Where to Stay in Prague First Time: 12 Best Areas

The best areas to stay in Prague for the first time are the neighborhoods of Old Town (Stare Mesto), New Town (Nove Mesto), Lesser Town (Mala Strana), Castle District (Hradcany), Vinohrady, Zizkov, Karlin. In this blog post, I will give you detail of where to stay in Prague for nightlife, family, budget, couples, sightseeing and the best hotels in the old town, near the train station and airport.

Being the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, as well as the historical capital of Bohemia, Prague is a city brimming with history and culture, which attracts almost 8 million visitors per year.

The city of Prague is spread over 192 square miles and broken up into 22 separate districts. With such a vast range of options, it can be quite daunting to select the perfect location for your trip to the city.  If you want to experience Prague’s history and culture, then the old town of Mala Strana would be ideal. Mala Strana is also the best place to stay in Prague for families.

Stare Mesto is also the best area in Prague to stay in if you’re looking for where to stay in Prague for first-timers. And If you are more interested in the multicultural background of Prague, then Stare Mesto may be a better bet.

Zizkov is the best place where it comes to where to stay in Prague for nightlife. Whereas a single adult may prefer the edgier, livelier environment of Zizkov.

If you are looking for where to stay in Prague for two days and the weekend, you are going to want to stay in the heart of Prague, choosing between the Stare Mesto, Nove Mesto, and Mala Strana neighborhoods. Nove Mesto is also a good option for a romantic holiday when it comes to where to stay in Prague for couples.

💖 Best Area:Old Town (Staré Mesto-Prague 1)
💎 Best luxury hotel:Hotel Paris Prague 
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Grand Majestic Hotel Prague
💰 Best budget hotel:Residence BENE 


📌12 Best Areas to Stay in Prague

1. Staré Mesto/ Old Town, best area to stay in Prague for first time

Staré Mesto/ Old Town, best area to stay in Prague
Old Town: where to stay in Prague for first-timers

We begin in the city’s most historical area in Prague 1, Stare Mesto, which is also known as the “Old Town”. When you are talking about a city that was settled in the 7th century, you are guaranteed to attract visitors who are seeking to explore the history and culture that makes the area famous.

With a litany of sights and attractions, the Old Town is the best area to stay in Prague for sightseeing. It’s home to famous attractions such as the Astronomical Clock, the Old Town Hall, Our Lady Before Týn church, the Royal Route, the Old Town Square, and within walking distance to Charles Bridge, Vltava River, and Prague Castle.

One of the first things that will strike you about this area is its diverse culture, featuring long histories with both the Christian and Jewish communities. 

The iconic, absolutely stunning, gothic, Church Of Our Lady Before Tyn, with its 80-meter towers dominating the skyline, as well as the more traditionally beautiful Church Of St. Martin In The Wall, are offset against Europe’s oldest active synagogue, the Old Synagogue, one of its newest, in the Spanish Synagogue, as well as the Old Jewish Cemetery, which is one of the largest of its kind in Europe.

Don’t worry if you aren’t interested in the religious history of Prague though, as this part of the city is filled with beautiful and iconic locations.

The Old Town Square (Staromestske Namesti) with its Kinsky Palace and Stone Bell Tower, is one of the best places to stroll around, or sit and enjoy a drink or meal while taking in its beauty. From here, locations such as the Old Town City Hall, with its Astronomical Clock, and the gothic Powder Tower, one of the original city gates, lie just minutes away.

Not only does it have one of the city’s best Christmas markets in the Old Town Square, but it is also the location of the city’s main Christmas tree, the beauty, and magnitude of which is perfectly complemented by the choirs and musicians that perform around it.

The Wenceslas Square (Vaclavske Namesti) is also easy to reach from the southeast of Old Town Square. You will find the National Museum and a statue of Wenceslas riding a horse.

For the art lovers, you even have the art nouveau Municipal House concert hall, the Prague Museum Of Decorative Arts, the Baroque style Clam-Gallas Palace and Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace, with its preserved dance hall, all waiting to be explored and admired.

Apart from sightseeing, the Old Town has plenty of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and shops. Central location, well-connected public transport offers easy access to other parts of the city with metro lines, trams, the accommodations can be expensive, but budget backpacker and young travelers can still find many hostels.

