“Prague won’t let you go, the little mother has claws,” so said Franz Kafka, the capital’s most famous son.
And while Franz Kafka obviously had a deeper connection with the city, once you’ve been to Prague, it doesn’t quite let you go. One moment you’re walking to work, running through your never-ending to-do list in your mind, when a sight of an old rusty street lamp brings you back to Prague’s narrow and dimly-lit cobbled streets, the smell of roasted duck intermingling with the sweet aroma of cinnamon, strains of classical music and that unmistakable sound of clinking beer mugs spilling out onto the streets.
There’s much to love about Prague. While it is certainly a grand example of an old medieval city, with centuries’ worth of Gothic, Romantic, and Baroque architectures splendidly preserved and standing proudly after world wars, fires, and natural calamities failed to bring them down, there’s also always something new going on in the city. It could be a new row of restaurants, a new edgy café in an up-and-coming neighborhood, or a new quirky art installation.
All these led to the Prague of today: a city that goes from medieval to modern, conventional to quirky, historic to hipster, and sacred to scandalous in a few blocks.
So it goes that your experiences in Prague can depend heavily on which neighborhood you choose to spend your days and nights. Whether you’re up for a crash course in European history and arts, a romantic holiday peppered with food and shopping trips, or you’re here for the beer, there’s a lovely Prague district that won’t let you go.
Where to stay in Prague – neighborhood guide and best hotels
Quick tips – choosing the best place to stay in Prague
- If you want to easily explore Prague’s cultural and historical highlights, stay in either the Old Town or the Lesser Town. These are both gorgeous and convenient neighborhoods, especially for first-time visitors and those staying for 1-3 nights only. You’ll be within walking distance of some of the best must-see landmarks in Prague, and you almost won’t need to take public transportation.
- If you want to mix up your cultural sightseeing with a bit of shopping and fine dining, stay in Prague’s New Town. The atmosphere here is incredibly chic and energetic, with plenty of shops, dining boulevards, and art galleries.
- If you want a relaxed stay away from the crowds, stay in Vinohrady. The neighborhood has a casual, cozy vibe that will make you feel right at home in Prague. You’ll get to explore plenty of cafes, local markets, and green spaces for that ultimate laidback holiday.
- If you’re here for the beer, stay in Zizkov. This is where you’ll find the highest number of pubs per capita of any district in Europe! The place also has an interesting mix of restaurants and coffee shops, plus a badass history.
Still can’t narrow it down? Take this fun quiz and we’ll tell you the best Prague neighborhood for you.
Quiz: Where to stay in Prague
Map – Prague’s best neighborhoods, hotels, and destinations
Use this map to visit Prague’s top destinations and choose the best hotel for your itinerary. You can also find a comprehensive travel guide to Prague here.
Prague 1 encompasses the city’s historic and geographic center. Within this district, you’ll find several smaller neighborhoods, each with its own appeal and character.
Generally, Prague 1 is a great place for short stays and first-time visitors who want to cover the major must-see landmarks. Hotels in Prague 1 are convenient and right in the center of everything. If you stay here, you almost won’t need to use the public transportation.
On the other hand, Prague 1 is the touristy part of the city. Accommodations and restaurants are pricier here than the rest of the city, so if you’re planning to stay for a while or want a less touristy experience of the city, you’re better off looking for accommodations in the other neighborhoods. Another good way to go is to spend the first few nights of your stay in Prague 1, then transfer to another neighborhood.
We’ll look at three neighborhoods in Prague 1: the Old Town (or Staré Město), Lesser Town (or Malá Strana), and the New Town (or Nové Město).
The Old Town has been the heart of Prague since the 10th century. Original buildings of Romanesque and Gothic origin decorate the Old Town’s skyline and Prague’s most important and famous landmark, the Charles Bridge, starts from the Old Town.
If you choose to stay at a hotel in Prague’s Old Town, most of the historic landmarks will be within a 5-10-minute walking distance. You’re also more likely to beat the crowds to Charles Bridge for a shot of the gorgeous bridge at dawn. Most traditional shops and restaurants are also around the Old Town, including some of the city’s best fine dining and exclusive restaurants.
