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With its towering spires, charming cobblestone streets, and rich history, Prague is a must-visit destination for any adventurer. Whether you come for the historical attractions, luxurious hotel experiences, or the ample cheap beer, I implore you to visit my beloved Praha (Czech for Prague). This incredible city took my breath away from the moment I met it, and I know it will do the same for you.
Prague is undeniably a city that has captured my heart, and as a seasoned traveler, I understand the tricky notion of finding the perfect home base. One thing is sure about visiting the City of a Hundred Spires: deciding where to stay in Prague can be challenging.
There are so many gorgeous hotels within walking distance of so much the city offers; it’s an intimidating prospect. But worry not, as I’ve done the groundwork for you. Wherever you stay in Prague, I hope you will have fallen zamilovaný (in love) by the end of your trip.
- TL;DR: Best Places to Stay in Prague
- TL;DR: Best Areas to Stay in Prague
- Where to Stay in Prague
- 1. Staré Město/Old Town – The Historic Heart of Prague
- 2. Vinohrady – A Tranquil Retreat Near the City Center
- 3. Malá Strana/Lesser Town – Historic Charm Meets Serenity
- 4. Holešovice – The Avant-Garde and Creative Hub
- 5. Žižkov – A Lively Alternative Neighborhood
- 6. Josefov/The Old Jewish Quarter – Best Area for History
- 7. Nové Město/New Town – Bustling Businesses and Attractions
- 8. Smíchov – Less Touristy and Well-Connected
- 9. Hradčany/Castle District – Historic and Naturally Beautiful
- 10. Karlín – Budget Friendly, Hip, and Artsy
- How to Get Around Prague
- Tips for First-Time Visitors to Prague
- What are the best neighborhoods to stay in Prague?
- What are the best hotels in Prague Old Town?
- What are some unique and cool places to stay in Prague?
TL;DR: Best Places to Stay in Prague
- Best Luxury Hotel in Prague – Four Seasons Hotel Prague
- Best Mid-Range Hotel in Prague – MOODs Charles Bridge Hotel
- Best Budget Hotel in Prague – The RoadHouse Prague
- Best Vacation Rental in Prague – This modern apartment
- Best Resort in Prague – The Augustine, a Luxury Collection Hotel
- Best Family-Friendly Hotel in Prague – Old Royal Post Hotel
TL;DR: Best Areas to Stay in Prague
- Best area for first-timers/tourists: Staré Město (Old Town)
- Best area for budget travelers: Žižkov
- Best area for luxury travelers: Malá Strana (Lesser Town)
- Best area for families: Nové Město (New Town)
- Best area for adventures: Karlín
- Best area for nightlife: Staré Město (Old Town) or Nové Město (New Town)
- Best area for younger travelers: Žižkov
Where to Stay in Prague
1. Staré Město/Old Town – The Historic Heart of Prague
Let’s start our journey in historic Prague – Staré Město/Old Town. Each cobblestone in this historic neighborhood has a story to tell from the past.
Although it may get crowded during peak tourist season, the bustling energy of the area is part of its charm. The Old Town neighborhood is a maze of medieval streets, charming alleys, and unique historic architecture.
Old Town Square, in particular, is one of those tourist attractions you must see. With its vibrant bars and restaurants and the famous Prague Orloj – Prague’s 14th-century astronomical clock that has stood the test of time (chortle).
You can even take an underground tour and see the astronomical clock, a highlight of my time in Prague. This area of the Golden City has many other things to see, including the stunning St. Nicholas Church and the iconic Charles Bridge. The best part is that everything is within walking distance.
There are plenty of bars, cafes, and restaurants in this lively area, especially around Old Town Square. However, be prepared for crowds during peak tourist season, and remember that everything around Old Town Square tends to be touristy and overpriced. So keep that in mind.
If you like to travel in style, this is also your best bet to find all the most well-known luxury hotels, such as the Four Seasons Prague. It’s ideal for a luxurious escape.
