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Prague: ARTĚL Style

Expert recommendations and insider tips for first-time visitors and locals alike from ARTĚL’s founder, Karen Feldman, who has lived in Prague since 1994. Click on the links below for detailed reviews – from Feldman’s own unique perspective – of all the best that Prague has to offer...

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Basics

Prague Neighborhoods

Published on February 13th, 2014 in Basics

A User’s Guide

Like many cities, Prague is composed of several distinct neighborhoods, each with its own history, look, and feel. Here’s what you need to know…

 

MALÁ STRANA  ( Lesser Town )

Malostranské Square and Church of St. Nicholas, 1934

   

Located just below the castle, this is the oldest part of the city. Quaint, charming and historic, it’s packed with Baroque and Renaissance architecture. Lots of hotels, restaurants, small shops and very expensive real estate (mostly inhabited by expats) fill this quarter, so there are very few businesses based here.

 

 

HRADČANY  ( Castle District )

 

 

An outgrowth of Malá Strana, this is the crown jewel of Prague. The Prague Castle (Pražský hrad) presides over the neighborhood, along with several smaller palaces (most of them now serving as museums) and beautiful gardens.

 

 

STARÉ MĚSTO  ( Old Town )

 

Prague - Old Town Square, c.1907 (photo courtesy of www.fotohistorie.cz)

  

This is the pulse of the city center, full of businesses, shops, department stores, restaurants, and expensive real estate; it’s also where Czechs gather when a hockey championship is won.

 

 

JOSEFOV  ( The Jewish Quarter )

Old-New Synagogue on Pařížská Street, c.1900  

 

This part of Old Town is where you’ll find most of the Jewish sights, as well as magnificent turn-of-the-20th-century Art Nouveau buildings. These serve as apartments for rich Czechs and expats, as well as a few lucky Czechs who have lived there since the Communist era and enjoy rent control. One family I know lives in a 110 sq. meter (1184 sq. ft.) apartment on Pařížská (the fanciest street in town) and pays a mere 3,550 CZK ($178) for rent, not counting 3,600 CZK ($180) per month in utilities (it’s such a trial having to heat a place with four-meter [13 ft.] ceilings...).

 

 

NOVÉ MĚSTO  ( New Town )

Prague - Na Příkopě, c.1915 (photo courtesy of www.fotohistorie.cz)

 

This section of town borders Old Town but is definitely a bit grittier and less touristy. The real estate is generally more affordable here, and you’ll find lots of businesses, restaurants, and shops.

 

 

VINOHRADY  ( Vineyard District )

Vinohrady, c.1898 (photo courtesy of www.fotohistorie.cz)

  

A residential and business district that borders Nové Město. Both Czechs and expats choose this area to live in, as it’s much more “real” than downtown and has a neighborhood feel, yet you’re only one or two metro stops from the city center. The buildings are primarily Art Nouveau (although less glamorous than downtown) and Functionalist.
 

 

 

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