The Best Areas to Stay in Prague
Prague Areas 1 to 10
As most of “tourist” Prague is now divided into areas 1 to 10, if you are looking for where to stay in Prague it’s worth shedding a little light on what to expect from each. For all references to the “river” direction, if you were standing on the Old Town side of the river and were facing the castle the river is flowing from left to right hence everything to the left is “upriver” and everything to the right is “downriver”.
Prague is very well connected by public transport so although I always advise people to start their search in the Old Town, be aware that there can be bargains outside of the central districts if you are prepared to use the metro or tram. And if you stay close to a night tram route you’ll have public transport options 24 hours a day.
By staying anywhere in the Prague 1 district you will put yourself within 20 minutes walk of most of Prague’s tourist attractions. The four main elements of Prague 1 are the Old Town, the New Town, the Lesser Town and the Prague Castle area.
Prague 1 contains the highest concentrations of accommodation, bars and restaurants. A taxi to the area from the airport should be no more than CZK600.
Prague 1 – The Old Town
This is the geographical centre of the city and most popular place to stay in Prague containing a lot of pedestrianised areas but the bars and restaurants are considered to be more expensive. By staying in the Prague Old Town you should never be more than a 10 minute walk from anywhere else in the Old Town. The streets are narrow but the buildings are rarely more than 4 floors high. Don’t expect regular blocks i.e. it was not designed for traffic so you can get a bit disoriented. My Old Town hotels guide will give you more information on places to stay.
Prague 1 – The New Town
This area encloses the Old Town against the river on one side and the highway on the other. It includes both Wenceslas Square and Republic Square. The New Town is seen as being a bit “louder” and the Wenceslas Square area contains the bulk of the bars and hence the majority of the local Stag Party crowds. The New Town has many choices for shops and also contains the National Museum and main train station. Streets in the New Town are wider and conform mostly to the “block” system although much of the parking is reserved. Check my Wenceslas Square Hotels or Republic Square Hotels pages for more detail on staying in those areas.
Prague 1 – The Lesser Town and Castle
These are considered the quiet areas to stay in Prague 1 and are the historical centre of the city. Yes that’s right, Prague is the only place I know where the “Old Town” is NOT the oldest part of the city. The immediate vicinity of the Castle with few bars and no loud clubs etc is a destination for those who want to stay in an around the oldest buildings in the city and avoid the Stag Party crowds at night. The Lesser Town is the area beneath the Castle. Again, no real nightlife action outside the Square (Malostranske Namesti) but certainly more choice of bars and restaurants than around the Castle but still only an 8 minute walk to the Old Town Square. Check my Mala Strana Hotels or Prague Castle Hotels pages for details.
South and south-west of central Prague extending about 1km further than the Prague 1 boundary following up river. Extends around the east part of Prague. Includes the areas called Vinohrady and Namesti Miru which offer many independent bars, shops and restaurants to help you enjoy your stay in Prague. Well within the metro area. Common to find street names which are countries or capital cities around Namesti Miru. To the south this area ends at Vysehrad (Nusle) on the Prague 4 border. Currently in this border area you’ll find the Fox apartments and the Hotel Union amongst others. On Vinohradska you’ll find the Palac Flora shopping centre, the front of the centre is in Prague 2, the rear borders the New Jewish Cemetery which is Prague 10 and the next closest road is in Prague 3. If you are prepared for a 20 minute walk or use of public transport then try the Vinohrady Hotels page or there are places on the river part of Prague 2 on the Vysehrad Hotels page.
On one side it has a border with Vinohradska starting at the Jiriho z Podebrad Metro. On the far side it borders with Prague 8 and extending away from Vinohrady this becomes Prague 10. The biggest residential area in Prague 3 is called Zizkov. On the Prague 8 side it is accessible by bus and tram. On the Vinohradska side you have the Hotel Anna and Hotel Claris plus apartments on Slezka. As with Prague 2, this area offers a lot of options for people who want to stay in Prague just outside the tourist centre. On the Prague 8 side the main road is Seifertova and hotels in this road include the Amedia Teatrino, Carlton, Ariston and Olsanka. If you are prepared for a 20-30 minute walk or to use public transport then try the Zizkov Hotels page.
