Where to stay in Prague – Best areas and hotels
I had my first trip to Prague in the late 90s when the city was a true Bohemian centre, most of the buildings outside the historical heart were in clear need of refurbishment and there was still a sizeable community of artists and unusual characters.
Prague has much improved since, certainly lots of money was invested into it, but still it has maintained in most cases the original character.
The city is surely not as big or comparable with other metropolis in Europe, but certainly understanding where to stay in Prague is not an easy task.
There are many areas, different in style and vibe, and ultimately in price too.
Let me go straight to the point: the best place to stay in Prague is right in the heart of the city, in the district called Prague 1 (the red area on the map below).
True, it is going to be a different experience if you stay east or west of the Vltava River, but you will be able to reach either side with an easy walk that goes across the iconic Charles Bridge.
If you are on a second or even third trip, you may look further up to areas that go beyond the heart of the city, to have more of a local experience.
You will not be within walking distance of the major attractions, but still well connected to the historical centre by Metro or any other form of transportation system.
I am thinking here about the district of Prague 2, 3 or 8, all east of the Vltava River and Prague 1 (more on this later)
But let’s go deeper in the different neighborhoods, with a map, benefits and drawbacks of each area
Table of Contents
- 1 Staré Město (Old Town) in Prague 1 – Where to stay in Prague for sightseeing
- 2 Malá Strana (Lesser Town) in Prague 1 – Where to stay in Prague for a quiet time
- 3 Nové Město (New Town) in Prague 1 – Where to stay in Prague on a budget
- 4 Vinohrady (Royal Vineyards) in Prague 2 – Best place to stay in Prague like a local
- 5 Žižkov in Prague 3 – Best place to stay in Prague for a cheap breakaway
- 6 The best 3 boutique and romantic hotels in Prague
- 7 More photos from the places to stay in Prague
Staré Město (Old Town) in Prague 1 – Where to stay in Prague for sightseeing
Staré Mesto is the best places to stay in Prague because:
- It is the best area for sightseeing, with all of the museums, monuments, beautiful squares and narrow streets
- You will be within walking distance (20 minutes or less) from any major attractions (including Charles Bridge and the Castle) and the main train and bus stations
- There is no shortage of restaurants, bars, and pubs.
- Shopping is superb.
- You will experience Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture everywhere you go.
- If you’re visiting the city for the first time, this is the best area to stay in Prague
- It is very convenient for couples and solo travellers
- Ideal for a short stay with all around you
- Plenty of easy going nightlife
The weakest points:
- Occasionally, it can be noisy. Depending on where you go, you can find super quiet streets or incredibly raucous laneways. I’ve listed some safe hotels below.
- Prices aren’t the cheapest in Prague, but there are still some little gems to be found
- With small kids it can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you have a pram (getting around the small cobblestone lanes is not a simple task).
Stare Mesto, the Old Town in Prague 1, is the place to stay for sightseeing.
In addition to the many beautiful streets and the iconic Charles Bridge, there are also many magnificent churches, cathedrals and interesting museums to visit.
Walking in Old Town is truly like being in an open-air museum.
In fact, you should budget at least half a day to explore this neighborhood, from the Jewish Quarter, in the northern part, to the Old Town Square and Národní Street, in the southern part.
The unmissable stops in this area are:
- the Jewish Museum and the Old Jewish Cemetery
- the Spanish Synagogue
- the National Gallery Prague
- the National Technical Museum (read my review here, book your tickets here)
- the Astronomical Clock and the Old Town Square
- the New City Hall with one of the last standing paternoster lift (a unique experience)
- Charles Bridge, connecting to Malá Strana, also known as Lesser Town
- The unique Gallery Of Steel Figures, for its exhibition of art pieces made of scrap metal. If you have been in Budapest, you may have a seen a similar one in District VII.
And add to your must-do bucket list a medieval dinner in a middle ages tavern called U Pavouka (read my review, book here your dining experience)
I am very honest with you. Prague is not anymore as cheap as it used to be, prices for accommodation, food and museums/attractions are very similar to other major cities in Europe.
In saying that, in my opinion you have better value for money, especially in hotels, with some lovely boutique ones.
True, the beer is really cheap. That has to be said.
Stare Mesto is the most expensive area to stay in Prague, but not by that much.
