Most travellers start researching where to stay in Prague even before they create their perfect itinerary. Prague is divided into areas from 1 to 10 and it's worth understanding what to expect from each neighbourhood before booking your accommodation. We stayed over a week in Prague and loved its sensational sights. We also ventured to all neighbourhoods to better understand where to stay in Prague next time to decide to visit. Prague is very well connected and you can get almost anywhere by public transport.
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Where to stay in Prague [2020 Guide For First Time Visitors] - Contents
Where to stay in Prague
For those who wish to stay right in the centre, the best choice is to find accommodation in the Old Town. By staying in Prague 1 you can be just 20 minutes walk away from most major attractions. If you are on a budget, pick locations outside of the Old Town but be sure to stay close to the night tram route so you have 24-hour public transport options. We stayed in Mala Strana as we found accommodation which offered free parking included. Most travellers arrived in Prague at the Vaclav Havel Airport which about 10 miles away from the city. We decided that we wanted to drive from Budapest to Prague, so we experience a little more of Czech Republic than just its capital city.
Prague 1 - The Old Town
The Old Town is where you will find most Prague's attractions. Enjoy the old square and the famed Astronomical Clock which dates back to 1410. Find myriad restaurants and enjoy an array of bars. Explore quaint alleyways and medieval buildings. Don't forget to explore the Old Town Hall which offers guided tours on a daily basis. Go to the very top and enjoy incredible views of stunning Prague from above.
Why stay in The Old Town
If you love to be in the middle of the attractions and enjoy Prague's most vibrant quarters then this is where to stay in Prague. For convenience purposes, the Old Town is fantastic, with access to everything within a few minutes walk. This is the most popular place in Prague where you will find a network of pedestrian-only areas with bars and restaurants for you to enjoy.
Why not stay in The Old Town
The main reason why you shouldn't stay in The Old Town is because real estate here is at its premium. This area is not suitable for budget travellers as the bars, restaurants and hotels tend to be more expensive than anywhere else in Prague. As with most cities, you do pay for convenience and in this case, nothing beats The Old Town which is the heart of Prague.
Where to stay in The Old Town
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Prague 1 – The New Town
Still in Prague 1, you can find The New Town which is essentially the area which includes the Wenceslas Square and Republic Square. The New Town spans from the river to the motorway and it is located kinda below The Old Town. Nove Mesto (New Town) was founded in 1348 so not really a modern part of the city but in fact the youngest town of the historic Prague. New Town is known as the louder part of Prague 1 with many parties taking place here. There are various shops and bars here so if you want to experience the nightlife of the city, this is a good area for you.
Why stay in New Town
Very close to most Prague's attractions, The New Town is still part of Prague 1, hence it's a great location to be in. It's also more stag and hen oriented with louder parties, so if nightlife is on the list, then The New Town will serve you right. Just head over to the Wenceslas Square and let the fun begin.
Why not stay in New Town
Being an upscale part of Prague, expect expensive accommodation which doesn't really suit budget needs.
Where to stay in New Town
Prague 1 – The Lesser Town and Castle District
The Lesser Town, also known as the Mala Strana is located on the other side of the river, opposite the Old Town. In our opinion, this is the best part of Prague, way more interesting and picturesque than the Old Town. So don't let the name fool you, because Mala Strana is by no means any lesser. You can find an array of great restaurants here, including many vegan options which we went for. Food in Prague is delicious and costs for various dishes and drinks is more than reasonable. Beer in Prague is cheap is tasty with too many varieties to be able to try them all in a week holiday.
The Castle is located in Hradcany and it dates back to the 9th century. The castle complex offers panoramic views of the city as well as various incredible buildings within the complex itself. The castle district is much quieter with fewer parties and noise during the night. But that doesn't mean you need to sacrifice on the accommodation, as in the castle district you will find plenty of luxury options, most offering rooms in stunning medieval buildings.
Why stay in The Lesser Town and Castle District
Those interested in affordable luxury with quiet nights and stunning views will want to stay in the Lesser Town or Castle District. We think this is one of the best locations in Prague with beautiful buildings, stunning alleyways and great varieties of restaurants.
Why not stay in The Lesser Town and Castle District
Although a fabulous location, this might not be ideal for people with mobility issues as many of the streets have cobblestone on them. Also, you might need to climb a hill to get to your accommodation which may not be everyone's idea of a chilled holiday. We, however, really love that about the Castle District. Getting to the tram and metro station involves climbing a hill. Indeed, the district’s steep hills filled with quaint alleys and stone streets make it difficult for people with mobility issues to get around. In that case, unless you plan to take taxis a lot, you may wish to stay elsewhere. Remember that Mala Strana is not for those interested in a nightlife in Prague.
