Best Time to Visit Prague

Discover the strengths and weaknesses of each season and get ready for an amazing vacation.

Matteo Gramegna

Matteo Gramegna

9 min read

Best Time to Visit Prague

View of the Bridge | ©Jeshoots

Prague is a charming city and well worth a visit at any time of the year. Its magnificent architecture has captivated thousands of tourists who often repeat their vacations in the Czech capital. If you have never been there, it is time to discover its charms...

What is the best time to travel to Prague?

Aerial view of the Vltava river| ©Anthony Delanoix
Aerial view of the Vltava river| ©Anthony Delanoix

If you are planning to visit the capital of the Czech Republic, I recommend you to choose late spring or early autumn. You will enjoy more daylight hours and you will be able to visit the monuments with a pleasant temperature. As for prices, September and October are the best months: you will find fewer tourists and more affordable airfare and accommodation.

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Visiting Prague in spring, a highly recommendable option.

Prague in Spring| ©Petr
Prague in Spring| ©Petr

In spring, Prague comes back to life: cherry blossoms adorn the streets and beer gardens welcome a large number of tourists and locals. If March does not escape the long grip of winter (it can sometimes snow), everything changes in the following two months. In April, winds blowing from the west keep the skies clear and temperatures range from 5° to 15°. In May, the maximum temperature can reach 25° except for three days in the middle of the month (12th, 13th and 14th) which are known as "the frozen saints" (ledoví muži). As you can guess, temperatures again approach 0°.

In Prague, the thermal amplitude is quite marked. Therefore, it is useful to refresh the mantra of any trip: to avoid surprises it is preferable to dress in layers. In the central hours of the day you can wear a sweatshirt (and sometimes even a simple T-shirt) but you should be prepared in case you plan to go out in the evenings or early mornings.

What to do in Prague in spring?

This time of year is when the city's main festivals (with the exception of Christmas) and internationally renowned events take place. Read on, we have compiled a short list of the most important ones:

  • May 1. All over the world, this date is synonymous with Workers' Day. In the Czech Republic, however, love is also celebrated. The first day of May is the local Valentine's Day. Couples often go to Petřín Hill for a kiss near the statue of the poet Karel Hynek Mácha, the author of the poem "Máj" (May) which is considered a classic of Czech romanticism.
  • May 8, the day of the country's liberation from fascism. This date commemorates the victory of the Allies against the Axis forces in World War II. On this occasion, the president and the prime minister go to the National Monument on Vitkov Hill to lay wreaths and observe a minute's silence. If you are in town, you can watch a parade through the downtown streets, participate in an open-air concert and enjoy a fireworks display.
  • The Rosé Wine Festival takes place in May. Producers present their wines in emblematic places such as the Prague Castle, the elegant Villa Richter or the vineyard of St. Wenceslas. If you want to know more, I recommend you consult the official website of the event.
  • The Prague Marathon, a sporting competition held every May. The race starts and ends in Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí) and has a total length of 26 miles.
  • Fringe Festival, an event that has enlivened the Malá Strana district since 2002. It is a mix of theater, comedy, music, dance and storytelling held in May. As you can see, this is the liveliest month in the Czech capital.

The arrival of spring coincides with the opening of gardens and castles.

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Autumn: the season that gives a magical touch to the Czech capital

Prague in autumn| ©Jörg Pokladek
Prague in autumn| ©Jörg Pokladek

In autumn, temperatures are usually pleasant, especially in September which benefits from the last rays of summer sunshine. The weather changes drastically in October while the first snowfalls usually occur in November. Still, it is the ideal time to visit the capital of the Czech Republic. Prague in autumn is magnificent: the forests are tinged with red, orange and gold and the diffused light contributes to a haunted atmosphere.

If you have bought a ticket for this time of year, be sure to wear warm and comfortable clothes. You will be doing a lot of walking and seeing some spectacular outdoor sites. Therefore, it is advisable to pack a pair of sneakers or at least with a good sole. Complement your outfit with a winter hat and a scarf, especially if you plan to go in November.

What to do in Prague in autumn?

  • September 28 celebrates a very important figure for the inhabitants of Prague: St. Wenceslas. His remains are in St. Vitus Cathedral and the only vineyard in the city is named after him. In this very place you can taste a glass of wine harvested on this very hillside. Be careful, on this date some stores might be closed. For more info, you can check the post 10 things to see in Prague in September.
  • The independence of Czechoslovakia was declared in Wenceslas Square on October 28, 1918. Although today this state has ceased to exist, October 28 is still a national holiday. The National Museum (Národní muzeum) and the National Gallery (Národní galerie Praha) are usually open but the good news is another: you won't have to pay to enter.
  • November 17, a date that has become engraved in the recent history of the Czech Republic. On this same day two tragic events are celebrated: a student demonstration against the Nazi occupation that ended with the death of a student named Jan Opletal (1939) and a second student demonstration to honor Jan Opletal that gave rise to the Velvet Revolution. People usually go to Národní Street to leave candles. If you are in the city, it is worth a visit. Also on this date, the National Museum and the National Gallery usually have free admission.

As I said at the beginning, autumn is a magical season. When the trees are full of colors, the best thing to do is to stroll through a park and admire the view. In Prague, I advise you to visit the following:

  • Letná Park (Letenské sady), a green area on a promontory on the banks of the river. It usually closes at the end of September, but if the weather is good it can stay open until later.
  • Petřín hill, a high point overlooking the city. From its Petřín lookout (a miniature version of the Eiffel Tower) you enjoy a 360° panoramic view. If you are interested in belvederes, I advise you to read the article on the best views of Prague.
  • Vyšehrad, the first castle of the city. The fortress is surrounded by lush nature.
  • Nový svět, a tiny neighborhood away from the traditional tourist routes. In this corner of Prague, trees intermingle with the reddish roofs of the houses.

