Prague (Praha) is not a small town but its historic downtown is quite compact. Besides, Prague hotels have reasonable rates, and even five-star hotels that are in abundance here, often have great deals for the rooms (around 100–150 euro per night or even less). If the number of stars the hotel has is not really of importance to you, then you will be able to find accommodation for 70 to 100 euro in the downtown. If you search harder, you might find even better offers. So, I believe that when choosing an accommodation place in the Czech capital you have to consider the Old town and the nearby areas, in the first place. Actually, I will pay the most attention to hotels and apartments located in the center of Prague. Of course, I will add some information about other districts but probably with less details.
What Area is the Best to Stay in Prague?
Actually, when we talk about the historic center of the city, we should understand that modern Prague includes several districts which used to be independent settlements, that is why we can single out a few centers here. In particular, these are Old Town Square, Prague Castle, and Wenceslas Square. At the same time almost all of them are located within a walking distance from each other. You can reach the Wenceslas Square from the Prague Castle in around thirty minutes; to reach the Old Town Square you will need even less – 15 to 20 minutes on foot. So, we can see, that even if the term historic center of Prague is quite a relative one, it has quite distinctive borders – it is located in the area between the Prague Castle and the Wenceslas Square.
This area is practically consistent with the borders of the first administrative district of Prague (Praha 1). The hotels in this area should attract your interest in the first place. The list of relevant hotels (apartments, etc.) can be found, for example, here.
Essentially, you can choose an accommodation in any area of the historic downtown. In any case most of tourist attractions will be within an easy reach, and if you grow tired, you can use public transportation that is very well organized in Prague (if you can’t reach some place by metro, you can be sure there is a tram that will bring you to the desired destination). However, if you keep in mind the many centers of the city, you will not be surprised that every Prague quarter has its own distinguished characteristics. So, you should pick a hotel based on the purpose of your trip. Let’s discuss it in more details.
Now we will talk about the following districts in Prague.
Hotels in the historic downtown of Prague:
- Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí)
- Jewish quarter (Josefov)
- Wenceslas Square
- Charles Bridge
- Malostranská metro station
- Between Petrin Hill and Vltava
- Prague castle
Hotels outside the historic downtown:
Historic Downtown of Prague
Old Town Square
Prague Old Town, or Staré Město, is one of the most popular districts in the city. You will find a lot of hotels and apartments here, as well as restaurants, bars, clubs, stores and other attractions that draw in travelers from around the world.
One of the key landmarks in the Old Town is the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí). Here and around you can find a great deal of interesting hotels, some of them being five-star hotels. For example, a small five-star hotel – Old Town Square Hotel faces the square. Not far from here you can find a few probably even more interesting accommodation options. These include The Emblem Hotel, Ventana Hotel Prague and U Prince. However, the area around the Old Town Square has a lot of good even though not five-star accommodation options.
If you want to stay in the very center, take a look at the area between the Old Town Square and the Charles Bridge. For example, you can check out such hotels as Aurus and Royal Boutique Residence. If you search for something less sophisticated and a bit cheaper, then Palac U Kocku is the place for you. Finally, lots of apartments are rented in the area. Take a look, for example, at the Zlatý kůň Golden Horse, Karlova 25 Apartments and apartment complex with a view to the Old Town Square – Old Town Square Premium Apartments. This is a great starting point for the walks into any directon, be it to the Charles Bridge and further to the opposite bank of the Vltava river, or to the Wenceslas Square or the Jewish Quarter. But, in my opinion, the area is a bit too loud and crowded. This is probably the only disadvantage of this district.
If you want to stay in the Old Town but at the same time prefer to enjoy a more peaceful and quiet atmosphere, you can check out the area to the East from the Old Town Square, in the direction of the Powder Tower (Prašná brána). Here you can find both luxurious hotels, such as Buddha-Bar Hotel Prague and Kings Court, and more budget-friendly options, including, for example, Astoria Hotel or Hotel Royal Esprit.
