Decide where to stay in Prague for a stress-free break. Book the right Prague hotel with this guide to the city’s key neighborhoods.
Staré Město is Prague’s old town and is where to stay in Prague if you want to be in the heart of the action. Staré Město is home to the medieval Astronomical Clock, sleek designer shops and raucous nightlife. Linked to Malá Strana via Charles Bridge, the snaking alleys feature Gothic, baroque and Renaissance façades where crowds linger late into the night in cellar bars and clubs. Josefov, the Jewish Quarter to the north combines ancient and modern with intricate synagogues next to hip boutiques and traditional cafés vying with fusion restaurants. Named after the emperor Josef II, Josefov is architecturally magnificent and cosmopolitan, altogether an appropriate home for writer Franz Kafka.
Malá Strana, the Little Quarter, lies below Prague Castle where twisting cobbled streets lead to palatial hotels, embassy buildings, traditional pubs and chic restaurants. Pricey Kampa Park restaurant provides idyllic river and canal views. Malá Strana’s parks and galleries give way to local shops and cafés heading south towards the newly gentrified areas of Smíchov and Anděl. Home to the first of Prague’s designer hotels, malls and multiplexes, it has excellent tram and metro connections. Smíchov is where Mozart lived while in Prague and is home to the Staropramen Brewery.
Pinpointed by the futuristic TV Tower, residential Vinohrady sits on the hill overlooking Staré Město. Around Jiřího z Poděbrad square, playgrounds and parks border leafy avenues of neighborhood cafés, bars and clubs, as well as Greek and Indian restaurants. Down the hill lies Žižkov. Quirky and independent Žižkov is a bargain for Prague hotels and is linked by the efficient Tram 9 across town to Malá Strana.
Sandwiched between Vinohrady and Staré Město, the so-called New Town hosts designer hotels and contemporary cuisine within its 18th-century buildings and courtyards. Curving around Karlovo Náměstí (Charles Square) and continuing south along the Vltava river, Nové Město is central yet quiet. It also features Frank Gehry’s modern and still controversial Dancing Building. The Gothic twin spires of the Church of Sts Peter and Paul mark Vyšehrad, Prague’s second castle and home to Prague‘s Congress Centre.
Nestled in the loop of the river Vltava, Holešovice is home to Výstaviště, Prague’s exhibition centre, and is the gateway to Prague Zoo and Trója Chateau. Tesla Arena hosts ice hockey matches and concerts, while the National Gallery is spawning a growing art scene. Letná to the west is a residential area with a huge park, beer garden and superb views across Prague Castle, Staré Město and the Vltava.