Prague Areas 1 to 10
As most of "tourist" Prague is now divided into areas 1 to 10. It's worth shedding a little light on what to expect from each. For all references to the "river" direction, if you were standing on the Old Town side of the river and were facing the castle the river is flowing from right to left hence everything to the left is "upriver" and everything to the right is "downriver".
Prague is very well connected by public transport so although I always advise people to start their search in the Old Town, be aware that there can be bargains outside of the central districts if you are prepared to use the metro or tram. And if you stay close to a night tram route you'll have public transport options 24 hours a day.
By staying anywhere in the Prague 1 district you will put yourself within 20 minutes walk of most of Prague's tourist attractions. The four main elements of Prague 1 are the Old Town, the New Town, the Lesser Town and the Prague Castle area.Prague 1 contains the highest concentrations of accommodation, bars and restaurants. A taxi to the area from the airport should be no more than CZK600.
The Old Town is the geographical centre of Prague containing a lot of pedestrianised areas but the bars and restaurants are considered to be more expensive. By staying in the Prague Old Town you should never be more than a 10 minute walk from anywhere else in the Old Town. The streets are narrow but the buildings are rarely more than 4 floors high. Don't expect regular blocks i.e. it was not designed for traffic so you can get a bit disoriented.
The New Town encloses the Old Town against the river on one side and the highway on the other. It includes both Wenceslas Square and Republic Square. The New Town is seen as being a bit "louder" and the Wenceslas Square area contains the bulk of the bars and hence the majority of the local Stag Party crowds. The New Town has many choices for shops and also contains the National Museum and main train station. Streets in the New Town are wider and conform mostly to the "block" system although much of the parking is reserved.
The Lesser Town and Castle are considered the quiet areas of Prague 1 and are the historical centre of the city. Yes that's right, Prague is the only place I know where the "Old Town" is NOT the oldest part of the city. The immediate vicinity of the Castle with few bars and no loud clubs etc is a destination for those who want to stay in an around the oldest buildings in the city and avoid the Stag Party crowds at night. The Lesser Town is the area beneath the Castle. Again, no real nightlife action outside the Square (Malostranske Namesti) but certainly more choice of bars and restaurants than around the Castle but still only an 8 minute walk to the Old Town Square.
For hotels, my advice is to start in the Old Town area and see if you find something you like there first.
Prague 2South and south west of central Prague extending about 1km further than the Prague 1 boundary following up river. Extends around the east part of Prague. Includes the areas called Vinohrady and Namesti Miru. Well within the metro area. Common to find street names which are countries or capital cities around Namesti Miru. To the south this area ends at Vysehrad (Nusle) on the Prague 4 border. Currently in this border area you'll find the Fox apartments and the Hotel Union amongst others. On Vinohradska you'll find the Palac Flora shopping centre, the front of the centre is in Prague 2, the rear borders the New Jewish Cemetery which is Prague 10 and the next closest road is in Prague 3. If you are prepared for a 20 minute walk or use of public transport then try the Vinohrady Accommodation page.
Prague 3On one side it has a border with Vinohradska starting at the Jiriho z Podebrad Metro. On the far side it borders with Prague 8 and extending away from Vinohrady this becomes Prague 10. The biggest residential area in Prague 3 is called Zizkov. On the Prague 8 side it is accessible by bus and tram. Prague 3 is a working class area somewhat affected by petty crime in the Zizkov Area. I would not park around here overnight. On the Vinohradska side you have the Hotel Anna and Hotel Claris plus apartments on Slezka. On the Prague 8 side the main road is Seifertova and hotels in this road include the Victoria, Ariston and Olsanka. If you are prepared for a 20-30 minute walk or use of public transport then try the Zizkov Accommodation page.
Prague 5We go back over the river for this area. Extending down river from Mala Strana all the way to Zbraslav about 7km to the south. On the far side of the castle it extends away towards the Airport. The bigger hotels in this area include anything in Ujezd (Roma, Riverside) or Andel (Andels Design, NH Andel) and Smichov (plus botels Admiral and Vodnik). The area is semi residential with some light industry. The last metro in the area is Smichov but the tram now extends to Hlubocepy which puts it a 5 minute walk from there to the Hotel Smaragd. Prague 5 is the biggest Prague area. Most of the hotels are clustered in and around the Ujezd/Andel areas. If you are prepared for a 20 minute walk or use of public transport then try the Andel and Ujezd Accommodation page.
Prague 6From the castle this area extends west and north to it's boundary with Prague 7. The most popular area is Dejvice with it's fast connection to the Airport and the Dejvicka Metro Station. Prague 6 is heavily residential and contains the highest concentration of Embassies and Consulates in Prague.
Prague 7This area is to the north of Prague 6 and extends down river from Letna including the areas of Troja and Liben and Holesovice. These areas suffered in the flood of 2002. Troja is the home of Prague Zoo. The biggest concentration of accommodation is in the Holesovice area (Rivertown market). Hotels in this area include the Park Hotel Veletrzni, Extol Inn, Sir Toby's Hostel and the Duo. Holesovice train station has a metro but, most of the area is served only by bus and tram. Closest metro to the Duo is Ladvi (800m). If you are prepared for a 30 minute walk (Letna is a bit closer) or use of public transport then try the Holesovice/Letna Accommodation page.
Prague 8On the other side of the river from Prague 7 and the other side of the highway from Prague 1 you are in Prague 8. Most people know the area as Karlin although it begins at Florenc and extends down to an area called Invalidovna. After this it becomes Prague 9. Karlin is an up and coming area with a lot of investment in local businesses over the last 10 years and hence the hotels, bars and restaurants have followed. If you are prepared for a 20-30 minute walk or use of public transport then try the Karlin Accommodation page.
Prague 9If you had continued out of Prague 8 then eventually it becomes Prague 9. Not much in the way of accommodation out here (only the hotel Diana and Arlington are worth a mention for their restaurants). There are concentrations of apartment blocks from Ceskomoravska (O2 Arena) until Cerny Most. A couple of large shopping centres and Industrial zones have developed over the last few years. Not generally a popular area to stay but gets a lot of people staying locally when there's something on at the O2 Arena.
Prague 10Prague 10 has borders with Prague 2, Prague 3 and Prague 9 and is the last Prague area before entering the Prague-East district of the Stredocesky area. It has metro stations at Zelivskeho, Strasnice and Skalka. Highest concentration of residential blocks is around Strasnice and Zahradni Mesto (Garden Town - all the streets have names of flowers). Most of the accommodation is centered around Strasnice and the street/area called Vrsovice. Hotels in the Strasnice area are the Comfort Inn, Juno and Hotel Slavia. All are 3*. At Zelivskeho is the Dorint Novotel (formerly the Don Giovanni).
Castle - Ujezd/Andel - Namesti Republiky - Vysehrad - Vinohrady - Zizkov
- Holesovice - Prague 4, 6 and 8 - Apartments/Residences - Floating Botels - Karlin (Prague 8)