How To Escape The Crowd in Prague - Aria Hotel
When wandering in Prague, it’s hard to escape the crowd. The famous Charles Bridge, beautiful Prague Castle, and the Old Town Square make this town oh-so-popular among tourists. I admit I’m guilty too. It’s hard not to contemplate Prague’s fascinating sights. But what happened when you want to escape the crowd for an afternoon but still enjoy the best of Prague? Enters Aria Hotel.
The boutique hotel offers its guest fine-dining experience, breathtaking rooftop view, and private access to a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage garden. Just a few steps away from Prague Castle in the Mala Strana quarter, the music-themed hotel also offers a sanctuary to its guests.
After a crowded morning at Prague Castle - make sure to visit early in the morning, or you will be caught in a sea of people - I desperately searched for a more tranquil place to enjoy Prague. I came across the beautiful Vrtbovska Garden and noticed that next to it was the Aria Hotel, where CODA restaurant is located in. The beautiful rooftop view and garden sold me.
Aria Hotel, in addition to being one of the best hotels in Prague, also houses one of the top restaurants in the country - CODA. The restaurant features a delicious menu concocted by Executive Chef David Šašek. His signature style, the Sous Vide method, produces perfectly cooked, juicy, and tender meat. Although the majority of dishes consist of modern cuisine with Czech influences, they do offer traditional Czech cuisine. The restaurant is located inside the five-stars hotel but, visit in the spring or summer and enjoy a delicious meal on the rooftop terrace – the view is spectacular.
After working an appetite exploring Prague Castle, I felt tempted to order the entire menu, but I resisted.
Roasted Duck Foie Gras, Sautéed Chanterelles, Red Onion Relish, Raspberry, Lemon Thyme
Pork Tenderloin, Smoked Bones Sauce, Potato Purée, Roasted Bacon, Pickled Shallots
Dry-aged Steak of The Day, Polenta, Arugula, Gross Mustard Dressing, Jus
After indulging in the beautiful view and delicious lunch, it was time to make my way to the Vrtbovska Garden.
Aria Hotel Prague provides direct access to the Baroque Vrtbovska Garden. While open to the public, the garden becomes only accessible to the hotel’s guests during after-hours allowing you to enjoy a private and peaceful stroll on the terrace.
The Vrtbovska Garden is one of the oldest and most beautiful gardens in Prague. Although upon entering the terrace, one may be fooled into thinking the garden is disappointedly small - Fear not, perspective is key! As you make your way up through the staircase, the garden opens up. Make sure to make it all the way up, for an incredible view of the city. You can even schedule private dining in the garden – potential romantic engagement, take note.
If you are planning to stay at the Aria Hotel, make sure to book one of their garden view suites.
Keep in mind:
The garden only opens from April – October
If you are not staying at the hotel, you may have to go on a hunt for the entrance of this hidden gem.
Locate the wooden gate with a small sign pointing to the garden. Go through the quiet courtyard. Then, walk through the gate with the statue of Atlas. Then you will see a door with a small staircase to your right. The door will lead you to a gift shop. Enter the gift shop, pay the entrance fee, and you will we be awarded the “hidden gem.”
When in Prague, make sure to have lunch at the rooftop, enjoy the fantastic view, and follow with a stroll at the beautiful baroque garden – so worth it!