Even more to the East, beyond the Powder Tower, there are some good accommodation options, too. For example, Ibis Praha Old Town (cheap) or Kempinski Hotel Hybernská Prague (not cheap at all). But all of them, as I believe, lose in comparison with the above-mentioned hotels and apartments in terms of the atmosphere, because the Powder Tower is the last outpost of the middle age landmarks, right beyond it there are streets with intensive traffic. On the other hand, from here you can easily reach the main railway station (Praha Hlavní Nádraží), and the bus terminal Florenc which is quite convenient if you want to travel outside Prague. But then again, you can easily reach the train station or the bus terminal by metro or trams. It will even make more sense when you need to reach the bus terminal Florenc; the streets around it are not exactly picturesque, and walking wouldn’t be much fun. Long story short, I don’t see much sense of staying in the quarters located to the East from the Powder Tower. Not all tourist even reach this tower when they explore the city.
If you are in search of a peaceful and comfortable district, you can take a look to the north of the Old town Square. This part of Prague is called Josefov, or the Jewish Quarter. The place is quiet, in general. The only exception is probably the area nearby the Old Jewish cemetery (in particular, the street U starého hřbitova), where tourists are visiting day and night, and the Pařížská street – the heaven for shopaholics hunting down the famous clothing brands. However, these exceptions don’t really ruin the overall picture. I recommend to pay attention to the following hotels in this quarter: Antik Hotel Prague and, if your budget permits, InterContinental Prague.
Wenceslas Square Area
Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí), is located to the South from the Old Town Square, and just like Pařížská street it attracts shopaholics, however, the stores here are featuring medium price brands. The square can be a good starting point for the walks around the Old town. Besides, just within a 10-minute walking distance there is Prague’s main train station (Praha Hlavní Nádraží). So, it would make sense to stay somewhere in the area of the Wenceslas Square (especially to the East from it) if you plan to cover not just Prague but also its surroundings, or if Prague is just one city in your travel itinerary and you plan to move around by taking trains.
In this area I would recommend a small cozy hotel named Jungmann Hotel, as well as the further located (basically at the train station) Falkensteiner Hotel Maria Prag. You can also check out the apartment complex located right at the square – Wenceslas Square Terraces (by the way, there are some large supermarkets at your disposal in the square area and its surroundings). A detailed list of accommodation options can be found here.
Charles Bridge Neighborhood
We should also definitely take a look at hotels near the Charles Bridge (Karlův most), that connects the Old Town and the Little Quarter (Malá Strana). There is a great number of accommodation options here, starting from the aristocratic Mandarin Oriental Prague and Four Seasons Hotel Prague and ending with budget-friendly hotels, such as The Charles, Hotel U 3 Pstrosu and Hotel Richmond Čertovka. Some of hotels and apartments in this district face the bridge, the others offer views of the Prague Castle, and some face cute streets or courtyards. There is definitely some pleasure to the eyes. That’s why you will find lots of people here, not just tourists but also street musicians, artists, painters, vendors, etc. Some people like it, some don’t. If you belong to the latter category, but still want to stay near this famous Prague bridge, check out the Kampa island and the Hotel Kampa Garden and U Zlatych nuzek or the apartments Apartmán Na Kampě and Apartment U hroznu. The island is not deserted, of course, and there is even traffic here, but in general, the district is quieter and more peaceful than in the area closer to the Charles bridge (at both river banks).
Actually, we moved to the left bank of the Vltava river now that has a more complex terrain compared to the right bank. Here, just a little on a rise you will see the Prague Castle with amazing views; nearby there is the Petrin hill from where you can enjoy even better views of Prague (especially from the top of the Petrin Tower). At the foot of these two landmarks there is a district called the Little Quarter (Malá Strana). Now we will discuss the hotels in this area.
For the purposes of choosing a place to stay in this area I would divide the district into three parts. The first covers the nearby surroundings of the Charles Bridge, including the Malostranské Square (Malostranské náměstí). They were discussed above. The second part of the district covers the area to the north from the bridge, near to the Malostranská metro station. Finally, the third part will cover the area to the south from the bridge – between the Petrin hill and Vltava. Let me tell you about the last two parts in more detail.
