Old Town (Staré Město)
Your first stop for history and sightseeing.
Home to the Astronomical Clock and the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, as well as plenty of charming cobblestone lanes lined with shops and restaurants, Prague’s Old Town is usually the first stop in the city for visitors. Follow in the footsteps of the kings of Bohemia by visiting the Powder Gate—one of the original city gates—at the edge of the Old Town, and strolling the colorful streets until you reach the statue-lined Charles Bridge.
Lesser Town (Malá Strana)
Home to Prague’s big-hitter landmarks.
Don’t be fooled by the name, as Lesser Town is where you’ll find some of Prague’s most famous sights, including the imposing Gothic turrets and towers of Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral. Situated on the river’s west bank, the neighborhood was once home to the city’s wealthiest residents and their baroque-style palaces, such as Wallenstein Palace. Don't miss the Franz Kafka Museum and the KGB Museum, either.
New Town (Nové Město)
Best for culture and shopping.
New Town dates back to 1348, which gives you an idea of Prague’s extensive history. Nowadays, the district is Prague’s commercial heart, home to big-name fashion stores as well as many of the city’s top cultural attractions, such as the National Museum (Národní Muzeum). From the art nouveau Municipal House to the ultramodern Frank Gehry and Vlado Milunić-designed Dancing House (Tancící Dum), there’s something impressive on every corner.
Related:An Art Lover’s Guide to Prague
History runs deep in the Jewish Quarter.
Within the Old Town, Josefov was once Prague’s Jewish Quarter, and its sights reveal the long and tragic history of Jewish people in the city. Don’t miss the Jewish Museum (Zidovské Muzeum), which comprises the Old Jewish Cemetery, Robert Guttmann Gallery, and several synagogues. A guided walking tour can bring the district’s history to life.
A grittier taste of local life.
The sprawling Zizkov has little of the fairytale charm that defines Prague but plenty to appeal to an adventurous traveler. An astonishingly high concentration of pubs and bars keep the area’s students and artists well-watered, and a cluster of small independent art galleries add to the area’s bohemian atmosphere. Zizkov is also home to a few landmarks, including the New Jewish Cemetery, the burial place of author Franz Kafka, as well as the impossible-to-miss, rocket-like Žižkov Television Tower.
The spot for picnics and sunset views.
Vinohrady (Royal Vineyards) retains its name from the days when it was covered in vines. Nowadays, the area is known for its elegant architecture, including the Renaissance-style State Opera and art nouveau Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord. Vinohrady is also home to some pleasant green spaces, such as Riegrovy sady, which offers dazzling city views, especially at sunset. Wine still flows in Vinohrady, thanks to an abundance of cafés, bars, beer gardens, and restaurants, which serve up some of Prague’s most diverse international fare.
Prague’s coolest neighborhood.
The warehouses and factories of this former industrial neighborhood are now gathering places for Prague’s many artists and creatives. A vibrant area, Holesovice is packed with hip restaurants, bars, galleries, and independent boutiques, often referred to as Prague’s coolest neighborhood. For some of the best views in the city, climb the hill to the top of Letná Park (Letenské Sady), then try to find a spot in the ever-busy beer garden for a drink.