Are you a climber who just moved to Prague and not sure where to go?
Or maybe you’ve just got itchy feet to try out climbing?
With sport climbing making its Olympic debut next year at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and Brno born Adam Ondra (Czech climbing prodigy) qualifying for the event, it’s only natural that the climbing fever has gotten to you.
When I first moved to Prague the climbing bug had only recently bitten me. I was hooked and worried I wouldn’t be able to find places to climb and most importantly, people to climb with!! Those worries quickly washed away as I soon discovered that Prague is a hub of leading-edge climbing gyms and a kick-ass climbing community.
…may I also add that all these gyms offer a fine selection of pivos.
So chalk up as I present to you in no particular order, some of my favourite climbing stomping grounds.
Climbing Center Smíchoff
Křížová 1292/25, Prague 5 – Smíchov
Smíchoff is a climbing candy store. It was the first gym I checked out when I moved to Prague and it was love at first on-sight.
The walls are 14-15.5m high and include lots of unique and sophisticated climbing possibilities such as crack systems, rock texture stimulated walls, plenty of auto-belay, and a colourful kid climbing area. They offer easy beginner grades as well as routes for top climbers, all consistently being updated.
The bouldering area at Smíchoff is, for a lack of a better word, very impressive. Offering endless possibilities for all climbing levels. Above the bouldering area, there’s also a small training area and foosball set (only the essentials 😉 ). A little perk that I love about this place is the spacious stretching area which also serves as an observation deck to watch other climbers tackle some challenging crux’s. You will soon realise that there are some hardcore climbers in Prague.
Their bar and cafe offer great beer and lunch (highly recommend their blue cheese toasties and tea selection) and they have a massive shop with everything your little climbing heart desires.
Smíchoff also hosts various climbing events such as the Prague Color Climbing Festival and have hosted events featuring some of the greatest climbers of our time: Adam Ondra, Tommy Caldwell to name a few.
However, due to its acclaimed reputation and climbing becoming an increasingly more popular sport in the Czech Republic, sometimes this spacious gym can get a little crowded.
Vysočany – Ocelárská 16, 190
BigWall boasts the highest walls (20m) in Prague. It’s a spacious large climbing space designed for both beginners and advanced climbers and offers unique climbing possibilities (a massive arch climb, crack, chimney). Due to its impressive height, it’s a great place to train for endurance climbing with routes with up to 10m overhang. The gym offers 2 auto-belay devices and has a small but decent bouldering section upstairs. Above the bouldering section is a training area with stall bars, rings, campus boards and a horizontal rope ladder.
The cafe offers standard climbing food (granola bars), but great beer, what else do you really need anyway?
Jeremiášova 2581/2, Stodülky 13
I only recently discovered this gym, and if it wasn’t for it being so far from where I live, I would go more often to enjoy its two-level bouldering section.
It’s part of the Jeremi sports centre and apart from its incredible bouldering space, it also offers a very modern climbing wall. The bouldering really takes the cake though and I ended up spending hours trying different routes here. It offers a variety of levels and routes specially designed for kids with unique shaped climbing holds. These routes have no grading system other than being labelled for kids, I was immediately drawn by these adorable holds which ended up being quite the challenge.
Mammut Climbing Gym (Lezeckâ stěna)
Bubenskà 1536/43, Prague 7 – Holešovice
I know I said this would be in no particular order, but I’ve deliberately left my personal favourite last. Many climbers of Prague would argue that Smíchoff is the best climbing gym in Prague. Sure, I agree it’s very sophisticated, great routes, but Mammut simply holds a warm tender place in my heart. Maybe it’s because the small gym carries that authentic old-school mountaineering vibe, with old climbing shoes and traditional alpinist equipment hanging off the walls of the bar, or maybe it’s because I’ve had some proud moments sending routes there. Either way I have some sweet memories on the walls at Mammut and plenty sinking a few pivos at the bar.
It’s a cosy climbing space with walls reaching up to 12m. It mainly offers rope climbing, but there is a small bouldering section too. It’s both beginner and advanced friendly with 102 different routes of various degrees of difficulty.
Also fun fact, the gym is owned by Libor Hroza, Czech mountaineer and now sport climbing Olympic coach specialising in speed climbing.
If you’re a newbie to climbing I highly recommend joining the Facebook group Lazy and hungover climbing Prague. I don’t feel like I need to say more as the title accurately describes this lot. The group is perfect if you’re a beginner or have been climbing all your life and want to meet climbing friends in the city. They host multiple climbing, bouldering and outdoor events, usually on Tuesdays and Thursday at different walls in the city.