Where to Stay in Prague for First Timers in 2024

Views of Prague Castle from Old Town Prague across the River Vltava -  one of the best places to stay in Prague

Figuring out where to stay in Prague for first timers can be a bit of a conundrum.

There are the areas of Prague that are right in the heart of all the main attractions, like the Old Town and the Jewish Quarter. Alternatively, you might prefer the best neighborhoods in Prague to experience local life, like Vinohrady or Holesovice.

Some of the best places to stay in Prague might appear a little bit off the beaten track, but thanks to the compact city layout and some excellent public transportation, you are never more than half an hour away from anything.

I’ve stayed in Prague for two glorious weeks in the Old Town district and have visited and spent time in every area on this guide to Prague neighbourhoods.

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Drawing on that experience, I’m going to take you through where to stay in Prague for first timers, breaking down the best places in Prague so you have all the info you need right at your fingertips.

Ultimately, the best area to stay in Prague will come down to your personal tastes, but I can at least help you make an informed decision about the different options available, from historic Josefov to trendy Zizkov.

For each of the different locations listed, I have included an overview of the principal features and highlights, several cool things to do while you’re there, the pros and cons of staying in the area, my favourite Prague boutique hotels, as well as a couple of restaurant recommendations where you can try some local eats.

Where I Stayed in Prague (and Loved!)

Photo Credit: Booking.com

Residence Dlouha – Old Town

Rating: 9.2 / 10 | Reviews: 350+

Residence Dlouha – Old Town was such a perfect place to stay in Prague because of its modern spacious interiors, fully-equipped kitchen and cozy bed.

This Prague hotel is also only a 4-minute walk to Prague Old Town Square.

I also loved grabbing my coffee in the morning from their onsite cafe downstairs, The Spot.

Understanding Prague’s Neighbourhood Numbering System

Prague is divided into 10 main municipal neighborhoods. As a general rule of thumb, the lower the number, the closer to the city center and main attractions with convenient transport links. For instance, the fabled Old Town is smack in the middle of District 1, while District 9 is further afield.

Best Places to Stay in Prague Map

map of the best area to stay in Prague Czech Republic
Map of the Best Prague Neighborhoods

Where to Stay in Prague for First Timers

1. Prague Old Town: Best Area to Stay in Prague for First Timers

DISTRICT | 1 – Historic Centre
BEST FOR | For First Time Visitors, Sightseeing

Overlooking Prague Old Town District 1 from Letna Park one of the coolest places to stay in Prague
View of Old Town Prague from Letna Park

The Old Town is the jewel of the city, filled with dramatic gothic churches and grand baroque houses. In fact, if you book accommodation in Prague’s Old Town, you will more likely than not find yourself situated in one of the many lovely, centuries-old buildings that fill the Czech capital. 

This is the best area to stay in Prague for tourists who like everything on their doorstep, including Prague’s most famous attraction, the medieval Charles Bridge, lined with statues of saints. 

At its heart is the Old Town Square, which is dominated by the bronze Jan Hus Memorial and overlooked by a pair of churches, Our Lady before Tyn and St Nicholas. Every hour, people gather beneath the Town Hall to watch the Astronomical Clock chime. 

Apart from the major sights, you’ll also have loads of choices when it comes to restaurants and bars. Really, the biggest challenge you’ll face will be separating the wheat from the chaff – the same holds true when it comes to the Old Town Prague hotels. 

The Old Town not only has its own marvellous attractions, but it also abuts the Jewish Quarter as well as Hradcany, where you’ll find Prague Castle and St Vitus Cathedral.

Prague Old Town Square, a 4 minute walk from where to stay in Prague for first timers
Prague Old Town Square

Cool Things to Do in Prague Old Town

tourists bustling through the streets of District 1 in Prague with restored buildings surrounding
Old Town Square in Prague

Best Tours of Prague Old Town

Best Restaurants + Cafes in Prague Old Town

Prague Old Town at a Glance

  • Best place to stay in Prague for tourist sights
  • Gothic architecture and cobbled streets
  • Diverse collection of quirky museums
  • Plentiful dining options
  • Buzzing nightlife
  • Most crowded part of the city
  • Tourist traps
  • Can be noisy in the evening

Best Hotels in Prague Old Town

Photos Credit: Booking.com

Falkensteiner Boutique Hotel

Rating: 8.9 / 10 | Reviews: 1,550+

This 5-star hotel in Prague Old Town is an immaculately tasteful affair and certainly in contention for the best place to stay in Prague Old Town.

