Are you thinking of visiting Prague in winter? It’s a gorgeous city, with incredible historic buildings and wonderful local culture.
And in the winter, with a festive atmosphere and perhaps even a sprinkle of snow, it’s even more magical.
Some bucket list Prague winter experiences include visiting famous Christmas markets, sampling local food and drink and taking in the twinkling lights of the city from every possible vantage point.
Prague really does have so much to love.
And as a person who was born and raised in Prague, I’d love to show you the best things to do in the winter!
Read on and learn all that you need to know about taking a trip to this Central European capital in the colder months.
What is the weather like Prague in winter?
One hundred years ago, the River Vltava used to freeze every winter. You could even ice skate or walk over the river in the winter!
Nowadays, winter weather in Prague is much more changeable.
You might have some days with temperatures of -10 degrees, snow and ice and the week after it could be +12 degrees with sunny, almost t-shirt weather!
It’s certainly necessary to always check the weather forecast for your stay!
Things to do in Prague in winter
Located on top of one of Prague’s many hills, you’ll see the imposing Prague Castle wherever you go.
In fact, it’s one of the biggest castles in the world!
Entrance cost 250 CZK (around 10 EUR). You can book your ticket online on Get Your Guide to ensure that you have a spot.
If you don’t want to go inside, you can just walk around all the courtyards, enjoy the amazing views of the city (and its spires) or visit Jelení Příkop, which is a hidden gem of a park just next to the castle.
Be aware, that you need to pass the security control to enter the castle area.
While in the summer there is usually a long queue, in the winter you can usually enter without waiting!
Charles bridge, or in Czech Karlův most, is the oldest bridge in Prague.
You’l probably recognise the bridge; along with the castle, it’s on most postcards from Prague.
In fact, Charles Bridge was historically In the past it was the most important connection between Prague Castle and Old town.
Spanning over the river, it is today part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most popular tourist locations.
It is also full of painters who can draw your caricature, and is a hive of activity in the middle of the Czech capital.
Unfortunately, it’s also home to beggars and pickpockets.
So don’t forget to be cautious while admiring the beauty of this amazing bridge!
If you continue from Charles bridge to the Old Town, you cannot miss Old Town Square and its stunning astronomical clock or Pražský Orloj.
It is attached to the Old Town Hall in Prague, and was installed in 1410 AD.
It’s still in operation – you can see the time, sunrise, sunset, daytime, twilight, Czech ancient time, moon cycles and more!
Walking tours of Prague
Various Prague walking tours run throughout the winter months.
I’m a big fan of SANDEMANS free walking tours. These are run on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis – you just give the guide a cash tip a the end of the tour, depending on how much you think it was worth.
Their Prague tour covers many of the main sights in the city centre, and tells you plenty of stories about the Czech Republic as you go!
Alternatively, check out some of the guided tours below – you can click through and book them on Get Your Guide!
You can do a river cruise in Prague, even in the winter!
But don’t forget to wear warm clothes, especially as you’ll be so close to the water – you could get cold easily.
All the boats leave from Čechův Most, so you’ll find trip vendors there.
Or, you can book online. Choose from either a 40 minute cruise (around 14 EUR) or a three hour cruise with dinner (cost is around 48 EUR).
You can book Prague cruises on Get Your Guide. Click here to browse them all!
Letná Park is a popular place in spring and summer, but it’s also magical in winter.
For us Czech citizens, it has a strong historical meaning, with a lot of communist history, similar to what you might find in Bucharest or other Central and Eastern European capitals.
Here, there was a huge statue of Stalin during the communist era, which was blown up down in 1962. It was temporarily returned for a film in 2016, which is why we have the photo below.
During the Velvet Revolution, the biggest demonstrations were here. And after the fall of communism, huge concerts took place here!
Letná Park is located above the Vltava river, giving it an amazing view of the whole of Prague.
While you can’t go ice skating on the Vltava River nowadays, there are plenty of ice skating rinks in Prague!
In the Czech Republic, every big shopping centre has its own skating rink – although they are usually not very big and can be really crowded.
One of my favourite spot for ice skating is Riegrovy Sady, an amazing park in the city centre with a view of Prague Castle.
There are also some stadiums where you can go ice skating throughout the whole year.
The most famous is probably HC Slavia Praha Stadium.
The price for one hour of ice skating (without equipment rental) is around 50-100 CZK (2-4 EUR).
Old Town Square Christmas Market
Just next to the Astronomical Clock, you’ll find the biggest and most famous Christmas market in Czechia, which is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Prague in December.
This is a popular local hangout; in fact, myself and my friends meet there every 24th December!
The market itself is a bit overpriced, but you can’t find the atmosphere anywhere else.
Trust me, you can’t miss this if you’re in Prague at Christmastime!
Despite the name, Wenceslas Square resembles a wide boulevard.
Its main landmark is the National Museum on the top ,together with a statue of St. Wenceslas on a horse.
This statue on Václavák (this is his name in Czech!) is often where groups of locals meet.
The National Museum was recently renovated, and it is worth visiting!
The view from the top is breathtaking.
Entrance costs 250 CZK (around 10 EUR) for adults and 150 CZK (around 6 EUR) for children.
But during some national holidays, it’s free!
Petřín lookout tower
Yes, I know it’s difficult for some non-Czechs to pronounce the name!
You can also call it “Little Eiffel Tower”.
It was built in 1891 and it stands at just 63.5 meters.