Where to stay in Prague’s Old Town (Prague 1) – top recommendations
★Travelers’ Pick: Ventana Hotel is a luxurious boutique hotel right at the Old Town Square and one of Prague’s best hotels. A stay in this Neo-Renaissance-style palace will make you feel like royalty – enjoy views of the Tyn Cathedral and the Old Town while lounging in your gorgeous room, partake of the hotel’s delicious breakfast, and be pampered by the staff’s superb customer service. You can also arrive in any fashion as the hotel offers parking and an airport shuttle service, and it’s near the Náměstí Republiky metro station on Line B. Double rooms start at USD 200.
If you’re traveling with a big party, you might want to check out Apartment Pařížská. You can get a studio with a terrace overlooking the hip shopping street of Pařížská or a spacious two-bedroom apartment that can comfortably fit four. This vacation rental is very near the Old Town Square, and within walking distance of Staroměstská Metro Station, Prague Castle, and Wenceslas Square. Pařížská street itself is lined with boutique shops, restaurants, and café bars so you’ll have plenty to do at all hours. Apartments start at USD 230 while studios are at USD 130.
For budget accommodations in Prague’s Old Town, check out DREAM Hostel. This is especially great for solo travelers and digital nomads who are looking forward to meeting locals and discovering the city’s offbeat spots – they host meetup events and run free “anti-tours” for their guests. The hostel is right in the center of the city and its bright interiors and modern amenities are certainly a step-up from your usual drabby hostel. Prices remain down-to-earth, though, starting at USD 25 for a bed.
Quick tips for exploring Prague’s Old Town neighborhood
- What to see and do: The Old Town is home to most of Prague’s historic landmarks so you’ll have plenty to see and do. Take time to appreciate and understand the Astronomical Clock, visit the Klementinum (the world’s most beautiful library!), walk along Charles Bridge, or take a cruise along the Vltava river.
- Where to eat: For Prague’s best fine dining, check out La Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise, a Michelin star-awarded restaurant in Haštalská 18, Prague 1. For something more down-to-earth, check out Lokál Dlouhááá at Dlouha 33, a hip restaurant serving traditional Czech dishes at friendly prices. For traditional Czech cuisine paired with local craft beer, book a seat aboard the Lod’ Pivovar.
- Where to drink: For coffee and chocolate, pop by Choco Café U Červené židle at Liliová 4/250.
- You can find a comprehensive guide to touring Prague’s Old Town here.
On the other side of Vltava river across the Old Town, you’ll find Prague’s Lesser Town or Malá Strana.
This is Prague’s historic castle district – still in the center of Prague, but less touristy than the Old Town. The neighborhood is dominated by Baroque architecture and old, small streets.
This is a particularly great spot for honeymoons and romantic trips, especially if you’re willing to splurge a bit for romantic views of the city. Walk up the castle complex and enjoy the views from the St. Vitus Cathedral, walk around the Wallenstein Palace and keep an eye out for the gorgeous albino peacock, have a little picnic at the Petřín Hill, then end the night with a stroll along the Vltava river.
And if you decide to peel your eyes off your companion, Prague’s must-see landmarks are just a 10-15 minute walk away.
Where to stay in Malá Strana, Prague’s Lesser Town – top recommendations
★Travelers’ Pick: Malá Strana is for lovers and the best hotel for a romantic getaway is the Bishop Hotel. This gorgeous design hotel was first established in the 16th century and was recently renovated in 2015 (so no need to worry about medieval cobwebs). Their bright and modern rooms, delicious breakfasts, and luxurious amenities are guaranteed to make you swoon. It’s also perfectly located – near the Charles Bridge and Vltava river, and a short walk from the Prague castle. Double rooms start at USD 170 – it gets booked up quite fast so be sure to reserve in advance.
For bigger parties, check out Residence U Mecenáše. They offer spacious suites for four starting at USD 250, which are all equipped with a fully-functioning kitchen. They also have an in-house restaurant with great food.
For budget accommodations in Malá Strana, check out Little Quarter Hostel. Beds start at USD 15 and you get to stay in a historic building with modern amenities. If you’re one of those travelers that never sleep, you can also enjoy the hostel’s night bar and lounge area.
Quick tips for exploring Malá Strana’s romantic neighborhood
- What to see and do: The Lesser Town is a quaint and romantic part of Prague, perfect for leisurely walks. You can get great views of the city from the Prague castle complex as well as Petrin hill, or pop in and out of boutique shops along the twisted streets of Malá Strana.
