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Strahov Hill and Petřín Hill, Prague

See the Prague Guide ›'s insider take:

In the center of the city, just south of Prague Castle, this verdant area has been the favorite in-town getaway for centuries. Closest to the castle grounds is Strahov Hill, home to the Strahov Monastery, which dates to 1143 (1/132 Strahovské Nádvoří; 420-233-107-711; If you like Baroque grandeur, you won't find much better than the Basilica of Our Lady, an ornate layer cake frosted with cherubs, frescoes, plasterwork, and curlicues. A young Mozart once banged out some improv tunes on the church's pipe organ. Also worth visiting is the monastery's Picture Gallery, a collection of some 1,500 paintings from the Gothic to the Romantic eras.

Just south of the monastery complex is Petřín Hill, which is served from the eastern side by the city's only funicular railway (though a relatively fit hiker won't take more than 15 minutes to walk up). Petřín is best known for canoodling couples and picnics of partying teenagers, though the very top of the hill offers more family-friendly fun: a miniature Eiffel Tower with great views in all directions; the Štefaník Observatory, with telescopes and displays of planets and stars; and the Zrcadlové Bludiště (Mirror Maze), a faux-Gothic castle with a small labyrinth made of fun house mirrors.

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