This handsome, historical neighborhood, filled with charming cobbled streets, cute courtyards, interesting museums and parks, is perfect for aimless wandering.
While most tourists dedicate the vast majority of their time to Prague’s Stare Mesto (Old Town), those who do hop over the river to Mala Strana (Lesser Town) won’t be disappointed by what they find. Explore one of Prague’s most picturesque and romantic neighborhoods, where Baroque buildings line the cobbled streets and beautifully manicured parks and gardens welcome those who want to rest amid greenery.
Mala Strana was a neighborhood that sprung up in the shadow of Prague's Castle, housing wealthy citizens who would have worked in the city’s administration. Wander around the district and admire the impressive residences, many of which have been converted into shops, restaurants and commercial enterprises.
Head for Lesser Town Square, the central square in the neighborhood and a busy transportation hub. Dominating the square is Mala Strana’s most recognizable landmark: the Church of St. Nicholas. This Baroque church has hosted performances by famous composers including Mozart and Bach and its green dome is an iconic feature of the Prague skyline.
In addition to historic architecture, Mala Strana also contains several interesting museums. Examine equipment from Soviet-era laboratories at the KGB Museum, survey contemporary pieces at Museum Kampa and inspect rare musical instruments at the Czech Museum of Music, housed inside a former Baroque church. The Franz Kafka Museum, devoted to the great Czech author, is also found in this neighborhood and features valuable first editions, manuscripts, letters and more.
When you need a break from the city surroundings, venture to one of the district’s many leafy parks and gardens. Look for peacocks strutting around the manicured Wallenstein Gardens, the grounds of a 17th-century palace, or walk around the intimate UNESCO-listed Vrtba Garden. The riverside Kampa Park, meanwhile, hosts some of artist David Černý’s Babies, a series of sculptures depicting oversized crawling infants.
Shop for souvenirs and artisan handicrafts on Mostecká Street. This lively stretch is lined with boutiques selling everything from glassware and artworks to skincare products.
Mala Strana is located on the west bank of the Vltava River. To get here, walk across the Charles Bridge on foot or take the metro to Malostranská station.