Prague is unlike any other city in Europe. It will captivate you with all of its beautiful buildings and historic sites just waiting to be explored. And, explore you must! Use this guide to Prague’s historic quarter – Little Quarter or Mala Strana – so you don’t miss a thing. 

Prague’s Historical Quarters

Did you know that Prague has 5 historical quarters? Each of these 5 historic quarters in Prague offers its own set of must-see sites. Wondering what to do in Prague, refer to these Guides one for each of the other 4 historic quarters:  

  1. Castle district, or Hradcany
  2. Old Town, or Stare Mesto
  3. New Town, or Nove Mesto
  4. Jewish Quarter
yellow buidling in prague

Most visitors are likely to stroll through Mala Strana, Prague’s Little Quarter, on their way from Charles Bridge to Prague Castle. The amazing views from Prague Castle are of the Little Quarter, and as scenic, as it is, it’s definitely worth exploring. This Guide is all of the top things to do in Prague’s Little Quarter or Mala Strana. 

About Prague’s Little Quarter

Mala Strana, founded in 1257,  is the large area slopping down from Prague Castle to Charles Bridge and the Vltava River. It was first settled here by Prague’s most wealthy bourgeoise. Unfortunately, it was damaged by a devastating fire in the 15th and 16th centuries and rebuilt in Baroque style.

Very little has changed in this quarter since. The Little Quarter is undeniably enchanting. From its cobblestones to the lantern-lit streets. Stroll through here and you will feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.  

Top Things to Do in the Little Quarter

row of tall buildings in array of colours

The Little Quarter or Mala Strana begins as you cross through the Lesser Town Tower on Mostecka Street. This street is lined with little shops filled with touristy trinkets, perfect for finding the best souvenirs. Mostecka Street spills into Molstranske Namesti or Little Quarter Square. Historically, this square was used as the marketplace for Prague Castle. Since that time, the square has been split down the middle with buildings on either side. Now let’s explore some other sites. 

tall buildings in blue and pink

Church of St Nicolas

The Baroque-styled church with the iconic green dome and bell tower towers has long been part of Prague’s historic skyline. It’s regarded as the most beautiful and famous Baroque church in Prague. A father and son team of Christoph and Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer were the architects, along with other significant buildings in Prague. But it was thought this was their masterpiece. It was built between 1703 and 1761. Famous composers, Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played concerts here. 

church with belfry

When visiting the St Nicolas church you can’t help but notice the dome, or cupola, as it soars at 70m high. The fresco is filled with ‘The Celebration of the Holy Trinity dating back to 1754. Among the other highlights are the paintings, statutes, and the pulpit. As one of the best things to do in Prague, climb the belfry where you will be awarded a spectacular view of the city. 

Nerudova Street

After your visit to the Church of St. Nicolas follow the royal procession route to Prague Castle. Nerudova is an ancient cobblestone street once home to craftsmen and artists. It was named after the famous Czech poet, Jan Neruda, who lived at number 47 from 1845 to 1857. This street is full of charm. Because house numbers were not introduced in Prague until 1770, many of the houses on Nerudova Street still have the signs that distinguish who lived there.

pink, orange buildings with window

A fun thing to do is to stroll and be on the lookout for those ancient signs. Most notable are the Red Eagle (number 6), Three Fiddles (number 12), the Golden Horseshoe (number 34), the Green Lobster (number 43), and the White Swan (number 49).

street view of colourful houses


Hidden Gem Alert

The narrowest street in Prague runs off of U Lužického semináre. It even has its own pedestrian traffic light to go up and down. Seek it out and it brings you down to the Vlata River where you will find some cute cafes and restaurants.

Furstenberg Garden

A hidden gem of the Little Quarter is the beautiful terraced gardens of the Furstenberg Palace. On the site of former vineyards and orchards, it’s now an extensive terraced garden, planted with over 3,500 flowers and 8,500 trees. After visiting Prague Castle make your way to the Furstenberg Palace, now home to the Polish Embassy. Look out for a secluded café, and viola you’ve found the entrance to the terraced garden. Visit here in springtime and the gardens will be exploding with blooms and the sweet fragrance of the lilacs. 

