Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and a popular tourist destination. In this capital of the Czech Republic, there are many beautiful churches, castles, and other historic sites to explore. The city is also home to a thriving art and cultural scene, with plenty of museums, theaters, and concert halls that attract visitors from around the world. If you're looking for a great place to shop, Prague has lots of charming boutiques and markets where you can find unique souvenirs to take home with you. And if you want to relax after a day of sightseeing, there are many lovely parks and green spaces where you can take a break.
Most people think of the Czech capital as a summer destination, but there are many reasons to visit Prague in the colder months. Sure, the crowds are thinner and the weather is chillier, but there are also fewer tourists and more affordable hotel rates. Plus, Prague is just as beautiful in winter as it is in summer! If you're looking for a city with charm oozing from every cobblestone street, endless amounts of things to see and do (both indoors and outdoors), topped off with foodie experiences that will tantalize your taste buds, then Prague will suit you just fine.
But, when is the best time to visit Prague weather-wise? Is there a bad time to go? And what should you do while you're there? Keep reading for all the answers!
Before you set out exploring the Prague Castle Complex or the Old Town Square, make sure you're not dragging your suitcases with you from the Prague main railway station or the Prague Airport. Head to a Bounce luggage storage in Prague and let us take care of your bags.
Summer in Prague
Summer in Prague is the showy season when all the tourists come out of the woodwork for sightseeing in warm weather. And when we say warm, we mean it. The summer high season boasts an average temperature of 79°F (26°C) and average lows of 60°F (16°C). But, Prague recently experienced its all-time highest temperature in 2019, a whopping 100°F (37.9°C) so when you visit Prague in the summer, you need to be prepared for temperatures well above average, especially in July and August.
Aside from the potentially extreme heat and abundance of tourists, summer in Prague is a fun time to be in this gem of the Czech Republic. The sun is usually shining, the days are long, and Czech beer is free-flowing to keep you cool. The city comes alive during this time, with outdoor cafes and restaurants open for business, and locals and tourists alike enjoying the outdoors. There are a number of great events that take place during the summer months as well, so there is always something to do. Wander through the Old Town and spend time in Old Town Square with its Gothic churches, colorful buildings, and unique medieval astronomical clock. Just be prepared to share the experience with hundreds of other people.
To pack for your summer Prague trip, go with plenty of shorts and t-shirts, other light-weight clothes, and comfortable walking shoes. The walk from Old Town Square to Prague Castle is about 20 minutes, and if it's hot out, that will feel much longer. Make sure you pack sunscreen and in August, a dip in the Vltava River will require a bathing suit.
One of the main downsides to visiting Prague in the summer months is the cost. This is most definitely their high season and costs of accommodation and some tourist attractions will reflect this. The city will be full of tourists from other European cities as well as overseas visitors giving the Czech Republic capital a lively, if not crowded, vibe.
To escape the hordes of tourists, consider staying or spending time outside the city centre in New Town. There are more options for budget accommodation to save money and you can try to head to the major tourist attractions early or just before they close when they are always less busy. Early risers will have the benefits of being able to cross the Old Town Square and Charles Bridge much easier without all the other tourists. When we say everything is busy, we mean it. The Prague Airport and Prague main railway station are no exception to this so most aspects of your journey will be shared with a few hundred other people.
Fall in Prague
If you prefer fewer crowds but still like to travel in good weather, the fall in Prague might be just the right fit for you. Fall brings with it some unique charms that are not to be missed. As the leaves change color and begin to fall from the trees, Prague takes on a magical quality that is hard to describe. The City of a Hundred Spires is less busy and the streets and parks are filled with vibrant colors, creating an idyllic setting for exploring the city or relaxing outdoors. In addition to enjoying the spectacular autumn scenery, visitors can also attend some fantastic events during this time of year, including festivals, concerts, and art shows.
In terms of temperature, fall in Prague sees average temperature highs in the 68°F (20°C) range in September, around 57°F (14°C) in October, and about 46°F (8°C) in November, so the swing is quite vast. As for the lows, they range from 37°F (3°C) in November to 52°F (11°C) in September. If you don't mind it a little cool, then October might be just right for you and less crowded and cheaper than September.
Packing for a fall visit to Prague will really depend on your month of travel. In September you can likely get away with light clothes and a sweater for colder mornings and evenings. In October and November, you'll definitely need a mid-range jacket at least, depending on your tolerance for the cold.
