January in Prague: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Charles Bridge and St. Vitus cathedral in winter snow, Prague, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Czech Republic, Europe
Gavin Hellier / robertharding/Getty Images

Winter is the coldest season of the year in Prague, Czech Republic, when the average temperatures for January are below freezing at about 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 degrees Celsius). Plan to layer up if you're traveling to Prague this month.

The upside to traveling to Prague in the wintertime is that the city is practically free of tourists, meaning you most likely will not encounter very many lines or large crowds at the city's main attractions, and hotel prices are as low as the temperatures.

Even though the weather is cold, the magical City of a Thousand Spires offers plenty of places to warm up, whether it be cozy cafés, pubs, museums, or an evening concert of classical music.

Prague Weather in January

Winter in Prague is extremely cold, with temperatures often below freezing. With an average of only two to three hours of sunlight, low temperatures can seem colder than they are.

  • Average high: 33 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius)
  • Average low: 22 degrees Fahrenheit (-5 degrees Celsius)

Visitors to the city during this time of year should bundle up. Many sights are best seen on foot, and a tour of the Prague Castle grounds, for example, will necessitate warm winter clothing.

There is hardly any rainfall in winter, but this is because instead of being soaked in rain, the city is covered in snow. Snow falls on average 11 days of each winter month.

What to Pack

The average humidity for the city at this time of year is 84 percent, which is relatively high, meaning that the temperatures will sometimes feel even colder than they already are, so make sure you pack wisely. Follow usual guidelines and tips for winter dress, consider your ability to layer clothing, and bring necessary items to protect your skin from the cold.

Must-haves for this time of year include:

  • A long winter coat
  • Warm comfortable (and ideally waterproof) boots or shoes
  • Woolen socks
  • A hat, gloves, and a scarf

January Events in Prague

Prague still has a few Christmas-centric events that take place in January, as well as plenty of concerts and historical celebrations.

  • New Year's Day: January 1 is an official holiday throughout the Czech Republic. The start of the new year heralds the Winter Festival of Bohemia. This is an annual festival started in 1972 that focuses on the classical arts of dance, opera, ballet, and classical music. Generally, these concerts take place at Prague's National Theatre.
  • The Nutcracker: Performances of the classic, performed at Prague's Hybernia Theatre, typically run through late January each year.
  • Jan Palach Day: On January 19, the country remembers the student who set himself on fire in protest during the Soviet invasion of August 1968 and subsequently died. Many Czech people lay flowers or light a candle in his memory at Wenceslas Square.
  • Three Kings Procession: The annual event occurs on January 5, followed by the Feast of the Epiphany, which wraps up the Christmas holiday in Prague. The procession ends at the Prague Loreto in the Castle District.

January Travel Tips

  • While in Prague in the wintertime, you will primarily be looking for ways to keep warm while you sightsee. Look forward to ducking into cafes to warm up with a pastry and a hot drink. Hearty Czech cuisine is also a welcome reward for a long day of sightseeing.
  • If you're still feeling the Christmas spirit, many of Prague's intricate nativity scenes (such as the ones at Jindrisska Tower) are still on display in January, and stay up through February.
  • Another way to get out of the cold is to forgo walking to attractions and take advantage of Prague's extensive public transportation system if you want to avoid chilly weather as much as possible.
  • It’s smart to check the hours of operation for museums and other sights you’re interested to see, especially if you will have to trek across Prague (or even part way across the country) to see them.
  • Spend a day shopping in New Town, since all the Christmas shopping crowds will have dwindled.
  • The best times to visit Prague and Eastern Europe are the spring and early fall when the weather is mild and there are fewer crowds. But, if you are traveling on a budget, then as you might imagine, the winter will be your best time for the best deals. Other cities to consider checking out in January should include Bratislava, Budapest, and Moscow.
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