New Town Prague: Best 15 Things to See & Do

Have you heard of New Town Prague or maybe Nové Město?

Likely not. In stark contrast to its neighbouring district of Old Town, New Town is much larger and a lot less known by tourists. And, despite its name of Nové Mesto Prague, meaning New Town, it really isn’t that new.

New Town was founded by Charles IV in 1348 and yet is considered the youngest of the five historic districts in Prague.

Spending a week in Prague, allowed me enough time to not only see the top attractions like Prague Castle and Old Town. But I got the chance to see the other historical areas of the city, like New Town.

Find out what to do in New Town Prague.
What the difference is between Old Town vs New Town Prague making it worth visiting.
I’m sharing my recommended list of 15 New Town Prague things to do that offer a mix of architecture, squares, museums, and more.

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Prague Old Town vs New Town Prague

architecture in New town Prague

New Town is noticeably different than the other historic areas of Prague. Not only due to its architecture but also its size. New Town is twice as large as Old Town. It’s sprawled across one of the banks of the Vltava River and features, not just one but three large squares – Wenceslas, Charles and Republic Square.

New Town is also the hub of public transportation (bus, tram and metro) – where Old Town is mainly foot traffic only.

Old Town is known for its stunning medieval architecture and looks to be untouched over the centuries, easily making it a UNESCO-designated destination.

On the other hand, New Town is a more modern neighbourhood with wider streets, parks, and a bustling atmosphere. It’s known as the business and party neighbourhood of Prague – holding the greatest number of international hotels, theatres, shopping, nightclubs, cafés, and restaurants. This is where the young people come to eat, sleep and hang out.

Although both neighbourhoods are quite popular with tourists, it’s Old Town that receives the most. The historic Old Town Square Prague, Old Town Hall and Charles Bridge receive the highest number of tourists as they are considered top sites in all of Prague.

Whereas New Town tends to be less crowded, with more locals.

Knowing a bit more about the differences between Prague New Town vs Old Town Prague, if you are visiting for several days or this is a repeat visit to the city – then you’re bound to have time to visit New Town.

Is New Town Worth Visiting?

bridge in New Town Prague

If you’re planning a trip to Prague, you may be wondering if New Town is worth adding to your itinerary. The answer is yes!

Prague New Town is a mix of new and historic buildings, as much of it was redeveloped during the late 19th century.

New Town is a vibrant neighbourhood full of historic architecture, trendy cafes, and lively nightlife. It’s home to iconic landmarks like Wenceslas Square, the National Museum, and the Dancing House.

Plus, it’s a great place to experience the local culture, with plenty of shops and restaurants to explore.

Whether you’re interested in history and culture, or just soaking up the atmosphere of this dynamic district, New Town is definitely worth a visit.

New Town Prague Things to Do

Now for what to see in New Town Prague. I’ve created a list of the best 15 sites, by geographical order, for your ease. Consider it your own self-guided walking tour.

1. Wenceslas Square

Wenceslas Square is the heart of New Town Square Prague and one of the top things to do in Prague. It doesn’t look like your typical European square, rather it looks like a long broad boulevard. Yet it’s here where many historical moments in the country’s history took place.

The revolution in 1848, the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1918, and the anti-communist protests in 1989. Still to this day, national holiday celebrations or political protests take place on Wenceslas Square.

Most people who come to the square are here for the shopping. One of the best bookshops in Prague can be found here – Luxor and Academia.

One of the most notable buildings on the Square is Grand Hotel Europa. Grand Hotel Europa is one of Prague’s most iconic and luxurious hotels, offering guests a taste of the city’s elegant past. The hotel was built in the late 19th century and features a stunning Art Nouveau design, with ornate details and lavish furnishings.

2. National Museum

Night of museum in New Town Prague

The National Museum in Prague is spread across the city with 10 sites. One of them sits at the top of Wenceslas Square. Prague’s National Museum is responsible for telling the history of the Czech Republic. Every significant artifact can be found here and regularly features a rotating exhibit.

