Prague is a place that captures the imagination. Everywhere you turn, fairy-tale spires dot the red-roofed landscape, while the picturesque Vltava River divides the city in two. Here are some of our favorite neighborhoods to explore in Prague.
Old Town (Staré Město)
Home to the Astronomical Clock and Town Hall, as well as charming lanes lined with shops and restaurants, Prague’s Old Town is top of the list for many visitors. Here you can step back in time to the days when the kings of Bohemia paraded through Staré Město on their way to coronation at the St. Vitus Cathedral across the river. To follow in their footsteps, start at the Powder Gate—one of the original city gates—at the edge of the Old Town, and stroll the colorful streets at your leisure until you reach the iconic Charles Bridge.
Lesser Town (Malá Strana)
Despite the name, Lesser Town is where you’ll find some of Prague’s most famous sights, including the imposingly Gothic Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral. Situated on the river’s west bank, the neighborhood was once home to the city’s wealthiest residents, many of whom built baroque-style palaces to display their status (e.g. Wallenstein Palace, now home to the Czech Senate but sometimes open to the public). Check out the Franz Kafka Museum and the KGB Museum.
New Town (Nové Město)
New Town dates back to 1348, which gives you an idea of Prague’s extensive history. Nowadays, the district is Prague’s commercial heart, with big-name fashion stores as well as many of the city’s top cultural attractions (such as the National Museum). From the art nouveau Municipal House to the modern Dancing House designed by Frank Gehry and Vlado Milunić, there’s something to impress at every corner.
Within the Old Town, Josefov was once Prague’s Jewish quarter, and its sights reveal the long and sometimes tragic history of Jewish people in the city. Don’t miss the Jewish Museum (Židovské Muzeum), which comprises the Old Jewish Cemetery, Robert Guttmann Gallery, and several synagogues.