- Where to eat and drink: If you’re craving light comfort food, check out Cukrkávalimonáda. If you’d rather partake of the famous Czech beers, Mlýnská Kavárna couples beautiful views of the Vltava and the Old Town with an extensive drinks list. If you want the full-on traditional Prague experience, visit Cafe Savoy or U Modré Kachničky.
The New Town is Prague’s main commercial district and an ideal base for shoppers and culture vultures. You’ll find the newest and most chic shopping centers and restaurants here, including Na příkopě street, an upscale shopping and dining boulevard along the city’s former medieval moat.
If you’re into fine and modern art, you’ll also be near plenty of theatres, museums, and galleries. The area is also great for nightlife and entertainment, so you definitely won’t be bored when you stay here.
Where to stay in Prague’s New Town / near Wenceslas Square – top recommendations
★Travelers’ Pick: If you’re drawn to the New Town’s modern and fresh vibe, stay at BoHo Prague Hotel. It’s a small luxurious hotel where you can enjoy modern amenities, contemporary design, and international meals – the perfect cosmopolitan experience after a day of shopping and cultural sightseeing. It’s in the center of the New Town and not very far from the Old Town, so you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
For apartments near Wenceslas Square, check out Wenceslas Square Terraces. It’s right by Wenceslas Square so you’ll be spoilt for choice if you plan to shop and eat. Spacious apartments with great views of the city fit four and start at USD 200.
For budget accommodations in Prague’s New Town, check out Hostel Downtown. It’s a great choice for those wanting to meet locals and fellow travelers as the staff frequently organize food events and night tours. Beds start at USD 36.
Quick tips for exploring Prague’s vibrant New Town
- What to see and do: The New Town is a great area for high-end shopping. A walk down the posh Na příkopě street can easily take half a day. If you want to watch an opera, check out performances at the Estate Theatre here.
- Where to eat and drink: You’ll find lots of dining options around the Wenceslas Square. If you’re up for something fancy, visit La Rotonde. For something more casual, check out Café Svatého Václava. If you feel like a drink (or two), head over to Rocky O’Reilly’s Irish bar.
If you’re looking for a laidback city experience but at the same time would like to be still close to most of the tourist attractions, consider staying in Vinohrady – Prague’s expat central and coveted residence for the city’s young professionals.
Vinohrady is the perfect base for those who want a mix of must-sees and offbeat destinations. It’s also a perfect destination for foodies – you’ll find a lot of specialty cafés in the area, as well as international cuisine. You can also visit the Jiřák Farmers’ Market.
A walk around the neighborhood is a refreshing adventure in itself. You’ll be treated to gorgeous Art Deco houses, an expanse of parks and canopied streets, the smell of freshly baked bread and brewed coffee – all blending in a perfect suburb vibe. You might just want to move here and start a family.
It’s the ideal spot if you’re staying in Prague for longer (5 days or more) or traveling slower. The accommodations in Vinohrady are definitely more affordable than those in the city center. If you’re also keen on running into like-minded expats (perhaps to get ideas on how to stay in Prague for longer?), this is where they are.
Where to stay in Vinohrady – top recommendations
★Travelers’ Pick: To complement Vinohrady’s subtle grandeur, stay in a luxurious art hotel. Le Palais Art Hotel is a great example of Belle Époque architecture, featuring contemporary art exhibitions in the lobby, fitness and spa facilities, and a gourmet restaurant – the Le Papillon – that’s an experience it itself. With double rooms starting at USD 160, it’s a great value that’s pretty hard to find elsewhere in the city.
To get that authentic local feel, also look into apartments like Vinohradský dům. Their fully equipped apartments are a great base to do some home cooking – a food market is right beside the apartment, too! Two-bedroom apartments good for four adults start at USD 150 a night.
For budget accommodations in Vinohrady, Prague, check out Post Hostel Prague. They have spacious and clean rooms plus daily walking tours of the city. Beds start at USD 25.
Quick tips for exploring Prague’s Vinohrady neighborhood
- What to see and do: Vinohrady houses several notable architectural gems. The Church of the Most Sacred Heart of our Lord in Jiriho z Podebrad square has the biggest clock face in Central Europe, while the Vinohrady Theatre built in Art Deco style oozes of opulence and reminds us of the area’s glamorous past. Take some time to enjoy the views and visit Prague’s biggest beer garden in Riegrovy sady, especially if you’re visiting in the summer.
