PLANNING ON VISITING PRAGUE IN DECEMBER?
Prague is the capital city of the Czech Republic (newly called Czechia), and is situated right in the heart of Europe. It’s not only one of the most popular cities in Europe, but also in the world. If you’re visiting Prague in December, you’re officially one of about 6-8 million tourists that visit the city every year.
Prague is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vivid culture, making it the perfect bucket list destination for any traveler.
While it’s a fascinating city all year round, Prague in December is particularly magical. With its snowy rooftops and charming Christmas markets (which are some of the best in Europe), Prague transforms into a winter wonderland and creates a magical atmosphere for both adults and children.
While we haven’t had the luxury of visiting the Prague in winter, our friend Natalia from Nats Travel has, and she’s here to tell us all about it.
Is December a Good Time To Visit Prague?
If you don’t mind the cold weather, December is one of the best times to visit Prague. Even though it is very popular during Christmas time, the streets and sights in Prague are not as crowdy as during summer time.
When you visit Prague during December, you can experience a magical festive atmosphere leading up to Christmas. Attend classical music and advent concerts, go to the opera in the National Theater, enjoy ice skating, and buy traditional handmade gifts from Christmas markets to get the most out of your winter visit to Prague.
There’s so much to do to enjoy the magical city of Prague in December, as this is a great time to visit.
What is the weather like in Prague in December?
The weather in Prague in December is cold. However, it is not as freezing cold as in January and February, which are the coldest months for the region. You can expect snow during the month of December – which arguably makes your visit more pleasant and the city more magical.
December temperatures in Prague are not as easy to predict, but you can expect anything between -10 to +5 degrees Celsius. Overnight, temperatures are always below zero.
Prague In December: Best Things To See & Do
There are so many things to see and do during December in Prague. The weather puts no limit on doing many of the things that you can do during the other months of the year.
Therefore seeing the most popular historical sights in Prague is a must. Add traditional Christmas markets, musical concerts, drinking coffee or hot chocolate after ice skating in the city, and seeing Prague from a bird’s eye view will make your visit to this city unforgettable.
Here’s a look at the best things to do in Prague in December.
1. Strolling Christmas Markets
When you are visiting Prague in December, the Christmas markets are the first thing you should visit. Prague has one of the best Christmas markets in Europe every year.
While walking around the wooden stalls, smelling the grilled food, mulled wine, and sweet Trdelnik, you are tasting and breathing in the Christmas atmosphere.
Note: The origin of Trdelnik is from Slovakia and the taste is very similar to American Cinnabons, you can have it plain, with Nutella, whipped cream, strawberries, ice cream, or different combinations of each of these.
There are several Christmas markets in Prague and all offer handmade souvenirs, like traditional Czech blown-glass balls or products made of glass, hand-embroidered tablecloths, wooden toys, candles, winter hats and gloves, gingerbread biscuits, and much more.
The biggest and most popular Christmas markets in Prague are in the Old Town Square. Here you’ll find a big Christmas tree (which is usually lit up around the second day of December), wooden stalls for vendors, and musical performers bringing Christmas cheer on the stage.
Another smaller Christmas market is on Wenceslas Square, which is another very popular tourist spot located close to the Old Town.
A few smaller markets can be found throughout the city, on Angel (Andel), Havel’s Market (Havelske trziste), Prague Castle, Peace Square (Namesti miru), and Kampa Island.
📍Where to stay nearby: VN3 Terraces Suites by Prague Residences
Located just on Wenceslas Square, overlooking the Christmas markets, these apartments have all you need for your comfortable stay.
2. Old Town
Old Town is where the main Christmas markets are located. However, there is more to see and do in Prague’s Old Town than just a Christmas market.
The most popular attraction in Old Town is the Astronomical Clock. This clock not only shows the time, but also where the sun is and the time since the last sunset. It also displays various other measurements and features, including 365 names inscribed in a circle, corresponding to the names written in the calendar.
Tourists wait every hour for the Astronomical Clock’s Twelve Apostles to pop out of the clock and circle around to the tune of the ringing bells. A few minutes before each hour (from 9am-11pm) you can see crowds of people waiting with their cameras to capture this moment.
Tip: If you don’t want to stand in the cold among the people, go to the building opposite the astronomical clock. On the first floor, there’s a lovely Cafe Mozart. Grab a coffee and cake, and sit at a table next to the window and you can watch the clock while keeping warm and cozy.
If you want to see the clock on its inside (the whole mechanism), you can actually go inside the tower to explore it. From the top of the tower, you can also get a great bird’s eye view of the Old Town.
📍Where to stay nearby: Old Town Boutique Apartments
This is a great option for those who prefer self-catering apartments rather than hotels. Great location in the center of Old Town.
3. Charles Bridge
From the Old Town, you can continue your tour through Prague’s tiny streets lined with souvenirs, restaurants, and cafes, until you reach Charles Bridge. This is one of the top sights that Prague is proud of.