Just make sure to choose carefully your hotel because there are many restaurants and pubs around and few streets are particularly noisy.
The Old Town is the best place to stay in Prague for a brief stay like 1 or 2 nights, because you will be close to everything.
This is also a great area to stay in Prague for couples and solo travellers, because you will have plenty of bars and restaurants around to explore, besides the nearby attractions and concerts venues.
Do you want to go straight to your hotel? Pre-order an airport transfer that will wait for you directly at the airport. So easy.
Here are three great value accommodations for a quiet night.
Residence 7 Angels ($$)
Here you get spacious apartments and ensuite rooms, where you can pick between having a view of the patio of the pedestrian zone in the centre of Prague.
Residence 7 Angels has a beautiful courtyard for guests and is located on a lovely, quiet side street.
It’s a relaxing spot to kick back and unwind after a day of sightseeing, with its central location also putting you within walking distance of restaurants and shops.
There are no elevators here though – no surprise given that this is a historic building at the heart of Old Town.
Should you have limited mobility, then it’s advisable to go for the lower floors.
Old Town Boutique Apartments ($$)
These self-catering apartments come with lovely views of the Old Town, and guests have access to the shared terrace.
Fully equipped kitchen, lovely shower with shower gel provided, ironing board in the common area – there’s all you need to feel at home.
Located in the city centre – literally just a block from the Old City Square, it makes walking to the attractions much easier.
However, it can be difficult to find parking close to the apartments (in case you are driving to Prague).
Pytloun Boutique Hotel ($$$)
Here you have a design boutique set in the iconic Wenceslass Square, that comes with its minibar, adjustable colour LED lighting for you to set the mood, all through to a bathtub with its sparkling system – making you feel pampered while on your stay.
Add this to spacious rooms, cosy beds, balconies with views overlooking Prague.
The second floor has a restaurant with buffet breakfast as well as Czech and foreign wines to down your meals with.
Check out my guide to the perfect itinerary to Prague, from 2 days up to a week.
Malá Strana (Lesser Town) in Prague 1 – Where to stay in Prague for a quiet time
Malá Strana is the best places to stay in Prague because:
- It is a much quieter area, still a short walk from the Old Town
- You will be so close to the Castle, a must visit once in Prague, the number 1 attraction
- More trees around and with a few nice parks as the Petřín Gardens, Vojanovy sady, Kampa, the Waldstein Garden, the Cihelna Park and the unique Children Island
- You will be within walking distance (20-30 minutes or less) from the Old Town, just across Charles Bridge
- If you’re visiting the city with family and small kids, this is the best area to stay in Prague
- Ideal for a quieter short or medium stay
The weakest points:
- It is still as expensive as the Old Town
- There are restaurants and bars around, but not as many (be selective or walk to the Old Town)
- The Castle is the biggest highlight of the area (and arguably of Prague) but most of the attractions and museums are on the other side of the Vltava River
Malá Strana, the Lesser Town in Prague 1, is the place to stay for a quiet stay in the centre of the city.
The streets are much wider and although tourists are of course all around, the density is much lower than the Old Town.
You will feel more at easy, you can have a nice stroll, enjoying one of the many parks in the area, even a funicular (included in the local transport day ticket).
Mala Strana is also the best area to stay in Prague for families travelling with small kids, not only because it is so quiet but also because you will find it much easier to walk around with the pram without having to steer clear of the many travellers wondering around the tiny lanes of the Old City
This is an area that works great also if you are having a 4 days or more in Prague and you want to stay in Prague 1, the central part of the city, but still stay away from the chaotic Old Town.
Once in Mala Strana, beside the Castle, don’t miss out on the attractions below:
- John Lennon Wall (although John Lennon was never actually in the city, but there is a good reason for it)
- Children Island where you will find one of the best playgrounds in the city
- the modern art Museum Kampa
- the Karel Zeman Museum for some fun time
- the Petrin Tower and the funicular to the top of the park
- the quirky Magical Cavern Reon Argondian
Here is a short list of a few selected great value accommodations.
Charles Bridge Apartments 2BR ($$)
Just around the corner from Charles Bridge are these apartments – hence the name, overlooking the square with gas lamp street lights.
It’s a quiet spot with the needed amenities, from the stocked kitchen – fridge, microwave, oven, stove, and basic utensils, satellite flat-screen TV, private bathroom and even a safe deposit box.
