A neighbourhood guide on where to stay in Prague, as chosen by our resident expert, including the best hotels near Stare Mesto, Mala Strana and Nove Mesto.
Prague’s Old Town is the city’s tourist heart, and is pretty much packed all year round. Nonetheless, it’s worth fighting the crowds to witness its serious architectural prowess – impeccably handsome Baroque and Renaissance buildings set along charming cobbled streets – up close, and also to visit some of the area’s main sights. Old Town Square, with its famous Astronomical Clock, remains a photogenic delight, the Jewish Quarter offers a contrastively peaceful ambiance, while sights like the 15th-century Powder Tower never fail to impress. If it all gets too much, there’s an endless array of boutiques, bars, cafés and restaurants to avail yourself of.
Prague's Four Seasons is one of the city's plushest and best-located hotels, with a swish spa and relaxation pool and a mix of classic and contemporary style. The funky Cotto Crudo restaurant has grown to be one of the best Italians, if not best overall restaurants in the city. And the location doesn’t really get much better. You can see the Vltava, Charles Bridge and Prague Castle from one side of the hotel, and the Old Town Square and Jewish Quarter from the other.
Walk out the door and you're pretty much on Old Town Square – which means direct and easy access to a dense array of bars, cafés, restaurants and key sights like Old Town Hall, Church of the Mother of God before Týn, Charles Bridge and the Rudolfinum. As well as slick, contemporary bedrooms dotted with punchy artworks, you'll find a rooftop spa and gym, a guest lounge with a daily happy hour, and one of the city's best steakhouses.
This historic all-rounder ticks most of the boxes, from heritage-listed interiors, comfortable and romantically attired rooms and apartments, a choice of restaurants and an award-winning cocktail bar. Best of all: it’s located right across from the Astronomical Clock, on Old Town Square, surrounded by the square’s grand Baroque and Renaissance buildings and the centre’s winding cobbled streets, cafés, restaurants and shops.
Set inside a restored residential building, this seductive hip hotel hotel is just a five-minute walk from Old Town Square and a 10-minute stroll to Wenceslas Square and Josefov. You can even walk to the Royal Palace in half an hour, and the surrounding area is awash with bars, shops and boutiques of all kinds. It’s decadent, hi-tech rooms are aimed at trendy travellers, romantics and hedonists, plus there’s a very good restaurant and bar; and a dedicated spa.
The hotel is in a very good location at the edge of the Old Town’s Jewish Quarter (Josefov) and just a few minutes’ stroll from the Vltava. Interiors, designed by Spanish architect Meritxell Cuartero and interior designer Daniela Baeza, are unapologetically hip but immediately appealing, featuring lots of colourful, contemporary chairs and sofas, and artworks from local artists (exhibitions change regularly). The restaurant, serving up international modern and Czech dishes, is very decent, too.
Located on the other side of the Vltava from the Old Town, Prague’s 'Lesser Town' – 'Hillier Town' would be more apt – is predominantly famous for its sprawling, regal Prague Castle. But there’s plenty more to see, including the wealth of noble homes and palaces that hark back to its history as a royal residential district (many of them now housing hotels), the striking Church of St. Nicholas and delightful Petrin Hill, with its pretty gardens and distinctive tower, plus the riverside Kampa Park and a slew of restaurants, microbreweries, and shops.
The Golden Well is set into the nook of a medieval cobbled lane just below Prague Castle, putting it within easy reach of one of the city's major sights as well as the rest of the pretty Malá Strana district. The hotel comes stacked with history; indeed the first owner was Rudolf II, the Emperor of the Habsburg monarchy himself. Today's incarnation is traditional and plush: think wood-panelled interiors and Richelieu (Art Deco) furnishings. There's a seriously top-notch restaurant with stellar views over the city.
Inside an ensemble of historic bourgeois houses once connected by stone-walled underground passages, this five-star is the largest and most refined of the three Alchymist properties in the city. The hotel holds a commanding position on an upscale street in the Lesser Town, home to various embassies and other prestigious buildings. As well as an upscale restaurant, in-house chocolatier and basement spa, it offers top-notch service from youthful staff.
The five-star Augustine, near Mala Strana, merges a historical location with some seriously sharp contemporary design. The hotel is set inside a maze-like combination of buildings that once formed part of the 13th-century St Thomas Church and Monastery; in fact, a working community of Augustinian friars still live on the grounds. Amenities include a comprehensive spa, a magnificent cocktail bar and courtyard restaurant with terrace.
This discreet luxury bolthole, located in a charming, cobblestoned section of the city's 'Lesser Quarter' (Mala Strana), offers elegant serenity across several historic buildings. Interiors are strategically punctuated with vibrant modern artworks and sleek designer furnishings to create just the right balance of historical reverence and contemporary flair. As well as sumptuous rooms and impeccable service, guests get access to top-quality Asian food at Spices and the fantastic spa.
Aria Hotel Prague, an opulent and flamboyant boutique just a five-minute walk from Charles Bridge, offers a music-themed experience, right down to a staff musicologist, a music library, and bedrooms dedicated to musicians. The interior is rich and glamorous, and there are Baroque gardens to enjoy, as well as efficient service and contemporary touches like iPads. Coda, run by Executive Chef David Šašek is an intimate but sophisticated affair, modelled in an Art Deco style.
