The sunshine of summer may feel like a distant memory now that winter has taken a firm grasp of the days & nights in central Europe, but who says you need sun to have a delightful vacation?! Prague is the ideal winter break destination; the ancient cobbled Old Town is like a scene from a fairy-tale any time of year, but is a particularly beautiful wonderland in winter, there's fewer tourists crowding your impression of the place, and there is plenty of attractions to visit, experiences and things to do in Prague in winter exclusively.
If you’re looking for tips on how to enjoy winter activities in Prague then bundle up, pour a cup of something hot, and let us help plan your itinerary for things to do in Prague in Winter! First, though, a little insight to winter weather in Prague.
How cold is Prague in winter?
Each given day in Prague is subject to have a change in weather, so come prepared for whatever Prague throws your way. Generally though, Winter in Prague can be chilly from mid-November right up until March, with average temperatures lingering around the -1°C/ -2°C (30/28°F) but often dipping between -5°C/20°F to -10°C/10°F in January and February, depending on elevation. So, be prepared to wrap up nice and warm!
Does it snow in Prague?
Though every winter in Prague is different, it is very likely to snow in Prague during winter months, particularly in late December, January and February - though we have had snow as late as Easter here in recent years. The best approach, if you are planning a winter break in Prague, is to prepare for cold, wet and snowy conditions. While chances are good for a white Christmas in Prague, and a visit in December or January will have the highest probability for seeing the city blanketed in white - there's also a distinct possibility that it will fall as rain - so be prepared!
Things to see & do on a winter break in Prague
Now that you've resigned yourself to packing a rain coat and a warm jacket for your winter trip to Prague, it's time for some inspiration. Here's our local tips for the must-sees and best things to do in Prague in winter time.
Prague Christmas Markets
One of the best things to do in Prague in winter is to visit the Christmas Markets. Streets and squares that lay open all summer begin to crowd with wooden huts, humming with the hustle and bustle of Christmas markets. Grab a traditional pastry or some Svařák (hot mulled wine) and browse the abundant local offerings.
You can pick up local handcrafts like jewelry and wooden toys and take home an authentically Czech souvenir. These beautiful markets are locally owned and Czechs are quite friendly, so ask questions and get to know the locals of Prague! There is often live music, theater, and dance performances organized on the squares during Prague Christmas markets.
The Christmas Markets in Prague take place on the main squares - Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, but can also be found all over the city. The Christmas Markets are open every day from 30th November to 6th of January. See https://www.prague.eu/en/events for more information.
Winter Concerts at Prague Castle
What could be more enchanting during your winter holidays than spending time at a castle? Pražský hrad or Prague Castle, is the perfect place to do just that! Not only does the Castle offer amazing views of the snow-topped spires of Prague, there is also the wonderful music!
Year round, you can enjoy Prague Castle Concerts of classical artists like Mozart and Vivaldi, and in winter you can enjoy specifically curated Christmas shows. Concerts are held at the Basilica of St. George, one of the oldest buildings in Prague Castle, dating all the way back to 920 - enchanting music surrounded by Romanesque architecture is certainly a delightful experience on any winter break in Prague. Concerts are held every Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday with the Christmas concerts starting in December.
The Golden Lane and St. Vitus' Cathedral are two must-see attractions when at Prague castle too, and you can get a thorough to the entire castle complex on our free Prague Castle Tour with excellent local guides.
Make or Dine on a Traditional Czech Feast
Czech food is often quite heavy & hearty, perfect for wintertime. Why not try your hand at local recipes using the local meat and produce you collect at the Christmas Markets? Carp and potato salad are the staple dishes of every Czech’s Christmas meal and these traditions are something you can cook for yourself.
First you must buy a live carp from one of the large buckets at the outdoor markets located all over the city. Make like the Czechs and keep the fish alive by placing it in fresh water in the bathtub and wait until the last moment to make the carp dinner. Finally, the fish is fried on the stove and served with potato salad, which can be made to suit a number of different tastes.
