Whether it is a quirky 17th-century building in the Czech capital, an apartment with views of Petrin hill or a tasteful boutique hotel near Prague Castle, it can be yours for less than €100 a night
Accommodation in Prague can be fantastic value at the moment. A sharp downturn in business has led to many hotels and b&bs dropping their rates significantly to try and drum up business – so there are now great places to stay in the stunning old parts of the city, not just the suburbs, for less than €100 a night in summer. I’ve picked out five of my favourites, some costing as little as €63 a night. Unless otherwise stated, price are lead-in rates, including a local tax of 9 per cent, for the cheapest double room available between March and October. Note that rates are often even cheaper from November to February.
Dum u Velke Boty
The discreet “House of the Big Boot” – there is no sign saying it is a b&b – is my favourite place to stay in Prague. Its location, on an off-the-beaten-track cobbled Mala Strana backstreet, opposite a palace used as the German Embassy, is perfect. I also like the quirkiness of the 17th-century building – one bedroom has a kitchen range, another a giant old ceramic stove – and the fact that it is very much a home. Long-time owners Jan and Charlotta Rippl have furnished the dozen bedrooms with family heirlooms, antiques and striking works of art, and the Rippls are vivacious, hands-on hosts. In keeping with the atmosphere, breakfasts can, if you wish, be eaten communally with other guests. Rooms with shared bathroom from €80, en-suite from €127; breakfast €8 extra per person.
The excellent-value Castle Steps (from €63 b&b) is not your run-of-the-mill hotel. Its 50 rooms and apartments are spread over four buildings dotted along the main thoroughfare that climbs steeply through the Mala Strana district up towards Prague Castle. Rooms share bathrooms, while apartments are en-suite and larger ones have their own kitchen. All the accommodation is different, but at the very least you can expect a room that has character, the odd antique or two, and a decent modern bathroom. Choose well – refer to the written and pictorial details on each room and apartment on the website – and you will find yourself in an ancient building, with acres of space and views to die for over Petrin hill. A vegan breakfast, included in the rates, is served in a wine cellar. Rooms with shared bathroom cost from €63 b&b, en-suite studio apartments from €72 b&b.
While this cosy pension is barely 300 yards from the ever-present tourist hordes on Charles Bridge, you’d struggle to find a more tranquil spot to stay in Prague. Named after a once-resident family of architects responsible for many of the city’s baroque buildings, the quaint 16th-century house is shielded from a picturesque cobbled side street by its own courtyard. Inside, the bedrooms – whitewashed, rugs on bare wooden floors, modern furniture – are more prosaic than the delightful setting, but they are spacious and well kept. In fine weather, have breakfast out in the courtyard or the narrow rear garden. From €97 b&b.
Rates at this high-quality boutique hotel have nearly halved from two years ago, and as such are a real bargain, even in high season. Dating from the 14th century, the elegant house is up in the Hradcany district, three minutes’ stroll from the entrance to Prague Castle: though the area is packed with tourists during the day, it is peaceful and atmospheric at night. With white walls, polished floors and striking slatted wood furniture, the eight bedrooms are faultlessly tasteful. The cheapest are small; deluxe rooms (from €20 more) are much larger, and have panoramic views over the orchards of Petrin hill. Plentiful breakfasts can be taken in the civilised lounge (books on Prague, classical music) or, weather permitting, on a terrace that enjoys the views. From €78 b&b.
Though the hotel occupies a brutal 1920s concrete block, which in the communist period served as offices for the secret police, don’t let that put you off. Bedrooms are roomy, double glazed, smartly furnished in woody Nordic style, and livened up with arty paintings and photographs of Prague; staff are very helpful; and free tea and coffee and Internet access are available in the lobby. Further plus points are the airy breakfast room – a vast hall that was once a chapel – and the location, on the edge of Stare Mesto (the old town), so central without being too much in the thick of things. Altogether a safe bet, and the current rates are very good value indeed. Doubles from €79 b&b.