This intimate bolthole, discreetly tucked away next to the beautifully Baroque Church of St Nicholas, close to Charles Bridge, offers nine suites, all charmingly appointed for romantic getaways or family stays. It’s set inside a historic rococo building, with exposed wooden beams and stone statues matched to lovely wooden floors and furnishings. Though only breakfast is offered, the streets around the hotel have abundant lunch, dinner, snack and drinking options.
One of Prague's most charming and well-run bed and breakfast abodes, the 'House at the Big Boot' has built its reputation on solid word of mouth recommendations over the years. A veritable home from home, it offers simple but cosy rooms and a granny-style lounge and a charmingly old-fashioned breakfast room that you won't want to leave, and is located halfway up a picturesque hilly street in Malá Strana. Free tea and coffee is available during the stay (with room service).
It's a slight climb to reach Romantik Hotel U Raka from the river, but the leafy, peaceful environs make it more than worthwhile; in fact for romantics it's ideal. That said, it's not completely isolated; Prague Castle is eight minutes away on foot, and the surrounding cobbled streets have a village-y atmosphere with several restaurants and pubs. The lovingly restored 18th-century timber cottages offer six delightful rooms, a rock garden and good old-fashioned family-style service.
The intimate Balthasar is set inside a former archbishop's palace, tucked away on a pleasant cobbled street on a main street that leads to Charles Bridge. The original building that underpins the hotel was constructed in the 15th century, with a Baroque house taking its place in 1721. Its eight rooms blend historic elements such as rustic wooden beams with mod cons and designer furnishings. There isn't much in the way of facilities but the location is convenient for sightseeing.
A breath of fresh air in a city well known for pomp and pageantry, this retro hotel offers a colourful and playful retro design aesthetic, friendly and unstuffy service and a decent location between Prague Castle and Charles Bridge. The hotel is sandwiched between a cluster of stately Baroque buildings and is ideal for exploring the Mala Strana district: Prague Castle is a seven-minute walk away and there are plenty of shops, cafés and restaurants in the immediate vicinity.
Dating back to the 14th century, Prague’s ‘New Town’ is a bit of a misnomer. That said, it does have an overtly different aesthetic to the other two major districts (Old Town and Lesser Town). It’s more sprawling for a start, and contains more modern buildings, and a more overtly commercial infrastructure. But it’s not without its charms, nor its attractions: the stately National Museum is here, right at the top of historic Wenceslas Square, as is the State Opera down by the river, plus museums dedicated to Communism and Czech legend Alphonse Mucha. The gastronomic and nightlife scenes aren’t too shabby either.
Nestled on a quiet and attractive street between the Old and New Town, this pristine, glass-fronted design hotel has a welcoming interior that’s stylish yet refreshingly restrained. Rooms and suites are elegant, spacious and well equipped, and amenities include a classy cocktail bar in the lobby and a small but chic restaurant. For sightseeing it’s ideal: the hotel is close to many of Prague’s key attractions – Old Town Square, the National Theatre and the Jewish quarter are a five-minute walk.
Le Palais Art Hotel Prague, set inside a 19th-century villa in the leafy district of Vinohrady, offers pitch-perfect interiors which blend elegant Baroque touches with splashes of modernity. Guests can find an equally handsome restaurant and lobby bar, plus a wellness area with a good menu of treatments. It’s a little out of the main centre, and there's not much in the way of sights in the immediate vicinity – a 30-minute stroll to Old Town Square – but there are a couple of pleasant parks.
The Alcron, one of the finest Art Nouveau gems in a city more or less brimming with them, is not just pretty to look at but has an impressive suite of amenities too. Although the hotel is located just 100 metres from the buzzy and commercial Wenceslas Square area, it’s also close to the Old Town: Old Town Square and Charles Bridge are a 15-minute walk, and Prague Castle can be walked in 25 minutes. There’s an excellent restaurant and a very pleasant bar.
La Ballerina Hotel is an effortlessly refined place to stay with good, easy access to many of the city’s major sights. It’s close to the river in the New Town (Nové Město) and around the corner from Frank Gehry's Dancing House and the city’s handsome National Theatre. Other main sights such as Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square and the National Museum can be reached in 10 minutes on foot, and Prague Castle is a pleasant 30-minute stroll along the river.
The hotel is set inside a building that originally belonged to the Orthodox church of Czechoslovakia (ask at reception to see the a small secret chapel). Overall it offers a trendy, boutique-style allure with a mix of industrial and contemporary colour schemes dotted with functionalist and funky furnishings, and an in-house gallery that showcases local artists. Handily positioned near Wenceslas Square, this is a good choice if you are planning on making the most of the area's nightlife.
This modest but pleasant Spanish-themed three-star is located on a quiet street next to the buzzy, glass-filled Palladium shopping mall. The immediate area is slightly characterless, but Old Town Square and its surrounding medieval charms are a 10-minute walk, the atmospheric Josefov quarter is around the corner, and Wenceslas Square is a 15-minute amble. Sights like the Powder Tower and the stunning Municipal House are a five-minute walk.