Whatever your preference, if you’re looking for some traditional Czech culture, there simply isn’t a better place to start.

Stay in Old Town Prague if you are interested in the diverse religious history of the city, are visiting Prague for the first time, or New year, Christmas, and you are interested in Jewish architecture, are a fan of the arts, want to enjoy food and drink with a stunning view; you don’t mind busy, touristy, and loud at some parts.

Best Places to stay in Prague Old Town (Stare Mesto):


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2. New Town (Nove Mesto), where to stay in Prague for luxury

New Town (Nove Mesto), where to stay in Prague for luxury

As we’ve already looked at Stare Mesto, the Old Town Prague, you may be able to guess what’s coming here, as Nove Mesto, perhaps unsurprisingly, is the New Town. The New Town has been around for more than 700 years old.

This particular area is centered around Wenceslas Square, one of the most historic locations in the city, which is still used as the location for many important events today and has become a center for the city’s business. 

It also features the National Museum at its head, the largest museum in all of the Czech Republic, allowing you to expand your knowledge or simply climb its stairs for an amazing view of the square.

Despite its importance, Wenceslas Square isn’t the only one in the area though, as Charles Square is the largest medieval square in Europe and one of the largest squares in the world as a whole. While still retaining its stunning architecture, it has been adapted into a park, to allow visitors to take in its beauty in a more relaxed manner.

While, like much of the city, the area is home to a large number of historic churches, one of which features a museum in its crypt, as well as the largest synagogue in Prague, it is a location better known for its relationship with the arts.

The National Theatre (Národní divadlo), Fred and Ginger (Dancing House), Franz Kafka Museum, the Museum of Communism, and Mucha Museum are all beautiful buildings that fans of the arts will be able to enjoy, both inside and out. Náplavka and David Cerny Statues are also worth visiting!

If all of this isn’t enough to keep you occupied, the fabulous collection of bars and restaurants in its squares and historic streets should provide ample opportunity to break up the exploration with a pleasant meal or drink.

Stay in Nove Mesto if you’re looking for the best place to stay in Prague for couples; you are interested in churches, you are a fan of the arts, you like fine food and drink; you want a central location, within walking distance to the attractions, well-connected with metro and tram,

Best Places to Stay in Prague in New Town:


3. Malá Strana (Lesser Town), where to stay in Prague with a family

Where to Stay in Prague for family– Mala Strana
Malá Strana – best area to stay in Prague for family

Our next destination is Mala Strana, a location that may deter some visitors due to its name, which roughly translates to “Lesser Town” or Little Quarter on the castle area of Vltava River. Despite this unfortunate moniker, don’t be fooled, as Malá Strana features some of the most stunning and historic locations in all the city.

You could start off with a visit to the city’s most famous attraction, the 9th-century Prague Castle, the largest ancient castle in the world. From there, attractions such as the 10th-century Metropolitan Cathedral Of Saints Vitus, Wenceslaus And Adalbert, 17th-century Wallenstein Palace, and 18th-century Saint Nicholas Church all lie within walking distance.

For those who are less worried about the cultural and historical significance of their surroundings and would prefer to simply enjoy the beauty of the city, there is plenty to enjoy here as well.

Take a walk across the Vltava River on the beautiful, medieval Charles Bridge, or visit Kampa Island, which lies within its waters. Stroll to the edges of the district and see the Pisek Gate, part of the fortifications of the original city. Maybe even climb to the top of the Petrin Lookout Tower and take in one of the most stunning views of the city.

There’s even plenty for the less active people out there, as the Malostranské Square, John Lennon Wall, Franz Kafka Museum, and Church Of Our Lady Victorious And Infant Jesus Of Prague statues provide a wide array of sites to keep you entertained throughout your trip.

This peaceful Prague neighborhood of Mala Strana is perfect for families, couples on a romantic holiday, and those who like peace, quiet, and tranquility.

Stay in Malá Strana (Little Quarter) if you enjoy historical sites, you want to witness stunning views, you enjoy walks along the river, you are traveling with family and searching for a quiet atmosphere.

Best Places to stay in Prague Mala Strana:


4. Zizkov (Prague 3), where to stay in Prague for nightlife

Where to Stay in Prague for nightlife – Zizkov

Our next stop takes us away from the very center of the city, about 2 miles east of the river, to the district of Zizkov. Zizkov is a budget-friendly are and also the best area to stay in Prague for nightlife.