This medieval structure standing over the Vltava River is not only one of the most famous bridges in the world but also one of the most beautiful in Europe. Especially in the evening, it is magical.
The bridge is rich in statues and decorative lamps, and eye-catching Gothic towers are found on both ends. You can walk up to any of the towers to be gifted with a stunning view of Prague City.
There’s one thing most people don’t know about Charles Bridge. On the bridge’s statue of St. John Nepomuk is a shiny dog that people touch for good luck. However, the origins of this good luck charm aren’t based on any good luck!
It all started in the ’90s when two drunk students cleaned the dog so that it looked like people had touched it for good luck, and since then, people have believed that touching the dog will fulfill their wishes.
📍Where to stay nearby: MOODs Charles Bridge
This highly-rated hotel is a two-minute walk from Charles Bridge and offers beautiful views of Prague.
4. Prague Castle
Once you cross the Charles Bridge, you will reach Mala Strana, where you can have lunch or continue up the hill to see Prague Castle. The walk is a little bit demanding; however, the view from the top is worth it. If you are lucky enough, you will see the red roofs of Prague covered with white snow.
Whether you want to walk around the Castle admiring it from the outside or choose to go inside to explore, is up to you. However, if you go inside, I highly recommend visiting the Cathedral of St. Vitus.
It is a Roman Catholic metropolitan Cathedral built in Gothic architecture. It is also the largest and most important church in the country.
📍Where to stay nearby: Three Storks
Excellent hotel with spacious rooms, close to Prague Castle and Charles Bridge.
5. Choco Cafe
After walking and sightseeing for such a long time in cold weather, you’re bound to need a break to bring back your energy by warm up in a nice, cozy environment. If you are a chocoholic like me, you won’t want to miss Choco Cafe in Prague.
They have two branches here. One is located close to the Old Town Square and the second one is after you cross Charles Bridge. So it is very close to all of the popular tourist sights.
In this Choco Cafe you will not get hot chocolate (like hot cocoa you’re used to) but rather real melted chocolate. Their chocolate is high quality from America, Africa, and Asia and they have many different options for milk, dark or white chocolate.
📍Where to stay nearby: Little King U Malvaze
This hotel is situated in a historical building, with an excellent location in the Old Town, close to Charles Bridge and the Astronomical Clock.
6. Wenceslas Square
Wenceslas Square is the main and well-known square in the center of Prague. The Christmas markets are also located here. On each side of the long streets are shops, restaurants, and hotels.
The most famous thing about this square is the statue of the first Czech King, St. Wenceslas, sitting on a horse. Right behind him is the National Museum.
You can also see the statue of St. Wenceslas from a different perspective in Passage Lucerna, which is located just a few meters down Wenceslas Square on Vodickova Street. The statue is hanging down from the ceiling and King Wenceslas is sitting on an upside-down horse.
Lucerna is also a place with cafes, a cinema, a club, restaurants, and shops. In the summer it’s also possible to go to the roof for a beautiful view.
📍Where to stay nearby: Pytloun Boutique Hotel Prague
This hotel has the best location right on Wenceslas Square, a few meters from major sights and a metro stop. Great customer service and buffet breakfast. This hotel went through a renovation in 2022.
7. National Museum
Visiting museums in Prague during the cold weather is a good choice. Prague has several great museums, including the Kafka Museum, Museum of Communism, Museum of Fantastic Illusions, Gallery of Steel Figures, and many more.
One museum that you should not miss is the National Museum located at the top of Wenceslas Square. This museum went through detailed reconstruction and was newly opened in 2019.
It consists of a historic building and a new building where you can find the zoological exhibition Noah’s Ark, the Celtic exhibition, and the natural science exhibition, Light and Life. This museum is fun for adults and children.
📍Where to stay nearby: Apartrezidence Opletalova
A great option for staying in an apartment instead of hotels. These are modern apartments close to the National Museum and Wenceslas Square.
8. National Theatre
The National Theatre is a beautiful building with a golden roof, that can be seen from many towers and viewpoints in Prague. Especially in December, you can see incredible opera or other musical show performances in the theatre.
If you are a fan of classical music, you can also visit the Rudolfinum building, where you can attend classical music concerts, concerts by Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and advent concerts.
📍Where to stay nearby: Hotel Cube Prague
This is a very modern, clean hotel with excellent customer service and a delicious breakfast. Away from the noisy part of the city and close to the National Theatre.
9. Breakfast at Grand Cafe Orient
Grand Cafe Orient is a popular cubist cafe. You must visit it to see the original cubist architecture that Prague is famous for.
And it’s not just the architecture that will stand out here. Traditional cake, which is normally a circle, is made as a square to align with the cubist theme.
To break a habit of hotel breakfast, enjoy the delicious breakfast in Grand Cafe Orient, which is located in the city center close to the famous Palladium Shopping Center.