Four Seasons offers unbeatable views of the Vltava River and Prague Castle while delivering unparalleled service and decadent accommodations. It is one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever stayed in, hands down.
Old Town Highlights:
- Old Town Square
- Old Town Hall Tower (that miraculously survived bombings in World War II)
- Astronomical Clock
- St. Nicholas Church
- Charles Bridge
- Underground tours
Best hotels in Old Town:
- Best Hostel in Old Town: Czech Inn
- Best Budget Hotel in Old Town: MOODs Charles Bridge
- Best Mid-Range Hotel in Old Town: The RoadHouse Prague
- Best Luxury Hotel in Old Town: Four Seasons Prague
2. Vinohrady – A Tranquil Retreat Near the City Center
The lush Vinohrady awaits you if you’re seeking a more relaxed atmosphere not far from Old Town. With its soothing shades of green and residential aura, this neighborhood is just a few metro or bus stops from the Prague city center. It’s an energetic hub for the LGBTQIA community, teeming with cozy cafes, trendy bars, gay clubs, and exquisite restaurants.
Architecture around here is a feast for the eyes, with impressive Art Deco as well as Art Nouveau buildings standing tall amidst the verdant spaces. And if you love nature, the nearby Riegrovy Sady Park offers a tranquil retreat with stunning city views.
This neighborhood offers a residential, less touristy experience. Trendy Vinohrady isn’t bustling with tourist attractions (or tourists), yet it is no less worthy of a visit. Particularly after a night of pub crawling through Old Town Square, you may want to take it easy over in Vinohrady.
Since Vinohrady isn’t touristy central Prague, there aren’t many hotels. What you’ll find instead is a themed boutique hotel.
One such spot is the Alfons Boutique Hotel, an artsy and Art Deco-y place with spacious rooms to stay in Prague. Its across-the-street proximity to a metro station, gorgeous rooms, and complimentary breakfast make it an excellent place for anyone spending time in Prague’s trendy neighborhood.
- Art Nouveau and Art Deco architecture
- Riegrovy Sady Park
- Bazilika sv. Ludmily or The Basilica of St. Ludmila
- Peace Square or Náměstí Míru
- Enjoy a tour of non-touristy Prague
- National House of Vinohrady
- Visit the Czech Beer Museum
Best hotels in Vinohrady:
- Best Budget Hotel in Vinohrady: Hotel Lunik
- Best Mid-Range Hotel in Vinohrady: Alfons Boutique Hotel
- Best Luxury Hotel in Vinohrady: Hotel St. George
- Best Couples Vacation Rental in Vinohrady: This modern apartment
- Best family Vacation Rental in Vinohrady: Apartments Emma
3. Malá Strana/Lesser Town – Historic Charm Meets Serenity
Crossing the Charles Bridge from Old Town, you will find yourself in the enchanting Malá Strana, Little Quarter, or Lesser Town. The Lesser Town nickname hardly does justice to its allure, though it refers to its positionality in the city beneath the Prague Castle complex.
This neighborhood is steeped in history! Visit the Franz Kafka Museum and enjoy stunning Baroque architecture, quaint cafes, and charming boutiques.
Take a moment to explore the peaceful Waldstein/Wallenstein Garden or immerse yourself in a thousand years of history at Prague Castle, the largest ancient castle in the world. The castle is also where you’ll find locations like St. Vitus Cathedral and the Royal Palace.
Please don’t go uninformed as I did and expect a leisurely tour; this is a massive complex that will take you at least a few hours to appreciate genuinely. And if you visit in the summer — bring water.
Walking through the picturesque streets, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking city views and plenty of photo opportunities. The Baroque buildings are sights to behold and don’t hesitate to visit one of the many Bohemian glass shops.
This Little Quarter is the best place to escape the hustle and bustle of Old Town Square without losing any of that historical energy. It’s a perfect balance.