The sizable rooms have been recently refurbished, and the hotel has a luxurious spa where you can pamper yourself after a busy day exploring the city.

Photos Credit: Booking.com

Almanac X Hotel

Rating: 8.9 / 10 | Reviews: 2,750+

Another of the best places to stay in Prague’s Old Town is the Almanac X.

A 5-star hotel Prague can proudly boast about, the Art Deco façade conceals elegant rooms, a craft cocktail bar, and an award-winning restaurant.

Just off the main drag of Wenceslas Square, it’s within walking distance of all the major sights.

2. Josefov (Jewish Quarter)

BEST FOR | For First Time Visitors

the ornate orange and blue rooftops of Josefov in the underrated Prague neighborhood
Streets of Prague’s Jewish Quarter

Josefov is the smallest of the Prague places to stay I’ll cover in this guide. This compact area used to be the site of the city’s Jewish Ghetto, where Jews were forced to live from the 13th century onwards. The collection of ramshackle residences crowding in upon one another was largely torn down at the turn of the 20th century to make way for more modern structures. 

Fortunately, a handful of synagogues from various eras survived, providing a striking contrast to much of the rest of Prague’s architecture and adding another layer to this delicious cake of a city. The oldest of these is the Old New Synagogue, from which much of the Jewish Quarter radiates out. 

Nearby, the Jewish Cemetery is a poignant reminder of the cramped conditions that once existed, with tombstones piled upon tombstones. 

Accommodation options in Josefov proper are pretty sparse, as are convenience stores and eateries. 

Having said that, since this little sliver of land is only a few steps away from the Old Town, you could easily stay in this part of the city and just venture south for provisions, as it were. Plus, it’s also the best place (unsurprisingly) to find a little kosher cuisine.

street scene in the Jewish Quarter of Prague with people crossing the road and a red awning over a streetside cafe
Dlouha Street between Josefov and Old Town

Cool Things to Do in Jewish Quarter (Josefov)

Best Tours of Prague’s Jewish Quarter:

Best Restaurants + Cafes in Jewish Quarter (Josefov)

Josefov at a Glance

  • One of Prague’s most story-rich areas
  • Best area to stay in Prague for first time
  • Close to other Prague 1 attractions
  • Easy to navigate
  • Great public transportation connections
  • Very few hotel options in Josefov proper
  • Not many shops on your doorstep
  • Quieter Prague neighborhood (can be a good thing)

Best Hotels in Josefov:

Photos Credit: Booking.com

Loong Refresh

Rating: 9.5 / 10 | Reviews: 50+

Loong Refresh is situated on the eastern edge of Josefov.

This two-bedroom apartment boasts all the mod cons, including a fully equipped kitchen with fridge, oven, coffee maker, microwave and dishwasher.

It’s a sizable space to spread out in, right in the heart of the action.

Photos Credit: Booking.com

Rybna Apartments

Rating: 9 / 10 | Reviews: 150+

The smartly decorated Rybna Apartments are another option for where to stay in Prague if you want more space than most hotels offer.

In the mornings, you can choose to utilize the fully equipped kitchen to make your own meal or simply walk to Prague 1’s many trendy cafes for brunch (my favourite is Bistro Monk!).

3. Mala Strana: Best Area to Stay in Prague for Families

BEST FOR | For Families

Panoramic view of Mala Strana from Prague Castle a family-friendly place to stay in Prague
Looking out at Mala Strana from Prague Castle

Literally meaning the ‘Little Side but often more romantically rendered as ‘Little Quarter’, Mala Strana is a really pretty part of Prague to stay in.

