You probably know some of the main Prague attractions, from the magnificent Charles Bridge to the Old Town Square. You probably recognise some of the most beautiful churches in Prague, and other landmarks of Prague such as Prague Castle. But how many of the most beautiful Prague streets can you name?
It’s not an easy one, granted. I’ve been captivated by the many Prague sights, and especially the best Prague architecture, since my first visit almost 30 years ago.
Remembering what to see in Prague is one thing, knowing the best streets in Prague is something else entirely.
Our guide to the streets of Prague is, like our feature on the bridges in Prague, a different way of exploring the best places to see in Prague.
Some of the Prague street names on our list may not be immediately familiar, but you’ll either recognise or discover many of the best places in Prague. Some of these streets will give you the best views in Prague, while others are home to some of the best architecture in Prague.
Others are compelling because they have so many things to see. Either way, if you visit Prague, be sure not to leave without checking out at least half of these.
- 1 HRADČANY – PRAGUE CASTLE DISTRICT
- 2 Loretanska
- 3 Uvoz
- 4 Golden Lane (Zlata Ulicka)
- 5 Novy Svet
- 6 MALA STRANA – LESSER TOWN
- 7 Letenska
- 8 Mostecka
- 9 Na Kampe
- 10 Nerudova Street Prague
- 11 OLD TOWN PRAGUE – STARE MESTO
- 12 Old Town Square Prague – Staromestké Namesti
- 13 Široka
- 14 Havelska
- 15 NOVE MESTO – NEW TOWN PRAGUE
- 16 Wenceslas Square Prague
- 17 Narodni
- 18 Masarykovo Nabrezi
HRADČANY – PRAGUE CASTLE DISTRICT
It’s easy to get confused with some of the Czech names for places, especially Prague Castle and Castle Hill.
The whole hill including the castle is called Hradčany, meaning Castle District or Castle Hill. This name includes the streets, churches and other Prague attractions that are on the hill but not part of Prague Castle proper.
The name Pražsky Hrad means Prague Castle – this refers to the actual Castle of Prague complex, including the royal palaces, St Vitus, St George’s Basilica and the various fortifications. I’ve heard people asking the way to Hradcany Castle – by this, they mean Prague Castle, Pražsky Hrad.
Loretanska is one of the most picturesque Prague streets. It’s outside the main Prague Castle complex, and connects Pohorelec Square with Hradcanské namesti (Castle Square) and has some of the best views anywhere in the city of St Vitus, the best-known of the four Prague cathedrals. Most of the street was built in Baroque style after a fire in 1742, and there are now colourfully painted mansions and palaces, some hotels and a couple of the better cafes in Castle Hill. The Loreta pilgrimage church and monastery is just down the hill to the right of the street. We’re particularly fond of Loretanska because of the magnificent view of St Vitus Cathedral, which is especially beautiful at night.
Uvoz Street is the continuation of Nerudova (see Mala Strana below), climbing and skirting the edge of Prague Castle Hill. It leads to the Baroque Strahov Monastery, and you walk up the hill with views of its twin towers ahead of you. To your left, the Petrin Tower peeks above the treetops and the parkland below. There are some sublimely beautiful houses and buildings along the street, some of which have been turned into boutique hotels and restaurants. Before you reach the top of the street where it joins Pohorelec square, turn around to enjoy the view over Mala Strana and Stare Mesto Prague.
Golden Lane (Zlata Ulicka)
Also known as Golden Street Prague, this is the one street in our selection that you have to pay to enter. Don’t begrudge it, it’s worth every koruna. You need to book a Prague Castle tour to see it unless you visit after the palaces and other interior areas on the tour close. Seeing Prague Castle inside is a revelation – it’s like a small town up there. Golden Lane was named after the goldsmiths who set up shop there in the 17th century, but it was built a hundred years earlier for guardsmen of Rudolf II. The brightly painted house fronts came in the 20th century. You can go inside some of the cottages, which are evocatively made up to appear as they would have in different times gone by.
Some of our favourite Prague walks are up around Hradčany, and this street is the nearest thing you’ll find to Prague off the beaten track. Its name means ‘New World’ but it belongs to a bygone age, a narrow cobbled street full of old houses, some with their ‘emblems (which were used in the pre-house-numbering era) still intact. It’s just down the hill from the Loreta church, and makes for one of the most enjoyable Castle Hill walks.
MALA STRANA – LESSER TOWN
I have my five-year-old son to thank for waking me up to the wonder of Letenska, which connects Malostranské Namesti, Lesser Town Square with Malostranské metro stop and the Vltava river. It passes the Wallenstein Gardens and Palace with a view up to the Prague Castle Cathedral, St Vitus. Here trams squeeze past a baroque church, St Thomas’, and under a narrow tunnel beneath a palace. There are three arches in total, one for the trams, another for cars and a third for pedestrians. He wanted to watch at least ten trams pass through before begging me to catch a tram to pass through there himself. A beautiful, quirky Prague street in one of the best neighborhoods in Prague.