But thanks to its location on the hill, the views are outstanding.
You can visit it by walking through the beautiful park or using the funicular.
Just keep in mind that during winter season the funicular does not operate on particular days, so always check before. It’ll cost you 150 CZK (around 6 EUR) to go up on the funicular.
Dancing House is a nickname for a deconstructivist-style building on a riverside in Prague.
It’s called this because it looks like two people dancing.
Inside, you’ll find a hotel and gallery, but I advise you to take an elevator and go to the top.
On the highest floor, there is a café where you can get some tea or coffee and enjoy a beautiful view of Vltava and Prague Castle.
The prices are a little bit higher here, but it is still affordable.
If the weather isn’t so great while you’re in Prague, why not hit the shops?
Westfield Chodov is, despite its name, located in the south of Prague, a little far from the centre.
But it is well connected by metro and is worth the trek if you fancy a bit of retail therapy.
With 300 shops, it is the largest shopping centre in the Czech Republic.
Here, you can find all kinds of shops: fashion, flower shops, bookstores, jewellery boutiques, sports, shoe repairs and more!
Plus, look out for famous brands like Zara, Armani, DM Drugstore and Sephora.
Another spot for avid shoppers!
Palladium is probably the best shopping centre in the city centre.
It is smaller than Westfield, with 170 shops and 30 restaurants.
The main advantage of visiting Palladium is the easy access; you can walk or use the tram or metro from lots of central locations.
Plus, if you have a car, you can park in Palladium!
Where to stay in Prague in winter
Hostel option: There are plenty of cheap hostels in Prague, perfect if you are on a budget. Safestay Prague Charles Bridge is in a good location and has prices from around 20 EUR per night. Click here to read more about it.
Budget hotel option: IBIS is a good budget hotel chain. They have three hotels in Prague and offer comfy beds at great prices. Click here to read more about them and for prices.
Luxury hotel option: The Mandarin Oriental is one of the best luxury hotels in Prague. It has a great variety of spa treatments, so you can enjoy the lap of luxury after all that sightseeing! Click here to read more about this luxury hotel.
How to get around Prague in winter
Public transport is quite good in Prague, especially in the city centre.
Here, there are three metro lines and a wide tram network.
As a local, I would recommend that you use the application Lítačka.
This app helps you to find your way around public transport, working out your route and even buying your tickets.
Tickets cost 30 CZK (around 1,20 EUR) for 30 minutes and 40 CZK (1,60 EUR) for 90 minutes.
You can also buy a 24 hour ticket for 120 CZK (4,90 EUR).
All of these tickets are valid for all types of transport (metro, bus, tram).
If you prefer to use taxis, use Uber or Bolt. Never catch taxi on the street!
Best Day Trips from Prague in Winter
Got a few extra days in Prague? There are a range of day trips that you can take in the winter months.
- Brno: Roughly two hours from Prague, Brno beckons with its mix of Gothic and Baroque architecture, including Špilberk Castle and the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral. If you stick around into the evening, don’t miss the best bars in Brno – particularly the eccentric Super Panda Circus, known for its avant-garde cocktails.
- Kutná Hora: Just an hour east of Prague, this town boasts an impressive Gothic cathedral and the intriguing Sedlec Ossuary. The town’s historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site!
- Český Krumlov: This fairy-tale town, with its picturesque castle overlooking the Vltava River, looks even more magical under a blanket of snow – which you might experience in Czechia in winter.
- Karlovy Vary: Famous for its hot springs, this spa town is the perfect winter escape. Its ornate colonnades and steaming thermal waters offer a warm reprieve from the cold.
What to eat and drink in Prague during winter
If you arrive during the coldest winter months, you’ll definitely need something to warm you up!
First, you must try some of our soups – they are the best option choice after all day walking around the city.
We have a lot of broth – choose from vegetable, chicken, or beef.
Or, sample my favourite goulash soup with beef meat and potatoes.
There are also a lot of varieties of vegetable soups: pea, cauliflower, leek, potatoes, or tomatoes.
If you have a rough night, you need to try garlic soup. It’s served with croutons and cheese and is the best cure for your hangover – I promise!
What to pack for Prague in winter
As I mentioned before, Prague is not really a destination with extremely cold temperatures.
However, you’ll definitely need a winter jacket and thick, waterproof shoes.
If you feel the cold easily, you might also want a scarf and gloves.
Don’t forget to pack all the travel essentials like an adaptor, toiletries and all of your chargers – but don’t worry if you forget something, you can get anything you need in Prague!
Tips for visiting Prague in the winter months
Prague can be crazy, especially if you come during the Christmas season.
There are a lot of people in the markets, the shopping centres and on public transport.
Just don’t get stressed and try to enjoy the atmosphere.
Wear warm clothes, drink hot wine and stroll through this amazing city.
While you’re exploring, be careful of pickpockets and exchange offices. Some of them are dishonest and give you really bad rates.
Try to pay with your credit or debit card everywhere (if you’re in the UK, Monzo or Revolut don’t charge for transactions overseas!).
Alternatively, withdraw money directly from any ATM of a Czech bank.
Are you ready for Prague in winter?
With gorgeous architecture and marvellous local culture, there’s nowhere quite like Prague in winter.
Visit for the festive atmosphere, the smaller crowds or the plethora of indoor attractions that are just waiting to be explored in the winter months.
Whatever your travel style, you’ll have the best time visiting Prague in the cooler months!