Once upon a time, its palaces housed the wealthy gentry, and that air of nobility continues to pervade the streets today. 

Despite still being a popular haunt with visitors from out of town, it offers a respite from the crowded and manic Old Town in high season. 

This side of the Vltava River might not be quite as happening as the east bank, but it is a good base from which to explore the Prague Castle complex that lies just to the north.

You can also easily venture east into the Old Town whenever you want, before retreating back across the drawbridge, or in this case, the Charles Bridge. 

If you’re looking for 5-star hotels in Prague, the Mandarin Oriental can be found here, along with an abundance of excellent restaurants and some lovely old-fashioned beer halls.

The extensive parkland of Petrin Hill is a great place to have a picnic in the summer. You can munch on some local ham, cheese and bread purchased from Albert, Czech’s homegrown supermarket chain while gazing down at the views of Prague.

Crossing Charles Bridge looking onto Mala Strana where to stay in Prague for families
Crossing Charles Bridge into Mala Strana

Cool Things to Do in Mala Strana

Best Restaurants + Cafes in Mala Strana

Mala Strana at a Glance

  • Walking distance to most of the major sights
  • Stylish part of town with pretty urban gardens
  • A good range of food options for all budgets
  • Adjacent to the greenery and views of Petrin Hill
  • Expensive accommodation
  • Fairly touristy
  • More limited public transport

Best Hotels in Prague’s Mala Strana

Photos Credit: Booking.com

Hotel Nerudova 211

Rating: 9.9 / 10 | Reviews: 270+

Carefully restored to reveal its 18th-century features, this 4-star hotel in Prague is a baroque beauty.

Exposed wood timbers and wall frescoes are complemented with period-appropriate side tables and cabinets.

Charged with the romance of the past, this is one of the best places to stay in Prague for couples.

Photos Credit: Booking.com

LH Vintage Design Hotel Sax

Rating: 8.4 / 10 | Reviews: 1,100+

Accommodations in Prague don’t get much quirkier than this one.

Bringing the style of the swinging sixties to Mala Strana, this is the 4-star hotel Prague didn’t know it needed.

Nestled at the foot of Petrin Hill, it’s just a short walk from the bustle of Prague Castle as well as soothing nature walks.

4. Hradcany: Where to Stay in Prague for Couples

BEST FOR | For Couples

View of Hradcany from Charles Bridge a romantic area to stay in Prague
View of Castle District (Hradcany) from the Charles Bridge

Most of Hradcany is taken up by the Prague Castle complex, which got its first buildings in the 9th century.

Since those early days, the site has expanded to include St. Vitus Cathedral with its magnificent stained-glass windows, the Italian Renaissance-inspired Royal Garden, and the Golden Lane, a narrow row of houses where once upon a time goldsmiths plied their trade.

From up here, you’re gifted with some of the best views the city has to offer, as well as some of its most impressive and iconic buildings. This includes the Romanesque St George’s Basilica, Prague’s oldest surviving church, and the Old Royal Palace, which features the grandiose Gothic stone vaults of Vladislav Hall

courtyard at Prague Castle Complex in Hradcany Prague neighborhood
Courtyard of the Prague Castle Complex

Due to the lack of real estate space and the fact that, unlike in the Old Town or Mala Strana, there seem to be almost no actual locals in the area, there are limited options when it comes to food and drink venues. What is available is almost exclusively aimed at tourists – and is therefore overpriced and of mediocre quality. 

Of course, what you lose in authenticity, you make up for with arguably the best location to stay in Prague for proximity to the top attractions.

Cool Things to Do in Hradcany

Best Tours of Prague Castle District

Best Restaurants + Cafes in Hradcany

Hradcany at a Glance

  • Some of the best views in town
  • Prague Castle complex is on the doorstep
  • One of the best areas to stay in Prague for tourists
  • Mostly mediocre food options
  • Restaurants near the castle are overpriced
  • No buzzy nightlife hangouts

Best Hotels in Prague’s Hradcany

Photos Credit: Booking.com

Golden Star

Rating: 9.3 / 10 | Reviews: 1,950+

Located right beside a set of stone stairs that lead up towards Prague Castle, this pretty Baroque residence is blessed with a terrace restaurant that is a lovely place to relax in sunny weather.

