Prague has a growing number of specially marked bike lanes, including a long and popular run that follows the Vltava River south of the center from the National Theater and another that starts around the Prague Zoo and follows the Vltava northward toward Germany. Two companies in central Prague specialize in rentals (and also give organized bike tours): Praha Bike, Dlouhá 24, Prague 1 (tel. 732-388-880; www.prahabike.cz); and City Bike Prague, Králodvorská 5, Prague 1 (tel. 776-180-284; www.citybike-prague.com).
Czechs are rediscovering golf on a tournament-caliber course with a world-class view at the Prague Karlstejn Golf Club, 30 minutes southwest of Prague. You can improve your game during cold weather at the Erpet Golf Center, Strakonická 510, Prague 5 (tel. 296-373-111; www.erpet.cz). Opened in 1994, the renovated innards of a Communist-era sports hall now has an up-to-date setting of driving platforms, with pitching and putting greens on Astroturf and interactive video simulators. It's open daily from 8am to 11pm. Take metro line B to Smíchovské nádrazí. The price is 300Kc per hour.
Health & Fitness Clubs
On the 25th floor of the Corinthia Hotel Prague, Kongresová 1, Prague 4, the Apollo Day Spa (tel. 261-191-111) provides weight machines, free weights, exercise bikes, step machines, a small pool (surrounded by glass with an expansive view of the city), a sauna, and a solarium. The modern facility also offers tanning beds, a whirlpool, and massages. A 1-day pass is 500Kc. The club is open Monday to Friday from 6:30am to 10pm and Saturday and Sunday from 7am to 10pm. Take metro line C to Vysehrad.
World Class gym at Václavské nám. 22 (tel. 234-699-100) is a large health club in the city center, where you can try classes including aerobics, spinning, and yoga or work out in the gym for around 500Kc a day. It is open Monday to Friday 6am to 10:30pm, Saturday 7am to 10pm, Sunday 9am to 10pm.
The Erpet Golf Center (Fitness Center), Strakonická 510, Prague 5 (tel. 296-373-111; www.erpet.cz), has modern fitness machines, free weights, electronic rowers, and treadmills. There's also a relaxation center, with a dry sauna and a coed whirlpool that's usually open to the public. From May to September, the center is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 5pm to 10pm and costs 190Kc to enter. From October to April, the center is open daily from noon until 10pm and costs 390Kc. Take metro line B to Smíchovské nádrazí.
There are several nice runs near the center. One of the best is to head to Letná park, atop the hill across the Vltava from the InterContinental hotel. Here you'll find a peaceful loop that measures around 2km (1.2 miles). The best no-traffic, long-distance runs -- flat, long, and mostly tree-lined -- are found at Stromovka or Divoká Sárka parks.
If you want to run through central Prague, use the traffic-restricted walking zones as often as you can. For an approximately 2.5km (1.5-mile) circuit, start at Mustek at the end of Wenceslas Square, run down Na Príkope through the Powder Tower (Prasná brána) to Celetná Street all the way to Old Town Square, run around the Hus monument, run back to Zelezná Street past the Estates' Theater on to Rytírská Street, and run back to Mustek. This route is virtually free of cars, and your feet will be pounding the bricks. Try running in early morning or late evening when the streets aren't packed with crowds.
The Prague International Marathon -- The Prague International Marathon (PIM), Prague's premier annual civic-pride event, has grown by leaps and bounds since it was first run in 1995. The 42.2km (26.2-mile) race attracted just under 1,000 runners in its first year, but now the race traditionally brings in several thousand. That number combined with the Fun Run, a 4.2km (2.6-mile) race for families, totals about 40,000 people or more.
Many come to take advantage of the unique chance to run through Prague's cobblestone streets without having to dodge Skodas and trams. Others, especially nonrunners, love the festive atmosphere in Old Town Square, the music groups that line the race routes, and, of course, the great Czech beer that flows across the finish line.
The marathon route takes runners through the very heart of old Prague. The final stage of the race winds through the quirky streets of Old Town and eventually ends back at Old Town Square. Public transport on race day is free for participants who show their start number. A free massage and plenty of affordable pivo (beer) is available in the finish area, along with many other energy-restoring liquids.
For those who would like to give it a shot, the race takes place in mid-May, starting in Old Town Square (Staromestské nám.). Marathoners can register for the race in person at the PIM EXPO, at Záhoranského 3, Prague 2, or in advance online at www.praguemarathon.com. The registration fee for the full marathon is about 1,750Kc; for family fun runs, the cost is about 300Kc.
Summer doesn't last long in Prague, and when it arrives, many city dwellers are only too happy to cool off in one of the city's many pools. The Dzbán Reservoir, in the Divoká Sárka nature reserve, Prague 6. Dzbán is fronted by a grassy "beach" that can -- and often does -- accommodate hundreds of bathers. There's a special section for nude swimming and sunbathing. To reach Sárka, take tram no. 26 from the Dejvická metro station. If you prefer a swimming pool or the weather doesn't cooperate, visit one of Prague's best aqua centers. The Letnany Lagoon, Tupolevova 665, Prague 9-Letnany (tel. 283-921-799; www.letnanylagoon.cz), has a full-length pool as well as Jacuzzi and toboggan, which is a good fun for the whole family. You can also get a little refreshment and a drink while around the pool. The Lagoon is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 6 to 9am and noon to 10pm; Tuesday 7 to 9am and 4 to 10pm; Thursday 7 to 9am and noon to 10pm; Saturday and Sunday 9am to 10pm. Admission is 140Kc adults, 100Kc students. To get there take bus no. 140, 186, or 195 from metro line C Letnany station to the Tupolevova stop.
At the First Czech Lawn-Tennis Club Prague at Stvanice Island (tel. 222-316-317; www.cltk.cz), you can play on the courts where Martina Navrátilová and Ivan Lendl trained. The rental rate is from 360Kc to 720Kc per hour per covered court.
Yoga's popularity has been growing rapidly in Prague, and yoga classes are now on the menu at most fitness centers. One standout is Lotus Center, on Dlouhá 2, Prague 1 (tel. 774-421-097; www.centrumlotus.cz), which offers classes in English for 80Kc to 120Kc.