If you visit Charles Bridge Prague you’ll also see Mostecka. It’s the street leading from Malostranske Namesti to the Charles Bridge, and its name means ‘Bridge Street’. It’s notable for its array of splendid painted houses and the view towards either end – to St Nicholas Church Mala Strana at one end, and the Lesser Town Bridge Tower, two of the best viewpoints in Prague. The street has perhaps the best location in Prague, with architecture to boot, but at ground level it’s been taken over by a mixture of bureaux de change and fast food joints, which don’t do the place any favours. Just keep looking upwards.
Kampa Island is perhaps the most beautiful of the Prague islands, and is a fascinating area to explore. It’s easy to reach, just off the south side of the Charles Bridge. It has several museums, some of the best places to eat in Prague and in Kampa Park one of the most beautiful parks in Prague. The main street and square on the island is Na Kampe, a quiet atmospheric spot with some fine old houses, now a mixture of hotels, restaurants, bars and galleries.
Nerudova Street Prague
You get some of the best views of Prague city from Nerudova, the cobbled street leading from Mala Strana to the heights of the Prague Castle district, Hradčany. It’s lined with brightly painted, beautiful old townhouses, many from the medieval and Renaissance periods. It’s now well touristed, the old houses mostly converted to hotels, cafes and restaurants. One of the most picturesque streets in Prague.
OLD TOWN PRAGUE – STARE MESTO
Old Town Square Prague – Staromestké Namesti
The Old Town Square is one of the top two or three things to do in Prague, the finest square in city and one of the best squares in Europe. Wherever you go, you’re surrounded by top Prague attractions – the Prague Astronomical Clock, the Old Town Hall Tower (a superb, if crowded vantage point), the Baroque St Nicholas Hussite church, some Renaissance and Rococo mansions and the enchanting Gothic spires of Our Lady Before Tyn Church. The square is also the setting for one of the main Prague Christmas Markets, which are held every winter in Prague between late November and early January each year.
Široka Street is the main thoroughfare in the small Prague Jewish quarter, Josefov. It only runs around 300 metres from 17th November (17 listopadu) to the V Kolkovne roundabout, but so much Jewish Prague history is packed into this tiny area that it’s an absolute Prague must see. The 16th century Pinkas synagogue and the adjacent Prague Old Jewish Cemetery are both part of the Prague Jewish Museum and are the best place to start. Five other Prague synagogues – Maiselova, Klausova, the Old New, the High and Spanish Synagogue – are within a few steps of the short course of Široka. Also look out for some beautiful Prague Art Nouveau details and the quirky statue of Franz Kafka.
Havelska, in Prague Old Town, is the only old marketplace still in use in the city centre of Prague. The market was originally established in 1232, It’s a short, pretty street dominated by the twin Baroque towers of St Gallen Church. The Havelsky Market – Havelské Tržište – is the place to come for your fruit and vegetables on weekdays, and you’ll usually find Prague souvenirs on offer on weekends.
NOVE MESTO – NEW TOWN PRAGUE
Wenceslas Square Prague
The second most famous Prague square is Wenceslas Square, Vaclavské Namesti, It dominates Nové Mesto, Prague New Town, and is the commercial heart of the city. Along with Parizska in the Old Town and the adjoining Na Prikope, this is where many flock to do their shopping in Prague. It’s full of department stores and fast food restaurants, but after living in Prague for a while, it has rather grown on me. The National Museum main building at the end of the Square reopened in 2018, and is one of the best things to see in Prague. Wenceslas Square also has some of the best Prague Art Nouveau architecture, from the Grand Hotel Europe and Hotel Meran next door to the Galerie Lucerna, with its statue of King Wenceslas on an upside-down horse a humorous tip of the hat to the famous upright Wenceslas statue at the top of the Square.
Narodni – National Street – is where the 1989 Velvet Revolution kicked off. This is when what was then Czechoslovakia broke off the shackles of Communist rule after 41 years – it all started with violent clashes between police and students on Narodni, and this is commemorated by a small plaque on the south side of the street. Narodni is a busy Prague shopping street with some of the best Prague cafes, including Café Louvre and Café Slavia.Also look out for some beautiful Art Nouveau Prague architecture. The National Theatre (Narodni divadlo) stands at the western end of the street, opposite the Café Slavia and across the road from the Vltava River. Turn left at the end of the street to reach our next street in Prague.
This is the section of the east side Prague riverfront between the National Theatre and Dancing House, two popular Prague landmarks. We’ve chosen this street because of its stunning Art Nouveau architecture, with many mansions overlooking the Vltava river. The street runs parallel to Slovansky Island (Slovansky ostrov), and this is a better place to appreciate the artistry on some of the facades than street level – the sandy playground area is probably the best place to see the mansions. The Hlahol building is one of the most impressive – it’s about halfway along Masarykovo Nabrezi.