As any visitor to the city quickly finds out, the grandiose River Vltava cuts Prague pretty much straight down the middle. But no matter which side of the Czech capital you choose, you won’t be far from its very best restaurants, bars and things to do. The most visit-worthy attractions are dotted all around the city centre, with Prague Castle, for example, just above the romantic streets of Malá Strana and Vinohrady a few steps beyond Wenceslas Square.
Prague’s excellent public transport network is easily one of the city’s greatest assets. An affordable, reliable network of metro lines, trams and buses means you can stay basically anywhere in the city and still have easy access to the major sights. So skip the crowds, noise and inflated prices of the city centre and get to know some of the surrounding neighbourhoods. We’re here to help you choose which one is right for you.
If a fairytale reputation for romance, history and elegance is what draws you to Prague, this is your neighbourhood. The cobblestoned streets curve in mysterious waves across the hills that connect the Prague Castle to the Charles Bridge. This area bustles with sightseers by day, then gives way to reasonably peaceful nights.
This micro-neighbourhood is technically part of the larger New Town district that wraps around Prague’s historic centre. The southern area near Charles Square (Karlovo Náměstí) has a more residential vibe than Wenceslas Square and Náměstí Republiky, also in the New Town. Karlovo Náměstí boasts easy walking access to nightlife options and the waterfront, with the added bonus of a good night’s sleep.
You’re likely to cross paths with both locals and transplants in this neighbourhood known for its cafés, green spaces and an LGBTQ-friendly bar scene. Vinohrady gives visitors a chance to step slightly off the beaten path, just beyond the city centre, without forgoing access to English-speaking staff or bumbling into less welcoming, locals-only spaces.
This former industrial neighbourhood has followed in the footsteps of so many others of its kind by converting warehouse spaces and factories into gathering places for artists and other creatives. Across the water from the historic city centre and a bend in the Vltava away from Prague Castle, Holešovice shows Prague is looking to the future – while keeping its past very much in sight.
If this isn’t your first trip to Prague, or you’re more interested in a glimpse of local life than major monuments, make this grittier neighbourhood your base (think functional concrete apartment blocks, rather than historic pastel façades). Sprawling Žižkov, which starts around the square at Jiřího z Poděbrad and extends off the eastern edge of most tourist maps, is known for its high concentration of pubs, so you’ll never be far from a drink.
Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, much of the residential property in Prague’s historic centre was swiftly converted into hotels. The result is that there’s no shortage of accommodation options in the city, from luxury boutique spots near the city's top attractions to cheaper, more modest hotels elsewhere.