Maltese Square

The name of this attractive-looking square stems from the Knights of Malta who once lived in this part of the Little Quarter, in 1169. Architecture lovers will want to come here to admire the Renaissance buildings that surround the perimeter. In the 17th to 18th centuries the Catholic nobility took over and these became colourful palaces – cream, bright yellow, and pink.

yellow buildings with church steeple

A statue of John the Baptist in the centre of this square is from a fountain erected here in 1715, marking the end of a plague. The plague epidemic in Prague was during the period of 1713-1715 during which many people died. The second monument to mark the end of the plague is The Holy Trinity Column.

yellow buildings with statue

John Lennon Wall

One of the places to visit in Prague is the John Lennon wall. The famous Lennon wall can be found a little off the beaten path on Velkoprevorske Namesti, a tiny, quiet square in the Little Quarter. The origins began in the 1980s when locals would add messages on the wall about peace and freedom as a way to revolt against the communist government. When communism eventually ended in 1989, the wall was dedicated to the singer and became a popular place for people to inscribe lyrics, graffiti, and messages of peace, love, and equality. Eventually, the city of Prague legalized the graffiti now the John Lennon wall frequently receives a fresh coat of paint and then recovered in new graffiti making this look different depending on when you visit.

graffiti on the John Lennon wall

Kampa Island

Visiting Kampa Island is such a peaceful hidden gem just off of the very busy Charles Bridge. This green space in the city is very relaxing with its scenic views of the Vlata River. As one of the free things to do in Prague, visit the Kampa Modern Art Museum, where you’ll find outdoor sculptures. A popular one to seek out is the Crawling Babies, created by David Cerny.

Historically, this area used watermills to power the nearby homes. Today, only two mills remain along the canal, known as Devil’s Stream. It’s such a pretty, picturesque area with tiny stone bridges that allow you glimpses of the former mills flanking either side of the canal.

KGB Museum

History buffs will definitely want to seek out the KGB Museum in the Little Quarter. This museum chronicles the timeline of communism in the Czech Republic. Some of the artifacts include a bronzed death mask of Lenin, Trotsky’s murder weapon, weapons, interrogation equipment, photographs, propaganda posters, and more. What makes this one of the most unique attractions in Prague is that the museum is owned and operated by a sole enthusiast. Visit here, and you’re bound to hear a lot of interesting tidbits. 

Petrin Tower

As one of the cool things to see in Prague, this might be it! The Petrin Tower is a copycat of the Eiffel Tower. To reach the highest peak of the city, at 318m, you can either walk through Petrin Park or take a funicular. This observation tower was built for the Jubilee Exhibition in 1891 as an imitation of the larger version in Paris. Climb the 299 for that panoramic view of the city. It’s worth the climb!

park with tower

Wallenstein Palace

A little off the beaten path in the Little Quarter between the historic quarters of Old Town and Prague Castle, is Wallenstein Palace. This impressive palace is not to be missed, as it’s one of the first and largest Baroque palaces to be built in Prague. It was built for the military commander, Albrecht von Wallenstein, in the 17th century. With 23 different houses, 5 courtyards, and 3 gardens, this palace is one of the top attractions in Prague. The exterior grounds and gardens are Instagram-worthy. Taking a stroll through the large French garden, past its many sculptures, fountains and grotto is a lovely and relaxing way to spend a couple of hours in the busy city of Prague. If visiting during the summer months, you might be able to catch a free summer concert in the late afternoons on Thursdays.

palace with garden and statues

Best Places to Stay in Little Quarter

We absolutely lucked when we chose to stay in this historical quarter. Not only is it central to the other historical quarters, but it is much quieter than Old Town and New Town where most tourists choose to stay. One of my favourite things to do in Prague at night was simply to stroll the winding cobblestone streets. In the Little Quarter, it is exceptionally pretty. Most of the streets are lit by gas lanterns and the ambiance is very romantic. The perfect spot for couples to enjoy. 

Search for your perfect accommodation here. 

As a holidaymaker…

Of all of Prague’s historic quarters, the Little Quarter or Mala Strana was my favourite. It’s close to the top attractions like the Charles Bridge, Old Town, and Prague Castle but is in such a quieter and absolutely beautiful part of this Czech city. 

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57 Comments

  1. Prague Sounds like such a great city I’d love to explore. Thank you for sharing all these wonderful places with us.. I’m especially excited to visit Little Quarter.

  2. I loved this detailed post on Prague and the things you can expect to see here! It’s definitely on my list of places to explore in the future and I’ll use this guide for my travels!

