Home > Best Time to Visit Prague
by Santorini Dave • Updated: January 28, 2019
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When is the Best Time to Visit Prague?
The best time to visit Prague is in late spring or early fall, just before and after the peak summer tourist season. Plan to arrive in May or September for comfortable temperatures around 18 to 20°C, ideal for sightseeing without having to battle big crowds. Lower airfares and reduced hotel rates may be found too.
- Best Time for Sightseeing: Spring and fall, especially April and May or September and October, are ideal for sightseeing, thanks to mild weather and thinner crowds. Visitors may be able to stroll the iconic Charles Bridge without having to squeeze through an army of tourists and a gauntlet of hawkers. If the weather does get chilly, there are plenty of indoor options like churches and museums, as well as cafes for warming up with a specialty coffee.
- Best Time to Visit for Good Weather: The summer months bring the warmest weather with high temperatures around 21 to 23°C, but this time also brings a bit more rain. For the driest weather and mild temperatures, plan your visit in the second half of April or between mid-September and mid-October which tend to experience less precipitation and comfortable temperatures ranging from 14 to 19°C.
- Best Time for a River Cruise: Cruising the river Vltava is a great way to view Prague’s magnificent historic buildings and monuments from a different perspective. Cruises are available throughout the year and no matter what the season it’s likely to be a pleasurable experience, although boats are often jam-packed in the summer. The time of day the cruise departs is the more important consideration. A cruise at dusk is especially magical to witness Prague lit up in all its glory. During the winter, passengers sit in a large, heated dining area with windows for enjoying mulled wine and a warm meal while watching the city float by.
- Best Time to Visit Prague Castle: As the largest ancient castle in the world according to Guinness World Records, Prague Castle attracts a lot of visitors. Summer brings the biggest crowds while the least crowded time to go is in winter. The best time for thinner crowds is typically early in the morning or mid-afternoon from 3 p.m. on. There are almost always fewer people on a weekday than on a weekend.
- Best Time for Shopping: Prague doesn’t have specific times of the year for sales, although summer tends to see the fewest sales with tourism at its peak. No matter the season, look for the signs that read “sleva” for discounted items. The holiday period, during most of the month of December and early January, may be the best time for shopping as the city is transformed into an old-style marketplace, with merchants setting up booths that sell all sorts of handcrafted items, Christmas décor, and toys along with hot, steamy wine and Bohemian treats.
Prague Travel Seasons
- High Season (June through August): The summer months of June, July, and August are the high season in Prague. This is when the city experiences mostly dry, sunny weather with temperatures in the mid-to-upper 20s. The season also brings the most tourists, with larger crowds and the longest lines, along with the highest accommodation rates and airfare of the year.
- Shoulder Season (Mid-March through May; September, October): The shoulder season is an ideal time to visit Prague, frequently bringing pleasant daytime temperatures in the upper teens and chilly nights that dip to around 5°C. The city experiences fewer crowds this time of year, which often results in discounted room rates and more reasonable airfare.
- Low Season (Mid-November through mid-December, early January through mid-March): Late fall and winter is the low season in Prague. This is the best time of year to visit for the biggest discounts and few (if any) crowds. Bundling up with a warm winter coat, hat, gloves, and boots is necessary with temperatures that are often well below freezing.
Prague Weather by Month
- Prague Weather in January: January is one of the coldest months of the year in Prague with average temperatures at -1°C. The probability of snowfall during a visit this month is relatively high, with the best chance during the second half of the month. Moderate snow is more likely than rain, though either can occur. This is the time to bring warm, waterproof clothing like a heavy coat, gloves, and scarf. There is unlikely to be much in the way of sunshine, with about 90% of days bringing cloud cover. Days will be short, with a little over eight hours of daylight early in the month. On the upside, sights are unlikely to be crowded. (Average Max Temperature: 2°C. Average Precipitation: 20mm.)
- Prague Weather in February: The city begins to thaw slightly in February with average temperatures increasing, although it will still be cold. The average high is 4°C and the low is -3°C. Precipitation remains at 20mm, spread out over 11 snowy days and 12 rainy ones, with the best chance for snow during the first week of the month. Days are getting longer now with 9 hours and about 19 minutes of daylight on February 1st. Pack as you would for February, with plenty of warm winter gear. (Average Max Temperature: 4°C. Average Precipitation: 20mm.)
