When Is The Best Season To Visit Prague?
Prague is a city of all seasons. Fall is full of orange leaves and ripe plumbs, winter is chilly and grey, spring brings chirping birds and warm winds. Summer is sweaty and blue skies. With weather Prague does not have extremes - it is not really, really cold in the winter or blistering hot in the summer.
Here is a graph of the average daily temperatures:
Reasons To Visit Prague in The Winter
The winters are not bitter cold. But because it is humid, even -5 degree Celsius (23 Fahrenheit) seems cold. It is the kind of cold that you feel in your bones. It seeps under your skin and only a warm soup will heat you back up again.
During the winter the sun does not come out much. The sky is always covered with a blanket of clouds and the air is grey. The presistant greyness of the city is my biggest complaint about the city in winter. If you wake up in a bad mood the winter sky can only make your day worse.
But there are many good reasons to come visit Prague in the winter. The best is the lack of tourists. Winter is when the locals take back the city. Tourists are still here but nowhere near the amount that buzz around in the summer. In the winter you do not need to get up at 5am to have breathing room on Charles Bridge. In winter, even at noon, you might be able to take a picture of the Bridge with only a few people on it.
No lineup, no screaming kids, no pushing and shoving. The city is all yours. And it is not like there is nothing to see and do in the winter. Everything is open, all the museums, the buildings, the opera shows - you can even get in the warm tour bus and listen through your headphones as the guide spouts facts.
If you do decide to come in the winter you might want to plan your trip around the Christmas festival. The Christmas festival is everything you want Christmas to be - Prague turns into a old-style marketplace where merchants setup little wooden booths and sell handmade arts, crafts and toys. Stands sell sweet Bohemian treats and hot steamy wine. With the backdrop of a big Christmas tree and carolers singing songs of lore merry times are guaranteed to be had by all.
A few weeks later, The Winter Festival starts at the beginning of January. This world famous festival is all about the Opera, classical music, fine wine and elegant dining. The festival is for those who enjoy the indoors of a four hundred year old cathedral and want to be treated with nights of violins, high painted ceilings, sculptures of baby Jesus, and sip wines from all around the world.
Reasons To Visit Prague in The Summer
You cannot go wrong visiting Prague in the summer, especially if you like being around people - lots and lots of people. Charles Bridge in the summer is a meat grinder - hordes of people entering the bridge on either end are pressed and ground together at its center. All the little narrow streets are bulging at the seams. You will see all types of amusing people from all over the world walking around with maps in their faces and cameras over their shoulder. Most of them are in a good mood and happy to be where they are.
The nice thing about summer in Prague are all the old castles and churches providing a cool break from the hot sun. There are benches all over the city for you to just sit and watch the people walk by. There are lawns, parks and even the King's Garden for you to just lie down and rest your cobblestone weary feet. There is nothing better on a summer day than walking up the little hill toward the castle, finding a patch of grass, lying back with your arms behind your head and enjoying a complete view of the city.
And don’t forget the beer. Compared to North American beer, which is heavily carbonated, Czech beer is not, so it goes down smooth. With a little sweat on your forehead nothing makes you feel better than holding a frosty glass in your hand and letting the beer flow over your pallet and down the pipe to cool the insides. Sit back, let the sun shine down, listen to the music, let your mind wonder and have a Pilsner. Prague in the summer can’t be beat.
Throughout the summer there are music shows, opera shows, festivals, riverboat rides, beaches on the river, gardens and restaurant patios. It’s a party amoungst ancient buildings that have experienced summer hundreds of times before.