Fall is still a great time to visit Prague Castle, Old Town Hall, and the city center. The temperatures are cool enough that you won't need to stop in at every Czech beer garden you see (unless you want to, of course). It's a great time of year to take a Vltava River cruise since you won't want to even dunk your feet in the water. Walking tours are in full swing and the main tourist attractions are more manageable.
In terms of drawbacks, the fall in Prague doesn't have many. The prices will be cheaper than in the summer, there will be fewer people in your priceless photos, and most restaurants and patios will still be open for the season. The only real disadvantage of visiting Prague in the fall is the cool weather and a higher chance of rain than in the summer.
Winter in Prague
Winter in Prague is not known for the best weather, but it offers plenty of other advantages to a trip during this time of year. Just prepare to bundle up as the lows can reach 30°F (-1°C) so a winter coat and warm boots are a must. A scarf and gloves are also recommended. Daily highs hover at around 39°F (4°C) so you'll likely always be wearing that coat. If winter is the only time you can get away from work to visit Prague, you should absolutely do it, because you'll hardly miss out on anything. It just means that you'll need to stick to more indoor activities and you won't be dining al fresco. Although, many of the restaurants with patios overlooking Old Town Square offer heated outdoor seating so you won't even have to sacrifice this experience.
Plan to visit sights like the Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral which houses the tombs of many Bohemian kings. The city center is still fun to explore with a coat and scarf and you can pop into the Old Town Square buildings to warm up if needed.
When you visit Prague in the winter you get something that the other seasons don't offer: Christmas markets. The chill in the air is the perfect accompaniment to a little festive cheer. During the holiday season, Prague comes alive with its famous Christmas markets. These popular events take place throughout the city and feature local artisans selling beautiful handmade gifts and crafts, as well as a wide variety of delicious seasonal foods. Visitors can also enjoy live music and entertainment, festive decorations, and traditional Christmas carols sung by choirs from all over the world. The Old Town Square Christmas Market is simply magical and the Wenceslas Square Christmas Market just seems to make sense. Try not to miss either if you visit Prague during December. There has to be at least some reward for those cold temperatures, right?
If you don't plan on doing too much walking outside when you visit Prague in the winter, consider a Prague city pass to take advantage of the heated public transportation to get you from A to B.
Spring in Prague
Spring in Prague is when the Czech Republic capital starts to come alive after a sleepy winter. Flowers start to bloom and patios become accessible again for those looking to enjoy some authentic Czech cuisine, and the city plans outdoor festivals to get everyone excited about making it through another winter in central Europe. If you like to attend festivals, this is the season for you in Prague. The city hosts the Prague Fringe Festival, the Prague Food Festival, and the Prague Spring International Music Festival during these thawing months.
Temperatures in spring vary as they do in fall, so you're best to pack a variety of clothing and prepare yourself to dress in layers. You'll still need a coat, but on some days just a sweater will do and in May, you might be able to get away with a t-shirt during the day. The average highs and lows in March are (10°C) and (2°C), in April are 63°F (17°) and 45°F (7°), and in May are 68°F(20°) and 50°F (10°). Again, the swing is great and somewhat obviously, the best time to visit Prague in the spring is May. You'll enjoy the most favorable of the spring weather and still benefit from off-season prices for Prague hotels and attractions.
During spring you can enjoy a better mix of things to do, some indoors and some outdoors, and wandering the sights of Old Town Square, Prague Castle, and the city center becomes more manageable. Walking tour companies will still take you to all the best tourist attractions if that's what you like.
When is the best time to visit Prague for you?
It's difficult to answer this question definitively as the best time to visit Prague for you will vary depending on your preferences. If you can't stand crowds and have a more limited travel budget, you should avoid the summer. But, for those willing to pay extra and be surrounded by other tourists, the lack of rain and hot temperatures have a definite appeal.
The shoulder seasons of spring and fall have perks with lower prices, some nicer weather, fabulous events, and fewer crowds. But winter, with its magical Christmas markets, will have a strong pull for some, especially for those who don't really care about colder temperatures.
The best time to visit Prague is whatever time you can afford to or whenever you can get time away from your daily life. The sights of Prague Castle, New Town Hall, Old Town Hall and Square, and St. Vitus Cathedral won't disappoint regardless of the season you choose. The scenic setting on the Vltava River, the breathtaking architecture, and the Prague city center nightlife are fantastic throughout the entire year.