Malostranská Metro Station Area
The surroundings of the Malostranská metro station are, in my opinion, very convenient for a starting point for walks around Prague. The Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge, as well as the sights on the right riverside of Vltava are within an easy reach, and Old Town and Jewish Quarter can be reached in just about ten minutes. Besides, having metro nearby is a good advantage because you can reach a train station basically in no time. So, this district is also a good option when you plan to travel beyond Prague.
Near the station you can find two hotels – Hotel Klarov and Hotel Trinidad Prague Castle. Both of them have a view of the Prague Castle which is an additional advantage. However, you should keep in mind that the area is known for an intensive traffic (both cars and trams). The rooms in hotels are soundproof but you probably would not want to open windows. A little bit aside, but also not far from the station you will find the five-star Hotel Hoffmeister & Spa and the Hoffmeister Apartments.
If you move further from the metro station to the Old Town you will find a great deal of other hotels and apartments for rent. For example, you can take a closer look at the Wallenstein Garden Apartments and Amour Residences.
Between the Petrin Hill and Vltava
This district, as I see it, is a little bit less convenient than the area around the Malostranská station. You can reach the main tourist attractions from here on foot or by tram, but all metro stations are located at significant distance (you will be lucky if the nearest station is just fifteen minutes away). But then the Petrin hill is close by and it is very pleasant for walks, opening a great view of the historic downtown. Hotels here are cheaper on average than in all the above mentioned districts. Some budget-friendly options are Hotel William (it is, by the way, not far from the Charles Bridge), Hotel Residence Malá Strana (a little bit farther) and Hotel Petr (even farther, formally it is beyond the Little Quarter, and it is cheaper), City Apartment (stricly speaking, this apartment complex is also beyond the Little Quarter but it is pretty close by).
Prague Castle Neighborhood
Prague Castle (Pražský hrad) is one of the most recognisable tourist attractions of today’s Prague. Without a doubt, you can find a great number of various accommodation options for everyone here: from five-star hotels like Golden Well and Alchymist Prague Castle Suites to hostels, such as Hostel Santini Prague and Little Quarter Hostel. However, if you are fond of walking you should keep the terrain in mind. It is one thing to stay in some hotel on the flat relief and then take a day or two to conquer Prague’s peaks, and it is something entirely different if you plan to live up here and challenge yourself to a steep climb every day. That’s why when choosing a hotel near the Prague Castle I would look out for public transport stops, just in case. A great option would be to find a place to stay which is located near the tram stop Pohořelec. For example, Golden Tulip Savoy Hotel Prague, Loreta Hotel or Hotel Questenberk. It would be tiring to get all the way back here after a long walks around the Old Town. In this case, trams can be a life savior.
Outside the Historic Downtown
Choosing a hotel outside the historic downtown makes sense only if your travel budget is very limited. Considering that the public transportation in Prague runs like clockwork, this choice will help you save some money without losing a lot on the quality of the experience. Of course, it is much more pleasant to leave the hotel and reach the Old Town Square or the Charles Bridge just in a couple of minutes, but spending 15-20 minutes on the tram or in the metro is not that bad either.
For example, you can stay somewhere in the area Vyšehrad. This way you will have a significant landmark nearby, as well as a few public transport stops (buses and trams) from where you can reach the downtown in no time. Here you can find simple budget-friendly hotels, and hotels of a higher class. If you are searching for a hotel of the first category, Hotel Inos could be your choice. Or if you want to live in a luxurious five-star hotel with spa, pool, and other niceties, but your budget is limited, you can try Corinthia Hotel Prague.
Another option is the area of the Dejvická metro station. It is not far from downtown, the airport and is home to a number of budget-friendly hotels. In particular, you can take a closer look at the four-star hotels Silenzio and Hotel Denisa.
If desired, you can find a lot of other accommodation options. But I would like to highlight one more time: I still recommend to choose the place to stay in the historic downtown of Prague.