Hours of Operation: open daily from 10 am to 6 pm | Entrance fee 260 CZK

3. The State Opera

If you’re a fan of classical music and opera, then visiting the State Opera in Prague should definitely be on your list of things to do.

The stunning Art Nouveau building itself is a sight to behold, with its ornate details and grand staircase leading up to the auditorium. Inside, you’ll find a beautifully restored theatre with plush red seats.

The State Opera hosts a range of performances throughout the year, from classic operas to ballets and concerts. It’s a great opportunity to experience the city’s rich cultural heritage and enjoy a night of world-class entertainment.

4. Wilson Building Main Railway Station

The Wilson Building, located in the heart of Prague’s Main Railway Station, is a grand Art Nouveau building that is sure to impress.

The building was designed by the Czech architect Josef Fanta and completed in 1929, featuring a stunning facade with intricate details and a distinctive green roof.

Whether you’re arriving in Prague or departing the city, the Wilson Building is a great place to start or end your journey, while also admiring one of the city’s most beautiful architectural landmarks.

5. Jerusalem Synagogue

Synagogue in new town prague

The Jerusalem Synagogue in Prague is a true gem for those interested in Jewish history and culture.

Built in 1906, the synagogue boasts a stunning blend of Art Nouveau and Moorish Revival architectural styles.

The interior is just as impressive as the brightly coloured exterior. Here you can also admire the impressive collection of Torah scrolls, which includes some rare and valuable examples, just as you would find in Prague Jewish Quarter.

6. St Henry’s Tower

Jindřišská věž, also known as St. Henry’s Tower, is a striking 15th-century Gothic tower. Climb to the top of the tower for a panoramic view of Prague’s skyline, including views of the nearby Wenceslas Square and the National Museum.

Inside the tower, you can also learn more about its fascinating history and the role it played in the city’s defence.

Hours of Operation: open daily 10 am to 7 pm | Entrance fee 190 CZK

7. Mucha Museum

The Mucha Museum is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and fans of the famous Czech artist, Alphonse Mucha. The museum is dedicated entirely to the works of Mucha, and visitors can admire a wide range of his paintings, posters, and decorative art objects.

The exhibits showcase Mucha’s signature Art Nouveau style, characterized by its flowing lines, bright colours, and intricate patterns, and offer a fascinating insight into the life and work of this celebrated artist.

Hours of Operation: Open daily 10 am to 6 pm | Entrance fee 300 CZK

8. Lucerna Passage

Just like what you might find in Paris, this covered passage can be found just off Vodickova and Wenceslas Square.

For those who like to admire Art Nouveau architecture, this elegant arcade is one to seek out. A couple of highlights when visiting, are an upside-down horse sculpture by David Cerny (similar to the one you will find on Wenceslas Square) and the lovely Cafe Lucerna and music bar.

9. Lucerna Palace

Palace Lucerna is a beautiful historic building that connects to the Lucerna Passage featuring stunning Art Nouveau architecture.

The palace was built in the early 20th century and today houses a range of shops, cafes, and cultural institutions, including a cinema, a theatre, and a concert hall.

Whether you’re looking to shop, dine, or experience Prague’s cultural scene, I recommend Palace Lucerna as one of your things to do in Prague New Town.

10. Franciscan Garden

The Franciscan Garden in Prague is a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city, offering visitors a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Visit here for the lovely mix of flowers, trees, and shrubs, as well as benches and walking paths for strolling and relaxation.

Nearby is St Mary of the Snows church, the oldest church in New Town Prague and worth seeking out.

11. Charles Square and Hay Square

colourful buildings in new town prague

All three squares were founded in 1348 – one used for horses (Wenceslas), one for cattle (Charles) and one for hay (Hay). All three are connected by today’s Vodičkova and Jindřišská streets and each has its own metro station.

Charles Square is the largest square in Prague. It was supposed to be the most important square in Prague, as it’s where the New Town Hall was built. But despite those plans, Wenceslas Square later became the most important square. In the 1860s, a large portion of the square was turned into a park.