  3. The little street from Charles Bridge up to the castle is seamed with lots of Tredelnik shops so I usually grab a sweet treat. Makes the ascent easier 😛 Lots of other cool points of interests in the area, the Wallenstein castle would intrigue me and I can’t believe I’ve missed out on the baby statues. I have to return to Prague and be more attentive. Thanks for giving me a reason to return soon 🙂

  4. I did not expect to like Prague as much as I did – and your photos show why! It’s so charming. The KGB museum sounds fascinating!

  5. I loved Prague and this was one favorite areas. I loved the little cobbled streets and quaint buildings. I went there in winter so would really like to explore at a warmer time. The KGB museum would be interesting. I did a similar museum experience in Riga which was also really good

  6. I had no idea that they have five historical quarters. So, I am glad to stumble upon your post and I am happy that I learned something new today.

    Did not realize there is much to see and do. This is the first time I heard about the John Lennon Wall and Kampa Island where the sculptures are fun and unique. We’d love to visit and explore Prague.

  7. Your photos really do bring out the architectural beauty that Prague holds. I had forgotten the areas from when I was there many years ago and your pics brought back the great memories I have of the city. I spent hours just wandering the streets as virtually wherever you go in the central area you are hit by wonderful building after wonderful building. Prague can at times suffer the mass hordes syndrome that several other European places suffer from and the walk across Charles Bridge reminded me of that. It is clearly somewhere I have to get back to as my memories fade of the fantastic sights there.

  8. This is most likely my favorite quarter of Prague. The architecture is breathtakingly beautiful. There is a whole atmosphere of princess tales. The hotel I stayed in overlooked the Wallenstein Palace garden 🙂 I loved Prague, although I thought it was becoming too touristy.

  9. I visiting Prague back in 2017 and I loved the city and wish I could be back. I saw a lot of the attractions you mention in this post but missed the KGB museum and Kampa island. I will add them to my list of things to do next time I visit. I really loved the Petrin tower at night with its colorful lighting.

  10. I would like to stroll on Nerudova Street and find the ancient signs. I think it’s a cool thing to do. The colorful buildings near Church St. Nicholas is so pretty, I can take tons of pictures there. Of course, a visit to KGB Museum is a must before leaving the quarter. It’s interesting to learn about that era.

  11. This is my kinda place! I would love to explore the history and attractions in Mala Strana. I’ve heard such amazing things from friends who’ve visited Prague – but I did not realize there were 5 historic sections. It’s really hard to comprehend parts of a city that date back to the 1100s. When I look at the Lesser Town Tower, I can almost envision ladies in long dresses and pointed hats strolling by…So surreal! I would be very happy to stay in the Little Quarter when visiting Prague, like you did. That’s my plan!

    1. It’s an incredibly romantic city, and as if time has stood still. So happy to hear that notion was captured through my photos. Hopefully you’ll be able to go there one day soon.

  12. I spent quite a bit of time in the Little Quarter on my last visit to Prague. I liked that most tourists just go straight to the castle, ignoring the other beautiful streets around. I remember that after taking a photo with the John Lennon Wall, I just strolled around until I reached the Petrin Tower. Then, I descended through the park, towards Kampa Island. I too have a photo with those straneg babies statues.

      1. I want to see that John Lennon Wall! And that Petrin Tower is more climbable than Eiffel. Then Kampa Island with the “babies”…these are the nontraditional finds of Prague!

  13. What a fun tour of the historic district and the little town area which is fascinating with your shared information and imagery. I love touring along the river with the scenic city views and all the fascinating street art you can actually find on the banks of the river. This takes me back here again and I love the city.

  14. Your post brought back great memories of Prague. We had a week and thought we covered a lot. But I can see there are still reasons to go back. We wandered around not really knowing we covered some parts of five quarters. We saw a bit of the Little Quarter but I can see how much there is to see when you just wander around.

  15. I love the John Lennon wall, it’s so cool! You captured a lot of great photos, my favorites are the yellow buildings/trees from Malá Strana. Thanks for sharing!

  16. I would choose to stay in this historical quarter. Love St. Nicolas church, the John Lennon Wall, and the Crawling Babies. The neighborhood is so colorful and yellow-hued, my fave!!!

  17. This whole place looks so beautiful and like a photographer’s dream come true. thanks for this elaborate post, I would love to go here personally and explore all this by myself.

  18. Yes I’m convinced I do need to spend some time in historic Prague. Your photos are delightful. The tiny street is funny. Do they really need a traffic light?! The architecture around the city is something I would really love to see.