While not far from the attractions, it’s also out of the main fray, so you can enjoy relative peace and quiet in the evenings.

Photos Credit: Booking.com

Design Hotel Neruda

Rating: 8.8 / 10 | Reviews: 1,200+

Boasting a spa, sauna, and whirlpool, few of the other 4-star hotels Prague has to offer are as romantic as this one.

Staff will not only decorate a couple’s room with flourishes worthy of Valentine’s Day, but they can also arrange picnics for you to take to one of the nearby parks.

Book one of the Design rooms and enjoy the idiosyncratic bathrooms.

5. Vinohrady: Best Place to Stay in Prague for Long-term Visitors

BEST FOR | For Long Term Travellers

a red and white tram on the streets of Vinohrady where to stay Prague for long term stays
Streets of Vinohrady in Prague’s District 2

Vinohrady was once covered in grapevines, hence its name, the ‘Royal Vineyards‘.

While there’s no hint of agriculture around these parts today, the area still lives up to its moniker by being the best neighborhood to stay in Prague for regal residences – as well as boasting a fair few wine bars where you can sample the local vintages.

This part of the city is dotted with parks both large and small, including Riegrovy Sady, which is a popular hangout spot for casual gatherings. Throw back a beer or two while looking down at the cityscape below.

gothic church in plaza with greenery in Vinohrady Prague District 2
Namesti Miru Plaza with Bazilika sv. Ludmily in Prague’s Vinohrady

It’s also possibly the best part of Prague to stay in if you want to brush shoulders with well-heeled locals rather than the tourists that fill the Old Town or Mala Strana.

With numerous parks and an abundance of modern shopping outlets, it’s no wonder this is one of the most desirable (and most expensive) places to live in Prague.

Additionally, if you’re in Prague for longer than a few days and want to explore more of what Czechia has to offer, the main train station is located in the northeast of Vinorhady. From here, you can head to other major cities like Brno and Karlovy Vary.

Cool Things to Do in Vinohrady

  • Enter the hallowed and highly decorated aisles of the Church of St. Ludmila
  • Toast the area’s history with a glass of wine at Danu
  • Wander the Italianate park of Havlicek Gardens
  • Head over to Riegrovy Sady to watch the sunset over the city with a cold beer
Tree lined street with white umbrellas in front of cafes in District 2 Prague
Streetside Cafes in Vinohrady, Prague

Best Restaurants + Cafes in Vinohrady

Vinohrady at a Glance

  • Trendy residential neighborhood
  • Upmarket bars and restaurants
  • Less touristy than the Old Town or Mala Strana
  • Lots of parks to explore
  • Good transport links for both in-town exploration and out-of-town excursions
  • Further away from the main attractions
  • Everything tends to be more expensive
  • Not a great deal of hotel options

Best Hotels in Prague’s Vinohrady

Photos Credit: Booking.com

Eight Secrets Residence

Rating: 9.2 / 10 | Reviews: 800+

The best place to stay Prague-wise might not be a hotel.

Why not live as the well-to-do locals do in this cozy apartment? Which manages to pull off the tightrope act of being understated but characterful.

The open-plan design features a fully equipped kitchen and large windows that let in plenty of light.

Photos Credit: Booking.com

Libero Residence

Rating: 8.8 / 10 | Reviews: 250+

An unassuming series of simple rooms, furnished with a colour palette of canary yellow and cobalt blue.

While not the most luxurious option out there, this affordable spot is right in the heart of one of the trendiest districts in town while still remaining a manageable walk from the Old Town.

6. Letna + Holesovice: Coolest Area to Stay in Prague

Coolest Neighbourhood in Prague

Decorative white buildings line a busy street in Letna one of the coolest areas in Prague
The Coolest neighbourhood in Prague – Letna

Ask a local where is the best place to stay in Prague and there’s a good chance they’ll say Holesovice.