- Prague Weather in March: While it’s still rather chilly in March, the weather is warming with the onset of spring. The average high doubles to 8°C, and while it doesn’t happen often, temperatures have been known to rise as high as 17°C. The city does get the occasional snow flurry this month, but cloudy and partly cloudy days are the norm. There is more daylight for enjoying outdoor sights, with 13 hours by the end of March, thanks in part to the spring time change. Sunglasses are more likely to be needed now, along with a mix of clothing for both cooler and warmer days. (Average Max Temperature: 8°C. Average Precipitation: 28mm.)
- Prague Weather in April: Spring is officially here and while it’s likely to feel cool earlier in the month, temperatures steadily increase, and sun can be expected more frequently as April progresses. The average high temperature is now 14°C, with lows above freezing at 4°C; snow flurries are still possible, though rare. On average, there are 16 rainy days and three snowy days in April, with most precipitation occurring during the first half of the month. Now is the time to pack sweaters and lighter jackets, along with some short-sleeve shirts and sunglasses. (Average Max Temperature: 14°C. Average Precipitation: 33mm.)
- Prague Weather in May: Spring is in full bloom now, with the city experiencing lots of warm days that see high temperatures averaging 18°C – occasionally as warm as 26°C. While temperatures have warmed, rain showers are common this month with precipitation increasing quite a bit. A water-resistant jacket and umbrella may be needed now, along with layers for warmth on rainy, windy days that can make it feel much cooler. This is the time of year weather tends to change unexpectedly, with sunshine one minute and rain the next. (Average Max Temperature: 18°C. Average Precipitation: 69mm.)
- Prague Weather in June: The weather is pleasantly warm, and days are long, with sunrise at around 5 a.m. and sunset at 9 p.m. at the beginning of the month. The average high temperature is 21°C, with temperatures rising as the month progresses. There may be some rain; 67mm will typically fall over 17 days in June, slightly less than the previous month. Now is the time to bring summer attire like t-shirts, dresses, and shorts, but you’ll also want to bring some long-sleeve shirts, pants, and a light jacket for cooler days and nights. With a good possibility of rain at some point, packing an umbrella is recommended. (Average Max Temperature: 21°C. Average Precipitation: 67mm.)
- Prague Weather in July: July is one of the warmest months of the year in Prague with plenty of sunshine and long days bringing 16 hours and 19 minutes of daylight on the first day of the month. The chance of rain is about the same as June, averaging 18 wet days, so bringing a mix of clothing that includes some waterproof attire, an umbrella, along with shorts, t-shirts, skirts, and/or dresses is advised. Nights are cool but not cold with lows at 13°C, so a sweater, sweatshirt, or light jacket should suffice after dark. (Average Max Temperature: 23°C. Average Precipitation: 69mm.)
- Prague Weather in August: August is typically Prague’s warmest month, likely very similar to July but slightly drier, and with a little less precipitation falling on average. When rain does arrive, it provides a refreshing respite from the heat, and it won’t be long before the sun reappears. For hottest weather, plan trips for early in the month. Evenings will be cool with an average low at 12°C, so bringing a sweater or jacket is necessary for after dark, or for those sudden downpours that can make warm temps feel chillier. (Average Max Temperature: 23°C. Average Precipitation: 66mm.)
- Prague Weather in September: September is a wonderful time to be in Prague, with especially pleasant temperatures. The average high is 19°C and the low at 9°C, while crowds are now diminishing as the month progresses. There isn’t as much precipitation, with 27mm fewer than in August. While days are getting shorter, even by late September there are still almost 12 hours of daylight, with sunrise at 7 a.m. at sunset at 6:43 p.m., providing lots of time for taking in the sights. Packing clothing that can be layered is recommended. In the morning, a warm sweater or jacket is usually necessary, but by afternoon, short sleeves and possibly shorts may be more appropriate. When evening comes, that jacket or sweater is likely to come out again. (Average Max Temperature: 19°C. Average Precipitation: 39mm.)
- Prague Weather in October: Temperatures noticeably cool in October with autumn now in full swing. While there are more cloudy days, the sun still comes out frequently and rain is minimal with just 24mm on average. The colors of fall are at their peak. As the high average temperature does drop quite a bit, to 13°C this month, exploring outdoor sights is still likely to be pleasant with a warm sweater and perhaps a scarf. After the time change late in the month, plan itineraries around shorter days – sunrise at 6:49 a.m. and sunset at 4:41 p.m. on October 31. (Average Max Temperature: 13°C. Average Precipitation: 24mm.)
