Reasons to Visit Prague in the Winter

The winters are not bitterly 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 up again.

During the winter, the sun does not come out much. The sky is usually covered with a blanket of clouds and the air is grey. The persistent greyness 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.

There are many reasons to come and visit Prague in the winter. The best reason 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 enjoy 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. Everything is open; all the museums, the buildings, the opera shows. And on really cold days, you can warm up in a heated tour bus and listen through your headphones as the guide spouts facts about the city outside your window.

If you 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 an old-style marketplace where merchants set up little wooden booths and sell handmade arts, crafts and toys. Stands sell sweet Bohemian treats and hot steamy wine. With the backdrop of a large Christmas tree and carolers singing songs of lore, merriment is guaranteed.

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 inside of a four-hundred-year-old cathedral and want to be treated with nights of violins, high painted ceilings, sculptures of baby Jesus, and sips of wine from all around the world.

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Public and School Holidays

Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays mean most banks and offices will be closed. Ordinary shops also close on Sundays and public holidays, while supermarkets and shopping centres often stay open. It’s no problem on these days to visit a concert, exhibition, restaurant or bar.