Though it's not the most desired season for traveling, you shouldn't shy from visiting Prague during the winter. You'll find loads of things to do -- both indoor and outdoor activities alike. From evening concerts to holiday markets, Prague sparkles with attractions for the November, December, January, or February visitor.
Prague Christmas Market
The Prague Christmas is undeniably winter's main event.
This market, which runs from the end of November, through December, and through the first week of January, is an experience only an Eastern European Christmas market can give. The flavors, sounds, scents, and sights of the season focus on Old Town Square, where an annual market, complete with decorations and an events lineup, shows off Prague's Christmas cheer proudly. Shop, people watch, enjoy holiday pastries and hot mulled wine, listen to music, and take photographs.
Wrap your fingers around a mug of something hot and dig into a bowl of soup or a sweet, European-style dessert in any one of Prague’s historic cafes. These cafes reverberate with history, and most of them serve up palate-pleasing plates, too.
Nativity Scenes and the Three Kings Procession
Nativity scenes -- both live ones and those crafted out of wood, straw, or other materials -- are a part of the Prague winter landscape.
The Three Kings procession on January 5th ends at a live nativity scene at the Prague Loreto.
Shop for Christmas Gifts
Christmas gifts from Prague include crystal, garnets, and other locally made items. Shop for special souvenirs for your loved ones while you’re visiting Prague during the winter, either at the Christmas market or in shops selling local goods in the historic part of the city.
St. Nicholas Eve
December 5th is St. Nicholas Eve, when Mikulas, the Czech St. Nick, roams the streets to pass out candy and treats to good children. Visit Old Town Square to be sure to see Mikulas and his sidekicks, an angel, and a devil.
Go Ice Skating
Ice skating rinks are erected in various locations around the city during the coldest months of the year. Rent skates and take a whirl on the ice on Old Town Square to get your heart pumping.
Take in a Concert
Concerts and performances fill the halls of Prague’s theaters and churches year round. You’ll be sure to encounter advertisements for string quartets, orchestras, or symphonies, or you can check ahead to see what’s playing during the month of your visit. If you stay in the historic center, most venues will be nearby, meaning you can easily walk or take public transportation to enjoy an evening of music.
Prague Christmas Exhibition
This holiday exhibition in the Bethlehem chapel centers around a particular theme each year (glass, bells, wood, etc.) and runs through the end of November to the beginning of January. This event makes a good addition to other Christmas-related activities in the Czech capital city.
New Year’s Eve in Prague
New Year’s Eve in the Czech capital city is an all-night event that you can take to the streets or enjoy the warmth and comfort of a cozy pub, swanky upscale venue, or river cruise boat.
Watch the fireworks at midnight and toast to the excitement of ringing in the new year in the City of a Thousand Spires. If you want to brave the cold, head to Old Town Square or Charles Bridge. For indoor parties and dinners, you’ll have to secure tickets in advance.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Prague
This romantic February holiday is made even more so against the backdrop of the Czech capital, with its castle, fine dining establishments, concert halls, and shops selling jewelry and other heirloom treasures. Call ahead to the restaurant of your choice to make a reservation and enjoy a relaxed candlelit meal in the company of your significant other.
Bohemian Carnevale and Masopust
Masopust, the Czech’s farewell to winter, occurs at the end of February or beginning of March. More lavish is Bohemian Carnevale, the Prague-style Mardi Gras celebrations, complete with a masked open-air party.
These two events welcome locals and visitors alike, so grab your mask and join the fun!
Visit a Museum
Prague’s museums will get you out of the chilly weather and teach you about Prague’s art, history, music, and literature. Other museums have a more unusual focus, such as the Torture Museum. While many museums are located in Old Town, don’t forget the many museums on Castle Hill.