Where to stay in Prague for first time: 7 Safe areas

Finding where to stay in Prague as a first-time visitor can be a daunting task. That’s why, in today’s article, I will help you to find safe places to stay in Prague for first-timers and tourists.

I’ll provide you with my recommendation for the best and safest areas to stay in Prague, along with a helpful map and areas to avoid. I’ll also share where I stayed in Prague and suggest some of the best hotels in Prague for all budgets.

Before get into the detail of the main topic, let’s look at some facts about Prague:

Prague, als known as the City of a Hundred Spires, is the capital city of the Czech Republic, located in the heart of Central Europe. It is a popular tourist destination known for its history, culture, and stunning architecture. 

The city is famous for its well-preserved historic architecture, including the Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, and Wenceslas Square. Its architecture spans a range of styles, from Romanesque and Gothic to Baroque and Renaissance.

The iconic Charles Bridge, built in the 14th century, is adorned with statues and provides fantastic views of the Vltava River and the city.

The Prague Castle is one of the largest castle complexes in the world. It houses various historic buildings, including the stunning St. Vitus Cathedral.

In the heart of the Old Town, you can find the Old Town Square, surrounded by colorful baroque buildings and features Prague Orloj, the iconic astronomical clock mounted on the Old Town Hall. 

Another popular square in Prague is the Wenceslas Square, a hub for shopping, dining, and entertainment and is a center for social and cultural events.

History buffs and art lovers can explore many museums and galleries, including the National Museum, the Museum of Communism, and the National Gallery, housing an impressive collection of art.

The Czech Republic is known for its beer, and Prague is no exception. Pilsner beer originated in the Czech city of Plzeň, and the country has a long history of brewing.

Is Prague safe to visit?

Prague is generally a safe destination for travelers with low violent crime. However, like any major city, petty crimes such as pickpocketing and passport theft can occur, particularly in crowded areas, near tourist attractions and on trains/trams. 

To ensure a trouble-free visit, you should exercise common-sense precautions, like safeguarding belongings, keeping an eye on your drink and food, using ATM machines in well-lit areas, and traveling in a group at night, just as you would in any city. 

There are also threats of terrorism attacks and the risk of public demonstrations can turn violent, so it’s essential to stay updated on local news, avoid crowds and protests, and follow advice of local authorities.

Where to stay in Prague for the first time?

The best and safest areas to stay in Prague for first-timers and tourists are Old Town (Staré Město), Lesser Town (Malá Strana), New Town (Nové Město), Hradcany, Žižkov, Vinohrady, and Karlin. It’s always essential to stay vigilant as you would in any other city.

Old Town, Lesser Town, and New Town are the most popular choices for first-time visitors. They offer easy access to the city’s top attractions and a convenient base to explore the historic heart of Prague. But, they tend to be pricier and busier, especially during the peak tourist season.

Old Town is the heart of Prague, home to iconic Old Town Square, Astronomical Clock, and Charles Bridge. It’s a lively and safe area with plenty of restaurants, shops, and historic sites.

Lesser Town, located on the left bank of the Vltava River, known for its charming streets, Baroque architecture, and attractions like Prague Castle and St. Nicholas Church.

New Town is a more modern part of Prague and includes Wenceslas Square, which is a hub for shopping, dining, and nightlife. While it’s generally safe, be cautious in crowded areas.

If you prefer a quieter, more local experience, Hradčany, Žižkov, Vinohrady, and Karlín are good alternatives. These areas offer a more authentic atmosphere and often have more budget-friendly accommodation options. 

It is recommended to choose well-reviewed and reputable hotels or hostels to ensure your safety during your stay. If you’re unsure about a neighborhood, ask locals or your accommodation for advice.

Also take extra precaution in some petty crime hotspots such as the immediate vicinity of the Hlavni Nadrazi main train station, and on the 22’s route tram from Karlovo Namesti to Prague Castle. 

It is best to avoid Vrchlického sady park (nickname Sherwood of Prague) in the front of the main train station at night as it can be sketchy after dark. Wenceslas Square can also be unpleasant, noisy, and shady at night and it’s best avoided.

