Prague is a magical city to visit in winter for its chilly weather, attractive historical architecture and Christmas festivities. During winter in Prague, the temperature averages between -5°C to 2°C, with snowfall a regular sight. Dressing warmly and appropriately for the weather will allow you to see some of the city’s most popular landmarks during this quieter season of the year. There are fewer tourists, making accessing popular attractions far easier to access than in the spring and summer seasons.
The city has many beautiful and old buildings that take on a new and beautiful guise under a fresh dusting of snow. One of the best ways to see the city in this light is by heading out on foot. And if you would rather explore indoor attractions as the temperature drops, there are plenty of museums, historical sites and cafes to visit. Here are the best things to do in Prague in winter.
Prague in Winter
20 Things To Do In Winter In Prague
1- Explore Prague Castle
One of the most popular attractions in Prague regardless of the season is Prague Castle.
The castle is covered with snow during winter in Prague making it a truly special time to visit this landmark.
Dating from the 9th century the castle is ancient and large in size giving you plenty to explore both indoors and outdoors.
With its UNESCO status the castle has a 9th century palace, inside of which is the Vladislav Hall and the intriguingly designed Riders Staircase where knights could ride into the palace without dismounting from their horses.
Explore the warmth and artistic beauty of St Vitus Cathedral and its 14th century mosaics.
Prague Castle is at Hradčany, 119 08 Prague 1.
Recommended tour: Prague Castle: Tour with Local Guide and Entry Ticket
2- Shop At The Christmas Markets
Every year Prague hosts a Christmas Market in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, and in the grounds of the castle from early December to the beginning of January.
Smaller Christmas markets can be found across the city that, while they do not offer the variety and scale of the main markets, are still pleasant to explore.
The Christmas markets see festively decorated stalls selling traditional Christmas ornaments, hand crafted gifts including jewellery and ceramics, and of course tasty local dishes and drinks to try.
While enjoying the market in the Old Town Square, admire the towering 25 m (82.02ft) high Christmas tree covered in ornaments and shimmering lights.
Recommended tour: Magical Christmas Markets Tour
3- Go On A Brewery Tour
There are many brewery tours across Prague to enjoy on a cold winters day, including Prague’s largest brewery, and the second-largest in Czech Republic, the Prague Staropramen Brewery.
Tours of this brewery are hi-tech and are filled with interactive exhibitions.
Start your tour with a pre-arranged pick-up from your hotel before heading to the brewery to learn about its history, the brewing process and pubs within the city that serve its beer.
At the end of the tour you are able to try four of their refreshing drinks.
For a more historical tour book onto the Medieval Brewery tour to explore a brewery from 1499.
This micro-brewery offers visitors an excellent three-course lunch or dinner with accompanying live music, souvenir glass and the tasting of two beers, as well as a detailed look at their brewing process.
Recommended tour: Prague: Staropramem Brewery Self-Guided Tour with Tasting
4- Admire The Lamplighters On Charles Bridge
There are many bridges crossing the Vltava River, but none more beautiful or ancient as the Charles Bridge.
Charles IV built the bridge in 1357 and it is the oldest bridge still standing on the river.
During the run up to Christmas, the Charles Bridge has its gas lamps lit by lamplighters in traditional attire.
This beloved Christmas tradition is watched by locals and tourists each evening at around 4 pm as the lamplighters start their work before it grows too dark.
Recommended tour: Prague: Ghosts and Legends of the Old Town Evening Tour
5- Celebrate Masopust
If you are visiting Prague towards the end of the winter season be sure to take part in the city’s Masopust celebrations.
Masopust is the oldest celebration in the city with its origins dating back to the 13th century.
The word Masopust translates to ‘meat feast’ and celebrates the end of winter and welcomes the start of spring.
The festivities include parades, elaborate and traditional costumes or masks worn by locals and plenty of music and dancing.
During Masopust, which in 2024 is from 8th to 14th February, expect to see many stalls offering craft workshops, balls, opera performances and plenty of family friendly activities.
There are also many opportunities to try local delicacies from restaurants and street food stalls.
Recommended tour: Prague: Pub Crawl and International Party
Spend some time outdoors in winter in Prague and explore the city on foot.
There are many excellent local guides running frequent walking tours of the city, as well as opportunities to go on a self-guided walking tour with a map or an app.
Wandering around Prague’s streets in winter is a magical activity as the streets are quieter and the dusting of snow gives it a truly festive feel.
Admire the beautiful architecture of the Old Town, the Christmas lights from markets, and the serene riverside walkways.
