See also: Best Things to Do in Prague
Being a charming European city with cobblestone-lined streets and buildings of medieval age along with structures that are an example of modern-day architectural brilliance; Prague is loved by tourists for its unique beauty, making visitors fall in love with the Czech capital.
Prague is an old city, with the history pages taking back hundreds of years to its days of establishment. The modern-day capital of the Czech Republic was once the historical capital of Bohemia. With the Vitava River runs through the city, the city looks all the more beautiful as the city is filled with historical monuments, buildings and architectural wonders. With Prague’s excellent public transport network of metro lines, trams and buses let you get anywhere in the city and visit the major sights. So if you want to stay away from the crowd and noise of the city centre and stay in the interior parts of the city, you won’t miss much.With the city being divided into areas marked 1 to 10, let us look at the places where you can stay and which places are ideal for you.
Stare Mesto (Old Town) and Josefov
If you want to take a look at Prague’s history, Stare Mesto (Old Town) and Josefov is the perfect place for you. There are lots of historical things in this Old Town that is not only important for Prague but the Czech Republic as well, like the old city hall’s Astronomical Clock of the early 15th century. Bethlehem Square is where the old and beautiful Baroque houses have been converted into boutiques, antique stores and restaurants, giving a nice touch of modernization while utilizing the history.
On the other hand, the Joselov area is the old Jewish ghetto that dates back to the 10th century. Named after Joseph II it is located in the northwest corner of Old Town. As the charming alleys and medieval buildings create a beautiful vibe in the neighbourhood, you can shop in designer stores, or enjoy the art galleries and museums, or spend quality time at the cellar bars where you can party with the locals. This neighbourhood offers the best nightlife and does attract a fair bit of crowd for that purpose only.
Being a few minutes away from historic attractions, shopping and nightlife, the area is quite loved by the tourists as it puts you right in the middle of the action. When it comes to accommodations, you can take your pick depending on your budget and need. The Old Town has hotels that are budget-friendly as well as the luxurious five-stars that are mainly the well-maintained buildings from the Renaissance to the Baroque eras, giving you a grand experience.
Once here, there’s lots of things to do and places to visit. The Powder Tower that once served as a gunpowder store for the army, is still the starting point for the Royal Route. The Old Town Square exhibits beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings on all sides, while the Tyn Church’s twin Gothic spires serve as Prague’s important landmark. Also, The Charles Bridge is one of the important landmarks of Prague as it connects the Old Town with Lesser Town.
The Old Town has most of the major attractions of Prague making it the perfect place for a first timer in the city. On the other hand, increased popularity has made this neighbourhood a bit noisy and crowded and a bit expensive compared to the neighbourhood that is away from the historic centre.
The neighbourhood of Malá Strana is an elegant cobblestoned neighbourhood with historic sites that attracts several sightseers every day. Belonging to the Prague 1 district in the Lesser Town and Castle area of the city, this place is perfect for you if you are looking for a quiet stay in Prague. Although being part of the ‘Old Town’, it does have modern aspects of life. Also known as Lesser Town or Little Quarter, this picturesque neighbourhood is right below the Prague Castle on the Vitava River. With old houses, cobblestoned streets and traditional Czech pubs and restaurants, you are bound to get in your vacation mood once you are here.
Contrary to the fact that this neighbourhood is called the Lesser Town area, this neighbourhood is quite picturesque and has many museums, shops and restaurants like any other district in the city. Here, you won’t have a problem looking for food options as there are plenty of restaurants and cafes, offering typical Czech fare as well as fine dining. At the Malostranské, you can enjoy the majestic nature of the three churches and other historic places like the Old Town Hall and Smiricky Palace. It having its own metro stop and tram stop that also adds on to the convenience and accessibility.
This neighbourhood is quieter than other neighbourhoods and you can just take a stroll at night down the lantern-lit streets and enjoy the serene ambience. You can have a great experience here if you are someone who loves staying at quaint accommodations, as there are many buildings in the neighbourhood that is a restored medieval house. The buildings do preserve some of their original features and do give off a picture-worthy vibe.
Exhibiting more of a residential vibe, Karlovo Náměstí is a larger part of the New Town area surrounding the historic centre of Prague. Most tourists prefer to walk around this neighbourhood to enjoy the nightlife options and its ambience. Once here, you can get an idea about the WWII history of Prague’s at the Cathedral of Saints Cyril and Methodius. The church still holds on to the bullet holes and has a memorial to the Czech rebels who murdered one of Hitler’s right-hand men, Reinhard Heydrich. Once here, make sure you visit the Náplavka riverbank for the farmer’s market. You can also Rent a paddleboat from Slovansky Ostrov, and get mesmerized by the view of the city skylines from the Vltava River.
Accommodations will not be a problem here in Prague as there are many options, with hotels offering once in a lifetime experience of having a room with floor-to-ceiling windows that has a view of the Prague Castle from your bed and a rooftop bar with 360-degree views of the city.