Where to stay in Lesser Town and Castle District
Prague 2 - Vinohrady and Namesti Miru
Prague 2 is where you'll find most expats and young professionals. This is also an area full of independent bars, shops and restaurants. For LGTB community, Vinohrady is home to the gay quarter which is vibrant and alive. Being so international, Prague 2 is also where you can sample fusion cuisine. The area is fantastic for couples who are looking for affordable luxury but also budget travellers who seek apartments on the cheaper side.
Why stay in Vinohrady and Namesti Miru
Prague 2 is further from Prague's well-known attractions which makes it a better choice for budget travellers and young professionals. The area is well connected which means you can rely on the public transport to access Prague 1 and other areas. It's a great choice for those interested in meeting other expats and sampling international cuisines. It's fantastic for LGTB travellers as well as tourists who wish to support independent businesses.
Why not stay in Vinohrady and Namesti Miru
Although more suitable for budget travellers, it's still quite difficult to find hotels on the cheap side. The area can be quite noisy at times.
Where to stay in Vinohrady and Namesti Miru
Prague 3 - Žižkov
Žižkov is mainly known for being home to the television tower which offers incredible views of Prague. The area is less glamorous than other upscale neighbourhoods in more central locations. Žižkov is close to the centre however and also a prefered hot spot for expats. You will find many budget accommodation options here, including hostels and cheap apartments.
Why stay in Žižkov
Budget travellers who love meeting locals and expats alike should consider Žižkov due to the lower prices. Žižkov is affordable and relatively close to the centre which makes it great for those who wish to experience Prague and don't want to pay for premium locations.
Why not stay in Žižkov
Žižkov is not the most upscale neighbourhood in Prague. This being said, it is safe, just doesn't look as glam as other parts of the city. This brings the prices down, but also makes it less attractive for travellers who wish to experience a more picturesque side of the city.
Where to stay in Žižkov
Prague 4 - Podoli and Branik
Prague 4 is a great option for travellers who still wish to be located close to the river, but not be right in the centre. This means lower prices but still access to prime locations in Prague. This particular district is heavily residential and you can find various hostels and budget accommodation options.
Why stay in Podoli and Branik
This district is great for budget travellers who are after hostels, small hotels and pensions. A 4-star hotel in this area can start from £35 per night which is a bargain for Prague.
Why not stay in Podoli and Branik
Hotels here are relatively far from any major attractions which might make it inconvenient for some travellers. However, there are various public transport options which means you can enjoy Prague for cheap and still get to see all the major attractions which are a few subway stations away.
Where to stay in Podoli and Branik
Prague 5 - Smichov
Smichov is a great area which has great connections and is also home to a large mall for shopping enthusiasts. We visited the area as we wanted to test some of the vegan options in the area and we weren't disappointed. Smichov is very good for budget travellers with many private apartments offering good accommodation options. Parking is also available on the street which makes it desirable for those arriving by car. Around the mall, there isn't much nightlife going on, but there are late night bars and pubs open for those who want a late night snack and some great beers.
Why stay in Smichov
Prices are low and the area is decent. Within 30-40 minute walk, you can find yourself in the Castle District. You can walk by the riverside and take really great pictures at night. There are vegan restaurants available in the area as well as various traditional restaurants which serve great food. The area is relatively quiet at night, but there are bars and pubs for those who fancy a beer near their hotel.
Why not stay in Smichov
It can get a bit busy and congested in the morning and during rush hours. The place looks a bit commercial and industrial at parts but overall is a great place for budget seekers.
Where to stay in Smichov
Prague 8 - Karlin and Kobylisy
Karlin is not your ordinary location in Prague with beautiful buildings and quaint alleyways. It was primarily an industrial place which nowadays attracts many locals who commute to the centre for work. Prague 8 is not glam but it offers decent accommodation for budget seekers who are interested in seeing a more off the beaten path in Prague. It's also a great place to mingle with locals and see the day to day Prague as residents do.
Why stay in Karlin and Kobylisy
If you don't mind being a bit further out of city centre, then Prague 8 is great for those looking to score budget options.
Why not stay in Karlin and Kobylisy
Prague 8 is a newer neighbourhood which means it doesn't have any beautiful features like many other districts in Prague. However, cheap prices make up for the looks.