Going upriver for 3km, on the other side of Prague 2 you come to Prague 4 it’s an area for people who want to stay in Prague by the river but just outside the centre. Lower level accommodation (pensions and hostels) are largely grouped around Podoli and Branik on the river. The 4* hotels are around Pankrac/Vysehrad at the highest part of Prague 4. The river side has a tram and bus service only. From the city, heading towards Brno you leave Prague by crossing the Nusle Bridge and the far side of the bridge is Prague 4. On one part, Prague 4 stays close to the southern ring road, extends all the way around to the areas of Pankrac and Krc and finally to Branik on the river. The 5* Hotel in the Pankrac area is the Corinthia. 4* Hotels nearby are the Panorama, Holiday Inn Congress Centre and Barcelo. There’s a pair of 3* called Otar and Oya. Prague 4 is heavily residential and has metro stations from Vysehrad extending out 4km to Opatov and Haje (end of line). There are many small hotels and pensions in the area. At the far end of the area are the Hotel Opatov, Hotel Top (4*) and Best Western Amedia (3*). Top Hotel is about 20 mins but has a regular bus 115 service. It is most important to check transport details unless you want to spend out on taxis.
We go back over the river for this area which is very popular with people looking to stay in Prague and have a quick journey to the southern ring road. Extending upriver from Mala Strana all the way to Zbraslav about 7km to the south. On the far side of the castle it extends away towards the Airport. The bigger hotels in this area include anything in Ujezd (Roma, Riverside) or Andel (Andels Design, NH Andel) and Smichov (plus botels Admiral and Vodnik). The area is semi residential with some light industry. The last metro in the area is Smichov but the tram now extends to Hlubocepy which puts it a 5 minute walk from there to the Hotel Smaragd. Prague 5 is the biggest Prague area. Most of the hotels are clustered in and around the Ujezd/Andel areas. If you are prepared for a 20 minute walk or happy to use public transport then try the Andel Hotels page and Ujezd Hotels page.
From the castle this area extends west and north to it’s boundary with Prague 7. The most popular area is Dejvice with it’s fast connection to the Airport and the Dejvicka Metro Station. Prague 6 is heavily residential and contains the highest concentration of Embassies and Consulates in Prague. The airport is in the Prague 6 area so if you want to stay in Prague close to the airport then take a look at the Airport Hotels page.
This area extends down river from Letna including the areas of Troja and Liben and Holesovice. These areas suffered in the flood of 2002. Troja is the home of Prague Zoo. The biggest concentration of accommodation is in the Holesovice area (Rivertown market). Hotels in this area include the Park Hotel Veletrzni, Extol Inn, Sir Toby’s Hostel and the Plaza Alta. Holesovice train station has a metro but, most of the area is served only by bus and tram. Many expats stay in Prague 7 because of it’s relatively low prices and quick access to the centre. If you are prepared for a 30 minute walk (Letna is a bit closer) or use of public transport then try the Holesovice/Letna Hotels page.
The two most populated areas in Prague 8 are Karlin and Kobylisy which sit on opposite sides of the river. Karlin has metro and tram connections with Republic Square and Wenceslas Square. Kobylisy metro connects with Wenceslas Square but the tram takes you to Mala Strana. Both areas have hotels clustered around the transport hubs but although you can walk into the centre from Karlin, this is not practical from Kobylisy. People who want to stay in Prague 8 must be prepared for a 20-30 minute walk or use of public transport so if that’s ok for you then try the Karlin Hotels page or read more about the area on the Karlin Guide page.
If you had continued out of Prague 8 then eventually it becomes Prague 9. Not much in the way of accommodation out here (only the hotel Diana and Arlington are worth a mention for their restaurants). There are concentrations of apartment blocks and most people stay in Prague 9 to be close to events at Ceskomoravska (O2 Arena). A couple of large shopping centres and Industrial zones have developed over the last few years. Not generally a popular area to stay but gets a lot of people staying locally when there’s something on at the O2 Arena.
Prague 10 has borders with Prague 2, Prague 3 and Prague 9 and is the last Prague area before entering the Prague-East district of the Stredocesky area. It has metro stations at Zelivskeho, Strasnice and Skalka. Highest concentration of residential blocks is around Strasnice and Zahradni Mesto (Garden Town – all the streets have names of flowers). Most of the accommodation is centered around Strasnice and the street/area called Vrsovice. Hotels in the Strasnice area are the Comfort Inn, Juno and Hotel Slavia. All are 3*. At Zelivskeho is the Dorint Novotel (formerly the Don Giovanni). People who would like to stay in Prague 10 can take advantage of the great metro station and 24 hour tram services.
A Guided Walking Tour For Less than the Price of a T-Shirt
You think guided tour – too expensive! or you don’t want to be in a big group or struggle understanding the guide. No problem there as for less than the price of a T-Shirt you can do a tour with me in Native English and it’s limited to 6 people. Entertaining, highly rated tours, 2.5 hours, great value and a great experience. If you are used to taking guided tours or even if you want to try it for the first time, you’ll enjoy it and you’ll remember it long after you’ve left the city. Tips on eating and drinking, saving money, avoiding queues and lesser known places to visit. All included.
Take a look at the Old Town and Jewish Quarter Hidden Secrets or the Prague City Walking Tour.