PRAGUE - NEIGHBORHOODS

Stare Mesto (Old Town)

This is the historic center of Prague and the home of its best known tourist attractions with many buildings dating back to the 13th century. It is home to the Tyn Church, St. Nicholas Church, and the Astronomical Clock, all located in the Old Town Square, which is also the site of Prague's annual Christmas market. Charles Bridge can also be accessed from Stare Mesto. Architecturally, it's a lovely area and it is always crowded with tourists. The area is also popular among locals for its wide variety of trendy boutiques, restaurants, vibrant nightlife and modern shopping centers.

Mala Strana (Lesser Town)

The Vltava River divides Prague in half, and because of this, the Old Town is split into two distinct neighborhoods. The Mala Strana side is located just across the Charles Bridge from Old Town, at the bottom of the hill that leads up to Prague Castle. Here, lovely architecture and lovely streetscapes are built into the hill leading up to Hradcany and the Prague Castle. Lennon Wall (John Lennon, not Lenin), Lobkovic Palace, the Kafka Museum, and Vojan's Garden are a few of the sights in this area. Quiet and very upscale, it is the most exclusive neighborhood in Prague. Many of Prague's finest restaurants can be found here, as well as elegant cafes and tourist shops. Situated alongside the river, Kampa Island is a nice place to enjoy the beautiful views of Prague.

Josefov (Jewish Quarter)

Historically, Josefov was the Jewish district of Prague, and today, the neighborhood is largely a Jewish Historical Museum. It is a captivating neighborhood, having undergone many changes; it is now home to Parizska (street), the most expensive shopping boulevard in Prague. The Old Jewish Cemetery, the Old-New Synogogue, the Franz Kafka statue, and the Museum of Decorative Arts are located here. It is located to the north, but only a short walk to the Old Town Square in Stare Mesto.

Nove Mesto (New Town)

Both Wenceslas Square and Karlovo Namesti (Charles Square) are located here. Wenceslas is a major shopping district and like the Old Town Square is crowded with tourists year round. Charles Square is a very pleasant, urban residential neighborhood. Nove Mesto also boasts several galleries, including the National Gallery. You can also wander by the much photographed 'Dancing Building.'

Smichov

Located on the Left Bank of the Vltava, it is one of the largest Prague districts. It is an upscale neighborhood and represents the new Prague in many ways, delicately combining older historic buildings with large glass and steel buildings, which house large western style shopping malls and film houses. Smichov is also home to the Staropram brewery, the second largest brewery in the Czech Republic. Locals remember it for being home to the controversial Soviet tank monument and the political firestorm surrounding it when Czech artist David Cerny painted it pink. The tank is no longer there (it has been removed to a museum).

Vinohrady

Located at the top of the hill just beyond the far end of Wenceslas Square, Vinohrady is named for the vineyards that were found here during the 19th century. Today it is one of the most desirable residential neighborhoods. It is home to lovely 19th century architecture and is filled with parks and pubs and restaurants for nearly everybody's tastes and budget. Much of the neighborhood is within easy walking distance of Wenceslas Square and excellent bus and metro service is available throughout. Hlavni Nadrazi (Prague's main train station) is located here.