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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.
What to do
A trip to the Prague Castle is the obvious frontrunner in the area, but there’s more history to explore nearby. The 215-step climb up the bell tower beside St Nicholas Church gives you panoramic views, and the top floor displays remnants of its recent spell as a spy tower during the Communist era. Music fans may want to scribble their names on the John Lennon graffiti wall, where at least one street musician is usually covering Beatles songs.
Where to eat
Sample the decadent tasting menus and excellent duck and game dishes at U Modre Kachnicky. For a lighter bite with coffee (or a microbrew with lunch, as the locals do) pop into ROESEL beer & cake just off the Charles Bridge.
What to drink
Make a reservation at U Maleho Glena to snag one of the few tables available for live jazz every night of the week. You’ll find beer fans crammed into the tables and sipping Pilsner at Lokál U Bílé kuželky. If quiet conversation over wine is more your thing, head up the hill to Vinoteka U Mouřenína.
Where to stay
Malá Strana’s streets are lined with luxury hotels. For a cosy home-away-from-home experience smack in the centre of it all, try an apartment in the boutique Nicholas Hotel Residence.
If you only do one thing…
Take a walk through Wallenstein Gardens (Valdštejnská zahrada) and bask in an atmosphere of royal relaxation. This Baroque landscape, open from April to October, is a peaceful masterpiece of manicured hedges, carp-filled ponds, frescoed buildings and live peacocks wandering freely among visitors.