- Where to eat and drink: Vinohrady is a foodie heaven. Expect a more international fare, including Aromi, a great place for Italian food. If you’re looking for a pub atmosphere, check out Vinohradsky Pivovar, the district’s very own brewery. If you’re up for home-cooked brunch, pick up your goods at the Jiřák Farmers’ Market. (Top tip: If you’re into learning cuisine when you travel, check out this Czech cuisine cooking class and farmer’s market visit!)
If you want to be in a gorgeous, green neighborhood, stay in Vysehrad
Another gorgeous neighborhood in Prague’s district 2 is Vyšehrad, a neighborhood on the foot of the Vyšehrad complex. This is a historic fort built on a hill over the Vltava river, where you can visit some of Prague’s oldest surviving buildings.
The Vyšehrad is ideal for nature lovers and those who prefer to live in a green neighborhood. You’ll also be within walking distance of the Vltava river as well as several parks.
Where to stay in Vyšehrad – top recommendations
★Travelers’ Pick: The second district is dominated by Art Deco buildings, and Park Inn Hotel is a fine example. Just a short distance from Vltava river and the Vyšehrad, this modern hotel is a great base for your travels around Prague. Double rooms start at USD 170.
For bigger parties, check out the Albertov Apartments. With a well-equipped kitchen, facilities for little children, on-site restaurant, and private parking spots, you’ll be able to stay in Prague in comfort. Studios start at USD 150.
Quick tips for exploring Prague’s Vyšehrad neighborhood
- What to see and do: A visit to the Vyšehrad fort is, of course, a must. On a good day, you can rent a bike and go through the Vyšehrad-Zbraslav cycling trail. You’ll also be quite near to the New Town so you can hop over there for some shopping and dining.
Not only does it have a badass past, but it currently has the highest number of pubs per capita of any city district in Europe!
The “Free Republic of Žižkov,” as it used to be called thanks to its stark contrast to the rest of Prague, was historically a working class district and known as a “bad neighborhood” – a reputation that the residents are quite proud of and that spread across the entire Czechoslovakia, even inspiring several literary works.
Since World War 2, however, Žižkov, like the rest of Prague, underwent massive restorations and renewals. After its gentrification, it started to attract a new breed of residents, who in turn supported the new cafes and restaurants that started popping up all around the district.
If you choose this neighborhood, you’ll also be near the 216-meter-high Žižkov Television Tower where you can have an overlooking view of Prague.
Where to stay in Žižkov (Prague 3) – top recommendations
★Travelers’ Pick: If you’re looking for great value in an exciting neighborhood, check out Carlton Hotel. It’s only 3 tram stops away from the city center, plus you’ll be living in a great area with lots of food choices and pubs. Double rooms start at USD 100.
For bigger parties, check out Vlkova Palace for bright, spacious, well-equipped apartments. It’s pretty much a one-stop shop as you can avail of airport shuttle services from the apartment concierge, as well as get a rental car. One-bedroom apartments start at USD 80 (they’re quite a steal!) – they also have bigger apartments so check them out for your next family holiday.
For budget accommodations in Žižkov, Prague, check out Chill Hill Apartments. Yes, they’re as cool as their name, with bright rooms, modern amenities, and beds that start at USD 20.
Quick tips for exploring Prague’s Žižkov neighborhood
What to see and do: A visit to the Žižkov Television Tower is a must. Now Prague’s tallest observation deck, it was originally built to block TV transmissions from the west during the communist era. Also check out the Hunt Kastner Gallery for Czech art and relax at the Parukarka Park.
Where to eat and drink: If you want to go for a drink, you’re in the right place. You’ll find bars everywhere in Žižkov. Try U Kurelu for classic and craft Czech beers and Malkovich Bar for cocktails. Or better yet, join a beer and tapas tour!
If you’re in Prague for business, stay in Smíchov
Apart from the city center in Prague 1, Smíchov is one of the most convenient areas to stay. It’s near the Malá Strana, Petřín Park and the Vltava River. This is also where tramlines converge, making transportation to any part of the city really convenient.
