We invited our fellow blogger Marika Devan of the blog clumsy girl travels to show us the best things to do in Prague in Winter. We are convinced, what about you?
Prague is a city that has stolen my heart. I have visited close to 10 times and can’t seem to get enough. You will soon see why so many people love this city and why you should visit, especially during winter when the summer crowds have dispersed, and the prices drop significantly.
Why visit Prague in the Winter
Prague is magical. There is so much to do, it’s historically fascinating and cheap. But there is something about winter that just makes the city pop, and yes, I am talking about the Christmas markets. The city is ladened with sparkly lights, pints of refreshing beer that just warms your soul, and all the carbs and fried food you can eat! If you’re lucky, you may even see the city dusted in snow.
Prague is a great city to visit year-round, but winter just adds something a bit more special. Here are my favorite things to do in Prague during the winter.
Best things to do in Prague in Winter
#1 Food tour
Food tours are a fantastic way to explore Prague and get a feel for the city. You get the same information as a regular walking tour but get to indulge in yummy food. Food tours are generally hidden gems and local hot spots – plus, the guide is always willing to answer any questions you may have about the city.
I have done a few food tours in Prague, and my favorite is Urban Adventures. They focus on exploring lesser-known parts of the city and hire local guides who know the city inside and out.
#2 Take in the splendid architecture
Prague has been listed as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and for a good reason. It’s freaking gorgeous. It was one of the only cities in central Europe spared by WW2 bombings, so most of the buildings you will see in the old town are original. A few architectural gems that are worth checking out are:
- Powder Tower was built as one of 13 gates to the city. You can get excellent views from the top.
- Dancing House is one of Prague’s most notable landmarks, known for its curvaceous exterior. It’s a popular place for tourists to take photos.
- St Vitus Cathedral is a beauty! It’s a Roman Catholic Cathedral located on the castle grounds, and the exterior of the place will make your mouth drop.
#3 Indulge in Czech food
Like many central European cuisines, Czech food is heavy and comes in generous portions. They eat a lot of fried foods, meat soaked in creamy sauces, and bread. Prague has tons of places to indulge your taste buds.
- Sisters Bistro’s specialty is chlebíčky, an open-faced sandwich that the locals get for a quick, cheap, and filling bite. You can get various toppings, but traditionally you will find them topped with potato salad, hard-boiled egg, pickled cucumber, and a sprig of parsley, but at Sisters, they have tons of different toppings to choose from. They serve a tasting platter that has several small chlebíčky you can try.
- Cafe Louvre may have a French name, but their Czech food is out of this world. They do Svikova, which is roast beef soaked in a cream sauce. It’s my favorite thing to eat there.
- Lokal is the restaurant every local will recommend to someone visiting Prague for the first time. They serve traditional Czech food along with big pints of Czech beer to wash it all down.
#4 Explore the Christmas markets
One of the best things to do in Prague in the winter is to explore the Christmas markets. There are a bunch spread out all over the city. If you enjoy sparkling lights, adorable chalets selling trinkets, enough steamy mulled wine for an army, and lots of carbs, you will absolutely love the Christmas markets.
If you want to explore the Christmas Markets with a local, Urban Adventures offers a Christmas Market tour that covers some lesser-known markets. It’s a lot of fun! If you want to explore on your own, I have listed a few of my favorite Christmas markets below.
- Old Town Square Market is the primary market in Prague and, therefore, the busiest. This market is tourist central, but it’s still worth a wander. There is a giant Christmas tree that towers over the square, and there are tons of traditional and delicious food to stuff your face with.
- Tylovo Náměstí Christmas Market is one of Prague’s smallest markets, so you don’t have to worry about the crowds. It’s also a lot cheaper, so this market is worth checking out if you are on a budget.
- Jiřího z Poděbrad Christmas Market is another smaller and cheaper market that holds many fun events like choral concerts and live theatrical shows.
#5 Get cozy with some Czech beer
You can’t visit Prague and not try Czech beer. The Czech Republic has the highest beer consumption per capita globally, and believe it or not; it’s cheaper than water. It’s especially nice to grab a pint during the winter and slowly drink the cold away or just take a break from all that sightseeing. Either way, winter and beer go very well together.
#6 Go ice skating
Ice skating should be on everyone’s winter bucket list wherever you are in the world, and Prague is no different. Scattered around the city are several outdoor ice skating rinks that the tourists and locals flock to. If you are interested in getting your skate on, here are a couple of the best ice skating rinks in Prague.