And in case you don’t fancy breakfast, a nice cup of coffee and cake is an option, too.
📍Where to stay nearby: Grand Hotel Bohemia
This hotel has a perfect location in the city center, close to the metro station, shopping center, Old Town, and all the historical sights.
10. Try Traditional Czech Food
The traditional Czech food is quite heavy, therefore it is a perfect choice for cold winter days to warm you up. You should definitely try garlic soup, duck with cabbage and dumplings, traditional svickova (vegetable creamy sauce) with dumplings and beef meat, or goulash.
The Czech Republic is also well known for good quality beer. Therefore if you like beer, give some traditional Czech brews a try.
There are many Czech restaurants all over the city you can choose from. However, if you want to travel in time for a meal, visit the restaurant U Sadlu, a short distance away from the Palladium Shopping Center.
Located on the lower level, the restaurant’s interior is designed to resemble the grandeur of the days of kings and knights.
📍Where to stay nearby: Grand Majestic Hotel Prague
This hotel has a perfect location in the city center but in a quiet street a few meters from the metro, shopping center, Old Town, and all the historical sights. A big comfortable bed and buffet breakfast is a plus.
Petrin is a must-visit whether it is cold or warm outside. You can take a tram to the Ujezd tram stop, where you can then use a little train to take you up to the hill where you’ll have a beautiful view of Prague.
But it doesn’t end there. On the top of the hill is an observation deck. Go to the top (by either walking or taking the lift) and if the weather is good, the view from here is extraordinary.
📍Where to stay nearby: Luxurious Apartments Ujezd
This Apartment is just next to Petrin Hill. There is a kitchen with a dishwasher and all amenities available for you.
12. Zizkov Tower
Zizkov Tower offers another viewpoint of the city of Prague. In this tower, you can choose whether you want to visit just the observatory, or book a table in Clouds Restaurant to enjoy delicious food with a stunning view of Prague. It is not Burj Khalifa in Dubai, but it has its magic.
📍Where to stay nearby: Sky Suite Hotel
If you want to take your experience to another level, you can book a room in the Sky Suite Hotel located right in Zizkov Tower.
13. Ice Skating
Last but not least, you can have fun visiting Prague in December by taking part in winter sports. Ice skating is very popular, and you can find several rinks throughout the city.
The most famous one is Na Frantisku and it is located close to Vltava River and the Jewish Quarter in Old Town. Another one is also in the city center, in Ovocny trh, close to Palladium Shopping Center and Grand Cafe Orient.
More ice skating rinks can be found next to Zizkov Tower, at Letna, and on the roofs of several shopping centers, including Galerie Harfa.
📍Where to stay nearby: Hotel Paris Prague
This hotel is close to Ovocny trh where the ice skating ring is located. It is also close to the metro station and Old Town.
What To Pack For Prague In Winter
Winter in Prague is generally very cold. As you will be doing lots of sightseeing and spending time in Christmas markets, you need to be prepared with good warm clothes so you can enjoy every bit of it.
Here is a list of things you should not forget to pack when traveling to Prague in winter.
- Warm winter jacket
- Tights and a T-shirt under your outside clothes (thermal underwear is the best)
- Several pairs of warm socks
- Warm, comfortable winter shoes
- Jeans or any trousers you generally wear
- Warm sweater or jumper (wool sweater is best)
- Day pack where you will carry your belongings
- If you are planning to go out to a New Year’s Eve party or Christmas dinner, remember to bring classy clothes
Other than that don’t forget your regular things like:
- Plug converter
FAQ: Czech Republic in Winter
The following are answers to questions you may have about visiting Czech Republic in the winter.
Is Prague worth visiting at Christmas?
Yes! Prague is definitely worth visiting at Christmas. Strolling the Christmas markets, breathing in the Christmas atmosphere, and walking hand in hand through the city’s historical streets will make you fall in love with Prague. Once the snow starts falling, Prague turns into a magical city.
Is Prague cheap to visit in December?
Prague is quite a cheap city to visit compared to some other popular European cities. Prices of accommodation are slightly lower in December in Prague, however they rise closer to Christmas. Days around New Year’s Eve are the most expensive in the whole year.
If you travel on a budget, book your stay in the first half of the month. Christmas markets start at the beginning of December.
How many days in Prague is enough?
If you are planning to see just the main sights, then three days in Prague is enough. However, if you want to explore more and do some shopping, stretch it to five days.
The Wrap-up: Visiting Prague In December
To wrap up, Prague in December is a truly magical experience that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. From the charming Christmas markets to the historical sights and winter sports, there’s no shortage of things to see and do.
Whether you are a history fan, a foodie, or an adventure-seeker, Prague in December is an unforgettable European city to explore for everyone. So why not plan your next holiday in this charming city and experience the magic for yourself?
I hope this list of the best attractions to see and things to do in Prague in December has inspired you to visit this captivating city and make unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.