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Best areas to stay in Prague

Top areas to stay in Prague

The ‘city of a hundred spires’ gives majestic a whole new meaning, whether you watch the sunset from a medieval stone bridge, gaze over the terracotta-capped buildings or simply marvel at the abundance of stunning Art Nouveau, Baroque and Gothic architecture. But for all Prague’s historic charm, there are still vast reminders of its more-recent Soviet past, in its pastel-coloured apartment blocks, austere facades and stern monuments. Staying here means that history, culture and fun is quite literally on your doorstep. Here are some of the best areas to stay in Prague; and once you’re feeling suitably inspired, check out our Prague holidays.

  1. Vysehrad
  2. Vinohrady
  3. Zizkov
  4. Nove Mesto (The New Town)
  5. Stare Mesto (The Old Town)
  6. Mala Strana
  7. Hradcany

In collaboration with
Rough Guides

1. Vysehrad

Not many think to visit Vysehrad, let alone base themselves there, but they should – in both respects. The area is about a 20min or 40min walk to Charles Bridge, and from its rocky mound position offers brilliant views over the Vltava River, with the spires of the Prague Castle complex on the other side of the river on the far right. Vysehrad means ‘high castle’ and is named after the 10th-century castle that once stood here, although remnants of its fortifications remain today. This quieter area is home to a spacious park and the national cemetery, the final resting place of many prominent Czech poets, composers and novelists. It makes a peaceful escape from ‘downtown’ Prague, although it’s well connected with a metro station and tram service; otherwise, it’s a pleasant stroll along the river to reach your final destination.

Best for:Those looking for quiet stays.

While you’re there:St Martin’s Rotunda dates back to the 11th century and is one of the oldest churches in Bohemia.

2. Vinohrady

Vinohrady is the best area to stay in Prague for romantics, who can admire its elegant Neo-Renaissance, Baroque and Art Nouveau buildings in all their ornate glory. In this chilled-out area, you can go for a stroll through the large Riegrovy Sady park, mooch around one of the many farmer’s markets and wind your way down the tree-lined streets towards the showstopping Namesti Miru. It’s also home to loads of hip little coffee shops if you need a caffeine fix, too.

Best for:Couples.

While you’re there:The Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord features the biggest clock face in central Europe.

3. Zizkov

Nearby Zizkov is another relatively affluent, chilled-out area, and is home to one of the most unique sights in all of Prague: the Television Tower. Designed by Czech artist David Cerny, the futuristic tower has giant babies crawling up it; this is classic Cerny, where you can see more of the same over in Kampa Park with his giant, barcode-faced Crawling Babies. But back to Zizkov. This neighbourhood is slightly grittier than Vinohrady, but it’s home to a wealth of great pubs, which is a great insight into local life.

Best for:Local life.

While you’re there:Make your way uphill to the National Monument, for great views over the terracotta rooftops and towards the TV Tower.

4. Nove Mesto (The New Town)

There’s loads of hotels to choose from in Nove Mesto, along with plenty of theatres, clubs and cinemas to entertain yourself with. At one end sits Wenceslas Square, one of the most iconic spots in Prague with its National Museum sitting at the top of the long square and shops lining the street down to its pedestrianized end. Also in the area is the National Theatre (Narodni Divadlo), its breathtaking design and riverfront position making it one of the top things to see here, whether it’s a performance itself or simply admiring the architecture from outside.

Best for: Those who’d prefer to sit back and be entertained.

While you’re there:Go for lunch at the glass-fronted, curved Tancici Dum.

5. Stare Mesto (The Old Town)

One of the best areas to stay in Prague for sightseeing is the Old Town, but be warned that this is one of the most expensive places to stay in the city! That said, once you’re here, you’re just a few steps away from some of the best sights and attractions in the city, from the Old Town Square with its charming Astronomical Clock to Josefov, Jewish Quarter. You could easily spend a solid day working your way around the top sights here, before flopping into bed for a well-deserved sleep at the end of the day.

Best for: History lovers.

While you’re there:The restaurants here tend to charge high tourist prices, but at least you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

6. Mala Strana

From the Old Town side, cross over Charles Bridge and immediately into Mala Strana, otherwise known as the Lesser Quarter. This is more of a residential area with many Renaissance and Baroque buildings, as well as the fabulous Church of St Nicholas and splendid Wallenstein Palace and Gardens. Also here is Kampa Island, home to the tourist-heavy, graffitied John Lennon Wall, and leads onto Petrin Hill which you can take the funicular up to.

Best for:Those who are looking for more space.

While you’re there:Head up the steep Nerudova street towards Prague Castle.

7. Hradcany

Sit above the clouds – well, okay, ground level – in Hradcany, the Castle District. From its ridge-top position, you’ll be rewarded with sublime views of the town and river below, as well as a whole day’s worth of activities up at the Prague Castle complex itself. But even before you enter the castle, the surrounding area of the square is well worth exploring, with the likes of the sgraffito-clad Schwarzenberg Palace, home to the Baroque Art in Bohemia gallery, and Sternberg Palace, which houses the National Gallery of European Art. But of course the best reason to base yourself here is for the Prague Castle complex; with its three separate entrances, the place includes an array of museums, the Gothic St Vitus Cathedral and unmissable Changing of the Guards procession.

Best for: Those who want to enjoy the view.

While you’re there: In one of the gardens is a Castle Birds of Prey exhibit.

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