Keep your eyes peeled for delicious restaurants to call into, or cafes to warm up in.
Recommended tour: Mozart’s Prague: Old Town, Lesser Town & Czech Museum Tour
7- Warm Up In A Cosy Cafe
Prague has a long history intertwined with cafe culture, so why not find a cosy cafe and enjoy a coffee in the former favourite haunts of literary greats and scientific minds.
Visit one of these ‘grand cafe houses’, as they are known in the city, to fully experience their local importance.
Cafe Louvre is one of the most famous cafes in the city and was frequented by both Franz Kafka, the writer, and Albert Einstein.
For the best bakery items and to be in one of the oldest cafes in the city, have a sweet and buttery pastry with your coffee at Cafe Savoy.
8- Go Ice Skating
One of the best winter activities to do in any city is to ice skate in the centre.
Prague has many outdoor ice rinks dotted across the city that are open during December, January and February.
One of the best ice rinks in the city is at the Zizkov TV Tower, where skaters can enjoy a scenic evening out at the foot of the tower, warm up with a spicy mulled wine or rich hot chocolate, and to try local specialities from the outdoor grill.
There are other ice rinks around the city including at two shopping centres.
At the Cerny Most shopping centre ice rink there are special events leading up to Christmas including an ice show and skating lessons for children.
9- Watch A Festive Performance At The Theatre
An evening at the theatre is the perfect way to experience culture in stunning surroundings when spending winter in Prague.
Enjoy a shortened festive performance of the Nutcracker at the Broadway Theatre in the Old Town which has been adapted to suit a wider audience and is perfect for families.
For the full performance of the world-famous ballet head to the National Theatre where Tchaikovsky’s classic comes to life on the stage.
The National Theatre also hosts a range of Christmas concerts during advent including performances from the National Theatre Orchestra and the Czech Philharmonic Children’s Choir.
10- Admire The Book-lined Walls Of Strahov Library
If you love books, a trip to Strahov Library is a must when spending winter in Prague.
The library is part of the larger Strahov Monastery, however can be visited separately.
The oldest part of the library is the Baroque Theological hall which dates from 1671.
Each room in the library is beautifully decorated with highly detailed frescoes painted by Siard Nosecký and Anton Maulbertsh.
The library holds approximately 200,000 volumes with some dating as far back as 1500.
There are also many first prints and delicate manuscripts that are held in a specially designed room to ensure they are not damaged by moisture, heat or light.
Scattered throughout the library are works of fine art, statues, astronomical globes and intricately finished furniture.
Strahov Library is at Strahovské nádvoří 1/132, 11800 Praha 1-Hradčany.
Recommended tour: Prague: Klementinum Library & Astronomical Tower Guided Tour
11- Cross-country Ski Through A City Park
Skiing in the city may not be the first activity you think of on a winter city break, however it is possible to cross-country ski through one of the city’s best parks.
After heavy snowfall, Ladronka park’s large open space is the perfect destination to have a go at this adventure sport.
The outdoor ski track SkiPark Praha offers ski rentals and training from experienced instructors to help make your unique day in the park go smoothly.
The park has wide open spaces, plenty of pathways winding through the trees, and its flat gradient means this activity is perfect for families too.
Ladronka Park is at Tomanova, 169 00 Praha 6-Břevnov.
12- Feast On Traditional Festive Dishes
One of the best things about spending winter in a new country is trying local delicacies for festivals and celebrations.
Prague has many excellent food stalls across its Christmas markets serving up delicious dishes to hungry shoppers.
Try a traditional fish soup of carp, vegetables, brandy and cream served piping hot and from a large cauldron, sweet and spicy gingerbread, and of course the famous trdelník, a dough wrapped around a stick before being baked on a fire and topped with sugar which is also known as a chimney cake.
There are also plenty of festive drinks to enjoy including grog which is a combination of rum, water, lemon and sugar, traditional mulled wines and of course hot chocolate.
Recommended tour: Prague: Dinner and Traditional Folklore Music and Dance
13- Spend A Quiet Moment At Strahov Monastery
Jindřich Zdík, Bishop John of Prague, founded Strahov Monastery in 1143.
After exploring its exquisite library, spend some time during your winter vacation in Prague exploring the monastery complex.
While it is most famous for the library, there are plenty of things to do inside.
Visit the basilica at the centre of the courtyard and admire its combination styles of Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance architecture.
The interior of the church is Baroque and features a huge vaulted ceiling with intricate frescoes and carved hardwood pews.