While our destinations so far have focused largely on historical areas, steeped in culture, Zizkov offers a slightly different experience of the city. With a more Bohemian feel to the area, this is a great place to come for those looking to experience the alternative side of Prague. 

Popular with artists, musicians, students, and backpackers, the area is filled with unique bars, cafes, restaurants, clubs, and galleries. Take the opportunity to enjoy some of the city’s underground art, have a fabulous meal or night of drinking, without breaking the bank to do it.

While the area is less polished than others in appearance, it also offers a greater range of affordable accommodation options, so is a perfect opportunity for those on a budget to enjoy the city.

While traveling back into the city from Zizkov is a quick and easy feat to achieve, you also don’t necessarily have to in order to see historic attractions either. That’s because the National Monument, one of the most important buildings in the development of the Czech state, the New Jewish Cemetery, the location of Franz Kafka’s grave, and the iconic Zizkov Television Tower are all located in the area.

Some of more attractions are the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of our Lord on Jiřího z Poděbrad Square, and the largest park in Žižkov – Riegrovy Sady which has the best beer gardens in Prague.

This makes the area a unique destination, which allows you to experience a little bit of everything that Prague has to offer. It is served by Flora and JZP metro stations and many tram lines.

Stay in Zizkov if you are on a budget; you’re looking for the best place to stay in Prague for nightlife; you enjoy more edgy, Bohemian entertainment; you like a variety of bars and clubs; you want a less populated area; you are a backpacker or student.

Best Places to stay in Prague Zizkov:


5. Vinohrady (Prague 2), a cool area to stay in Prague

While Prague is a city that is filled with incredible buildings throughout, perhaps no neighborhood offers quite such a selection of beautiful architecture as that which you’ll find in Vinohrady. Vinohrady is one of the coolest neighborhoods in Prague within easy reach of the city center. Vinohrady has some of the best restaurants, cafes, bars, and nightclubs in the city.

While Peace Square (Náměstí Míru), and its neo-gothic Church Of St Ludmila are the crown jewels of the area, its streets are filled with all manner of art nouveau, neo-gothic, neo-renaissance and pseudo-Baroque buildings, which will give fans of architecture from those periods hours of enjoyment to explore. This square holds a nice local Christmas market in December.

There is also the Havlickovy Sady park, the second-largest in Prague, and Jiriho Z Podebrad Square, to add further optical delights to your trip if the buildings aren’t enough on their own.

This is also the location of a number of other parks, orchards, and beer gardens, making for a perfect opportunity to sample some of the region’s local beers while taking in beautiful views of the city.

Those who are looking for where to stay in Prague near a train station are best suited to the Vinohrady neighborhood, as this is the home to the largest station in the city: Náměstí Míru and Jiřího z Poděbrad (JZP). Being a neighborhood right in the heart of the city makes sightseeing and getting to and from your train equally simple.

Stay in Vinohrady if you are interested in architecture, want to see beautiful Art Deco houses; you want to sample some local beer; you want to explore one of the city’s largest parks.

Best places to stay in Prague in Vinohrady:


6. Castle District (Hradcany), home of famous Prague Castle

Castle District (Hradcany), home of famous Prague Castle

Hradcany is known as the castle district, as it is the home of Prague Castle. Built in the 9th-century, it is one of the largest castle complexes in the world. Despite being a must-visit location for anyone visiting the city, the area is significantly quieter than the attractions in the city center.

Being a laid-back, largely residential neighborhood, it gives you the chance to take in the stunning views of Vitava River and the city, and explore the castle at your own pace, without being constantly surrounded by mobs of tourists.

Besides the famous Castle, you can visit the Royal Summer Palace, and the Royal Gardens, and the National Gallery of Bohemian Art. You are also close to Stare Mesto, Nove Mesto, and Malá Strana.

Other attractions are St Vitus Cathedral, the Basilica of Saint George, Dalibor Tower, Black Tower, the Old Royal Palace, Golden Lane, Strahov Monastery, Loreta, and Capuchin Monastery.

Accommodation in the area consists primarily of private apartments and the odd high-end hotel. Combined with upmarket restaurants, serving fabulous local Czech cuisine, it makes Hradcany an ideal spot to enjoy a stylish break filled with history, culture, and class.

