The Smetana Hotel Prague is in the heart of one of Europe’s most loved capitals. Moments away from Charles Bridge & the Old Town Square.
The gateway to Prague’s history, culture and most popular sights
Are you ready to see Prague as it was meant to be seen? Want to experience the Gothic wonder, medieval architecture, and lively culture of one of Europe’s oldest, best-preserved cities? If you are looking to take in the everyday beauty of our cobblestone streets, the Astronomical Clock chiming every hour on the hour, the classic sights of Prague Castle looking down over the city – all the while experiencing the culture of Prague’s food, people and more, then plan on making the Smetana Hotel (formerly Pachtuv Palace) your gateway to Prague.
The Smetana Hotel,
your gateway to Prague
Choosing the right place to start and end your daily trips is vital. That’s why the Smetana Hotel (formerly Pachtuv Palace) is in the heart of Old Town Prague.
We know location is key. We want to ensure your have the best possible experience while traveling. Nothing is worse than having to call a cab to and from the hotel every day. It is no fun struggling to find things to do, sights to see, and worrying about getting lost. The central location of the Smetana Hotel takes you from your room to the heart of everything within minutes.
The Smetana Hotel knows this. That’s why our hotel is right along the riverbank of the Vltava, and a short stroll to Old Town Square. The historic Pachtuv Palace is centrally located to experience some of the best cultural, architectural and dining experiences Prague has to offer.
Look, we aren’t going to lie – we love Old Town. Prague has dozens of other great neighborhoods. Between all of them, we picked Old Town. Why? Because we know the best traveling experiences strike a balance between two things: location and comfort.
Ease of access to culture, architecture
and great food
With Old Town Prague you get the chance to see medieval architecture, stroll along the cobblestone paths, and experience the energy of Old Town Square all on the same walk.
Old Town also has a wide range of restaurants that cater to everything from traditional Czech cuisine – Ferdinanda – to new dining experiences focused on unique moments and unforgettable concepts – the Bed Lounge Restaurant and Bar.
Comfort and atmosphere
Prague is unlike any city in Europe. Prague straddles its history with one foot in the past and one in the present.
The city is forever old and new at the same time. To experience both, you need accommodations in a part of town that connects the two. With Prague, and specifically Old Town, you get the light and ambience of Paris, the historic charm of Rome, the architecture of Vienna, and a full taste of Europe.
Here at the Smetana Hotel, we know the experience of Prague is reflected in the ambience, energy and people of Old Town. To guarantee you enjoy the atmosphere of one of Europe’s oldest cities, we chose a central location and developed luxury accommodations you’ll look forward to returning to every night.
The secret to experiencing
Old Town Prague
like a local
Traveling is all about experience. Old Town is filled with experiences you’ll remember a lifetime. Prague is a city made for walkers. If you want to escape the daily grind and truly experience the atmosphere, history and culture of Old Town, you need to take “a ground’s eye view”. Prague is ready-made for exploration on foot. You can wind through the main streets and beautiful historic sites to small corners off the beaten path, packed with local stores and beautifully secluded restaurants only the locals know about. That’s why we located the Smetana Hotel where we did. Prague was meant to be explored on foot, and you will find no better starting place than our front door.
On foot, you can experience the sights, sounds, images and architecture of Prague. The Smetana Hotel’s location in Old Town lets you walk out the door and into the heart of Prague’s historical and cultural experience.
The best sights Prague has to offer
are at our doorstep
The Smetana Hotel sits on the riverbank at the doorstep to Prague’s must-see sights. Whether you are interested in history, getting the perfect vacation photo, or taking in the wonder of our medieval town, our front door is your gateway to Prague.
Where to start,
Old Town Square
Old Town Square is a “must see” for any first-time visitor to Prague. It is one of Prague’s two main squares, the other being just a five-minute walk away. Here you can experience Prague as it was meant to be seen nearly seven hundred years ago.
If you want to feel like you have stepped back in time to a place filled with merchants and intrigue, or into a fairy tale, the design of the buildings will take you there. The square brings together the best of Prague’s architecture.
