Best places to rock climb indoors in Prague

Are you climbing the walls during the hot weather spell? Channel your energy into a healthy activity that's well represented in Prague.

Maegan Comer

Written by Maegan Comer Published on 21.07.2023 15:00:00 (updated on 31.07.2023) Reading time: 4 minutes

This is part of a series of student articles written as part of a journalism course at Anglo-American University in Prague.

Whether you’re looking to try a new hobby or are already an avid climber in search of a place to practice, Prague is the place for you. Considering the unpredictable weather and inconvenient proximity to outdoor rock formations, Prague’s lively climbing scene boasts indoor gyms for every climbing type and skill level.

Indoor climbing is a safe and comfortable way for new climbers to familiarize themselves with the basics of different climbing styles before facing the elements in outdoor climbs. With indoor climbs, individuals are surrounded by built-in crash pads, accessible equipment, and like-minded climbers. Prague’s Smichoff Climbing Center, HUDY Boulder Karlin, Boulder Bar, and Big Wall climbing gyms are all dedicated to providing safe and fun climbing experiences to climbers of all abilities.

Smichoff Climbing Center

As the name suggests, Smichoff is conveniently located in the Smíchov district of Prague 5, just a twenty-minute walk south of the Anděl metro and tram stop. For adrenaline junkies, Smichoff’s towering ceilings allow for climbs up to 16 meters high. But with a lead climb, top rope, auto-belay routes, and a large bouldering room hosting over 170 routes, there’s something for everyone. There’s even a fully stocked café offering drinks and snacks for that post-climb reward. 

Entry fees for adults range from CZK 90 to 240 depending on the time of entry, with reduced fees for students and seniors. Be aware that weekends and evenings tend to be the busiest times at Smichoff, and climbers may have to wait for their turn on certain routes. Harnesses, climbing shoes, ropes, and more equipment are also available for rent upon arrival. For those looking for a bit more guidance, Smichoff offers individual and group climbing lessons in all climbing types, also available in English.

HUDY Boulder Karlin

The newest of Prague’s indoor climbing gyms, HUDY Boulder Karlin is a fresh bouldering hall for climbers of any skill level. The gym boasts 655 square meters of climbing, consisting of over 160 routes, which makes it the largest bouldering arena in Prague. HUDY’s roomy capacity keeps the gym from feeling crowded, no matter the time of day. The locker facilities, warm-up room, and snack bar also feature modern finishes making the gym feel like a comfortable escape. 

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Apartment for rent, 1+KK - Studio, 29m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 1+KK - Studio, 29m2

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Family house for sale, 261m2, 1916m2 of land

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Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 59m2

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Sarah Gido, an American student in Prague, has been indoor rock climbing for almost two years. Gido appreciates the atmosphere and variety of climbs in the HUDY Boulder Karlin. “Since the gym is so new, it feels really clean, and it’s nice to have so many types of climbs from overhangs to big slabs,” said Gido.

However, the size and novelty of HUDY do come at a cost: a standard admission 3-hour session for adults costs CZK 250 and CZK 200 for students. More expensive than many of the other climbing gyms in Prague, HUDY may be worth it for climbers looking to follow the boulder routes endorsed by world-renowned Czech climber Adam Ondra.

Boulder Bar

Boulder Bar is a hidden gem tucked away just across from Prague 7’s Stromovka Park. While the gym is relatively small, its newly renovated features include updated safety mats, secure holds, and hangboards for practice. To one side of the gym, cave climbs reside in an overhang structure across from several slab walls situated perpendicular to the floor. But with climbs clearly marked in a colored grading system, Boulder Bar is the perfect place for climbers of any skill to practice.

Boulder Bar also features a bar at the entrance for athletes to fuel up or relax after a climbing session. Entrance to Boulder Bar is on the cheaper side for indoor climbing gyms in Prague, charging CZK 180 for adults and CZK 160 for students. 

Big Wall

Located near the O2 Arena in Prague 9, Big Wall is a lead climbers' paradise. The main hall boasts ceilings of up to 20 meters for climbers looking to test their fear of heights. Across 3,000 meters of climbing surface, athletes will find many verticals, including diversified joints, chimneys, and slightly overhanging structures. For those not quite ready for the daunting task of lead climbing, however, Big Wall also offers a few pre-set top rope climbs and a bouldering space of over 300 square meters. 

Local student and dedicated climber Simone Stansbury enjoys Big Wall for the extra height challenge when lead climbing. “I also like that the gym is smaller and less busy than others in Prague that have rope climbs because there's less competition for getting in climbs,” said Stansbury. 

Photo via Twitter/@BigWall Praha
Photo via Twitter/@BigWall Praha

Day pass admission to Big Wall is CZK 220 for adults and CZK 190 for students, with all necessary equipment also available for rent. Like Smichoff, Big Wall also offers individual or group courses with experienced instructors so that you can climb with confidence and safety in mind.

While outdoor climbing may not be the most practical option for busy people living in a metropolitan area like Prague, the abundance of indoor rock climbing spaces make regular practice possible. So grab a friend, head to one of Prague’s indoor climbing gyms, and climb on!

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