For a long time now, it’s been called the coolest neighborhood in Prague, though in some ways it can feel very self-consciously modern. Just look at the Paralelni Polis cafe, where you can get a great cup of coffee as long as you can pay in bitcoin – and only bitcoin. 

Not so very long ago, Holesovice was an industrial wasteland. Now, it’s been converted into an area brimming with street art, hipster cafes, and bizarre/amazing buildings relics like the Vystaviste Exhibition Grounds, built for the 1891 Jubilee. 

Acid Coffee shop in Letna and Holesovice
Acid Coffee – One of the Best Cafes in Letna

It’s not all industrial chic. There are also a couple of large green spaces where people chill out in beer gardens during summer days. The first is Letna Park (my favourite park in Prague!), which offers beautiful views of the river as well as the bridges that cross it. There’s also a giant metronome (what else would you replace a monument of Stalin with?) 

The second is Stromovka Park, an expansive area of ponds, playgrounds and a planetarium. Originally conceived as a royal hunting ground, these days the deer seem to have been replaced by joggers, dog walkers and families on their weekend days out.

Cool Things to Do in Letna + Holesovice

  • Grab a picnic blanket and head to Letna Park for superb views
  • Check out the latest exhibit at DOX Centre for Contemporary Art
  • Get your caffeine fix at the bitcoin-only cafe Paralelni Polis
  • Do as Macklemore says and go thrift shopping
  • Wander about the eclectic buildings of the Vystaviste Exhibition Grounds
Letna Park Beer Garden in Prague's 7th district
Letna Park Beer Garden in Prague

Best Cafes in Letna + Holesovice

Letna + Holesovice at a Glance

  • Trendy and fashionable part of town to stay in
  • Nice green spaces away from the hustle and bustle
  • Salubrious street art plasters the walls
  • Lots of cool cafes brewing up espressos and chai lattes
  • Good transport links to downtown
  • Bit further from attractions than other areas
  • Encroaching gentrification

Best Hotels in Letna + Holesovice

Photos Credit: Booking.com

Absolutum Wellness Hotel

Rating: 8.5 / 10 | Reviews: 1,275+

This is one of the best places to stay Prague has to offer if you’re looking for a solid spa experience after a long day of exploring.

There’s a Finnish sauna, massage treatments, and private baths for that extra dash of romance.

The rooms, meanwhile, feature exposed brick walls and wooden-accented furnishings.

Photos Credit: Booking.com

Mama Shelter

Rating: 8.9 / 10 | Reviews: 4,100+

The rooms at Mama Shelter are as clean and comfortable as you would expect from 4-star hotels in Prague.

It’s the cozy chillout areas that best reflect the kind of laid-back cool you would expect from Holesovice.

Other Best Places to Stay in Prague for First Timers (Further Afield)

7. New Town: Best Area to Stay in Prague for Luxury

BEST FOR | For Luxury Travelers

Dancing House building one of Prague's top attractions in New Town Prague
Dancing House in New Town Prague

Despite its name, Nove Mesto (aka the New Town) is still more than 650 years old.

Occupying a huge area that encircles the Old Town, it’s where you’ll find the National Museum with its gorgeous main hall and fantastic cultural institutions like the National Theater and State Opera House.

Nove Mesto also houses the controversial but utterly unique Dancing House, masterminded by architects Vlado Milunić and Frank Gehry. 

Plus, if you really want to tick every checkbox on the list, you can visit the Head of Franz Kafka rotating statue, a distinctly underwhelming kinetic sculpture that for some reason still manages to crack the top 20 list of things to see in Prague on TripAdvisor.

8. Karlin + Florenc: Where to Stay in Prague for Budget Travellers

Budget Travelers, Trendy Cafes

street scene with parked cars, tunnel and greenery in Karlin one of the best neighborhoods in Prague
Streets of Karlin District in Prague

Lying east of the Old Town, it wasn’t so long ago that Karlin was a bit of a tired, rundown neighborhood. Now, thanks to waves of investment, you’ll find a mix of smartly renovated 19th- and 20th-century buildings as well as brand-new designer office spaces. 