You can see Gothic design, Baroque influences, Romanesque lines and more as you stroll along the city
promenade and down the side streets.
If you are looking for the perfect photo, you can climb the Old Town Hall Tower to capture the entire square from above.
This is an elegant and classically Gothic church with four beautiful spires that jut out from the city skyline. Tyn has attracted Roman Catholic worshippers since the 14th century – and one visit is all you need to see why!
St. Nicholas church
This is the newer of the two main Roman Catholic churches in Prague’s city center. Here you can take in classic 17th century Baroque influences, and see what is considered to be the designer Dientzenhofer’s crowning achievement.
More interested in political history and the reformation? Then hop outside and see the nearly five-hundred-year-old Jan Hus statue. Take a moment to appreciate the man whose beliefs led the people of Prague into the Hussite Wars.
The experience of Old Town Square and everything within is truly unique. No other city in Europe has the medieval history, walkability – and more – that travelers demand. Old Town Square in Prague has all this and the Smetana Hotel puts you right next to it. Experience the history of Prague from our front door and avoid the hassle of hailing cabs, finding your way around, and missing out on the must-see sights of one of Europe’s oldest cities.
Not interested in history? Consider the food!
Food and people watching in
Old Town Square
Old Town Square brings the energy of an entire city into one place. You can people watch from the cafes as locals rush to and from work, while you enjoy a coffee or local beer.
Prague’s bars are filled with local draft beers. These beers capture Prague’s fascination with brewing high-quality products that are big on flavor and easy to enjoy. You can sample a wide selection of local beers at the many beer gardens scattered throughout the area.
Here you can take in Prague’s nightlife as locals gather to catch up on what’s new, enjoying cheap, high-quality beers.
If the black stuff served hot is more your drink of choice, then you are in luck. Prague boasts some of the best cafes and coffee shops in Europe. There are dozens of great choices ranging from cutting edge roasters serving beans roasted in-store, to smaller cafes offering Europe’s best roasts.
Prague has everything to offer, ranging from the traditional cup of black coffee to flat whites and more. We have a wonderful restaurant on site as well. If you want a more personalized experience, the Smetana Hotel has an amazing Czech restaurant you can return to after a day of traveling and sightseeing.
The holidays make
Old Town Square
a city for all seasons
Old Town Square is steeped in history and rich with local traditions that continue to this day. Every season has something wonderful to offer. One of Prague’s most popular holiday traditions is the Christmas Market, or the “Vánoční trh”.
The Christmas markets reflect the festive mood of the season and capture the local enthusiasm for the holidays.
Old Town Square hosts a large Christmas market that fills the square with the classic “winter wonderland” energy families love the world over.
The Christmas market opens every year on December 2nd and is open every day until January 6th – including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
The “must see” sights of Old Town Square’s Christmas market
If you want to enjoy Old Town Square’s Christmas market, here are the three must-see sights you can’t miss.
The wooden hut vendors
and their goods
The Christmas market features brightly decorated wooden huts packed with vendors selling beautiful handmade goods such as jewelry, lace, wooden toys, ceramics, holiday ornaments, and more.
Unlike other markets in Europe that are stuffed with low-quality foreign junk, our Christmas market only features high-quality handmade goods that reflect the culture and people of Prague.
See local delicacies
Food is a big part of any trip, and Prague’s food can’t be missed. At the Christmas market, vendors pull back the curtain and give you a live glimpse at how some of Prague’s favorite foods are prepared. You can get local breads, sweets, hams and more from real honest-to-goodness craftsmen cooking their wares right in front of you.
The Christmas tree
Every year, a large Christmas tree is brought in from Pecka (a town northeast of the city). It is huge, and when lit up at night it truly is a sight to behold. You can even catch the moment they turn it on (5:30 PM) for a unique, delightful experience as Christmas lights illuminate the Gothic darkness of the city square.
The Smetana Hotel puts you at the heart of Prague’s seasonal celebrations. Our guests find nothing better than strolling out from our front door and right into the heart of the Christmas market. They get a chance to explore the stalls, take in the Pecka tree, grab a local snack, and make it back before they get too cold!
