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Where to Stay in Prague
Hotel accommodations are available in all of the major neighborhoods that comprise Prague’s historic central area. The most in-demand rooms based on location are in Hradcany, also known as the Castle District. Just east of Hradcany, several of the popular rooms in neighboring Mala Strana offer premium views of the nearby castles, as well as proximity to a few of Prague’s most charming shops and beautiful buildings. Just across the Charles Bridge, Stare Mesto is Prague’s Old Town, where you can easily spend an entire day visiting the boutiques, galleries, restaurants, cafes and pubs strung along its cobblestone streets.
Stare Mesto is surrounded by Nove Mesto, or New Town, which stretches out to the south and east. Because it’s a little farther away from the historic core, looking in Nove Mesto is a good way to find cheap hotel deals in Prague. Even more affordable accommodations can be found in the Zizkov District, a short distance east.
Prague Hotel Tips
You can find accommodations of just about every type if you open up your search to all parts of Prague, but your options are more limited if you’re only looking in specific neighborhoods. In Hradcany, Mala Strana and Stare Mesto, virtually all of the hotels, hostels and rooms for rent are in historic properties, some of them hundreds of years old. Though most have been renovated with modern comforts and technology, levels of modernity vary greatly. Prague’s highest room rates are in these areas, but if you want to be close to the city’s most prominent attractions or stay in a fascinating historic structure, it’s worth the expense.
There are also some historic hotels and vacation rental apartments in Nove Mesto and its outer reaches, but most accommodations in these areas are in newer structures. Check Nove Mesto if you’re looking for something completely modern, or if you want better value for the room rate and don’t mind taking the metro into the central area.
Prague Hotel Recommendations
If you want to splurge on a sightseeing trip through Prague, the most enchanting home base for your daily expeditions is the Hotel Savoy, an Art Nouveau, palace-style hotel with some of the most impeccably designed rooms in town. Situated in the heart of Hradcany, it’s one of the closest hotels to Prague Castle.
In Mala Strana, also close to the Castle District, is the Hotel Aria, a concept hotel where every room is themed around a different genre of music. State-of-the-art stereo systems are standard, a musicologist is on hand to distribute CDs and recommend live music, and there are a few swanky listening rooms where guests can mingle and enjoy some tunes. Another noteworthy hotel in the area is the Mandarin Oriental, which operates one of Prague’s best spas from inside a dramatic former monastery.
Hotel Pariz is a relatively affordable and popular choice for a historic hotel in Stare Mesto. It’s ideally located near Old Town Square, the neighborhood’s center of activity, and its Parisian-style café is an excellent place for relaxing and people-watching. In Nove Mesto, the Prague Marriott Hotel is large and very modern, with amenities you won’t find everywhere in the city like an indoor swimming pool, an extensive fitness center and around-the-clock room service.
The best way to get around in Prague is by foot; it’s usually the most efficient mode of transportation along the crowded streets of the city’s tourist areas, and it’s the best way to appreciate the beauty of Prague as you travel. Stare Mesto and the Castle District are safe for pedestrians and the best areas for sightseeing. However, Prague is hilly and most of the streets in the oldest parts of town are cobbled, which can make covering the city on foot somewhat challenging, particularly for the elderly and disabled.
To give your feet a break or cover longer distances, Prague’s metro trains and electric trams are fast and cheap alternatives. Together, the two systems maintain routes that reach virtually the entire area, and both share a common ticketing system. System maps are often available at metro stations and the front desks of finer hotels.
Rental cars are fairly impractical in the city due to heavy traffic and the cost and shortage of parking. After your flight to Prague, consider taking an airport shuttle to the city’s central area instead. If you’re going to another part of town or if you want to travel faster, you can opt for a taxi, but be prepared to negotiate the fare in advance. Many Prague taxis are not metered.