Stay In Castle District (Hradcany) If you prefer to stay in a quieter location; you want to explore one of the largest castle complexes in the world; you aren’t worried about money; High-end hotels and private apartments are your preferred form of accommodation.

Best places to stay in Castle District:


7. Karlín(Prague 8), where to stay in Prague on a budget

Karlin is one of the newest and hippest neighborhoods in Prague, consisting of modern buildings built well after the industrial revolution. As an up-and-coming area, it hasn’t yet garnered a reputation with tourists, meaning it is primarily residential.

This makes it a fabulous choice for anyone traveling on a budget, as it features some of the lowest prices in the city. Everything from hotels to shops and bars are designed for locals, so are all affordable.

Located on a hill covered in parks and green spaces, it is also a fabulous place to spend some time outdoors relaxing, while taking in the beautiful views of the city available from its peak. 

Staying in this area, you can also easily explore attractions such as the City of Prague Museum, Vitkov Hill monument remembers the Battle of Vitkov Hill in the 15th century, the Old Jewish cemetery in Zizkov, the Zizkovsky tunnel, and a few lovely churches.

Don’t worry if you want to explore the city center too though, as Karlin features excellent transport links, which can have you back in the thick of things in less than 15 minutes.

Karlin is the best place to stay in Prague if you are traveling on a budget; you don’t mind being a little way outside the city center; you want a local experience in a modern, up-and-coming neighborhood.

Best places to stay in Karlín(Prague 8):


8. Holesovice (Prague 7), quiet, residential area with local experience

While many people will look to enjoy the history and culture of a place like Prague when they visit, others will prefer a more authentic experience, which represents the modern-day city. For anyone looking to do that, the Holesovice neighborhood is the perfect destination.

Located on the northern edge of the city center of Prague, just north of the river and surrounded by some of the most impressive parks in the city: Prague Stromovka Park and Letna Park. It is an ideal location for anyone who enjoys the great outdoors, something that is often missed when taking a city break.

The viewpoint in Letna Park offers the best view over the Vltava River and the bridges of Prague. Stromovka Park is the royal hunting grounds, one of the biggest Prague parks, with several playgrounds, restaurants, many miles of pathways and trails, lakes.

Described as offering a distinctively “Czech” feel, you will find some of the finest bars and restaurants dotted around the neighborhood. This will allow you to dine, drink and relax in classy establishments, getting to know the locals and learning about their city and culture.

While it sounds like a neighborhood best suited for unwinding, requiring trips further into the city to take in the sights, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.

Tourist attractions in the area also include the Vnitroblock gallery, one of the finest in the city, as well as the Vystaviste Holesovice Industrial Palace, which was built for the Jubilee Exhibition in 189, and contains a light fountain, funfair, and aquarium. 

The Dox Contemporary Arts Centre is one of the most prominent contemporary art museums, a former factory turned into an art gallery and multi-functional space. The Prague Market (the Holesovice Market) is a complex of late 19th century buildings close to the old port of Holesovice. Cross Club is a music venue and cultural center, near the street from Holesovice station also worth a visit.

This not only gives it a varied appeal, but it also makes it a perfect destination for families with children, as there are plenty of activities to keep them entertained.

Stay in Holesovice if you enjoy high-end food and drinks; you want a more authentic, local experience; you have children; you don’t want to be in the city center; you enjoy parks.

Best Places to Stay in Prague in Holesovice:


9. Vysehrad (Prague 2), great place close to Nove Mesto

Vysehrad (Prague 2), great place close to Nove Mesto

Our next stop brings us to Vysehrad, on the southern edge of the central location of the city. The name Vinohrady relates to the vineyards that were here in the fourteenth century.

This is a perfect destination for those that want a slightly quieter experience, just removed enough from the heart of the action that they can still get back in at a moment’s notice.

Sandwiched between the eastern bank of the Vltava river and the beautiful Park Folimanka, this also gives you the opportunity to enjoy some of the more natural elements of the city. Whether you want to stroll around either of these or take the 20-minute walk into the more built-up areas, Vysehrad gives you the flexibility to adjust your plans, as and when you want.

As far as attractions in the area go, most of them center around the area’s incredible, 10th-century fortress, which features Vysehrad Castle, Vysehrad Cemetery, the Basilica Of St Peter and St Paul, and the Rotunda Of St Martin.

