8 Stunning Places To Stay in Prague for Exploring Its Old Town
The Emblem Hotel's rooftop boasts spectacular views of Prague's skyline | Courtesy of The Emblem Hotel
From gilded Renaissance interiors to post-modern marble-clad bathtubs, there are hundreds of hotels to choose from in the City of a Hundred Spires. Full of luxury and character in equal measure, some of the best of these chic and historic boutique hidewaways are only minutes from Prague’s fabled Astronomical Clock and Tyn Church in the picturesque Old Town.
Whether you’re looking to wander the winding, scenic cobblestone alleys Prague’s Old Town, or want to discover the best traditional pubs and cafés in the city, here’s our hand-picked selection of eight stylish escapes to cosy up in after a long day of exploring.
BoHo Hotel, Prague
BoHo Hotel’s junior suites are contemporary and spacious | Courtesy of BoHo Hotel
The stylish and sleek BoHo Hotel lies just a few minutes’ walk from the Old Town. In 2015, the Barcelona-based architect Antonio Puig refurbished the early-20th century building – once the offices of a national newspaper – transforming it into a modern retreat of contemporary design with a luxury spa. Some of Prague’s most admired historic monuments are literally around the corner, such as the Gothic Powder Tower and the Old Town Square in all its Baroque splendour. Across the street is the spectacular Czech National Bank, so massive it takes up an entire block. One of Prague’s main party streets, Dlouhá, is only a short stroll away, too.
It’s only a hop and a skip to the Old Town from the 19th-century Art Nouveau building home to Sophie’s Hostel. Located in the off-the-beaten track area of Karlov at the start of a ridge overlooking the Vltava River valley, the neighbourhood in which the hostel lies combines Gothic, Baroque, Classicist and Neo-Gothic architecture in a complex of former monasteries, churches, hospital and university buildings. Sophie’s also borders the Parisian-style Vinohrady residential district, which is full of hip cafés and restaurants drawing in local crowds. The cosy hostel, part of a family-owned chain, especially caters to female travellers and has an upscale vibe. There are ‘designer’ dorms, sans bunk beds, that are apartment-style with hand-painted murals.
The Alchymist has an exquisite location in the heart of the fabled Malá Strana district, just a few hundred metres from Prague Castle and minutes from the Old Town. The hotel building is fittingly historic: an 18th-century Baroque complex with an earlier Renaissance core known as the Baby Jesus House. Its rooms and apartments have marble bathrooms, some with amazing views of the neighbourhood and castle. In the opposite direction, Petřín Hill is perfect for morning jogs or afternoon strolls, with its landmark lookout tower offering stunning city views. The hotel is also close to some of the city’s time-tested institutions such as music club U Malého Glena and riverside fine-dining restaurant Kampa Park. Make sure to try the pralines and chocolates from the hotel café, Barocco Veneziano, which is furnished in the historic Florentine style.
The Golden Well is set in a maze of cobbled streets in Prague’s Malá Strana district, right below Prague Castle, and across the street from the Czech lower house of Parliament. Just a short walk from the landmark Charles Bridge and the gleaming facades of Old Town Square, the five-star boutique hotel boasts a rich history. Once owned by Emperor Rudolf II, its rooms have Renaissance-era painted wood beams and overlook either the city centre or Prague Castle’s Royal Gardens. The Golden Well Terrace Restaurant on the hotel’s top floor has similarly spectacular views, and is one of the best fine dining options in the city. It’s run by one of the country’s top chefs, Pavel Sapík, whose signature Argentinian Angus Royal steak with foie gras and asparagus sparked the restaurant’s fame.
A few dozen metres from the birthplace of Franz Kafka, Old Town Square, Charles Bridge and the Jewish Quarter, the stylish Emblem is famed for its Cubist design and has a stunning modern art collection on display. Rooms feature a minimalist post-modern look with signature marble bathrooms, there’s a hot tub on the roof and common areas like the library and lounge have a luxuriously homey feel. Its central location makes it a short walk away from most of the Old Town’s galleries, museums and eateries. The resplendent reading room of the National Library in the Baroque Clementinum complex is just across the street, while next-door, the Municipal Library of Prague has a trendy art gallery that’s worth ducking into.
With Baroque grandeur all around, stepping into the Vintage Design Hotel Sax is like taking a journey into the mid-17th century. The hotel is packed with original vintage furniture, complemented by retro pop music playing in the lobby. Located just off the Royal Road – the route taken by coronation processions en-route to Prague Castle – the hotel is very close to the storied statues of the Charles Bridge. It also puts you within striking distance of the world’s best beer, as it’s just around the corner from U Černého Vola (The Black Ox) and U Hrocha (The Rhino), two traditional Czech pubs that have remained unchanged since the 1970s.
An intriguing fusion of Asian interior design and central European Art Deco concepts, the Buddha-Bar Hotel is a unique addition to Prague’s hotel scene. The Old Town Square with the famous Astronomical Clock is nearby, as is the city’s most popular party area; the iconic Le Chapeau Rouge club is just down the street. Rooms boast stunning red and gold interiors, replete with dragon murals, and you can choose to dine either at Buddha Bar – with its loud, loungey atmosphere – or Siddharta Café, which offers another interpretation of the chain’s signature Asian-infused cuisine.
The stately, Neo-Renaissance palace in which the Carlo IV is located was later turned into a bank, so it is only appropriate that its former safe is now the swanky Vault Bar. This den of luxury is positioned on the edge of Prague’s historic New Town district, with Wenceslas Square just a few blocks away. Its rooms combine modern design, Renaissance period decoration and classic Italian style with wonderfully plush fabrics, opulent beds and splashes of bright colour amid neutral marble. Its atmospheric indoor pool is arguably one of the most attractive in Central Europe, and serves as the perfect place to unwind after a day out exploring the Old Town. In the opposite direction, the Žižkov neighbourhood is the party area favoured by locals, while the nearby National Memorial at Vítkov Hill offers some of the best views of the city.