If ease of access is paramount to your experience in Prague, the Smetana Hotel is a wonderful option. It serves as a gateway to seasonal activities, Charles Bridge, and Prague Castle.
The Smetana Hotel as the doorway
to Charles Bridge and Prague Castle
Prague is packed-full with history you can explore up close and on foot. Two places that are must-sees, which sit conveniently right on our doorstep, are Charles Bridge and Prague Castle.
The wonder and history
of Charles Bridge
Great travel takes you through time – and Charles Bridge, spanning the Vltava river, does just that. Charles Bridge sits right outside the Smetana Hotel, which faces the riverfront. A quick walk takes you to the nearly 650-year-old stone bridge in moments.
You have to see it – Charles Bridge is famously beautiful. It stretches 621 meters long and is just shy of being 10 meters wide. It was modeled in 1357, based on the design of the famous stone bridge in Regensburg, Germany.
Charles Bridge spans the Vltava river, with sixteen arches rising up from the water in one continuous line. Three towers defend the bridge. Two of the towers are found on the Lesser Quarter side (Malá Strana) when you cross the bridge. The third tower, the Old Town Bridge Tower, sits on the Smetana Hotel side. The Old Town Bridge Tower is definitely a “must see”. It is an astonishing example of the civil Gothic style, and people from around the world flock to visit it.
The bridge features a continuous line of 30 Baroque-style statues featuring popular saints and patron-saints. The originals, which were built between 1683 and 1714, have been replaced with replicas. Never fear, though! A quick trip to the lapidarium of the National Museum (a beautiful experience for history lovers) and you can see the originals in all their glory.
Originally, Charles Bridge was used for foot and horse traffic. This ended in 1905 when electric trams took over.
The trams, although beautiful in their own right, only lasted until 1908 when they were replaced by city buses. After costly repair in 1978, Prague declared Charles Bridge open to pedestrian traffic only.
One glance at the bridge on a busy day will show you this was a great decision. Every day, Charles Bridge fills with pedestrians going to work, snapping pictures, and pausing to enjoy the resplendent charm of Gothic Prague.
The wonder of
a czech institution
There are few places left in the world where you can explore a medieval seat of power. Prague Castle is one of those places. The beauty of the Smetana Hotel lies in both our closeness to and view of Prague Castle.
At the Smetana Hotel, you can wake up and take in the grand wonder of Prague Castle from your window. It fills the landscape with Gothic solitude rising above the colorful roofs, old church spires and stately architecture surrounding it.
A quick walk across town grants you access to the rich history of the Czech and European people. Prague Castle has been passed down to many rulers – ranging from the kings of Bohemia, to Roman emperors, and later democratically elected presidents. And for good reason – Prague Castle is the largest historic castle in the world.
Two stunning facts about Prague Castle
The bohemian jewels are hidden on site
The jewels of Bohemia are kept safely hidden in an undisclosed room in the castle. You aren’t allowed to see them, but you can eye every closed door on your tour and imagine where they might be!
The castle is filled with wonderful gardens
Prague Castle is packed with walkable gardens such as the South Gardens or Royal Gardens. Our favorite is the Stag Moat, a natural ravine that gets its name from the deer that once bred there.
One last “must see” sight
right next to the Smetana Hotel
We saved one of Prague’s best sites for last – the Astronomical Clock. If you have done any research into Prague, you know about our amazing clock. This is the crown jewel of Old Town Square, and a major attraction for staying at the Smetana Hotel.
The Astronomical Clock, known as the “Pražský orloj”, is the third oldest clock of its type in the world. It was built in 1410 and has run non-stop since its creation. People from around the world flock to it hour after hour waiting for its bells to chime and puppets to dance.
The Smetana Hotel is the perfect location to see the clock. Experience a wonder of medieval Prague with a brief walk from our front door – straight to the heart of Old Town Square and the Astronomical Clock.
Experience the wonders of Prague with the Smetana Hotel
If you want to stay somewhere a short walk from Prague’s best sights, no matter the season, in luxurious accommodations, at the gateway to Prague’s cultural and architectural history – then join us at the Smetana Hotel.