To complement this, there are lots of trendy restaurants and cafes down every street.

With more affordable accommodation options than the Old Town, this is more of an area to stay and hang out in than to see any particular sights, though I am rather fond of the Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius, which stands out as completely different in design from most of the other churches you’ll find in the Czech capital.

9. Zizkov: Best Place to Stay in Prague for Nightlife

BEST FOR | Nightlife, Young Travellers

Panoramic view of Zizkov with Zizkov Television Tower and red roofs
View of Zizkov from Vitkov Hill

Zizkov is arguably the best area to stay in Prague for nightlife, as the streets thrum with bars filled with a young, happy-go-lucky crowd. 

While the rebellious out-there nature of this area has lost some of its cool caches in recent years, it remains a lot edgier than the more upmarket areas like Vinohrady and Nove Mesto. It’s also where you’ll find accommodation bargains.

Zizkov street scene with green bridge and cars in traffic in this area of Prague
Streets of Zizkov, Prague’s District 3

There are a couple of things to check out here. 

First, Vítkov Hill provides some of my favourite views of Prague away from the tourist crowds and just so happens to have one of the largest equestrian statues in the world. 

Second, Zizkov Television Tower is one of those Communist-era constructions that some people describe as an eyesore and others think of as adding a different flavour to the architectural mix. I’ll let you make up your own mind.

10. Smichov: Best Area in Prague for Local Living

Business Travellers, Nightlife

View of Vltava River with bridges and Prague Castle in the background
Smichov to the West of the River Vltava in Prague

On the west bank of the Vltava River, this was once a busy industrial area filled with factories. Many of these have now either been turned into cool artistic spaces (check out the MeetFactory) or subsumed by modern shopping malls

One place that hasn’t changed, however, is the Staropramen Brewery, which has been located in Smichov since it was founded in 1869.

The main part of Smichov is a buzzing, bustling place, but if it all gets a bit much, you can always head up to Kinsky Garden, a lovely green space designed by members of the nobility to resemble an English garden. While there aren’t any tea and scones in sight, you can get a rather scrumptious slice of cake at the park cafe.

Best Prague Tours

I love taking guided tours if I’m visiting a city for the first time, and Prague is no exception. Learn all about Prague’s history and culture from a knowledgeable local guide and have everything planned for you. No fuss, no muss!

These are the most popular, high-rated tours of Prague:

multi-coloured buildings in a row on the banks of Prague river
The riverbanks of New Town Prague

Prague City Pass

Don’t forget to grab your Prague City Pass

The benefits of purchasing a Prague City Pass (CoolPass):

  • Access to 70+ of Prague’s best attractions, tours, cruises and museums
  • Prague CoolPass on your mobile device
  • Choose from 1-6 day passes for adults or children
  • Get special savings offers

What’s included in the Prague City Pass:

  • One-time Entry to 70+ top attractions in Prague
  • 2-hour Historical Prague bus tour
  • Romantic Vltava river cruise
  • Digital Prague attractions guide
  • Discounted price for 24-hour hop-on, hop-off bus tour

How to Get Around Prague


Where should I stay in Prague is a tricky question to answer. How should I get around Prague is not. Without a qualm, I recommend walking

You see so much more on foot than you ever could on public transport – that’s how I stumbled upon some fantastic art deco sculptures adorning a completely unassuming waterfront apartment block.

Plus, even if you stay in one of the relatively remote districts, you will still be only around 30 minutes’ walk from the Old Town.

tram crossing the bridge from Prague Castle to Old Town Prague
Convenient Tram Lines in Prague’s City Centre

Public Transportation

If you’re in a rush or are a bit footsore from all the exploring, however, the city has an excellent array of buses and trams, including one (Line 17) that runs all the way from Holesovice, through the Jewish Quarter and Old Town, and into Nove Mesto. 

There are also ride-share services like Bolt for more off-the-beaten-track locales.

Hop-On Hop-Off Bus

Like most cities in Europe, Prague can be easily explored by a hop-on hop-off bus. You can book your pass in 24 and 48-hour durations. Once you hop on board, you will be given a headset and audio guide.