    1. I’ve heard Prague has the most amazing architecture
      I’d be in heaven exploring the Little Quarter. I also like that it’s a bit quieter than other areas of prague

  19. Great photos. I feel like I have visited by viewing your photos. That narrow street is crazy! I feel claustrophobic looking at it, I would not like to be walking along there if it was very crowded. What a beautiful city, I hope to visit someday.

    1. Thank you for your comment Sheila! I am glad that you enjoyed the post, and your kind words that you feel like you have been there now through the photos!I do hope you are able to see it for yourself in person one day!

  20. I enjoyed reading this and all the attractions you mentioned here. The church interests me as my hubby is the 7th generation of Johann Bach. I really hope and wish my hubby and kids can see Europe someday.

    The small street made me smile while reading it. There are lots of tiny streets like this in the Philippines but never encountered a traffic light like this.

    Thanks for sharing this Renee.

    1. Thank you for your comment April. At first I wasn’t clear on the traffic signal until I realized people were coming up from the bottom to the top! There is only room for 1 person at a time!
      That is so interesting that your husband’s genealogy has a connection of Johann Bach. There would be lots of cities to visit in Europe that would have some connection to him that would be worth visiting. I do hope you are able to take a trip one day soon.

  21. You’ve definitely convinced me to explore this area of Prague when I visit! It looks so beautiful with so many great photo opportunities. I especially love the tiny, narrow street with it’s own traffic light!

    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting Sarah! I am glad I managed to convince you to explore this area, it definitely was our favourite area to return to after a long day of sight seeing and it was great just wandering around and seeing what it has to offer.

  22. How can one go wrong with winding cobblestone streets to the lantern lit streets to the quaint side streets — it is the stuff of fairy tales. Prague is so very high on our upcoming to visit list. And given your experience in Mala Strana, think we will explore staying there as well when we do.

    1. Thank you Michael for your comment. Yes, I definitely recommend this area to stay in. Practically speaking it is idea because it is so central to many main attractions, but also when the sun goes down, the lanterns glow and the entire area is sooo romantic and quiet. A great place to stroll after a delicious dinner. I hope you get there one day soon.

        1. Thank you for your comment Nitin. The story behind the “Crawling Babies” is that the artist thought the Petrin Tower was so ugly, that it was his idea to create an outdoor exhibit that would detract everyone’s view from the tower. Now, this entire area is filled with outdoor sculptures that make it a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours. This is also where the locals come to hang out as a family. It is a really pretty area for a stroll.

  23. Ahoj… this is a great article. You made me miss home. Mala Strani is one of my favourite places in Prague! I just love wondering through the narrow street. Never discover the narrowest street though 😮.

    Have a great day, Sabina

    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting Sabina. Coming from a local, this is great to hear that you enjoyed the post. The narrowest street runs off the busy U Lužického semináre. It looks like a passageway. Hope you get to find it next time you are in Prague.

  24. This is a great read, and it provided several insights. I enjoyed it especially that I have a trip coming up to Prague in October. I am like you, I normally leave enough time to wander and explore, and in some cases intentionally get lost. I have planned 3 nights for this trip, do you think it is enough?

    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting Moawia. Prague is a large city with lots to see and do, so it depends on how you like to spend your day. We stayed 5 nights, and so we had enough time to wander and explore. But we know we weren’t able to see it all as well. If you are planning for three nights, then I would limit how many attractions you see and yes, be sure to leave time for getting lost, intentionally. Tip, go to Charles Bridge at dawn, not only to watch the sun rise, but to experience an empty bridge. Enjoy your trip!

      1. Prague’s historic Little Quarters is incredibly beautiful, with it’s ancient baroque churches, the Charles bridge arching over the Vltava river. And I must wax eloquent on the Renaissance architecture of Maltese square the beautiful Furstenberg terrace gardens and not to be missedthe iconic John Lennon wall. I would love to visit such a fascinating place !

  25. Omg! I just booked my flights to Prague for October and this just made me exponentially more excited to go! This area of the city looks absolutely stunning and I will 100% be exploring it like you! I’m going to keep this post in mind for October to brush up on all of this!

    1. Thanks for commenting Sam. You are going to absolutely love Prague, it is extremely photogenic. There are many great spots for scenic lookouts (or photography locations) to get those Instagram-worthy shots! Safe travels!

      1. I’ve not made it to Prague yet and this is a great guide to one of several areas of the city. Would love to visit the KGB museum!

        1. I hope you get there one day soon Louise! I too am sorry I missed the tour of the KGM museum. Maybe a return trip is in order! Thanks for your comment Louise!

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