Prague hotel restricts public access to its not-so-secret cable car due to popularity

The hotel is now limiting cable car access to members of the public to certain hours

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 26.09.2019 12:03:17 (updated on 26.09.2019) Reading time: 2 minutes

The cable car from a hotel in Smíchov up to a nearby hilltop with a pleasant view used to be one of Prague’s little secrets. But since its renovation last year, it has become too popular.

The hotel is now
limiting access to members of the public who are not hotel guests to
certain hours: 10:30 am to 11:30 am, 3 pm to 6 pm, and 10 pm to
midnight.

The
sideways-traveling elevator goes from Hotel NH Prague City on
Mozartova Street up to the top of Mrázovka Hill. It has been more
popular with the public than with hotel guests.

cable car
Hotel NH Prague City cable car. via Raymond Johnston

“Due to the high
interest of the public in transportation by the sloping elevator at
the expense of hotel guests, we had to regulate traffic for the
public. The main reason was the security risk that arose from the
unrestricted movement of non-hotel persons inside the hotel,” hotel
CEO Petr Nešpůrek said, according to press reports.

The lift makes it
easy for people living on Mrázovka Hill on to travel home or to the
city center, while offering a unique view of the city. It has also
been popular with tourists and Prague residents due to it being
mentioned in a video by the Honest Guide. The series has over half a
million subscribers on YouTube. The particular video has had 546,000
views.

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Original red cable car, before the renovation.

There is little
public transport going to the top of Mrázovka, and a trip to Anděl
by pensioners or parents with baby carriage can be quite difficult
without using the cable car.

Last April the hotel
replaced the cable car with a new one that is faster and more modern,
as the previous one had gone beyond its planned lifespan. The upgrade
cost some 30 million CZK.

The original car
transported 14 million passengers in 3,735,790 trips during 22 years.

View from inside the cable car. via Raymond Johnston

The most notable
difference after the renovation is that the new car is a metallic
gray, while the previous one was red and vaguely resembled a British
phone booth. Four metal cables pull the booth sideways up the hill on
a fixed track. Paths in the park go under the track, so pedestrians
are not inconvenienced.

The new car was
designed by Swiss company Inauen-Schätti. It travels at about 9 km
per hour, but the trip is only 156 meters and takes about a minute
and a half. The cabin holds 12 people, the same as before, even
though it is slightly larger.

This is not the first time an attraction mentioned in an Honest Guide video has become too popular. Prague City Hall has limited access to its paternoster, a type of elevator that has no doors and does not stop. Turnstiles were installed at the service entrance, facing Old Town Square, because tourists were coming in drunk or people had strollers, which are not allowed in the cabins for safety reasons. Only city employees or disabled people can use the service entrance now.

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