You don’t need to worry as much about where to stay in Prague from Lesser Town as there are plenty of hotels here to choose from. One mid-range hotel is the Old Royal Post Hotel, which is terrific for families because of its spacious rooms and private kitchen areas.
Lesser Town Highlights:
Best hotels in Lesser Town:
- Best Budget Hotel in Lesser Town: U Schnellů
- Best Mid-Range Hotel in Lesser Town: Old Royal Post Hotel
- Best Luxury Hotel in Lesser Town: Aria Hotel Prague
See Related: Most Famous Landmarks in the Czech Republic
4. Holešovice – The Avant-Garde and Creative Hub
Holešovice, situated just north of the city center, is a neighborhood making waves in Prague’s creative community. Its artsy atmosphere and trendy cafes and galleries make it a must-visit destination for arts-focused travelers. The area is home to the famous DOX Center for Contemporary Art and the National Technical Museum, so there’s no shortage of cultural experiences.
The district of Holešovice is a hub of creativity, offering a delightful mix of modern architecture, old industrial buildings, and bold street art. You can’t leave without experiencing a night at the Cross Club. Plus, With excellent public transportation links, Holešovice is also a convenient base for exploring Prague.
For those seeking a vibrant and eclectic atmosphere, Holešovice is the place to be. Its modern buildings, revitalized industrial warehouses, and colorful aesthetics give new life to this historic place. You’ll be delighted at the juxtaposition of traditional Czech pubs alongside techno clubs.
- Cross Club
- DOX Centre for Contemporary Art
- National Technical Museum
- Prague National Gallery
- Church of St. Anthony of Padua
- Prague Planetarium
Best hotels in Holešovice:
- Best Budget Hotel in Holešovice: Plaza Prague Hotel
- Best Mid-Range Hotel in Holešovice: Hilton Prague
- Best Luxury Hotel in Holešovice: NH Collection Prague Carlo IV
5. Žižkov – A Lively Alternative Neighborhood
Žižkov, located just east of the city center, is an avante-garde neighborhood famous for its alternative culture, nightlife, and street art. Some folks would say it’s a Bohemian neighborhood, but when I use Bohemian, I refer to the people of Bohemia (my ancestors), which Prague was once the capital of.
To avoid confusion, we’ll veer from that. Backpackers and young travelers favor the area because it has many affordable hostels and budget hotels to choose from.
The iconic TV Tower in Žižkov is a must-visit spot, providing breathtaking city views. Although it may appear gritty at first glance, Žižkov encapsulates the spirit of Prague. It used to be strictly a working-class area, but now it’s a center for students, artists, and free-spirited individuals.
The vibrant nightlife in Žižkov, with its bars, clubs, and beer gardens, exudes an infectious energy that’s hard to resist. Žižkov’s unique charm and character make it an unforgettable destination for anyone looking to experience Prague’s non-conformist soul. If you’re a free spirit wondering where to stay in Prague, wonder no longer.
- Žižkov Television Tower
- Vibrant nightlife scene
- Enjoy a private food tour
- Bohemian atmosphere
- National Memorial on Vítkov Hill
- Military History Institute in Prague: The Army Museum Žižkov
Best hotels in Žižkov:
- Best Budget Hotel in Žižkov: Hostel Elf
- Best Mid-Range Hotel in Žižkov: Pension SKLEP, Prague
- Best Luxury Hotel in Žižkov: Sky Suite Hotel, Prague
See Related: Best Things to Do in Prague with Kids
6. Josefov/The Old Jewish Quarter – Best Area for History
When I think of Prague, the Old Jewish Quarter, Josefov immediately comes to mind. Steeped in history and culture, this area is home to some of Europe’s most significant and well-preserved Jewish landmarks.
It was home to the city’s large Jewish population. This central location is also within walking distance from many other favorite places around the city, including Old Town Square.
As I stroll through the cobblestone streets of Josefov, I can’t help but feel the sense of history that envelops this neighborhood. Once the thriving Jewish quarter neighborhood of Prague, Josefov became an integral part of the city through the ages. It is now well-preserved for future generations to appreciate the stories and hardships that once took place here.