- Prague Weather in November: Prague is well on its way to winter, with temperatures dropping significantly throughout November. The average high has dropped 4 degrees to 9°C, while the low is just 1°C, bringing a possibility of snow, though it’s still unlikely (precipitation averages just 32mm this month). There are just eight-and-a-half hours of daylight this month, and it’s not unheard of for temperatures to drop as low as -7°C, so cold weather clothing is a necessity – heavy coat, gloves, hat, scarf, and warm shoes or boots. (Average Max Temperature: 6°C. Average Precipitation: 32mm.)
- Prague Weather in December: December is one of the coldest months in Prague, though it tends to bring little in the way of precipitation, so snow is fairly rare. (The average amount is just 26mm over five days.) Bundling up is a must, however, with the average high just 2°C and lows at -2°C. The days are short and usually overcast with just a few hours of sunlight before the sun sets at around 4:30 p.m. Pack clothing that can be layered, like long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, pants and insulated leggings. Thermal underwear is recommended especially for those who plan to be outdoors quite a bit. (Average Max Temperature: 2°C. Average Precipitation: 26mm.)
Prague Events and Festivals
Prague in January
- New Year’s Day – January 1, New Year’s Day, is an official holiday throughout the country. All state institutions and many businesses will be closed. A fireworks display typically takes place from Letna Park, with the best views of the show along the river. January 1st also begins the Winter Festival of Bohemia. This annual classical arts festival focuses on music, ballet, opera, and dance, with concerts typically hosted at the National Theatre.
- Three Kings Procession – This annual event is held on January 5, the 12th day of Christmas. In the afternoon, a procession takes place from Malostranske Namesti, with three kings riding camels to the Old Town Square. People can often be seen writing K + M + B in chalk on doorways which means good luck for the coming year.
- Jan Palach Day – On January 19 every year the country honors the student who set himself on fire as a protest during the August 1968 Soviet invasion and subsequently died. Locals can often be seen light a candle or laying flowers in his memory.
- Prague Wine Week – Typically starting the last Monday of January and running for a week, this unique festival is all about wines, wineries, and gastronomic delights. Selected restaurants throughout the city will prepare special menus, and wine professionals and enthusiasts gather together in wine shops, wine bars, and restaurants.
Prague in February
- Carnival – Carnival celebrations (called Masopust in Czech) take place a week before Ash Wednesday; a time for dressing in costume, wearing masks, feasting, and revelry. In addition to fun on the streets, there will be multiple concerts and balls hosted as well.
- Valentine’s Day – Many restaurants and hotels in Prague will offer special packages and dinners for Valentine’s Day.
- St. Matthew FunFair – An early rite of spring held annually since the 16th century, this fair offers about 130 rides along with a wide range of attractions, foods, and handcrafted items for sale. It typically begins on the last Saturday of February and runs through much of April.
Prague in March
- Film Festival One World – One of Prague’s most famous festivals, Film Festival One World was first held in 1999. In the two decades since, it’s become the largest human rights documentary film festival in the world. In 2019 it will be hosted from March 6 through March 19, featuring a variety of films dedicated to political causes as well as films that focus on the environment, social issues, and lifestyles. Screenings are held at some of the smaller cinemas around the city.
- Febiofest – This film festival began as a no-budget event for a few friends and film buffs in 1993, but today it’s known as the country’s biggest non-competitive film festival showcasing over 500 movies, television, and video features by international filmmakers, many with English subtitles. In 2019, it will take place between March 21 and 29.
- St. Patrick’s Day – While it may seem an unlikely place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, there are lots of ways to do so in Prague, including the annual Irish Musical Festival. It typically runs from about March 15 to March 20 and includes Irish music, dance, and culture over six days, with performers from Ireland and throughout the Czech Republic.
Prague in April
- Easter – While some years Easter falls in March, in 2019 it will be observed on April 21, with celebrations taking place in Prague throughout the month. The Friday before (Good Friday) as well as Easter Monday are national holidays, with many closures. Most popular with visitors are the Easter markets in the Old Town that are popular for buying Czech Easter eggs and hand-carved wooden toys.
- Street Food Festival – This festival held twice a year, in spring and fall, will take place on April 14 in 2019 (autumn date is yet to be announced). The celebration of street food from across the globe brings more than 10,000 people to the city.