When you’ve had your fill of that, other options to keep you entertained in the area include visits to the Czech Police Museum, the Prague Congress Centre, or perhaps spending some time unwinding in the fabulous collection of bars and restaurants in the area. 

Stay in Vysehrad if you want to stay by the river; you are interested in historic fortresses; you want to be slightly out of the city center; you like parks; you enjoy walks; you want to learn about the history of the Czech police force.

Best place to stay in Vysehrad Grandium Hotel Prague


10. Smichov/Andel (Prague 5), convenient location, less expensive

Smichov/Andel (Prague 5), convenient location, less expensive

Smichov is a former industrial area, located in Prague’s inner city. it’s within walking distance of the Lesser Quarter, on the left bank of the Vltava, between the Palackého náměst and National Theatre. As a primarily residential area, you’ll find little in the way of tourists or tourist attractions, providing you with a much more authentic experience.

While there are plenty of shops, bars, clubs, and restaurants, they are all geared towards the locals. This gives you the opportunity to sample traditional local foods and wares, helping you get a true sense of what life is really like for people living in the city.

Start with one of the most beautiful at the former Count Kinský Gardens, on the slope of Petřín Hill. And it’s separated from other Petřín gardens by the Hunger Wall. It’s an ideal place for families with children. Inside the garden, you will find the Catholic church of St. Michael, and two playgrounds, and the Kinsky Summer Palace with a National Museum ethnographic exhibition. Park Sacre Coeur is also worth a visit.

Around the Anděl metro station is filled with office buildings, shopping, and entertainment, the Zlaty Anděl (Golden Angel), and the Smíchov shopping center and multiplex.

Fan of history and culture will find the Bertramka, the museum of W. A. Mozart and the Dušek family, and Museum Portheimka which was built by the architect Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofe in the 1720’s, and the 19th-century Neo-Renaissance Basilica of St Wenceslas.

Visit the Staropramen Brewery, the largest in Prague and second largest in the Czech Republic, founded in 1869, to learn more about the history and taste that are best experienced in the brewery’s visitor center.

Its convenient location and excellent public transport links mean you will never be too far from the most popular attractions in the city. Meanwhile, you can take advantage of the lower prices available on things like accommodation.

Stay In Smichov/Andel If you want to stay in a residential area with an authentic vibe; you want to be close to the center of the city; you don’t like crowds.

Best places to stay in Smichov/Andel (Prague 5):


11. Josefov(Prague 1), with a large Jewish population in Prague

Josefov(Prague 1), with a large Jewish population in Prague

Josefov was the original Jewish Quarter of Prague, traditionally home to the city’s large Jewish population. To this day, it still features a number of beautiful synagogues, as well as one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in Europe, the Old Jewish Cemetery. 

Located on the outskirts of Stare Mesto, on the banks of the Vltava River, it offers stunning views, as well as easy access to many of the city’s most popular attractions. Despite this, you will find a much quieter, more residential location than you would experience just a few minutes away.

Filled with beautiful buildings, restaurants, bars, hotels, shops, and nightclubs, Josefov provides a location where you can experience the best of everything the city has to offer, without the hustle and bustle of the crowds that usually go with it.

Stay In Josefov If you are interested in Jewish history and culture; you want to be near the heart of the city but have a slightly quieter experience.

Best places to stay in Prague in Josefov:


12. Stay around Václav Havel International Airport

If you’re want to stay near Prague airport for some reason, I have selected the best hotels near Prague airport below for you to choose from.

Check out my virtual tour of the best places to stay in Prague in this video:

Where to stay in Prague: Best Areas to Stay in Prague, Czech Republic

Final thoughts on where to stay in Prague as a tourist

Prague is truly a fantastic city, filled with some of the most historically and culturally significant locations in all of Europe. The fact that it is slowly adapting some areas, to appeal to a younger, more modern brand of tourist, will only increase its appeal to visitors from all walks of life.

Whether you want to see buildings from centuries ago, explore the more natural features, such as the parks and river, or enjoy the wide variety of bars, clubs, restaurants and cafes, Prague will have plenty to offer.

While a range of attractions like that may make picking the perfect location to stay in on your trip a challenge, hopefully, this article will have given you everything you need to go out and get your own dream vacation booked today.

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