One of the many reasons I recommend Josefov as a place to stay in Prague is the opportunity to explore its numerous historical sites. Among them is the Pinkas Synagogue, a historical house of worship with an incredible Holocaust memorial, and the Jewish Museum, which offers insight into Prague’s Jewish heritage and culture.
The Old Jewish Cemetery, with its centuries-old tombstones, also provides a poignant reminder of the community that once flourished in this area. Check out our video on YouTube to learn more!
- The Old Jewish Quarter
- Pinkas Synagogue
- Jewish Museum
- The New-Old Synagogue
- Old Jewish Cemetery
- The Klementinum Library
- Old Town Bridge Tower
- See the Vltava River
- Tour the
Best hotels in Old Town:
- Best Budget Hotel in Josefov: Hotel Adler
- Best Mid-Range Hotel in Josefov: Quentin Prague Hotel, a boutique hotel
- Best Luxury Hotel in Josefov: Prague Marriott Hotel
7. Nové Město/New Town – Bustling Businesses and Attractions
When I first set foot in Prague’s Nové Město, or New Town, I immediately recognized that this area vastly differed from Old Town. With a diverse range of restaurants, excellent public transportation options, and easy access to parking, it became the perfect base for my Prague adventure.
While strolling through the city streets, I was amazed by how modern and lively New Town is. A mix of contemporary architecture and historical buildings creates a unique contrast that adds to the neighborhood’s character.
I found countless dining options in New Town that served mouth-watering dishes. I relished every meal in this culinary paradise–especially any Trdelník or chimney cakes.
To my delight, New Town has its fair share of green spaces and attractions like the famed Wenceslas Square, the National Theatre, and the Dancing House. There are also quite a few beer gardens everywhere in this part of town for Czech beer fans. Although this is a bustling commercial part of Prague, it still feels like a variant from the rest of Prague.
Let’s be honest: Prague hotels don’t get much more iconic than the Dancing House – Tančící dům Hotel. This fascinating building is located in the neighborhood and makes for a perfect romantic holiday.
It was designed by the famed architects Frank Gehry and Vlado Milunić and is one of the most recognizable pieces of Prague’s skyline. This is the best hotel for those wanting the most unique experience outside of a boutique hotel aesthetic.
Nové Město Highlights:
- Wenceslas Square
- Dancing House
- The National Theatre
- The Museum of Communism
- Národní Muzeum or the National Museum
- Horácké muzeum
- Palladium, shopping mall
- Franciscan Gardens
Best hotels in Nové Město:
- Best Budget Hotel in Nové Město: Deminka Palace
- Best Mid-Range Hotel in Nové Město: Dancing House – Tančící dům Hotel
- Best Luxury Hotel in Nové Město: The Mozart Prague
- Most unique hotel in Nové Město: Boat Hotel Matylda
See Related: Vienna vs. Prague: What’s the Difference?
8. Smíchov – Less Touristy and Well-Connected
As I walk through the streets of Smíchov in Prague, I feel a sense of calm. It’s a less touristy area with an authentic local vibe and well-connected public transportation, perhaps because it existed for a long time as a suburb of Prague rather than part of the city proper. Smíchov is where to stay in Prague for folks making a return trip to the city or those who want to get to know its vibe better.
This neighborhood is terrific for staying connected to the rest of Prague, thanks to its proximity to metro station locations. With numerous tram lines and two metro lines crossing Smíchov, you’re never more than a short ride from Old Town, the Vltava River, Wenceslas Square, or the National Museum.
Despite its convenient connections to the metro line and the rest of the city, Smíchov maintains a cozy, local atmosphere. That’s part of what chooses whether to stay in Smíchov is easy for me.
It’s an area that offers the perfect balance of accessibility, affordability, and a genuine local experience. Plus, you’re close to Smíchovská Náplavka Park, which often hosts local events like food festivals or Nový Smíchov Shopping Centre for some retail therapy.