There is also an excellent viewpoint looking out over the city, as the monastery sits high on the hilltop.
Strahov Monastery Strahovské nádvoří 1/132, 11800 Praha 1-Hradčany.
Recommended tour: Strahov Monastery and Library Private Walking Tour in Prague
14- Relax Aboard A River Cruise
Despite the chilly conditions regularly river cruises set sail down the Vltava River throughout the winter months.
River cruises typically last for one hour and offer sightseeing from the water taking in famous landmarks such as Prague Castle and Charles Bridge.
Evening cruises on certain liners offer dinner options including a variety of tasty dishes served as a buffet and the addition of live music.
Other evening cruises offer guests glasses of prosecco.
Many of Prague’s river cruises have heated boats, so even on the coldest days you can admire the views in warmth.
Recommended cruise: Prague: Dinner Boat Cruise
15- See The View From Old Town Square Clock Tower
The Old Town Square Clock Tower features a beautifully designed medieval astronomical clock.
Dating back to 1410, this clock tower is the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and despite its age it is still running.
Once you have admired this unusual clock, climb the tower to see the rooftops of Prague’s historical buildings stretching out around you.
There are many steps leading to the top of the tower, however there is also a lift that can be accessed for a small charge on top of tour entry price to make it more accessible to everyone.
Old Town Square Clock Tower is at Staroměstské nám. 1, 110 00 Josefov.
Recommended tour: Prague: Old Town, Astronomical Clock, and Underground Tour
16- Be Inspired At A Museum
Should the weather turn during your trip to Prague in winter, seek the warm refuge of a museum.
Like any European city, Prague has a wide variety of museums specialising in history and art, however there are also many more unique museums that are well worth a visit.
Uncover the life story of Franz Kafka at the Kafka Museum and its dedicated exhibitions to the writer from the city.
At the Museum of Communism explore the countries life under Communist rule through its collection of posters and wartime masks.
For a museum that is perfect for families and covers a wide variety of topics head to the National Museum for its extensive 14 million item collection including puppets, anthropology and art.
17- Unwind In A Sauna
The Czech Republic has a long history with the use of saunas for relaxation and wellbeing purposes.
Locals frequently visit saunas and enjoy the associated health benefits and as a result there are many scattered across the city.
Saunas can be found all over Prague, with the obvious locations such as hotels and spas competing for patrons from those opening at public swimming pools and wellness centres.
Prague typically offers two types of sauna: Russian banya saunas that have high humidity levels, and Finnish saunas that have hot temperatures and high humidity.
After your time in the sauna, refresh with a plunge in an ice pool.
Recommended: Prague: Bernard Beer Spa with Beer and Massage Option
18- Ring In The New Year
New Years celebrations in Prague run from midday on December 31st till late in the evening on January 1st.
The celebrations spread across the city with everyone getting involved.
Following a ban on fireworks in 2020 to help protect the local swans, the night sky is instead lit up with colourful projections that also project images and designs onto some of the city’s most famous landmarks.
Join the locals at Old Town Square from 5pm to enjoy live music, delicious local dishes from the Christmas market and a lively atmosphere before counting down to midnight with the astronomical clock on the Old Town Square tower.
Recommended: Prague: New Year’s Eve Pub Crawl & Karlovy Lazne Club Entry
19- Hop Aboard A Festive Tram
From the end of November to Three Kings Day on January 6th Prague’s trams are decorated in twinkling lights which perfectly adds to the festive atmosphere of the city in winter.
Whether you choose to ride these trams during this period or simply admire them from the streets, they truly add to the magic of the season, particularly if the snow is falling.
The city’s trams run past many of its most famous landmarks which are also lit up this time of year.
Board a tram to escape the evening chills and enjoy a tour of the city in a modern tram, or in one of the city’s historical trams that date as far back as 1929.
20- View Art On A Tiny Scale At Museum of Miniatures
Another of Prague’s unusual museums is the Museum of Miniatures, and it is perfect to visit when the weather is too cold to explore outside.
This unique and small museum is filled with tiny exhibits that need microscopes to view them clearly.
The museum began as a temporary exhibition in 1996 in Russia before permanently setting up in Prague.
There are 29 exhibits in total focusing on the unique art technique of micro-miniature, an artistic technique where the works are not visible to the naked eye.
Works in the museum include inscriptions on grains of rice, recreations of classic paintings from greats like Matisse on tiny segments of bone, and carvings of camels in the eye of a needle.
Museum of Miniatures is at 13 Strahovské nádvoří, Prague, 118 00.
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