As the Vltava River snakes its way through the heart of Prague, it passes the great Gothic rises of one of Europe’s largest castles, countless church spires, and the haunting saintly statues of Charles Bridge. And that’s just the beginning. This bucket-list city conceals beer taverns that slosh with Czech brews and bagel joints and a labyrinthine Old Town that’s like something plucked from the pages of Game of Thrones. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Prague has rightly been up there with the most famous of continental capitals. Millions of visitors flock its way throughout the year, some for the culture, some for the epic nightlife, some for the food, some for all of the above.
Some estimations put annual bookings via Airbnb in Prague at around the two million mark! That means the sharing service can be seen as a major source of accommodation in the Czech capital. It offers all sorts, from sumptuous duplexes with uber-cool interiors to historic boltholes in the midst of the churches and medieval squares. This guide has insights into the top neighbourhoods for booking Airbnbs and a few tips on hot rental properties to boot…
Yep. There’s nothing wrong with using Airbnb to seek out your holiday accommodation in Prague. In fact, the platform offers arguably the best array of self-catering pads going. There has been talk of tighter restrictions to manage the rise of short-term lettings in the city, but that’s all focussed on landlords, not guests. You might still be asked to present your passport or travel ID when you arrive at your place, and could be liable to pay a nightly tourist tax, but that’s just the same as in conventional hotels.
Where should I stay in Prague Airbnb?
Prague is a sprawling capital that’s a mosaic of medieval and Communist neighbourhoods. The most fairy-tale of the lot is surely the Old Town(1), where Gothic churches meet bustling squares. Over the river from that, Malá Strana(2) is a quieter enclave that still oozes heritage. The New Town(3) has a bit more modern life to it, with shopping strips and large plazas. Further out are the areas of Holešovice(4) and Žižkov(5) – known for their cool hipster bars and cutting-edge eateries. Vinohrady(6) wedges into the south-east of all those, a local’s favourite that has enticing inns and multicultural restaurants.
Historical sights everywhere
Famous beer basements
Immersive street scenes
The epicentre of Prague’s tourism boom is the wonderful Old Town. A chocolate box of treats, it unfolds in a labyrinth of little streets, all cobbled and crooked, around a bend in the Vltava River. Visitors pack into the Old Town Square during the day to witness the curious Astronomical Clock and snap shots of the haunting Church of Our Lady Before Týn. Meanwhile, in the backstreets, centuries-old beer basements, souvenir outlets, and Czech dumpling restaurants abound. It’s an immersive place, but there’s hardly space to breathe in the high season, so be ready to deal with crowds!
If you want the aged streets and historical feel of the Old Town but with just a fraction of the crowds, an Airbnb in Prague’s Malá Strana could be in order. Opening up through medieval gatehouses at the end of beautiful Charles Bridge, it’s got a distinct village-within-a-city feel. Stony lanes fringed with some of the most venerable taverns in town shoot this way. Moody chapels with onion domes rise overhead. More than anything, the Malá Strana is known as the gateway to Prague Castle, which dominates the hills above. We’d say this is the perfect spot for a romantic city break that’s laced with a little history.
Balancing out the rich and raw history of the Old Town, the New Town of Prague isn’t actually that new at all – it was established way back in the 14th century! Still, the area has seen shed loads of regeneration in its time, and now sports everything from Communist-era tenements to the twisted architectural creations of Frank Gehry. Wenceslas Square is the hub of the borough. It’s cut through by Prague’s main shopping strips, hosts enchanting Christmas markets in the winter, and comes dressed in grand Neo-Classical and Art Deco buildings.
It might as well be called hipster Holešovice these days, such is the rise of this leafy corner of Prague on the north side of the Vltava River. Yep, you’ll never be far from a single-origin brew or a craft beer in these parts, and there’s a medley of concept stores and vintage clothes emporiums to keep you busy on the shopping front. In the summer, be sure to pencil in a trip to Letná Park for a picnic with city panoramas. Oh, and don’t miss a jaunt to the bazaars and cool co-working spaces that are popping up in the old industrial complex of Prague Market a little to the east.
You’ll need to catch public transport to see the main attractions of the Old Town
Not a great many Airbnbs
To get a taste of what Prague means to the locals, you might want to ditch the Old Town and the castle area for Vinohrady. It extends out to the eastern fringes of the city, and was once a royal vineyard for cultivating Czech wine. The grapes have all but disappeared now. They’ve been replaced by leafy boulevards and blocks that host an enticing array of multicultural eateries and bars. Expect to find everything from Vietnamese pho broths to Mexicana tacos and Indian curries in the vicinity, along with nightclubs that don’t cater only to the tourist crowd.
Žižkov is a kitschy fusion of the Communist and the cool. Prague’s chosen hipster hub for many decades, it’s now put the accelerator down on gentrification. That means old paint-peeling dive bars are being joined by elegant rooftop cocktail joints, classic Slavic milk bars (cheap and cheerful Eastern European kitchens) now share street space with wine bistros. Others will want to come here for the lookout points and unique landmarks, which include the Žižkov Television Tower and the grave of one Franz Kafka in the area’s New Jewish Cemetery.
Gleaming white worksurfaces and rich mahogany wood tones run throughout this beautifully finished apartment in the happening district of Žižkov. It whisks you away from the main tourist parts of the city and offers a space that’s a true home away from home, boasting a fitted kitchen and a comfy L-shaped lounge. Guests also enjoy a small outdoor seating area for those balmy summer months.
History oozes from every chipped-wood beam and creaking floor in this eight-person house close to the riverside of the Prague Old Town. As soon as you come in from wandering amid the statues of Charles Bridge, you can settle in the compact kitchen-diner or retire to a cosy bedroom with low-rise ceilings and authentic nooks and crannies that date back more than 600 years.
Set over two stories in a top-floor penthouse with a contemporary lounge area and open-plan kitchen, this stylish loft might just be the perfect pick for traveling families. Not only does the pad have enough room to comfortably fit the whole clan, but it’s located right above the Old Town Square. Bucket-list draws like the Astronomical Clock and the city’s finest Czech restaurants are a mere hop, skip, and a jump from the door.
Fling open the French doors of your master bedroom and you’ll be gazing across at the majestic medieval turrets of Prague Castle – such are the treats of this large and luxurious pad in the picturesque Malá Strana part of the capital. There’s also a whopping great big dining room and lounge, along with al fresco terraces with sweeping urban panoramas. Oh, and there’s an on-site concierge to add a little extra dash of personalised service to your stay.
Choosing an Airbnb in Prague might just leave a few extra koruna in the pocket for your nights on the Czech larger. Rates tend to be a tad more affordable than classic hotels, while weekly and monthly discounts can often cut the price of a stay by up to 50% or more. Extra savings are also possible if you seek out larger flats and houses that let you share the price with everyone in your travel crew, or pads that boast self-catering facilities.
One downside of picking an Airbnb is the lack of service compared to a hotel. If you’re after breakfast buffets and room service and daily housekeeping, we’d recommend searching for somewhere like Hotel Noir. It’s a boutique establishment with sleek interior design throughout, not to mention a prime location on the edge of the happening Prague New Town.
Prague promises glimpses of great castle towers, hearty platters of Slavic dumplings, enthralling Old Town walking tours, and more beer than you can shake a stein at. Get your Airbnb in the bucket-list-busting Czech capital today…