The neighbourhood of Vinohrady is all about variety. A bit away from the city centre, this neighbourhood has locals as well as tourists and is famous for its LGBTQ-friendly bar scene along with its cafes and green spaces. With a mix of local as well as touristy culture, the neighbourhood gives you a nice blended experience. This area has many independent bars, shops, boutiques, cafes and restaurants to help you enjoy your stay in Prague. You can also shop to your heart’s content at the Palac Flora shopping centre. During the day hours, visit the lawns of Riegrovy Sady for an excellent view of the sunset over the city. Being a green neighbourhood, people of all ages often gather here for picnics and parties, and it also hosts the city’s one of the most popular beer parties.
With its name literally translating to “vineyard,” history suggests that once vineyards covered this area from the 14th century. At present, the neighbourhood has plenty of parks, like the Havlíčkovy sady, which happens to be Prague’s second-largest park. Make sure you visit Náměstí Míru, where you can be in awe of the neo-Gothic Church of St Ludmila, that is home to the city’s favourite Christmas and Easter markets. This area is filled with Art Deco houses. Known for its cultural and historic attractions, there’s a lot to do and lot more places to visit in this neighbourhood - Husuc Sbor, a church which has a roof made of skylights, Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord, that was inspired by the Noah’s Ark; and Vinohrady Theatre.
Talking about food and drinks, Vinohrady has loads of options. With restaurants offering vegan dishes as well as delicious Vietnamese dishes, you can find restaurants that offer French cuisines as well. You can find restaurants and diners serving several other international cuisines as well, including Italian, and Mexican. Also, if you want some comfort fast food, there are several fast food joints as well cafes here. Náměstí Míru is known for its beer culture, so drinking won’t be a problem either. Along with your alcohol spots, you can find places to get your daily dose of caffeine, as this neighbourhood specializes in coffee houses as well.
The area has several hostels and self-catering pet-friendly apartments for those who are on a budget. If you are someone who doesn’t shy away from spending money during vacations, you can find accommodations in stately old mansions. With public transportation in this area being good, travelling to other parts of the city won’t be much of a problem as well.
The Holesovice area was once the industrial neighbourhood of Prague. With changing times and given the creative talent of the city, the warehouse spaces and factories converted themselves into studios and workspaces for artists and other creative spirits. It is quite close to the city centre and provides quick access to it during your stay as right across the river is the city centre.
Once here, you can dive into the art scene of the city as here in this neighbourhood, you can find places like the fine art house in the National Gallery’s Veletržní Palace. The Jatka 78 also hosts several theatre and circus events.
In this neighbourhood, you will have several food choices and all of them are within a reasonable price range. From Asian fusion menus to quick bites at hipster havens, this neighbourhood has numerous options. It has dance, music and drinking hotspot as well. You can also visit the beer garden, for a relaxing time during the sunset while enjoying the views of the city around you. If you are a backpacker, rooms won’t be much of a problem as there are hostels offering affordable dorm rooms. Private rooms are also available as well. Many prefer to stay here because of its easy access to the city centre while they live in a neighbourhood with low price options.
If exploring the obvious and conventional parts of the city isn’t the only thing you have in mind during your visit to Prague, Žižkov is where you must visit. Sprawling with life and energy of the local life, this neighbourhood has a high concentration of bars and pubs. This neighbourhood is named after a famous Czech warrior, Jan Zizka, whose statue is still there on Vilkov Hill. History suggests that the Roman Emperor Charles IV once ordered this area to be covered in vineyards and it remained a rural area until the 17th century when it was turned into the burial ground Prague’s plague victims. Present Žižkov doesn’t have a lot of glamour but plays an important role in Prague’s cultural life mainly for its annual carnival and Akropolis Theater.
Even though this neighbourhood has less number of historic buildings and more of concrete buildings of residential complexes, there are lots of places in this neighbourhood where you can visit. Your stay here in Žižkov would remain incomplete without a visit to the Television Tower. You can pay a visit to the observatory deck and enjoy the view. Along with fast food joints, you will find restaurants that serve traditional Czech cuisine. Looking for drinking options won't be a problem in this neighbourhood as there are several bars and pubs in this locality along with the beer garden. If you are ready to spend, you can enjoy your stay at the luxury hotels or Airbnbs are your next best option. Accommodations are reasonably priced here in Žižkov. This makes it a popular place to stay for those who are on a budget. Having Praha hlavní nádraží, Prague’s main railway station close also ensures that you can travel around the city easily.
Prague’s public transportation system includes subway, tram and bus. If you want to move around the Central Prague area, The metro and tram are your best options. With the bus service mainly going to the suburbs and outlying areas, Prague does let them enter the historic districts to prevent air and noise pollution. Yet, easy accessibility and accommodations that fit everyone’s preference, the historic city of Prague is a much loved and popular tourist destination.