- Burning of Witches – Known as Paleni Carodejnic, this ancient folk festival held on April 30 each year marks the end of winter and beginning of spring. It’s aimed to ward off evil and includes all-night bonfire parties and the burning of brooms on Kampa Island and beyond.
Prague in May
- Labor Day – Held on May 1, this national holiday is mostly an opportunity for picnicking and enjoying the arrival of spring weather. Couples often lay flowers at the statue of romantic poet Karel Hynek who penned “May,” a poem about unrequited love.
- Prague International Marathon – Held on the Sunday closest to May 7, the Prague International Marathon brings runners from around the world to race from the Old Town Square through an especially scenic course over bridges and along the Vltava River. In 2019, it will be hosted on May 5, but the entire weekend will be filled with activities. Visitors can expect some travel disruptions, including restrictions on the Old Town Square and surrounding roads.
- Khamoro – This arts festival, first held in 1999, brings a variety of music to the city from the local area and from across Europe. It typically includes traditional music, gypsy jazz, classical music, dance, literature, theater, films, and workshops hosted at various venues like churches, theaters and historic buildings around Prague.
- Prague Food Festival – Held at the Royal Garden on the northern side of Prague Castle, the gastronomic event of the year takes places around the last weekend of May. It offers the opportunity to try dishes from the best chefs and restaurants at affordable prices for a unique cultural experience. There are beer- and wine-tastings, cooking demos, food stalls, and children’s events.
Prague in June
- United Islands of Prague – Typically hosted in early June, in 2019 this free multi-genre open-air music festival will take place over May 31 to June 2 in the Karlin district. It focuses on young talented singers and musicians, along with a number of domestic and international stars.
- Dance Prague (Tanec Praha) – This city’s major dance festival has been taking place since 1989 and brings participants from across the globe to compete for prizes in categories like jazz, folk, classic, and contemporary as well as choreography. It will be held from June 3 to June 26 in 2019.
- Microbrewery Festival – This beer festival held on a weekend in mid-June at Prague Castle, June 15-16 in 2019, features over 150 different types of beer produced by various Czech breweries. It also includes fresh-baked goods, Czech meats, and charcuterie.
- Metronome Festival – Held near or around the summer solstice, on June 21 and June 22 in 2019, this music festival showcases a mix of big-name international and acts from the Czech Republic.
- Five-Petalled Rose Celebrations – This Renaissance festival takes place over three days, June 21-23 in 2019, with medieval music, street plays, craft fairs, and fencing duels. It also features a magnificent procession with lots of historical costumes, including knights on horseback. 2 hours south of Prague in the town of Český Krumlov.
Prague in July
- Saints Cyril and Methodius Day – This national holiday is celebrated on July 5th to honor the two Byzantine Greek brothers who played an important role in Czech history. Schools, offices and businesses will be closed, and shops may have limited hours, although attraction and entertainment venues are usually open. Many locals take this day to reflect on the evangelical works of the brothers in spreading Christianity, and special church events and prayer services are held.
- Jan Hus Day – July 6 is Jan Hus Day, a public holiday that commemorates the burning at the stake of preacher, religious thinker and church reformer in 1415. Expect some business closures and many shops to have limited opening times.
- Bohemia Jazz Fest – This free festival is one of Europe’s largest jazz festivals. It takes place in various Czech cities, including two dates in Prague, with 2019’s yet to be announced.
- Prague Folklore Days – This free annual international gathering of folk groups brings amateurs who travel to Prague from many different countries. It takes place over four days on open-air stages in Republic Square, Wenceslas Square, and the Old Town Square; July 18-21 in 2019.
Prague in August
- Prague Pride Festival – One of the biggest cultural events of the year in the country, the Prague Pride Festival takes place over a week in early August, August 5 to 11 in 2019. It includes more than 100 cultural and social activities, sports events, public debates and discussions.
- International Festival of New Circus and Theater – This annual international festival in mid-August features acrobatics, music performances, theater, cabaret, slapstick comedy, art workshops, and more to Prague. It starts with a parade that winds through Old Town and will be held August 15 through September 1 in 2019.
- Verdi Festival of Italian Operas – This event kicks off the opera season in Prague with a celebration of operatic greats. It will be hosted on August 22 in 2019.
