A short introduction to the four seasons in Prague
No matter the time of the year, Prague is always a wonderful city to visit. Nevertheless, every season has its pros and cons. If you’re deciding when to come to Prague, or would just like to know what the city is like during different times of the year, the following brief guide should be useful.
January to March…
Old Town in winter
…tends to be wet and gray, and the days are unbelievably short, but none of this detracts from Prague's vibrancy. If anything, the longer nights are a bonus. For instance, when it is all lit up, Prague Castle is far more awe-inspiring than it is during the day. The Church of Our Lady Before Tyn in Old Town Square looks like something out of a Gothic fairy tale directed by Tim Burton. Simply put, Prague absolutely shines at night.
While gazing at the city’s spotlit splendour, you can enjoy a soothing cup of svarak, or mulled wine, which is hot red wine mixed with a fragrant blend of spices (mainly cloves and cinnamon), and, if you like, sugar. And, of course, there is the added bonus of smaller crowds.
April to June…
Flower garden on Petrin Hill
…can be surprisingly cold, but that doesn't stop many of Prague's finer beer gardens, such as those in Letna Park and Riegrovy Sady, from opening. Unless they venture out to smaller towns and villages, girls and women needn’t fear the Czech Easter tradition of men spanking women with pomlazka’s, switches made of braided willow branches, in exchange for alcohol and/or coloured eggs. The crowds start to get bigger at this time of the year.
July to September…
View of Prague Castle from Petrin Hill
…the days and nights are hot and spectacular. Short skirts abound, patios and beer gardens hum with activity, and the narrow winding streets of the city centre pulsate with tourists. If you can stand the crowds and the sweltering and occasionally smoggy heat, Prague summers are gorgeous. Mellow out in a park, take in the city's fantastic historical sights, or escape the heat and quench your thirst in a traditional Czech pub - during these months, any idea is a good idea in Prague.
October to December…
…caps off the year with cold wet weather that starts in mid-November. This is balanced by the festive atmosphere not only of Christmas, but also the nation's birthday on October 28 and the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution of 1989 on November 17. Prague’s streets remain packed, however not so much with tourists as with Christmas shoppers, and vendors selling live carp out of massive vats line the city’s sidewalks, squares and storefronts.
In December, Prague’s main Christmas market is set up in Old Town Square. It is full of kiosks offering unique gifts and tasty snacks, and is also home to an immense Christmas tree, petting zoo, and ice-skating rink. Other markets of note are at Wenceslas Square and Namesti Miru.