Prague is a tourist savvy city and all along the tourist routes the prices are pressured upward. The economy as a whole cannot support the pricing set for tourists and as a result if you step of the beaten path you can find areas of the city where the prices are set for locals and the menus don't always have English. For example, where as lodging in Lesser and old town can run from 185eu to 400eu and up per night lodging gets cheaper as you move further into the predominantly Czech neighborhoods.
I happened on Hotel Koruna through a chance encounter on the flight to Prague. A smiling and weathered English couple who often came to Prague recommended it as an inexpensive lodging alternative. At $91 US it was almost half as expensive as other hotels in the area. Amenities were few and the décor was cheap and not aesthetically pleasing. But it was clean and well lit with a private bath and friendly staff and as I planned to spend little time in the room it suited me perfectly.
Koruna is located off the beaten path a few blocks from a Neo-Renaissance beauty the National Theatre, Narodni Divadlo. Its close to the river and a short ten minute walk form both the Charles bridge and the Old Town Square and just around the corner from a tram station which, with a good map, can get you anywhere you want to go in five to ten minutes. Also nearby are several small art schools and the performing arts academy and as a result there are dozens of small cafes, restaurants and pubs, catering to students, artists, and theater goers. At night, coming back to the hotel form a day exploring the rich history of the city, as I walked the narrow cobble lined streets, windows full of books and smiling faces, the air filled with music, laughter and multi lingual chatter I slipped behind the stage curtain drawn for tourists and fell in love with Prague. Hotel Koruna, Opatovicka 16, 110 00 Praha 1; tel.: +420 224 932 229
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