- Castle-Chateau Night – This special night at Prague Castle brings classical music to the Palace Gardens on the last weekend of August each year, along with guided tours of the gardens, historical fencing displays, and stalls that sell a variety of snacks.
Prague in September
- Burgerfest – This unique two-day food and cultural festival takes place over the first weekend in September, September 7-8 in 2019. The largest festival of burgers and BBQ in Europe, it offers plenty of fun, food and events like cooking shows with grill masters from across the globe who introduce new techniques and trends for preparing burgers.
- Autumn International Music Festival – For two weeks in September every year, September 8-23, 2019, this popular music festival celebrates the work of the nation’s most famous classical composer, Antonin Dvorak. It includes performances by some of the top chamber ensembles, orchestras and soloists in the world.
- St. Wenceslas International Festival – The St. Wenceslas Festival is traditionally held around September 28, the national holiday that commemorates the death of the Czech prince, St. Wenceslas. Celebrations take place across the country, including Prague, which sees a variety of sacred music, including gospel, chants and choral music.
Prague in October
- Strings of Autumn – The Strings of Autumn is an eclectic program of music performances. It features musicians from around the world who perform everything from baroque and avant-garde jazz to classic and contemporary Swiss yodeling. It runs for more than a month starting in about mid-October each year, with 2019’s dates still to be announced.
- Signal Light Festival – For four days in October (October 10-13 in 2019), this festival brings artists from across the globe to Prague’s historical buildings and iconic landmarks to create interactive light installations, site-specific projections, and video mapping. At dusk, the city is magnificently illuminated to brighten dreary days of fall.
- Foundation of the Republic Day – This national holiday on October 28, a landmark date in Czech history, celebrates the day Czechoslovakia became independent. While restaurants, museums, and tourist attractions are usually open, some may close on the first working day after the holiday.
- Designblok – This festival of international design is held in late October every year. Dedicated to design in all forms, it’s considered the largest design and fashion event in central Europe. The indoor exhibition features a fashion show and displays of clothing, jewelry, home furnishings, and lighting, as well as utilitarian and industrial design from top Czech designers.
- Halloween – While the Czech Republic doesn’t celebrate Halloween as elaborately as countries like the U.S., there are many events around Prague, from themed fairs and markets to carnivals and parades, pumpkin-carving workshops, and trick-or-treating.
Prague in November
- All Souls Day – November 2 is All Souls Day, a time when fresh flowers and wreaths are placed on graves, and candles are lit to kindle a light for dead souls. After dark, cemeteries are lit with thousands of candles.
- Nouvelle Prague festival – The Nouvelle Prague festival is held annually over two days in early November, November 8-9 in 2019, showcasing bands from the Czech Republic and around the world at Staropramen Brewery.
- St. Martin’s Day – November 11 is St. Martin’s Day, a one-day festival that primarily revolves around food – especially goose – with restaurants throughout Prague and beyond serving a goose menu and St. Martin’s wine, the first real wine of the season.
- Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day – Celebrated annually on November 17, this day marks the end of what was the country of Czechoslovakia after the Cold War and is considered the most important of Czech holidays. Celebrations include a parade and candle-lighting ceremony in Wenceslas Square. The city’s museums feature special exhibits focused on this chapter in the nation’s history.
Prague in December
- Christmas Markets – The main event in Prague throughout most of December is the Christmas markets. There are markets around the city, with the largest featuring gigantic trees, Christmas carols, music performances, handmade treats, and plenty of mulled wine, mead, and hot cocoa.
- St. Nicholas Eve – Mikulas is an annual event celebrated on December 5. This is the time when the Czech Saint Nicholas brings good children treats in the Old Town Square and other spots throughout the city. He doesn’t wear a red outfit, but dresses like a bishop in white clothing and is usually accompanied by mischievous devil and angel guides that are a part of Czech folklore.
- Prague Christmas – In mid-December each year, December 12-14 in 2019, this event brings an international choir and advent music festival to the Old Town Square.
- Christmas Holidays – The Christmas holidays take place starting the evening of December 24 and continue through December 26. On Christmas Eve, midnight mass is held at many churches throughout the city at midnight. In the Old Town Square an open-air Christmas mass is held at 9 p.m. Expect most businesses and attractions to be closed during this period.
- New Year’s Eve – On December 31, New Year’s Eve, the city celebrates in a big way with lots of festive street parties, events at clubs and bars in Old Town and beyond, and a spectacular fireworks display.
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