- Ovocny Trh is a huge rink right in front of the city hall. It’s free to skate if you have your own skates, but they have rentals available if not. They also host many fun events during the weekends. If you end up going to one rink, I recommend this one.
- Na Frantisku is located in the heart of the old town next to the Vltava river. It’s a pretty big rink with skate rentals available. The location is definitely the best part. It’s right in the center of all the action.
#7 Check out some museums
Prague has some of the coolest and quirkiest museums. They are spread out all over the city, so no matter what part of Prague you’re exploring, you will most definitely find a museum nearby. Now, when I say Prague has some pretty quirky museums, I mean Prague has some QUIRKY museums. Here are a few of my favorites.
- Czech beer museum is the place to go if you love beer. Here you’ll learn the history of the popular beverage, the different processes to make it, and the best part is that you get to taste four generous portions of beer.
- The sex toys museum is exactly as you would expect. A museum filled with sex toys spanning across decades. There is even a room dedicated to vintage porn.
- Torture museum is located in a dark cellar-like space, and inside there are over 100 different exhibitions and wax figurines that depict how the torture instruments were used. It’s a small museum, so it shouldn’t take more than an hour to walk through.
#8 Explore Prague castle
Prague castle is one of the most notable landmarks in the city. It always has a huge line to get inside, so I have never gone inside, but the grounds are huge, and there is a lot to explore, like the gardens and Vitus cathedral, which is free to enter. Not to mention you will get some of the best views of the city.
Winter or not, Prague castle is a mandatoy tourist attraction.
#9 Take a day trip to Cesky Krumlov
Cesky Krumlov is one of Prague’s most popular day trips and one of the finest and most well preserved medieval cities in the Czech Republic. It’s about 3 hours by train, so it’s best to leave early. Once you get there, you’ll have tons of options.
- The historic center is a UNESCO Heritage site, so you know it’s freaking gorgeous. To be honest, I was fine just walking around gawking at the beautiful buildings and cute shops selling handmade souvenirs.
- Bonbon Chocolate has incredibly delicious handmade chocolates—everything ranging from pralines with loads of different fillings to chocolate bars and marzipan specialties. Be prepared to leave with a box full because you won’t be able to choose only one.
- Nonna Gina Italian restaurant has delicious and affordable Italian food. There is a lovely outdoor terrace where you can sit and enjoy your meal while looking out on to the Vltava river.
- The castle is the main attraction in Cesky Krumlov. The town was built surrounding the castle, and if you want a fantastic view of the city, the castle grounds deliver. I have never been inside the castle, but you can take a guided tour if you are interested in going inside.
#10 Check out the city views
I always say one of the best ways to experience a city is through the views, and looking down at Prague from a lookout point has to be included in everyone’s Prague trip. My absolute favorite place to get stunning views of the city is Letna Park but the castle also has some great viewpoints.
#11 Listen to some classical music
Watching a classical performance is the perfect thing to do during the winter when it’s nippy out. Classical music shows are super easy to come by in Prague. People are selling tickets throughout the city center at pretty affordable prices. These shows will usually take place at a concert venue, a church, or a palace.
#12 Appreciate some art
Prague has some pretty interesting art pieces scattered around the city, and some of the most famous yet controversial sculptures are by David Černý. Some of his sculptures are well hidden, so your guide will point them out if you opt for a food or walking tour. To give you an idea of his work, he has sculptures called Two Pissing Guys, Embryo, and Zizkov TV Tower with Crawling Babies. I think those names speak for themselves.
#13 Soak in a tub of beer
One unique activity to Prague is the beer spa, where you are essentially soaking in a bathtub full of beer. It’s the perfect thing to do in the winter. The best part about this experience is that you get unlimited beer refills and a platter of beer bread! The experience only lasts an hour, but you will feel so good after and hopefully a bit tipsy if everything goes as planned.
Where to stay in Prague in the Winter
When it comes to accommodation choices in Prague, you have tons to choose from. Prague is a very walkable and public transportation friendly city. If you do decide to stay somewhere other than the city center, you will easily be able to get around. However, I would highly recommend staying in Prague 1 or 2 since that is where most of the city’s attractions are. My favorite places to stay in Prague are:
- Madhouse is the absolute BEST hostel if you want to party.
- Boutique Hostel Constans is a charming boutique hotel with a killer breakfast. Included.
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