During my trip to Prague, I stayed at the mid-range Little King U Malvaze. The hotel has a super central location, within a short walk from the metro station, and the famous Charles Bridge and Old Town Square. It also had a very good breakfast, Luggage storage, and spacious family rooms.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Prague for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Prague first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Prague first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Prague, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Prague have been carefully selected by me, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

7 Safe areas to stay in Prague for first-timers and tourists

1. Old Town (Staré Město)

Old Town (Staré Město) is the most popular area to stay in Prague for first-time visitors who want to be right in the heart of the city’s historic center. You’ll be within walking distance of major attractions like the Old Town Square, Charles Bridge, Astronomical Clock, and Wenceslas Square. 

The Old Town is known for its well-preserved historic architecture, cobblestone streets, and picturesque squares. It provides an authentic and charming atmosphere that immerses you in Prague’s rich history.

You’ll find numerous museums, galleries, and theaters in the area. It’s also a hub for cultural events and festivals. The historic Estates Theatre is where Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni” had its world premiere.

While not technically in the Old Town, Josefov is very close and worth a visit. It has a rich Jewish history and is home to the Jewish Museum, synagogues, and the famous Old Jewish Cemetery.

The Old Town offers a wide range of dining options, from traditional Czech cuisine to international fare. There are also many shops and boutiques for shopping enthusiasts.

While accommodations, restaurants, and other services in the Old Town tend to be more expensive compared to other areas, the convenience and charm of the area make it a popular option for many travelers.

Best places to stay in Prague Old Town for first-time tourists:

  • Luxury ($$$): Buddha-Bar Hotel Prague, 5-star boutique hotel located in the heart of Prague, short walk from Old Town Square, Náměstí Republiky subway station, and Parizska shopping street. It has fabulous breakfast, 24-hour front desk, paid airport shuttle, and private parking.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Lippert, great 4-star located in a quiet comfortable area in a prime location, on the UNESCO-protected Old Town Square right next to the Astronomical Clock, short walk from Wenceslas Square and Charles Bridge
  • Budget ($): Hotel King George, 3-star accommodation, located in the historic center of Prague, on Liliová street linking Bethlehem Square and Charles Street. It is a short walk from major  sights such as the Powder Gate and Church of Our Lady before Týn. You can also easily reach The Staroměstská Metro Station for further exploration.

2. Lesser Town (Malá Strana) 

Lesser Town (Malá Strana) is a wonderful base in Prague for couples and families who are seeking a quieter, more picturesque experience, and proximity to Prague Castle. The area offers a unique and authentic Prague experience while still being within reach of the city’s major attractions.

Lesser Town is often considered one of the most beautiful parts of the city, with charming cobblestone streets, well-preserved Baroque architecture, and a more relaxed atmosphere. 

Prague Castle, the largest ancient castle complex in the world, is located in Lesser Town. You’ll be within walking distance of this iconic attraction, as well as St. Vitus Cathedral, Royal Palace, and Golden Lane.

Other points of interest in this area are the Church of St. Nicholas, Wallenstein Palace , and The John Lennon Wall, which became a symbol of peace and love during the 1980s. It’s a great place to explore on foot, with many narrow, winding streets and hidden courtyards.

Lesser Town is situated on the left bank of the Vltava River, offering great views of the river and the Old Town across the river. You can enjoy beautiful vistas from vantage points like the Prague Castle and Petřín Hill.

Lesser Town is known for its hilly terrain, so be prepared for some uphill walks. However, this also contributes to the area’s charming and unique character.

It’s a bit removed from the Old Town, but you can easily use public transportation or walk longer to reach the bustling center. Lesser Town has some pubs and restaurants, but it is not as lively in terms of nightlife as the Old Town or New Town.