The spacious residence can handle a group of 6 people. Note that this is a non-smoking place.
OREA Place Charles Bridge ($$)
Picture a hotel with what you’d expect from the rooms – cosy beds, a large seating area, and private bathroom, and even radiators warming up the space, but without the staff.
It’s all self-service in OREA Place Charles Bridge, but there are cleaners to tidy up the place.
You even check-in without the usual reception process of hotels. When you book, you simply receive a code to access your room.
The ground floor has a bar/restaurant where you can dine and enjoy some drinks (separately owned though).
Malostranská Residence 2BR ($$$)
Settle into the Malostranská Residence with its antique furnishings and luxurious setting.
It gives you an authentic historical building feel while still providing the modern facilities needed to be comfortable during your stay.
From the fully equipped kitchen, inclusive of the fridge and dishwasher, a rain shower that soothes you after your day of sight-seeing, daily maid service, to the quiet nights, a Starbucks right across the street – you will be able to relax and treat yourself.
The apartments are huge, with views of St Nicholas Chapel and the Castle.
Are you still unsure if you should visit Prague or Budapest?
Check out my comparison guide of the two cities, with advantages and drawbacks of both
Nové Město (New Town) in Prague 1 – Where to stay in Prague on a budget
New Town is the best places to stay in Prague because:
- It offers better value for money in the central part of Prague
- You will be close to train and the bus station
- Walking distance to the Old Town, the Jewish quarter and Charles Bridge
- Plenty of attractions around
- Bar and restaurants tend to be cheaper than in the Old Town and Mala Strana
- Ideal for 3-4 nights, if you want to be in Prague 1 still with a limited budget in both accommodation and food
The weakest points:
- Far from the Castle, around 1 hour walking or much less by public transportation
- Generally speaking, you will have to budget in more walking to explore the city
Nové Město, the New Town in Prague 1, is the place to stay on a budget in the centre of the city.
Now, it is important to know that New can have a different meaning based on where it is used.
In Prague, the New Town is actually newer than the Old Town, but still it was found around 700 years ago outside the city walls.
That made Prague one of the biggest cities in Europe in the medieval era.
Nové Město was the poorest part of Prague, with smaller houses mainly used by craftsmen and the working class on those days (carpenters, fishermen, brickmakers, etc).
Today, this part of the city still has a few churches and administrative buildings from the 14th century, however, most of the architecture dates back to the 17th century or later.
The New Town has an upper part, located in Prague 1 (as you see on the map above) and a lower part in Prague 2.
I personally suggest staying in the upper part of Nove Mesto, where you can still find good value accommodations and be within walking distance from the Old Town and the Castle (if you do not mind a 40-60 minutes walk).
In the lower part, in Prague 2, prices go down even more but you will need to include each day money and time on public transportation (the day ticket is 5euro)
In New Town you should not miss:
- the Franz Kafka Rotating Head
- the Museum of Senses
- the Museum of Communism (that will give a different perspective of what we call today Communism)
- the iconic Wenceslas Square, the heart of New Town, originally designed and built as the horse market of Prague
- the National Theatre
- the Dancing House, designed by architect Frank Gehry
Here is a short list of a few selected accommodations on a budget or providing a fantastic value for money.
The location works very well, within walking distance from Prague’s favourite sites.
The rooms have a seating area, some come with a private bathroom, while others share bathroom facilities.
There’s a kitchen on site, to which guests have shared access. All rooms come with free WiFi.
Since toiletries are not provided, you’ll need to come with your own shower gel, shampoo and the like.
The owner keeps things nice and tidy; the beds are comfy and are geared towards giving you a relaxing stay on a budget.
Hostel One Home ($)
Looking to socialise more and make friends during your travels, and keep things on a budget?
The Hostel One Home is a great place to check into, with its social setting complete with activities organised for every day and night.
Each of the rooms in the hostel has its seating area and lockers. It’s clean and tidy, and guests have access to a shared bathroom, kitchen and terrace.
There’s also a shared lounge area that comes with a sofa and computers you can use. The buffet breakfast each morning will fuel you for your day of sight-seeing.
Hotel Golden Crown ($$)
Location wise, the hotel is a 5-minute walk from Charles Bridge and Old Square, and right in front of a shopping centre for you to purchase the essentials you need for your stay.
