I’m excited to announce the return of the popular ‘Interview with a Local’ Series – this time around, we’ll be looking specifically at winter and summer editions. I’m so excited to learn more about some fabulous cities to inspire my own travels!
We will be starting with Prague in Winter and today we are talking to Veronika Primm about the city she calls home.
Prague is a city which has always intrigued me and I think seeing Prague in the winter must be such a special magical experience. Prague is ridiculously picturesque at all times of the year but I imagine that covered in a layer of snow, it just gets even more magical.
What you can expect from this article...
- 1 Visiting Prague in Winter – A Local’s Guide
- 1.1 Why should we visit Prague?
- 1.2 Is there any district in Prague city where you recommend basing yourself?
- 1.3 What do you love most about winter in Prague?
- 1.4 What is the weather like in winter in Prague? Do we need our thermals?!
- 1.5 Can you suggest some things to do in Prague in winter?
- 1.6 Any suggestions for things to do in Prague in the rain?
- 1.7 Any cosy cafes or restaurants where you recommend getting warm in Prague in winter?
- 1.8 Can you recommend things to do in Prague at Christmas Time?
- 1.9 Is there anywhere you recommend spending New Years Eve in Prague?
- 1.10 Any other Exciting events or festivals in Prague in the winter?
- 1.11 Any Interesting Facts about Prague you can share with us? Anything else we should know?
Things you need to know before visiting Prague in Winter
Population 1.3 million
Language Czech, English also widely spoken
Currency Czech Koruna $1 = Kc22 (as of time of publication)
Airport Václav Havel Airport
So I’m excited to hand you over to Veronika to tell you everything you need to know about visiting Prague in winter.
Visiting Prague in Winter – A Local’s Guide
Why should we visit Prague?
Prague is like no other city. Most people come because of the charming Old Town full of historical buildings and winding narrow streets. But Prague has a lot more. It’s a vibrant yet compact city that’s amazingly rich in culture, there’s a thriving foodie scene, innovative entrepreneurial environment etc.
Is there any district in Prague city where you recommend basing yourself?
I think Prague Vinohrady is great, especially if you enjoy not being straight in the city center. You can still get to the very center in a few tram stops, or even walk by foot. The district is popular among expats. And I actually live in Vinohrady myself.
What do you love most about winter in Prague?
The quiet evenings in January when the snow is falling in giant snowflakes and the streets are empty. It’s a divine atmosphere and I just love the sound of the fresh snow cracking under my feet.
What is the weather like in winter in Prague? Do we need our thermals?!
It varies, but I’d definitely bring the thermals, as well as a warm coat, hat, gloves and a scarf. The temperature can be anything between -10 and +10 degrees (Celsius).
Can you suggest some things to do in Prague in winter?
If you visit from the beginning of December until January 6th, it’s all about Christmas in Prague. So go see the Christmas markets including the smaller ones e.g. in Vinohrady’s Namesti Miru.
Any suggestions for things to do in Prague in the rain?
It depends what you like. There’s a lot of indoor activities in Prague. There are many fascinating museums, art galleries… even unconventional and fun ones. You can get adventurous and go skydiving in a tunnel, you can admire Prague’s stunning ancient libraries… the variety is awesome!
Any cosy cafes or restaurants where you recommend getting warm in Prague in winter?
Well, there are just so many! One of my favourite ones to warm up in Prague in winter is the Chococafé By the Red Chair (U Červené židle) – it’s in the Old Town but very tucked away. They serve mainly hot chocolate in all forms from their own chocolaterie. It’s always warm and cosy in there. You can’t really see in from the outside as the windows are usually steamy.
As for restaurants – I can highly recommend Café Imperial. Housed in a beautiful art deco building and owned by one of Czech Republic’s most prominent chefs, you can expect top quality. The prices reflect that. But when it comes to traditional Czech menu, this restaurant can hardly be beat. Right across from Café Imperial you can find Next Door – a more modern twin to Café Imperial.
Can you recommend things to do in Prague at Christmas Time?
Visiting the Christmas markets! But not just the one at the Old Town Square as mentioned already above. One of the prettiest Christmas markets can be found in the Prague Castle – it’s indeed a beautiful setting and I can highly recommend anyone to visit it. Even though you have to pass through security frames and sometimes lines can form. It’s still worth it!
Is there anywhere you recommend spending New Years Eve in Prague?
I just recommend people stay away from the Wenceslas Square, Old Town Square and the Charles Bridge around midnight. It’s a pickpockets’ haven and it can get dangerous. There are often drunk people shooting off fireworks and firecrackers in all directions.
But going to Prague’s Riegrovy Sady or Letná is awesome to watch the New Year fireworks as you’ll have a beautiful view over the city. Also, Prague’s official fireworks event is usually held on January 1 at 6 pm – that’s when you want to be in a higher spot (such as Riegrovy Sady or Letná again) to watch the amazing showcase.
Any other Exciting events or festivals in Prague in the winter?
In February there’s a street carnival called Masopust in the streets. Don’t expect anything too crazy, but it’s still fun to watch. It marks the end of the fasting season (which nobody adheres to anymore). There are marches in the streets and people wear masks.
Each Prague quarter arranges their own celebrations, in Prague 1 they’re usually held in the Lesser Quarter (Malá Strana) at the beginning of February. Google “Masopust” for more up-to-date info.
· Ice-skating can be done in Prague, even right at the heart of the Old Town – at the so called Ovocný trh.
· If you visit on December 5, you’ll see a strange trio in Prague’s streets repeatedly: St. Nicholas, an angel and a devil. These roam the streets, visit local kids and reward those who’ve behaved.
With thanks to Veronika for this informative guide for visiting Prague in Winter – I know it’s certainly high on my bucket list now!
If you want to read other city guides written by locals, explore other Interview with Locals here. Or read one of these next;
Have you visiting Prague? Tell us about your experiences in the comments!