Střelecký ostrov (Shooters Island) is one of several islands on the Vltava River in Prague. Locals come here to relax, have a picnic or attend an outdoor event. If you’d like to get away from the noise of the city, this is a place to consider. On hot summer days, you’ll enjoy cooling off in the shade of magnificent trees. You can sit on a bench and watch boats go by. You can have a bite to eat or get a pint of beer at one of the outdoor stands. Kids will enjoy watching the swans and ducks on the river, running around or spending time at the playground. In the fall, the leaves on the trees change color and the scenery is breathtaking.
Why Shooters Island?
Are you wondering where Shooters Island got its name? It is actually a reminder of the purpose it served throughout history. Under Charles IV, long bow and crossbow shooters had the privilege of training here. Shooting competitions were held on the island from the 15th century. Thanks to the island’s strategic position within the city, shooters stationed there were able to defend the Old Town against enemy armies in the 17th and 18th centuries.
You can access Střelecký ostrov easily from the Legion Bridge (most Legií). It’s the one that leads from the National Theatre on the Old Town side of the river to Újezd and the Petřín foothills on the Lesser Town side. To reach the island, walk about halfway across the bridge. You’ll then have two options of getting down to the island: descend a staircase or take an elevator. Walking from the National Theatre, the stairs are on the left side of the bridge and the elevator’s on the right. If you need the elevator, you may want to plan ahead and start your walk on the correct side of the bridge. That way you won’t have to cross the relatively busy street and tram tracks later.