Accommodation in Prague
Accommodation in Prague is relatively expensive and good budget accommodation – such as small, family-owned hotels – is lacking. Don’t be surprised to find some hotels dating back from the Communist era but all are with up-to-date facilities. And we wish to remind you it is always best to reserve your room before you arrive in order to avoid overpriced hotel rack rates.
Prague is busy all year round so it is best to arrange accommodation in Prague before you depart. If you are travelling around Christmas, Easter and July or August it is best to book well ahead. When looking for accommodation you should check both the price and the distance from the city centre. Sometimes it is better to find accommodation further from the centre because, compared to other world cities, Prague is quite small and its public transport is very effective (but check different hotel offers, you may find a great deal in the centre). If you are planning to stay in private accommodation it is advised to view the property before handing over any money. The number of stars frequently does not correspond with international standards, because sometimes the owners class their businesses themselves. Nearly all hotels set prices depending on season. Obviously prices will be highest during peak times (up to 20% higher in summer than during the low season, and up to 50% higher during Easter and Christmas Holidays).
Recent recession hit Prague’s hotel segment hard resulted in falling occupancy rates. Many places have dropped their prices in an attempt to attract more customers.
Hotels – The most common form of accommodation is in a hotel of 1* to 5* stars. According to this star rating they provide a certain level of services – from the very basic to the luxurious. Normally from 1* upwards breakfast is included and bathrooms and toiletries are standard. From 3* upwards there should be a bar, television and a greater choice at breakfast. The highest categories of accommodation (4*-5*) provide luxury of the highest international standard.
Apartments – a new trend has emerged of renting a Prague apartment for a short term period, which is particularly popular among bigger groups who prefer more self-catering and privacy.
Guesthouses (Pensions) – Accommodation with a family atmosphere provides peace and quiet appreciated by families with children as well as independent travellers. A personal approach and the price (from 15 euros) for very often a high standard of facilities are a pleasant surprise for visitors.
Motels – These are meant for motorists who welcome their services, especially on long-distance routes. They are located next to motorways and main roads, which saves time.
Botels – This is a special type of accommodation found on the river Vltava in Prague in particular. It is a more romantic accommodation option affording unusual views of the capital. The standard of accommodation is comparable to a 3* hotel and above.
Campsites and chalets – Campsites are ideal for those who love nature and who are willing to sacrifice a little comfort for the chance to sleep outdoors in a tent. In the Czech Republic you’ll find them along rivers and by lakes. They are popular among families with children as they provide a low cost holiday option. There is usually some kind of sports facility or activity nearby. Rates for campsite pitches are very reasonable indeed – from 5 euros a night for a car and tent. Campsites have showers and washrooms as well as electric sockets for each pitch. There is often a tent hire centre on site. Campsites often have chalets which are much more comfortable then a tent. A night in a chalet according to the location and number of people costs 10–60 euros. Campsites have pitches with electric sockets and water supplies for caravans.
Hostels – These are hostels for young people and provide an alternative to cheap hotels. Dormitories are common (4 or more beds in one room is nothing unusual), and WC and washrooms are also shared. One advantage of staying at hostels is that they are often located in historical city centres.
Student halls of residence – These are ideal for tourists looking for cheap (8–10 euros) and easily accessible accommodation from June through to September. They are usually to be found on the outskirts of towns and occasionally in city centres. You’ll find them in every university town in the country including Prague.
Castles and chateaux – The Czech Republic has one of the greatest concentrations of castles and chateaux in Europe. In the 1990s many of these were returned to their original owners who have since transformed them into hotels. However, even at these places you will find a wide variety of standards, facilities and prices.