Best places to stay in Prague Lesser Town for first-timers:

  • Luxury ($$$): Three Storks, popular 5-star hotel, located in Lesser Town, in a historic 14th century building. It has comfortable rooms with views of the city’s red rooftops. It has a shuttle bus for groups from/to Ruzyne Airport and Hlavní Nádraží train station.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Certovka, great 4-star hotel set in a Baroque building, 5 mins walk from the Malostranska metro station. You can choose the rooms with views of Charles Bridge or Prague Castle. Lots of Restaurants, cafés and wine bars, as well as Lime, Tier, Bolt scooter-Shares can be found nearby.
  • Budget ($): Hotel Ikona, great 3-star good value for money hotel that is located near the end of the Charles Bridge. It offers exceptional breakfast, on-site parking, and airport shuttle services. Quiet location close to tram and subway stops.

3. New Town (Nové Město) 

New Town (Nové Město) is a great option for first-time visitors who want a vibrant experience, budget-friendly accommodation, local vibe, and proximity to the Central Train Station while still being close to the city’s historical attractions. 

New Town is centrally located, making it convenient to explore many of Prague’s top attractions. It’s within walking distance of the Old Town and Lesser Town, and it offers excellent public transportation connections.

New Town is home to numerous cultural attractions such as the Dancing House, National Museum, Franz Kafka Museum,  Museum of Communism, and the National Theatre.

The area is known for its shopping opportunities, including international and local brands, as well as a wide range of dining options, from traditional Czech restaurants to international cuisine. Wenceslas Square is a hub for shopping and entertainment.

New Town has a vibrant nightlife scene with numerous bars, clubs, and theaters. If you enjoy a lively atmosphere in the evenings, you’ll find plenty of options here.

Some parts of New Town can be noisy and crowded, especially around Wenceslas Square, due to the active nightlife and shopping areas.

Best places to stay in Prague New Town for first-time visitors:

  • Luxury ($$$): Radisson Blu Hotel Prague, great 5-star hotel conveniently located between Old Town and New Town, a short distance from Wenceslas Square and Karlovo namesti Station.  It has Fabulous breakfast, a fitness center, and car parking.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Residence Spalena, 4-star hotel, centrally located within a short walk from all must-see tourist attractions such as the Wenceslas Square and the Old Town Hall. It is right next to the tram line and underground, and can be noisy if you are on the 1st floor.
  • Budget ($): Hotel Páv, 3-star historic hotel, located a few mins walk from Charles Bridge, the famous U Fleku restaurant with its microbrewery, and Narodni trida station. Also close to the National Theatre and Zofin Palace. It has very good buffet breakfast and nearby public garage parking for those who drive.

4. Hradcany (Castle District)

Hradčany, also known as the Castle District, is a prestigious and historic area in Prague, located on the same side of the river as Prague Castle. Staying in Hradčany offers a peaceful experience and picturesque surroundings.

Compared to the bustling Old Town and New Town, Hradčany offers a quieter and more tranquil environment, especially in the evening. It’s a great place to relax and escape the crowds.

You can enjoy stunning views of the city from various viewpoints in Hradčany, including the castle itself and Petřín Hill.

The district is home to several museums and cultural institutions, including the Lobkowicz Palace and the Strahov Monastery Library.

Hradčany is not known for its nightlife, so if you’re seeking a lively evening scene, you may need to venture into other parts of the city. It is also on the west side of the river, so you’ll need to cross the river to reach the Old Town and New Town. However, public transportation is readily available.

Best places to stay in Prague in Hradcany for travelers:

  • Luxury ($$$): Hotel Hoffmeister, 5-star hotel, located directly below Prague Castle, 10 mins walk from Charles Bridge, an easy access to the Old Castle Staircase and Malostranská underground station. It has spacious family rooms, fabulous breakfast, and an underground car park.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Golden Key Prague Castle, great 4-star accommodation located on Nerudova street, 7 mins walk from the Prague Castle, 20 mins walk from Old Town Square and Jewish quarter. You can choose the room with views of the Petřín Lookout Tower.
  • Budget ($): Loreta Hotel, 3-star hotel located on the Loreto Square within walking distance from the Prague Castle, featuring a summer garden, Private parking, and heating system. Easy access to tram and Malostranská Metro Station.