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4. Prague in summer? Don't hesitate for a minute

Wallenstein Gardens| ©laredawg
Wallenstein Gardens| ©laredawg

In the warmer months, thousands of people flock to the Czech capital to enjoy its festive atmosphere. Prague in summer does not have an extreme climate and during this time the torrid temperatures that are suffered in Spain are not reached. The climate is mild or pleasantly warm: daytime temperatures fluctuate around 22° in June and reach 24/25° in July and August. Rain is possible, but storms are usually brief and the sun comes out again in a few minutes.

At this time of year you can travel light as you can pack a few shirts/jackets for the daytime and a spring sweatshirt/jacket for the evenings. What you can not forget is a small umbrella or a raincoat so that the rain does not catch you unawares. It is also advisable to pack a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen in your backpack.

What to do in Prague in summer?

  • July 5, the day of Saints Cyril and Methodius is the national holiday of the Czech Republic. The two were brothers and arrived in the country in 863 at the invitation of Prince Rostislav. The nobleman's goal was to spread the Gospel in the country. To accomplish this task, Cyril and Methodius created the Cyrillic alphabet and translated both the Bible and the liturgical books. For the occasion, the Czech capital comes alive with street events and open-air festival.
  • The night of the museums. As in the Ben Stiller movie, you have the opportunity to spend the evening visiting the jewels of Prague. Galleries, museums and cultural institutions open their doors from 19:00 to 1:00 (approximately). The date varies from year to year but is always held during the summer.
  • Prague Folklore Days, an event that animates the Bohemian city since 2008. This festival is the most important in Central Europe and can count on folk dance groups from 20 countries. It is usually held in July. If you want to have more info, I recommend you to have a look at its official website.
  • In the warmer months you can opt for an outdoor movie. The summer cinemas are scattered around the capital and are an original option to spend a different night.
  • In August there is the Letní Letná International Festival of Contemporary Theater and Circus, a kermesse that works to develop and promote the contemporary circus scene. If you like the idea, you can attend their exhibitions by purchasing tickets on their official website.
  • If the heat doesn't let up, you can cool off in the outdoor pools. I recommend trying the Petynka (Otevřená 1072/4), Podolí (Podolská 74) and Divoká Šárka (Divoká Šárka 8/2) pools.

In addition to the city attractions, you can choose a day trip in nature. Just a few kilometers from the Bohemian capital is the Bohemian Paradise Geopark, a protected area dotted with paleontological, archaeological and mineralogical sites. If you don't feel like walking, a day trip to Karlovy Vary, the country's most famous spa town, is a great alternative.

Book an excursion to Karlovy Vary from Prague

5. Winter in Prague, a good alternative for snow-lovers

Prague harbor in winter| ©Cecilia Rodriguez
Prague harbor in winter| ©Cecilia Rodriguez

Let's not kid ourselves: winter in Prague is cold and often reaches negative temperatures. However, many tourists choose to visit Prague at this time of year in the hope of seeing it covered in a blanket of snow. In addition, the Christmas markets are an irresistible attraction and I assure you that it is worth it to wrap up a little warmer to enjoy the magical atmosphere of winter. If you want to know more about this topic, I recommend you to read the post 10 things to see and do in Prague at Christmas

With the arrival of cold weather, you can dedicate yourself to taste the traditional Czech dishes. Goulash, svíčková (beef stew with dumplings) and pork knuckle are just some of the delicacies you can taste in the city's restaurants. Perhaps accompanied by a glass of Moravian red wine. The post about Czech gastronomy will give you some interesting ideas.

What to do in Prague in winter?

  • If you visit Prague in December or until January 6, you will see the typical Christmas markets. The main one is located in the central Old Town Square but it is not the only one. There are also some stalls near the castle and in Wenceslas Square. Take advantage of the occasion to stroll around unhurriedly warming up with some mulled wine and a trdlo, a sweet dough covered with sugar.
  • December 6 is St. Nicholas (Mikuláš). In the evening, the saint accompanied by an angel and a devil arrive at the Old Town Square followed by the children. St. Nicholas asks them if they have been good during the year, the children answer yes and recite a short poem. At the end, they are rewarded with a small gift or a sweet.
  • The Christmas markets are complemented by an attraction that your children will love: small stables with sheep, goats and donkeys. Again, the most beautiful one is located on the Old Town Square. If you are traveling with your children, I recommend you to read the post 10 things to do and see in Prague with kids.
  • In December, some churches and concert halls in the Old Town host classical music concerts.
  • On January 1, the Czech capital used to celebrate the arrival of the new year with fireworks. Unfortunately, the firecrackers disturbed the birds, which is why they have been replaced by videomapping, a visual technique that consists of projecting images on real surfaces (ceilings, walls, domes, etc.) generating motion or 3D effects. For more info, see the article 10 things to see in Prague in January.
  • Last but not least, we could not miss a winter classic: ice skating. In Prague, the rinks are located in Ovocný trh (Old Town) and under the Žižkov TV Tower. In both cases, you can rent equipment on site.

Do you love winter sports? The Czech Republic has beautiful mountains that turn white every year. Two hours (or less) from the capital there are winter resorts that attract thousands of tourists every year. The main ones are Moninec (in the south), Jested and Špindlerův Mlýn (in the north). A more relaxing alternative can be a sauna to eliminate toxins and recover energy. The most picturesque one is called Lázně na Lodi and its particularity is that it is located on a ship anchored on the banks of the Vltava (Rašínovo nábř. 120).

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