- Nový Smíchov Shopping Centre
- Smíchovská Náplavka park
- Švanda Theater
- Gabriel Loci
- MeetFactory (art center)
- Saint Wenceslas church
Best hotels in Smíchov:
- Best Budget Hotel in Smíchov: Red & Blue Design Hotel Prague
- Best Mid-Range Hotel in Smíchov: Angelis
- Best Luxury Hotel in Smíchov: Vienna House by Wyndham Andel’s Prague
See Related: Prague vs. Budapest: What is Best to Visit?
9. Hradčany/Castle District – Historic and Naturally Beautiful
Discover the Castle District, also known as Hradčany, Prague’s historical center. This area offers the perfect location to indulge in the city’s charm, history, and culture.
You may wonder why staying in the Castle District rather than a place like Old Town is a great idea. First and foremost, Hradčany is home to the world-renowned Prague Castle. Imagine waking up with the castle complex as your picturesque backdrop – an unforgettable experience.
In addition, the proximity to numerous historic sites adds to the allure of staying here. The district boasts majestic palaces, mesmerizing churches, and enchanting monasteries, all within walking distance. As you stroll through the cobblestone streets, you’ll realize that staying in Hradčany means endless opportunities for exploration and unforgettable moments.
You will be staying in a historically rich part of the city and never far from a metro station. Although walking is doable, public transport is nearby, including trams and metros that conveniently link you to all the main attractions in Prague.
- Prague Castle
- St. Vitus Cathedral
- The Golden Lane
- The Old Royal Palace
- City tour featuring a changing of the guard at Prague Castle
- Černín Palace
- The Royal Garden
- Šternberský Palace
- Lobkowicz Palace
- Strahov Monastery
Best hotels in Hradčany:
- Best Budget Hotel in Hradčany: Golden Star
- Best Mid-Range Hotel in Hradčany: Spa Beerland Chateaux – U Zlaté Hrušky / At Golden pear
- Best Luxury Hotel in Hradčany: MOOo by the Castle
See Related: Best Places to Visit in the Czech Republic
10. Karlín – Budget Friendly, Hip, and Artsy
Karlín, a mainly revitalized residential district, offers a budget-friendly alternative to staying in the heart of Prague’s Old Town. Formerly an industrial part of the city, Karlín has undergone many changes in its lifetime.
Plus, the convenient location near Prague’s city center and its affordable accommodations make it an excellent choice for budget-conscious travelers like me. Like many former industrial neighborhoods worldwide, Karlín follows suit with various indie art galleries, theaters, and public art.
While it may not house a hot spot like Wenceslas Square, Karlín is home to locations like Kasárna Karlín and The City of Prague Museum. It’s also not far from the Vltava River if you want to take a nice walk alongside its shoreline–that’s a must when you’re visiting Prague.
As a budget traveler, Karlín offers amenities and accessibility that make a stay in Prague all the more enjoyable. With its distinct charm, convenient location, and wallet-friendly accommodations, Karlín is the perfect choice for those looking to experience the best of Prague without breaking the bank.
- The City of Prague Museum
- Kasárna Karlín
- Karlín Musical Theatre
- Můj šálek kávy
- Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral
- 8gallery (art gallery)
Best hotels in Karlín:
- Best Budget Hotel in Karlín: Luxury Family Hotel Bílá Labuť
- Best Mid-Range Hotel in Karlín: MOODs boutique hotel
- Best Luxury Hotel in Karlín: COSMOPOLITAN Hotel Prague
How to Get Around Prague
In Prague, there are four primary forms of public transportation: the metro, busses, trams, and the Petřín Funicular. Except for the Petřín Funicular, which takes guests on a railcar up Petřín Hill, the rest of these transport options can get you from areas like the castle and Charles Bridge back to Old Town Prague in an instant.