A hop-on hop-off bus pass is a great way to see the city without all the walking.

Prague Airport to City Centre

For getting to and from the airport, there’s a convenient express service that connects to the city’s main railway station. Just make sure you double-check the timetables ahead of time. 

Better yet, book yourself this popular private Prague airport transfer.

Or, if you don’t mind sharing your ride, check out this highly-rated shared airport transfer.

modern tram following the scenic river one of the best ways to get around Prague
Main Tram Line running along the River Vltava in Prague

Best Time to Visit Prague

As with so many places around the world, summer in Prague is best avoided unless you enjoy jostling with a seething mass of humanity. 

The best time to book your Prague stay is during the shoulder seasons of April-June and September-October, when the temperatures are mild and there are, overall, fewer people. Just bear in mind that spring here tends to be rainier than autumn.

May is the Best Month to Visit Prague

May is a particularly good time of year to visit Prague because there are several brilliant activities to do in Prague. 

First and foremost, of course, is the Czech Beer Festival, a celebration of the country’s most famous export. There are a ton of different microbrews to try, with plenty of meat and carbs to keep you grounded.

For culture fans, May is also when Prague has its Fringe Festival, filled with comedy, music, and dance.

Farmer's Market in May in Prague the best time to visit Prague
Farmer’s Market in May in Prague

Winter in Prague

Alternatively, if you don’t mind some fairly cold weather and misty days, you could come during the winter, when there are much fewer tourists and Christmas markets pop up around the Old Town.

How Many Days in Prague for First Timers

One of my favourite things about Prague is just how easy it is to navigate. That also means you can pack a lot of exploration into the space of a long weekend.

A simple 3-day Prague itinerary could look like this:

3 Day Prague Itinerary – Day 1:

Start the weekend in Prague – where else? – the Old Town, which is packed with pretty churches and historic monuments. With the abutting Jewish Quarter, it will be a full day of sightseeing.

Check out this Old Town & Jewish Quarter Walking Tour.

3 Day Prague Itinerary – Day 2:

On day two, cross the Charles Bridge to Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral. There are lots of bars and cafes along the Vltava River where you can relax afterward, or you can clamber up Petrin Hill for views of the city.

This Prague Castle Complex tour has you covered.

3 Day Prague Itinerary – Day 3:

Finally, you can make a really easy full-day trip to Cesky Krumlov if you want to get out of town for a bit (I loved Cesky Krumlov!).

Or explore the exhibits of the National Museum, before climbing up to Vysehrad Fortress (I loved it up here!), which boasts a beautiful basilica, a statue-filled park and pretty views of the riverscape.

red roofed franciscan monastery with lush greenery in the foreground
Franciscan Gardens in New Town Prague

Where to Stay in Prague Frequently Asked Questions

Which Part of Prague is Best to Stay?

The best part of Prague to stay in is Old Town, sandwiched between the main train station and the scenic Vltava River. Find yourself an Old Town hotel within a 5-minute walk of Prague’s Old Town Square, and you will have some of the top things to do in Prague at your doorstep.

Is it Better to Stay in Old Town or New Town Prague?

It is better to stay in Old Town Prague versus New Town on your first visit to the city. Old Town is where you will find the majority of Prague’s top tourist sites and restored centuries-old residences that have been converted to top Prague hotels.

New Town, while it does house the famous Dancing House and Franz Kafta Rotating Head, this area is more business and commercial oriented. You can definitely find some upmarket nightlife here, though.

Where Should I Stay in Prague for the First Time?

If you are visiting Prague for the first time, I recommend staying in Old Town or Mala Strana. Both are located in Prague’s District 1 but are adjoined by the Charles Bridge over the River Vltava. Old Town is where you will find the main square with the popular Astronomical Clock and the beautiful Church of our Lady before Tyn.

Once you cross the river to the west, you will find the family-friendly Mala Strana neighborhood just below the Prague Castle Complex. This area is quieter and the streets are charming and narrow.

What are the Best Places to Stay in Prague Old Town?

