5 Reasons to visit Prague in winter
The capital city of the Czech Republic is a splendid place to visit during any season, but Prague takes on a certain magic during the winter months. When the show starts to fall, it looks exactly like you’d want and expect a Central European country to look like. From the expensive Christmas markets that you’ll find in the central districts to the budget-friendly flights and accommodations, here are five reasons why you should make Prague your choice for a winter getaway this year.
5 Reasons to visit Prague in winter
1. You’ll get to see so much more of the city
The Summer season brings lots of tourists to the capital cities of Central Europe. Swarms of stag parties, gap year wanderers, and general holiday makers flock to Prague during the warmer months, lured by the promise of cheap beer and a sunny climate. Although the city does attract its fair share of crowds prior to Christmas, from January to March it’s the perfect and peaceful getaway. From being able to walk the cobbled streets of the Old Town without having to push your way through to leisurely exploring the Pražský Hrad (Prague Castle) compound, exploring the city during these months is an experience you just have to have!
2. The entertainment doesn’t stop
Prague has a fantastic reputation for nightlife, and the party carries on through the winter season. The city has a vast clubbing scene, usually peaking around 2 a.m. with many venues staying open till dawn. Sasazu is the biggest rave and house music club in the region, hosting big name acts like Paul Van Dyk and Tiesto. Lucerna, on the other hand, which is located in Wenceslas Square, specializes in 80’s and 90’s dance music and hosts local bands during the week.
Not tempted to party till dawn? There’s still plenty to do and enjoy in Prague even if nightclubbing isn’t your thing! The big attractions for winter 2017 include the PokerStars Championships Prague, taking place at the Hilton Prague Atrium Casino December 7-19.
3. Czech food is perfect during the winter months
There really is no better time than the winter to eat dumplings, goulash, potato soup, and warm sweet pastries washed down with a cup of mulled wine or grog (if you do drink alcohol, as personally I do not). Traditional Czech food is rich and hearty and is the perfect complement to a day of sightseeing in the snow. One of the best places to find authentic Czech cuisine, apart from the market stalls, is Restaurace Mlejnice. Located south of Old Town, this restaurant specializes in traditional forage including stews and goulash and serves local wines from the Moravia region. It’s the perfect spot for a warm meal on a chilly night!
4. Cheap flights and accommodations
Off-peak travel means low-season prices on flights and accommodations, making a trip to Prague in January or February possible on the lowest of budgets. Whereas flights from London or other European cities to the Czech capital will cost on an average 150 euros round trip during the summer months, average flights during January and February are around 50 euros round trip. Higher-end hotels will also reduce their prices during the low-season months and the winter is the perfect time to take advantage of cheap package deals from travel agencies and online booking websites. My last time in Prague I stayed at Sheraton Prague.
5. It’s Christmaaaassss!
It wouldn’t be winter in Prague without a visit to its famous, traditional markets. From the end of November to the beginning of January, you’ll find an array of impressive and picturesque markets popping up across the city. The biggest is in the main square of Old Town, complete with a giant decorated Christmas tree. The picturesque main square is one of the best reasons to visit Prague in winter. I am also in awe while there. But there are plenty of other markets in the main district as well such as the one in Wenceslas Square and under Charles Bridge. If you take a trip a little further out of the city center, then you can shop at some year-round markets like the one at Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad, which is packed with stalls offering traditional food, wine, and gifts.
TIP: I recommend you to get a great Thai massage in Prague. Or if you are not into massages, what about a fish spa after all the walking around?