Full disclosure: I’ve only used the trams in Prague. We tend to be city walkers and like to walk as much as possible, but we adored that the trams had so many stops around the city, particularly in New Town.
Even so, I’d recommend utilizing the Prague Metro system because of its convenience, access, and proximity to many of the city’s hot spots. There are only three lines with over 60 stations, so navigating isn’t difficult.
Trains run most of the day, though from 12 a.m. to 5 p.m., they are paused. Trains come between every two to ten minutes, depending on peak hours.
If you want to take public transit from Prague Airport to save some money, you can take Bus 119 to Nádraží Veleslavín metro station. Nádraží Veleslavín is on Line A, which runs northeast to southeast.
However, if you come into the city by train, you’ll arrive at the main train station called Praha hlavní nádraží. It is the largest train station in the Czech Republic and is centrally located near Wenceslas Square, bordering Vinohrady, Žižkov, and New Town.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic
Tips for First-Time Visitors to Prague
Even with thoughts of Old Town Prague, the Astronomical Clock, and all the chimney cakes you could eat dancing in your head, things are still learned the hard way. As someone who has spent time in and adores Prague, here are some things I wish someone had told me before I visited the Golden City for the first time:
- Be early: Whether it’s to take photos on the Charles Bridge, see the on-the-hour Astronomical Clock show, or head out on a day trip via the central railway station, the early bird always gets the worm. Even in the off-season, Prague is a petite enough city that everywhere feels crowded once the rest of the tourists wake from their beer-induced slumber.
- Vertigo warning — take the lift: If you want to go to the top of the Old Town Hall Tower but have vertigo or motion sickness issues, buy the elevator ticket. The lift is not available unless you buy that entry. Let me tell you, as someone who gets vertigo, getting to the top and not being able to enjoy it stinks.
- Always get a ticket: I know it’s tempting to hop aboard a tram without a ticket. Not once did I see anyone actually checking tickets. But it’s also not worth getting a ticket if someone does check tickets when you happen to be aboard.
- Pack your best walking shoes: I swear by my Sketchers Go Walk Joy Sneakers. They didn’t just take me from end to end in Prague; they kept me comfortable for six weeks of backpacking Europe after my time in Prague. Even if you use public transit heavily in Prague, you’ll still be doing a lot of walking. So be prepared!
- Only use real taxis — not black or unmarked cabs: This is a silly tip, especially if you’ve traveled extensively. However, unmarked taxis are a big issue in Prague because of the city’s ever-increasing role as a central tourist hub in Europe. These cabs will rip you off. Just avoid them at all costs. You should ask your hotel front desk to order a cab if you’re worried about doing it yourself or don’t want to use Uber.
- Prague is pretty safe, but still, keep your wits about you, especially when walking around at night.
What are the best neighborhoods to stay in Prague?
In my opinion, the top neighborhoods in Prague are Malá Strana (Lesser Town) for families, Nové Město (New Town) for foodies, Staré Město (Old Town), and Josefov for first-time visitors, Vinohrady for the restaurant and bistro scene, Žižkov for bar-hopping, and Karlín for a charming off-the-radar experience. Honestly, you can’t go wrong in Prague.
What are the best hotels in Prague Old Town?
What are some unique and cool places to stay in Prague?
If you’re seeking unique lodging options, consider staying at the following: The Boat Hotel Matylda, an enchanting floating hotel on the Vltava River; The Emma Apartments, a historic building set in a completely renovated 14th-century building; or The Czech Inn, a trendy yet affordable hostel with industrial-chic design elements.
- About the Author
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Amanda is a Chicago-based queer travel, arts, and lifestyle writer who is passionate about exploring the world. Her work has been featured in Newcity Stage, The Chicago Reader, Huffington Post, and Yahoo, as well as the November 2022 book, “Chicago Like a Local” and other travel journals available on Amazon. Amanda’s favorite destinations include Costa Rica, Prague, Dublin, Hong Kong, and every Disney park she’s visited.