Hidden away in the popular Castle neighborhood, Novy Svet was our favorite street in Prague.
Prior to our trip to Prague, I’d happened across a review on Fodor’s recommending visitors seek out Novy Svet. A captivating description of the charms of Novy Svet – “picturesque, winding little alley, home to castle workers and poor tradesmen” – was all it took to get it on the list.
Prague is a very walkable city, and we felt fortunate to have an entire day to wander on foot. We spent the first part of our morning in Old Town, crossed the famous Charles Bridge, and headed up the hill toward Hradcany, the Castle District.
Overshadowed by the more stately residences of Hradcany, many of which now house diplomatic residences and embassies, and dwarfed by the enormous Castle itself, Novy Svet turned out to be our favorite little street in Prague.
Passing the lovely Loreta and the Zahrada (“paradise”) gardens of the Wallenstein palace, the entrance to Novy Svet is unassuming.
Novy Svet, literally “New World” in Czech, is a tiny, quiet street lined on one side by a high wall. The quarter by the same name was founded as one of the three original towns of Prague, after Old Town and the Lesser Town (Mala Strana), in 1320. Nowadays, artists and writers live here with their families in houses that appear to be untouched since they were rebuilt after a fire in the 18th century.
I was fascinated by the doors of Novy Svet. Each had amazing period detail. Later, I learned that the houses were descriptively named: At the Golden Griffin, At the Golden Plough, At the Golden Grape, At the White Lion, At the Golden Pear.
Beyond the wall lies a “secret” playground, open during warmer months. Aren’t you tempted to try its door?
Tips: Our short little walk through Novy Svet was part of a magical, romantic day we spent in the Hradcany District. Most visitors spend time at the Castle and government buildings, the Loreto, and the Wallenstein palace gardens. We’re happy we chose this glimpse of history instead. To get to Novy Svet, you can walk across the Charles Bridge from Old Town as we did. Just be aware this is a bit of a hike. Or take the tram #22 from subway stop Malostranska (Line A).