The rooms are spacious and come with the required facilities – cosy beds with quality sheets, a huge bathroom, lovely shower with bathtub, seating area to kick back and relax, a minibar for your drinks, as well as satellite TV.
Daily housekeeping keeps the place neat and clean, and you can get airport shuttle services at an extra charge.
Vinohrady (Royal Vineyards) in Prague 2 – Best place to stay in Prague like a local
Vinohrady is the best places to stay in Prague because:
- It is the most cosmopolitan area of Prague, with a mix of locals and expats, mostly in the young generation
- Plenty of cool cafes, bars and restaurants
- A popular farmer’s market, ideal if you decide to stay in an apartment
- Perfect for a long stay, when you want to mix visits to the major attractions as well as some local time, feeling part of the city more than a spectator
- It is a great area to stay in Prague if you are on a second or third trip to the city, and you are already familiar with the Old Town
- Better value for money
The weakest points:
- you are in Prague 2, not within walking distance from the major attractions of the city
- budget in the transportation cost (around 5euro/day) and more time to travel around
- the architecture is not as impressive as in the Old Town
Vinohrady is the place to stay in Prague if you want to feel like a local more than a tourist
The complete name is actually Královské Vinohrady which literally means Royal Vineyards, because back in the days, in the 14th century, the area was owned by the Royals and used for their own vineyards.
Today, Vinohrady is the most eclectic part of the city, the area with the highest concentration of expats too.
Plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants have popped up, giving a chilled vibe to the entire neighborhood, now ranking as one of the coolest suburbs in the world.
If you are into local markets, then you should not miss out on the Jiřího z Poděbrad, a farmer market running 4 times a week (Wed, Thu, Fri from 8am to 6pm, Sat from 8am to 2pm) in front of the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord
This is one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Prague for a long stay, as you will be close to the touristic action but still far enough to mix with the city daily life where your neighbours and the shop owners will remember about you
Once in the area you should check out:
- the Riegrovy Sady, a lovely park with the best original Beer Gardens
- the Vinohrady Water Tower with nearby playground, a great spot if you are travelling with little kids
- the Art Nouveau Vinohrady Theater, over 100 years old
- the Neo Gothic Basilica of Saint Ludmila
Vinohrady is located mostly in Prague 2, where I also suggest staying and enjoying the eclectic life. However, it extends further up to Prague 3 and through other Prague Municipal Districts (see map above).
All of the suggested accommodation below are in this part of Vinohrady. Keep reading down for a few cafes, bars and restaurants in the area.
Alfons Boutique Hotel ($$)
This boutique hotel is the ideal place to stay in Vinohrady if you are travelling as a couple.
The interior design is cosy and romantic, next to New Town and Wenceslas Square.
At the same time, you will be a step away from many cool bars and restaurants, still hidden enough to have a quiet night.
Include the breakfast in your booking, well worth the price, the best way to start the day.
Eight Secrets Boutique Residence ($$)
This is one of the best finding and amazing values in Vinohrady, and Prague too.
You can book from a studio to a three bedrooms apartment. The entire complex has been recently renovated with every accommodation now having either a full kitchen or a small kitchenette.
The location is just ideal, very quiet, next to the Riegrovy Sad and its famous beer gardens, and a stone away from the New Town and the train station. Add 10 minutes and you will be in the Old Town.
WiFi is of course available in every unit.
This is one of the the cheapest, if not the cheapest, accommodation in Central Prague if you prefer to avoid the dormitory.
True, the room is not that big, the bathroom is shared, it may be not the quietest hotel in the city, but at this price it’s hard to complain.
This is an easy going place that works best if travelling for just a few days on a tight budget.
Suggested cafes, bars and restaurants in Vinohrady
- Dobrá Trafika (Google Map): a typical Bohemian cafe for a relaxing time in the afternoon or a cosy drink later in the day, sometimes with live music
- Dos Mundos Coffee Roastery (Google Map): the best spot for a quality coffee, truly unbeatable
- Mezi Srnky: the place to go for brunch or lunch
- Bistro 8 Vinohrady: another alternative for brunch
- Soul Kitchen: one of the best Greek Restaurant in Prague at a bargain price
- Moment Bistro: for a vegan dinner, with original Czech food
- Bullerbyn: a classy Bohemian cocktail bar where you can also have some food too.
