In Prague, there are five large and liveliest riversides. The best known is Náplavka on the Rašín Embankment near Palacký Square. If you want to experience the authentic atmosphere of life in Prague, go there.
Náplavka as the place of entertainment and arts
In the last few years, Náplavka on the Rašín Embankment has become a well-known place for meetings of the locals and holding social events. It is situated on the right bank of the Vltava River, between Palacký Bridge and the Railway Bridge. You can come down to the promenade from the pavement high above the level of the river surface, using either a staircase or access roads. At the weekends, there are stands with home-made products, and you can also visit exhibitions, concerts, (beer or wine) festivals, and other social events.
By bike or on foot?
At Náplavka, you will have historic steamers and modern dinghies within your grasp. Some boats serve as restaurants; more refreshments are provided by decorated stands on the bank. Young people sit here with drinks, families with children observe the traffic on the river or water birds, and couples in love walk hand in hand in the middle of a beautiful scenery of Prague architecture.
Náplavka also serves as a great cycling path in the city centre: you can ride the bike along the river from the Mánes Gallery to the Vyšehrad Tunnel to get away from the car traffic. Officially, the route is a pedestrian precinct though, so cyclists have to be careful and ride their bikes slowly – moreover, pedestrians always have the right of way! Anyway, it would be a pity to fly through this place very fast and not to feast your eyes on the beautiful surroundings… You can borrow a bike right at Náplavka in the Bajkazyl bar.
Náplavka after dusk
When it gets dark, Náplavka is full of colours. Steamers and restaurants are decorated with light bulbs, completing the perfect scenery of the lit Hradčany panorama and the banks of the Vltava River. After dusk, the day programme for children, exhibitions and theatre performances, are replaced with the exuberant gaiety in bars and restaurants. You can often hear music concerts, come across a dance hall, movie screening and many other events which enliven the place in a way our ancestors used to know it for a long time – as a place of meetings and culture of all the inhabitants of Prague.
Farmers’ markets at Náplavka
Every Saturday from 8 am to 2 pm, Náplavka is covered with stands selling fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese and other delicacies. You can buy products of farms outside of Prague and meat from high-quality butcher’s, home-made ciders, and unique wines. The friendly weekend atmosphere is always great. The markets at Náplavka are well-known among the locals and worth visiting.
How to get there
Náplavka on the Rašín Embankment is defined by a continuous space along the Vltava River between the promontory of the Vyšehrad rock at Výtoň and Jirásek Bridge at Žofín. Historically, the place is a part of the New Town. You can get to Náplavka from Palackého náměstí Square where trams from the city centre, Smíchov (No. 16 or 10) or Výtoň (No. 17) go. There is also one of the exits of the yellow B metro line on the square – Karlovo náměstí stop.