5. Žižkov

Žižkov is a vibrant and eclectic neighborhood bordered by popular Vinohrady and Karlín. It’s an excellent area for travelers who want to experience a more local atmosphere, vibrant nightlife, and budget-friendly side of Prague.

Žižkov is known for its authentic and local vibe. It’s not as touristy as the city center, so you’ll have the opportunity to interact with the local residents and experience daily life in Prague.

The neighborhood has a strong artistic and bohemian presence. You’ll find street art, galleries, and creative spaces, making it a great place for art enthusiasts.

Accommodations and dining options in Žižkov are often more budget-friendly compared to the city center, which can be a significant advantage for travelers on a tight budget.

Žižkov is well-connected to the rest of Prague via trams and the metro, making it easy to explore other attractions and neighborhoods of this city.

The neighborhood has a vibrant nightlife scene with numerous Czech pubs, bars, and clubs, making it a great choice for those who enjoy going out in the evenings.

Best places to stay in Prague in Žižkov for tourists:

  • Mid-range ($$): Carlton, great 4-star hotel located within a short tram ride from the Old Town, featuring fabulous breakfast and easy access to the Parukarka hill.
  • Mid-range ($$): Theatrino Hotel, 4-star accommodation centrally located in Zizkov where you can find many trendy restaurants, bars and the TV tower with an observation deck. Close to the Lipanska tram stop and Riegrovy park.
  • Budget ($): Gregory House, popular 3-star hotel near the train station, easy access to many supermarkets, bistros and restaurants on the main street. It has Laundry services and daily housekeeping.

6. Vinohrady

Vinohrady is a popular residential neighborhood known for its leafy streets, local atmosphere, and a mix of historic and modern elements. It’s a great choice for those who want a more relaxed authentic experience while still being within easy reach of the city center. 

The neighborhood is known for its beautiful parks and green spaces, such as Riegrovy Sady and Havlíčkovy Sady. These parks provide great opportunities for relaxation and outdoor activities.

While Vinohrady is not far from the city center, it’s not as central as neighborhoods like the Old Town. You can use tram/metro to reach the major tourist attractions.

Best places to stay in Prague in Vinohrady for visitors:

  • Luxury ($$$): Le Palais Art Hotel Prague, 5-star hotel, situated in an exclusive residential area Vinohrady, 15 mins walk from the popular Wenceslas Square. The hotel has Superb breakfast and a paid airport shuttle bus.
  • Mid-range ($$): Elizabeth Suites, 4-star accommodation conveniently located close to public transport for exploring the city, lots of restaurants within walking distance away from the hotel.
  • Budget ($): Hotel Lunik, 3-star family-style hotel, located within a short distance from Námesti Míru and I.P.Pavlova metro stationss.  Also close to Wenceslas square and National museum.

7. Karlin

Karlín is a trendy and up-and-coming neighborhood in Prague, known for its mix of historic and modern elements, great dining options, and a more local atmosphere. Karlín generally offers more affordable accommodations compared to the city center.

Karlín is characterized by a blend of historic architecture and modern developments, offering a unique and trendy atmosphere. You’ll find a variety of cafes, restaurants, and shops in the area.

Best places to stay in Prague in Karlin for visitors:

  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Royal Prague, popular 4-star hotel, in central Karlín, a few steps away from subway and tram station Křižíkova. It has Fabulous breakfast and comfortable family rooms.
  • Budget ($): Charles Central, 3-star hotel located next to Krizikova metro station, 10 mins from Florenc Central Bus Station, close to lots of cafés, restaurants and galleries.
  • Budget ($): B&B Hotel Prague City, 3-star accommodation close to Vltava River and Florenc Metro/Tram Stop.

In conclusion, Old Town (Staré Město), Lesser Town (Malá Strana), New Town (Nové Město), Hradcany, Žižkov, Vinohrady, and Karlin are the best places to stay in Prague for first-timers and tourists. These are generally safe areas with plenty of accommodation options for all budgets. 

If you are visiting Prague during the Christmas season, you can check this article: Best places to Stay in Prague for Christmas Markets.

I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful. If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

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