One of the notable buildings on Charles Square is the stately Faust House styled in a pretty pink baroque mansion linked with the 16th-century alchemist Dr. Faust.

Lastly, there is Hay Square, the smallest and least important, so much so it was never renamed during history. 

12. New Town Hall

The Town Hall of Prague's New Town historical district

The New Town Hall was built in 1377 and has quite an interesting history. Have you ever heard the term ‘defenestration’ which literally means throwing out of a window? Well, the term just might have originated here. In 1419, two councillors were thrown from the window to their death which began the Hussite revolution.

With far fewer tourists visiting this Town Hall, its appeal is the Tower. Climb to the top and you will have views of Old Town Prague and Prague Castle.

Hours of Operation: open daily from 10 am to 6 pm | Entrance fee 60 CZK

13. Botanical Gardens (Charles University)

The botanical garden, known as the Botanická zahrada Univerzity Karlovy is part of Charles University.

Once inside the garden, you can explore its many paths and exhibits, which feature a wide range of plant species from around the world, including rare and endangered plants. The garden also offers guided tours and educational programs for visitors who want to learn more about the plants on display.

Hours of Operation: open daily from 10 am to 6 pm | Entrance fee 120 CZK

14. The Dancing House

dancing house in new town prague

The Canadian-born architect Frank Gehry designed this office building and nicknamed it ‘Fred and Ginger’ as he thought the two glass towers resembled two dancers.

Officially this building is known as the Nationale-Nederlanden and was completed in 1996. You can visit the ground floor cafe or the rooftop bar to enjoy the views of the Vltava River.

15. The National Theatre

theatre over the Vlata River in Prague

The best view of this magnificent building is from the Charles Bridge. I fell in love with the architecture which has a mix of Austrian and Italian influences. Since 1881 it has offered ballet, opera and theatre productions.

My biggest regret was not getting tickets in advance to Narodni Divadlo or National Theatre to be able to see the inside.

Traveller’s Tip: Nearby to the National Theatre is Cafe Louvre, a famous traditional cafe in Prague. It used to be visited by Albert Einstein, Franz Kafka and other significant figures in history. It’s the perfect spot to rest your feet and enjoy a tea or coffee and cake.

BONUS Novo Mesto Prague!

A lovely part of New Town is Naplavka- a long stretch of embankment along the Vltava River in Prague.

This is the go-to spot for an evening stroll. It’s also the best place to find restaurants and watch the sun go down (much quieter than Charles Bridge). Visit this area on a Saturday for its lively Farmer’s Market too!

FAQ: Prague New Town

What is New Town in Prague called?

The New Town in Prague is called Nove Mesto and is one of five historic districts. The others being Castle District (Hradčany), Old Town (Staré Město), Little Quarter (Malá Strana) and Jewish Quarter (Josefov).

What is in the New Town in Prague?

New Town in Prague is home to numerous attractions including Wenceslas Square, the National Museum, and the Dancing House, as well as hotels and restaurants.

Is it better to stay in Old Town or New Town Prague?

Old Town is more historic and touristy, while New Town is more modern and the hub of transportation. But both offer a variety of attractions, restaurants and accommodations.

How far is the Old Town from the New Town in Prague?

Old Town and New Town in Prague are adjacent to each other, so the distance between them is relatively short. Walking from one to the other takes about 10-15 minutes depending on the specific location.

What you shouldn’t miss in Prague?

Some of the must-see attractions in Prague include the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, Prague Castle, the Astronomical Clock, and the Jewish Quarter.

As a Holidaymaker

It’s no surprise that New Town Prague offers so much to see and do as one of the larger districts in the city. Unfortunately, it gets overshadowed by other landmarks in Prague. But if you love culture and art nouveau architecture be sure to add this neighbourhood to your Prague itinerary.

If you are planning a trip to Prague visit my Travel Guide for Czech Republic page for all of your trip planning needs and articles.

If you are interested in knowing about the other historical quarters in Prague, be sure to check out these articles too: