beautiful sunny days and warm summer evenings, now is the time to get out and enjoy Prague with a view from the top.

The Intercontinental Hotel is in an enviable location: between the Vltava River and Old Town, right across the water from Letna Park. This blesses their ninth floor restaurant, Zlata Praha, with nearly 360 degree views. Inside the dining room, one wall is nearly floor to ceiling windows, showcasing the tops of Old Town Square. But take advantage of the cool breezes and sit on the terrace.

“Old Town charm with all the rooftops on the left, the Castle to the right, I love every part,” says Intercontinental Public Relations Manager Petra Davidkova. “You are completely surrounded.”

During the day, towers, spires and colors hit you from every angle. But the night holds a special aura of charm as well.

“The evening atmosphere is really nice,” shares Davidkova. “The sun is going down, the lights are coming on, it’s really romantic.”

Just down river from the Intercontinental sits the Bellevue Restaurant. Their intimate tree-shaded patio is a welcome respite from the busy street down below. A large leafy tree obstructs some of the scenery, however the river, Charles Bridge, Mala strana and the cupola of St. Nicholas with Prague Castle and St. Vitus towering above are laid out in all their glory. The patio is small, but the indoor dining room has large windows to give you the same experience. Winter would give this view a unique touch, no leaves to block the view and the snow-topped roofs of Mala strana would be beautiful. Heat lamps outdoors make this a possibility. With a green park below the terrace, you can relax in a park-like setting, watching the bustle of ferries and the river float by.

Gazing from the Old Town into the New Town is always beautiful, but for an equally lovely, but different perspective, cross the river to Mala stranA. The Hotel Aria has one of the best hidden views in the city. Restaurant Coda offers a summer terrace that literally puts you on the rooftops of Mala stranA.

“From here, the city all makes sense,” says Michael Ferreira, Director of Food and Beverage for Aria Hotel. “Pretty much everything is laid out in front of you.”

And some of it looks close enough to touch. You are surrounded by beautiful red rooftops; the dome of St. Nicholas is just to right, while St. Vitus and the castle tower is above you to the left. Petrin is to your back, adding a peaceful green view and looking out to your right you can see the Tyn Church in Old Town, the Powder Tower and further on to the TV tower. It’s truly a secret gem in the heart of the city.

“I dare you to find the street!” challenges Ferreira.

Restaurant Coda offers live music on Friday and Saturday nights, but reservations are encouraged as the terrace only holds about 50 people.

Moving outside of the center always gives you a unique glimpse into a city. The neighborhood of Vinohrady sits atop a hill, and Le Palais Hotel has taken full advantage of its height.

“It’s the atmosphere that comes with the view (that makes it special,)” says Assistant to the General Manager Denisa Santos. “Even being in the center of the city, it is a very quiet place and you can really enjoy the view, together with fresh breezes and delicious food.”

Le Papillion’s summer terrace sits to the side of the hotel, and overlooks the Nusle Valley, not usually the view postcards are made of. But with leafy green Petrin Hill to your left and the colorful rooftops splayed out in front of you, this is a peaceful view not to be missed.