The next day the leftover carp becomes carp soup, another traditional Czech delicacy. And don’t forget the beer!
Or, if you're AirB&B, hotel or hostel doesn't have a bathtub in which you can keep a live fish, you can always enjoy one of Prague’s many restaurants serving traditional Czech food. Try the famous Pork Knee at Karlinska Pivnice, and the traditional Kulajda (dill soup) which will keep you dreaming of Prague long after you’ve said na shledanou (goodbye)!
Enjoy the best view of Prague in winter
These locations rank among the top of the best views of Prague; Letná Park, Petřín Tower, and The Dancing House,
sits atop Prague at the perfect angle, offering views of the city inescapable to the eye. It may seem like more of a summer activity to go to a park, but not here - a beer or snack on top of Prague’s snow-capped hill is a real treat in winter.
The history here is pretty interesting as well; formally, a statue of Stalin marked the spot at the top of the stairs to Letná Park, long since blown up and replaced with a swinging Metronome, which basically symbolizes the death of communism and rings in the new era. There's plenty more history to learn about and intriguing things to see in Prague this winter - join us for our free walking tours in Prague and discover it all!
Petřín Tower is itself a must-see sight, but it also offers another fantastic panoramic view of Prague. Rivaling the Eiffel Tower, a similar design is featured at the Petřín Tower, but Prague loves to remind you that our tower is actually at a higher altitude than its famous Parisian twin. You’ll need to ride the Petřín Funicular to reach the tower, and there’s nothing more romantic than riding parallel to the snow-white hills of Prague!
The Dancing House
Perfect for the end of a romantic evening in Prague, you can enjoy another building steeped in history - The Dancing House. Famous for its unique architecture, The Dancing House offers a 360-degree panorama of Prague. The spot where The Dancing House sits was one of only two places bombed in Prague during WWII, and the city took advantage of the newly formed foundation to build this spot worth visiting! Warm up with a hot beverage and enjoy the view of Europe's winter wonderland from on high.
Ice Skating in Prague
The theme of a fairy tale escape continues as you strap on your skates and drift around one of Prague’s many ice rinks. There are several ice rinks around town but Na Frantisku might just offer the best location! Na Frantisku is tucked right near Old Town Square and The Jewish Quarter, giving locals and visitors an opportunity to ice skate right in the historic center of Prague.
Another great rink lives in Prague’s historic Karlin district. Karlin offers amazing vintage architecture as well as more modern boutiques and eateries. Skate at ice rink Kasarna Karlin and afterwards take in one of the district’s own Christmas Markets!
Skiing in Czech Republic
While we’re feeling sporty, why not graduate from ice rink to ski slope and enjoy some skiing on the mountains just outside of Prague!? Even if it has yet to snow in central Prague, the peaks of the ski resorts usually have a decent covering, and if not, artificial snow is used.
Prague locals love skiing so much that their week-long winter breaks are different depending on their school district, basically each area has a different week for time off to avoid too much traffic from locals hitting the slopes! Just a 20-minute drive, or 45-minute ride on public transport from Old Town Square, and you already find yourself at the National Alpine Ski Camp. Or take a longer trip and venture to a beautiful Czech town and hurl yourself safely down the Bohemian mountains. We highly recommend the slopes of Ještěd. Happy skiing!
Choosing Prague as your winter holiday destination is a decision you won’t regret! Indeed, the local culture and experiences and the sheer beauty of the city lures many visitors back to Prague year after year. Whether you’re into sport, want to catch some arts, or you just love to eat and drink, Prague is the perfect place any time of year, but is especially charming in winter.
And don't forget to join us when you are in Prague. We've got free tours every day at 11:00 and 14:00 from the corner of Pařížská and Dlouha streets, in front of the Cartier shop, in Old Town Square. You'll meet lovely local guides and fellow travelers; good company for a winter-warming mulled wine or hot-chocolate.