When is the best time to visit?
Prague’s weather can change quickly. Summers are usually in the low 20s Celsius, but it can also be quite chilly or hot and sticky. Winters are mild with temperatures close to freezing. Although snow is rare, so are sunny days in January and February. July is the rainiest month and February the driest.
The best time to fly is in September and early October to make the most of the last vestiges of summer whilst avoiding hordes of fellow visitors. An added benefit is that cheap flight deals can be found easily during this time, due to decreasing demand.
Prague is most beautiful in the spring through to the autumn. May brings with it the Prague Spring Classical Music Festival, musicians and music lovers’ alike fly in from all over the world to attend. As one of the cultural highlights of the year, Prague Spring, showcases an array of music, including, opera, symphonies and chamber music, as well as more contemporary performances, such as jazz. Events are held in historical churches, theatres and buildings across the city.
Tourists flock to the city from May until July, while most locals leave for the holiday period. It may be a slightly less authentic Czech experience but beautiful nonetheless.
Outside of this period, expect Christmas and Easter to be busy, and be prepared for gloomy weather and some closed attractions between November and March.
The demand for flights to Prague drops significantly in September and October, thanks to the beginning of school terms, and as a result so do the prices. Whilst good deals on short-haul flights are often available year round, you’ll find the cheapest prices in the city from these months onwards.
Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Visitors will discover a city of gold-topped towers and red roofs, decorated gates and statue-lined bridges, cobbled squares and walled courtyards. It's where good King Wenceslas looked out, where the 1968 Prague Spring was put down and where the Velvet Revolution took place in 1989. Prague is also a city of atmospheric pubs serving world-famous brews, opulent Viennese-style coffee houses, and traditional beer halls serving hearty Czech fare.
The Vltava River splits Prague in two - into Stare Mesto (Old Town) and Mala Strana (Lesser Quarter). Charles Bridge, the 14th-century bridge lined with 30 blackened statues of saints, including Wenceslas, connects the two.
Stare Mesto is the original settlement, where the sights include the Old Town Square and Old Town Hall Tower with its Astronomical Clock, St. Nicholas Church, and the Gothic Church of Our Lady before Tyn.
Prague Castle and Mala Strana are on the other side of the river. The castle has three courtyards and the Gothic St Vitus’s Cathedral. The guard changes on the hour with a fanfare at the midday change.
Getting around Prague
Prague is very accessible. You can take buses, trams, trains or metros to get to your destination. Best of all, they all offer tourist passes that will save you money. You must validate your ticket when you board the tram or subway, unless you want a hefty fine.
Before you take a taxi, prepare yourself to bargain for a fair rate, which can be very difficult with the language barrier.
Getting to the city
Prague’s Ruzyne International Airport (PRG) is 10 miles northwest of the city centre. Whilst trains and the Metro don’t reach the airport from the city, there are plenty of options by road.
The most popular and convenient option to get to the city centre is the trusty taxi cab which you can book in advance. Expect the journey to take half an hour without traffic.
Alternatively, the Prague Airport Shuttle – bookable via text – takes around 20 minutes.
Buses are regular and reliable. Express buses are available, taking between 18 and 45 minutes depending on the route.
Prague insider information
- The 13th-century Charles Bridge is one of those tourist landmarks you have to see and take a photo on.
- Statues: St Wenceslas, the Czech national hero who was murdered by his brother more than 1,000 years ago, has a statue at the top of Wenceslas Square, from where most of Prague's tourist attractions are just a short walk. See Franz Kafka's, the Prague-born poet and novelist, bronze statue on Dusni, or Holy Spirit Street. His grave is in the New Jewish Cemetery.
- Petrin Hill with Petrin Tower, a smaller version of the Eiffel Tower. There is a funicular railway to the top.
- Prague Jewish Quarter was the largest Jewish ghetto in Europe and many residents died during World War II. There are several sights of note: the Old Jewish Cemetery, which dates from 1478; Pinkas Synagogue, founded in 1479; Klausen Synagogue, completed in 1694; the Church of the Holy Ghost and The Rudolfinum, built in the 19th century and once seat of the Czechoslovak parliament. There are walking tours which trace the history of the quarter.
- Parizska, a chic shopping avenue that cuts through Josefov from Old Town Square to Chechuv Bridge. The greats of the fashion world are here - Louis Vuitton, Dior, Moschino etc. Try the Havelsky Market for fruit, vegetables and souvenirs.
- Prague Castle sits at the top of Hradcany. Major sites include St. Wenceslas Chapel, part of St. Vitus Cathedral, (which house Good King Wenceslas's remains), the Royal Garden, Royal Summer Palace, and Golden Lane, where the small houses were home to the castle servants, goldsmiths and marksmen. Franz Kafka lived in No. 22 between 1916 and 1917.
- Stromovka Park dates from the 16th century, a hunting ground for Rudolf II. It's a beautiful spot, far from the bustle of the Old Town.