Are you planning a trip to Prague but unsure of the best time to visit? With its stunning architecture, rich history, and vibrant culture, Prague is a popular destination all year-round.
However, the city’s climate and peak tourist seasons can greatly affect your travel experience. In this blog post, I want to look into the best times to visit Prague based on weather, crowds, and events, as well as the cheapest time to visit for budget-conscious travellers.
Whether you’re interested in seeing the city’s famous landmarks, attending cultural festivals, or simply soaking up the local atmosphere, my guide should help you to find the perfect time to visit Prague.
Which is the best month to visit Prague?
I think that the ideal months to visit for most people are May and September. During these months, the weather is mild and comfortable, and there are generally fewer tourists compared to the peak summer season.
However, if you’re looking to save money on accommodation, it may be worth considering a winter visit when prices tend to be lower (unless you want to go super low budget – see my notes below for visiting in the summer). Despite the colder weather, Prague’s winter charm and festive atmosphere make it a popular destination during the holiday season.
What’s the best season to visit Prague?
The best time to visit Prague is in the spring (like April for Easter, May for slightly warmer weather and flowers in bloom or June when it’s great weather and the schools are still in session) or autumn (September is still warm and October is definitely quieter), as the weather is nice and warm and Prague is less busy than in summer.
Going off-season completely, like for example in January, February, March or November is fine too, bearing in mind that the winter weather in Prague is often very cold and there are not that many things happening.
For a medieval fairytale town with a Christmas atmosphere, you can also visit in early December up to the 6th of January.
Summer is usually the busiest part of the year, and Prague can get very hot (with several heatwaves) and overcrowded in the centre. The Prague summer weather can be also very changeable with varying temperatures.
It’s also traditionally a time when most road works and repairs are carried out in Prague with roads sometimes closed, and trams and buses diverted.
When it’s the cheapest time to visit Prague?
Most travel guides tell you that the cheapest time to visit Prague is during the off-season (or low season during late autumn to early spring), but I don’t think that’s quite right.
It might be correct in terms of getting your flight, or train ticket as these seem to go up during the high season and stay reasonably low off-peak, but everything else, in my opinion, is more affordable or completely free in the summer than in the winter.
For example, considering that accommodation might be your largest expense (if you are staying for more than 2-3 days), then summer (during July and August) is the time when you can find super affordable accommodation as the local university accommodation is rented out during the students holiday.
Rooms start from 550 KCZ per person per night, which is about £20 or $25. The student accommodation is usually away from the centre, but for example ‘Na Vetrniku’ has easy access to the centre by Prague underground and tram.
The type of accommodation you can expect is fairly basic (think youth hostel style), but a lot of these rooms are nowadays single or double with their own bathroom. You can find all the details, list of accommodation and how to book on the Charles University Tourist Accommodation website.
All other accommodation will of course be more expensive in the summer, but student accommodation is only available in the high season.
In the summer you can also buy sandwiches, salads and light snacks cheaply in the local supermarkets and have a picnic in many of the Prague parks and green spaces. I don’t know about you, but I find that I’m not as hungry on a hot day in the summer as I’m in the winter and that helps to keep the food budget down. You can also visit the many traditional Czech food canteen style restaurants to keep your food budget down (these are of course open all year round).
There are also many free events in the summer (as opposed to the late autumn or winter – apart from the Christmas time) – concerts, theatre, food festivals or free open government houses during the national public Czech holidays in early July.
I also find that in the summer more attractions are open to the public and I find myself exploring Prague without actually wanting to visit the museum for half a day, as the days are so sunny and it’s so lovely to just wander around. All the free things to do in Prague are much more fun to do in the summer than they are in the winter when it’s cold and dark very early in the day.
Is it better to visit Prague during weekdays or weekends?
Personally, I prefer to visit the centre of Prague and all the main attractions during weekdays, when it’s less busy.
Unless you have a specific reason, why you want to visit at the weekend (as in, it’s the only time you have available or you’ve seen a festival that you want to attend, which is normally held at the weekends) I can’t see a reason, why you should battle through the crowds, jump away from the happy people on a stag do that are driving electrical scooters on the pavement or be rushed through your lunch or coffee, because there are lots of people waiting their turn and the staff is rushed off their feet.
The only time I think it’s good to visit during the weekend is off-season, when some of the attractions are open on Saturday and Sunday only. You will also find that all the free (or even paid for) festivals are held at the weekends, so if you want to see something specific, you might still choose to visit during the weekend.
Is there any time, that’s not good to come to Prague?
In theory, no…there is always something to do, see and explore, but you just might need to adjust your expectations.
Over the years, I found that from mid-January (when the Christmas lights and festivities finish) to about the end of February, Prague could be a pretty bleak place. There is not much happening in terms of festivals, there are no specific days to celebrate and some attractions (mainly private ones), shops and restaurants are taking a break.
Also, winter weather in Prague can be very cold – easily – 5 or 10 Celsius at night and the daylight disappears by 2 pm. If the day is cloudy, which most of the time is, it can feel like there is not much light all day.
The museums close often a bit early in the winter season (4 or 5 pm), so you have quite a bit of time in the afternoon when it’s dark, cold and tourist attractions are closed.
The obvious solution is to go for a long dinner, shopping or see a film in many independent art cinemas in Prague, a theatre play (The Estates Theatre in the centre of Prague has plays, operas and ballets with English subtitles).
This blog post was originally written on 4 July 2023 and last updated on 4 July 2023
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