The best places to stay in Prague’s Old Town are Residence Dlouha and Almanac X Hotel. Residence Dlouha is where I stayed and would highly recommend it! The hotel is tucked between Old Town and the Jewish Quarter and is only a 4-minute walk from the main square.

Almanac X Hotel is conveniently located near Wenceslas Square, the National Museum and the Prague train station.

What is the Best Area to Stay in Prague for Nightlife?

The best place to stay in Prague for nightlife is Zizkov for young travellers. Alternatively, you can find buzzing nightlife in Prague’s Old Town with many pub crawls and medieval dinners with unlimited drinks.

What is the Best Area to stay in Prague for Tourists?

The best area to stay in Prague for tourists is Old Town in District 1. Here you will have the city’s top attractions at your doorstep, like the Old Town Square, Powder Gate, Astronomical Clock and even the Banksy Museum.

While Prague Castle is an 18-minute walk away, it is one of the most scenic walks in Prague where you will cross the famous Charles Bridge. If you are travelling with family, you can also consider the quieter neighborhood of Mala Strana, very centrally located between the two.

What is the Best Place to Stay in Prague for Couples?

The most romantic place to stay in Prague for couples is Hradvany on the West Bank. With sweeping views of the city, easy access to the Prague Castle District and quaint charming alleyways and eateries.

Hradvany is also quieter than the Prague neighborhoods on the East Bank making for a more intimate stay. For the most romantic hotel, book a stay at Golden Star.

What is the Coolest Place to Stay in Prague?

The coolest area to stay in Prague is Letna and Holesovice. These Prague neighbourhoods are located North across the Vltava River from Old Town Prague. Many trendy cafes and local venues grace this area.

Stay at the utterly cool Mama Shelter hotel in Letna for more convenient access to Old Town and Letna Park. When considering where to stay in Prague for first timers, this is definitely the coolest

Where to Stay in Prague for Christmas Markets?

If you are visiting Prague for the Christmas Markets, then I recommend staying in District 1. The main Christmas Markets in Prague are located in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square in this area. You can find many cozy winter escapes in District 1.

Where should I not Stay in Prague?

You should not stay in Prague in any district above 8. If you do, you will be 30+ minutes away from the top Prague attractions, more limited transportation options and more limited accommodation and restaurant options.

house boat restaurants lining the Prague riverbank with historic buildings lining the background
River Vlatava Cruises in Prague

Where to Stay in Prague for First Timers Conclusion

Most visitors to the Czech capital immediately want to know where to stay in Prague Old Town – and it’s a fair question, considering how convenient it is as a base to see the city’s major attractions, as well as have copious dining and drinking options in stumbling distance from your hotel. 

However, as I hope I’ve shown you, there are some absolutely brilliant choices away from the obvious tourist hubs that will give you more of a taste of local life. All the areas of Prague have something unique and wonderful to offer.

Prague Travel Planning Guide

What is the best way to book my Prague accommodation?

I always use booking.com for all my accommodations worldwide, and Prague is no exception. I stayed in some really epic places on my adventure around the islands.

For more cozy apartment-style accommodation try VRBO (better and safer than Airbnb).

What are the best day tours in Prague?

Taking a day tour in Prague is a great way to experience the top attractions and learn from a knowledgeable guide.

I highly recommend these Prague tours:

Should I rent a car in the Czech Republic?

If you are flying in and out of Prague and don’t plan to leave the city, I don’t recommend renting a car. You can easily get around Prague by walking, taking public transportation or Bolt ride-share services.

If you plan to take day trips from Prague around the Czech Republic I would highly recommend renting a car in Prague. Trams and buses are a little slower in the rural part of the country, so to maximize your holiday time, definitely rent a car at the Prague Airport.

What is the best site to buy flights to Prague?

For finding cheap flights to Prague, I recommend booking through Skyscanner.

Can you drink tap water in Prague?

Yes! You can drink straight from the tap in Prague. All water has been strictly tested by the Department of Water and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), so you can feel safe doing so.

If you plan to do a lot of walking in Prague, I recommend bringing my favourite self-filtering water bottle with you, just in case.

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