Žižkov in Prague 3 – Best place to stay in Prague for a cheap breakaway
Žižkov is the best places to stay in Prague because:
- You can find the cheapest prices in the city
- High concentration of pubs, bars, cheap restaurants and clubs to extend your night till the early hours of the morning
- Next to both the bus and the train station
- Ideal for a crazy weekend with friends
- Best place to stay in Prague for a cheap breakaway
The weakest points:
- You are in Prague 3 and you will need a 20-30 minutes walk to the Old City. Public transportation for the Castle and Mala Strana
- Budget in the transportation cost (around 5euro/day) and more time to travel around
- the area can be noisy at night
Zizkov is the place to stay in Prague if you want to party the all weekend or you want to stay on a cheap.
Be sure of one thing. This is not the neighborhood to stay on your first trip to Prague.
The risk is that you will be spending too much time in cafes or pubs and you will not bother to make it to the Old Town, let alone the Castle area.
It’s an intriguing area to stay on a third or fourth trip, or if you are just planning to party the whole time.
I do suggest spending a night with friends roaming around the local pubs even if your hotel is in Prague 1. It will be fun.
In Zizkov you will also find a small selection of economical stays, which will help if you have a limited budget on your trip.
Consider also that the restaurants in this area tend to be cheaper than everywhere else
Here are a few suggested cheap stays.
SKLEP accommodation ($)
The rooms in these apartments are spacious, with amenities enough for a budget stay – including the equipped kitchenette and washing machine.
While the building was actually established early in the 20th century, the design of interiors and exteriors has given it that “old-world” vibe.
Staying at the SKLEP accommodation gives you a discount at the restaurant that’s next to the hotel. The tram stop at the exit of the apartment is quite convenient to commute to the city centre.
Residence Tabor ($)
This 19th century house – now fully refurbished – gives you a relaxing stay. From the big bathroom, balcony with views, and different lighting options to set the mood, throughout to the nitty gritty like reliable wifi, good water pressure in the showers, and a teapot in the room.
The tram stop at the front of the hotel means you can easily get to Prague 1.
There are also currency exchange services at the hotel, and a shuttle service to the airport at an extra charge.
Pension 15 Homér
This is another amazingly cheap hotel in Prague, that is why I have not even added the dollar figure.
Rooms are very simple, but still spacious. The bathroom is shared.
Insulation is not the best and it can be noisy at time, but at this price you cannot ask for perfection.
The location is perfect, especially if you arrive by train, being a stone away from the station.
The best 3 boutique and romantic hotels in Prague
The Mozart Prague
Cosy suites with lovely views of the Castle and Charles Bridge- and still a walking distance from the favourite sightseeing spots in Prague – you’ll enjoy your stay at The Mozart.
Actually, Mozart and Casanova used to stay here during their trips to Prague.
Plenty of sofas in the rooms for seating space, multiple TVs depending on the selected suites – with room options ranging from two- and three-bedroom suites to deluxe double rooms, access to a wellness centre for your beauty treatments and massages, as well as a sauna – it’s all here.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing trip with your partner, planning a proposal or out on your honeymoon, this spot won’t disappoint.
The friendly staff even help you plan that surprise for your partner.
Four Seasons Hotel
The rooms in the Four Seasons Hotel have been nicely decorated and come with views of Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge.
While it has a historic setting, it has been comfortably furnished with modern amenities you’ll need for your stay.
You have access to the Cotto Crudo Restaurant where you can grab some Italian delights, and even the AVA Spa where you can get facials and body treatments – including thermal baths that draw from traditional Czech body care.
Large seating area in the room, coffee to-go by the elevator, secure underground parking – the convenience contributes to making your stay worthwhile.
This is also a pet-friendly hotel, so you can bring your puppy with you on the trip.
Old Town Square Apartment
This is a 1-bedroom apartment on the second floor of the building, complete with its flat-screen TV, washing machine, dishwasher, and well-equipped kitchen to make you feel at home away from home.
It’s got superb views of the Church of Our Lady before Týn (in the central Old City Square), and you can also kick back and relax in the hammock.
The host is pretty engaging, giving you tips on top spots around to eat and drink.