You can find some of the city’s biggest shopping centers here. It’s also a great option for business travelers to Prague as most international companies’ headquarters are here and parking is quite easy. Don’t forget to eat at Lavande Restaurant!
Where to stay in Smíchov – top recommendations
★Travelers’ Pick: For a romantic, affordable hotel in a great location, book at Hotel Julian. It’s located between the romantic Malá Strana and the convenient Andel center, has wellness amenities, a rooftop terrace, and an in-house restaurant serving Czech cuisine. If you can’t quite splurge on the luxury hotels in Malá Strana but would like a taste of the area’s romance, this is the hotel for you. Double rooms start at USD 120.
For longer stays or bigger rooms, book an apartment with Remember Residence. They have fully-furnished apartments with spacious rooms and great views of the city. Guests who stay here end up staying longer! Apartments for four start at USD 150.
If you’re set on having the most authentic Prague experience in a short time, the Karlín district will give you a pretty good taste of what it’s like to live in Prague. Some of the locals’ favorite cafes, restaurants, and bars are in this neighborhood, and the city center isn’t too far away either.
Check out the neighborhood’s bustling coffee scene – a good place to start is the ultra-hipster Můj šálek kávy.
Where to stay in Karlín – top recommendations
★Travelers’ Pick: The great thing about staying in Karlín is that you get to stay in a really luxurious hotel at a fraction of what it costs to stay in the city center. Hotel Royal Prague will have you feeling like royalty with their beautiful and new rooms, spa and wellness center, and superb customer service. Double rooms start at only USD 160.
For that truly authentic living-like-a-local vibe, stay at one of the many apartments in Karlín. For great amenities and a prime location, check out Best Residence Expo. Apartments for four start at USD 100.
Tips for your stay – Choosing your accommodations in Prague
- Prague 1 is a great base, especially for first-time visitors and those staying for 1-3 nights only. You’ll be within walking distance of some of the best must-see landmarks in Prague, and you almost won’t need to take the public transportation.
- However, take note that Prague is well-connected by public transportation, so if you’re staying for longer than 3-5 days, you can look into neighborhoods outside Prague’s city center. You’ll get better hotel deals and a less touristy experience.
- Check that the hotel you are considering is near a metro station. The hotel recommendations on this guide are all in convenient locations and within walking distance of a metro station or a tram stop.
- Book at least a few nights’ stay in advance. Prague never goes out of season, and while you probably won’t run out of rooms, it’s not super fun to go from hotel door to hotel door with your luggage in tow as you look for a room.
Read next – planning your trip to Central Europe
Here are more travel guides to the Czech Republic and the rest of Central Europe to help you plan your trip:
A quick itinerary for first-time travelers to the Czech Republic. You’ll also find a comprehensive guide to Prague’s must-see landmarks here.
There’s more to Czech Republic than Prague! If you’re wondering what else there is to see in this ultimately fascinating country, check out these two destinations that will surely leave you pining and plotting your return!
South Moravia is Czech Republic’s wine region and perfect for wine enthusiasts as well as nature and adventure lovers. Cesky Krumlov, on the other hand, is a South Bohemian gem that will surely make you fall in love with the region. Check out the pictures on the travel guide, and I’m pretty sure you’ll be struggling to make room for it in your itinerary.
Vienna, Austria’s capital, is a must-visit in Central Europe. It’s a quick 4-hour train ride from Prague, but plan to stay for at least 2-3 days. There’s a lot to see and experience in this imperial city.
Add an adventurous twist to your Central European holiday by driving from Prague to Vienna. You’ll get to see the two magnificent capitals and explore the gorgeous countryside. Go from one charming medieval town to another, visit fairytale castles and mysterious enclaves, and enjoy spectacular views through floral fields, plains, and vineyards.
Head to Hungary’s capital, Budapest for historic landmarks, breathtaking views, plenty of shopping and dining options, and a vibrant nightlife.
I hope this guide helps you choose the best place to stay in Prague! It’s seriously one of my favorite cities of all time and encourage every traveler to Central Europe to stop by this gorgeous city.
If you found this helpful, please bookmark and share this post with friends traveling to the Czech Republic soon. Thanks for reading!
First published: May 10, 2017
Last updated: September 5, 2018 – added trip-planning information, updated recommendations