Prague is amazing in July and full of summer festivals, events in parks and amazingly hot weather. Pack light and discover Prague in summer!
Is July a good month to visit Prague?
Yes and no!
July is one of the hottest months of the year, so spending a weekend (or a week) in hot, dry and the often dusty town has its challenges. It could be sometimes tricky to stay cool in the summer heatwave in Prague and still see everything you wanted to.
July is also the first months of the summer holiday and most of the permanent Prague citizens leave the town to go abroad or their weekend cottages in the Czech countryside.
This, unfortunately, doesn’t mean, that Prague is quieter than other months, in fact as the summer holidays break elsewhere in the world, more and more tourist come to spend their holiday in Prague.
PLAN YOUR TRIP TO PRAGUE
- Visiting Prague for the first time >>
- 1 day itinerary + how to get the most from one day in Prague >>
- Tram no. 22 route – Self-guided tour guide to Prague >>
Summer is also when most of the scheduled public building work, closures and public transport maintenance happens.
The idea is that as most Prague people are on holidays, public transport is less busy and because of that it’s the perfect time to dig out the streets and divert the trams! In reality, there are no fewer people in summer, just more lost tourists trying to find their re-routed way to their hotels!
GETTING AROUND PRAGUE
Since most Prague people are on holidays during the summer months, theatres, concert halls and other cultural centres are also closed or have very few events on. There are, however other events, mainly outside the Prague that are worth visiting as you’ll see later.
- How to get to the centre of Prague from the airport >>
- How to use the Prague’s public transport >>
- The complete guide to tram network in Prague >>
When it’s the best time to visit in July ?
I always try to schedule my arrival slightly before the end of the June or come after the 8 o 9 July. This is because the 30 June – 7 July is very busy time travel wise as children finish their school on the 30 June (around 11 am or 12 noon) and the 5 and the 6 July are national holidays.
Most Czech people use this time to either go away straight to their cottages, leave for the seaside in Croatia or just use the long weekend holiday for visiting castles and general travelling.
Either way, you’ll find that the public transport, trains, roads and planes are on a maximum capacity, which is not much fun in the time of the year, when it’s also very hot!
If you arrive a couple of days earlier (before the beginning of July) and do things locally in Prague you might actually find Prague fairly deserted.
There are also extra activities, events and outdoor festivals on the 5-6 July bank holiday (and the closest weekend before or after), so there is plenty to do and see.
What is the weather like in July?
Most days in July can be very hot (up to 25-30 C in the shade, but much hotter in the sun), and you might not even need a second layer in the morning.
If you are lucky there might be some thunderstorms, especially if it’s been hot for a while. It cools down a little for the nights, but don’t be surprised if it’s still very warm until very late at night.
Check if your hotel has air conditioning, as it’s not the norm in Prague. If you are choosing your accommodation for July, choose a hotel in an old 1900s townhouse. These have very high ceilings and thick walls, so even without air conditioning, these are much colder at night than modern houses or hotels.
When the sun is shinning it can be very hot in the direct sun (easily up to 45 Celsius), so try to stay in the shade if you can. If you get easily sun burned, I’d recommend to plan your day, so that you do some indoor activity between 1-3 pm. This is the time when the sun is at it’s hottest.
- Alcohol drinking laws in Prague and Czech Republic >>
- How and when to tip in restaurants (or when using various services) >>
- Czech currency & how to pay in Prague >>
Day light in July
The sunrise is at 5 am and the sunset is at 9 pm during July with nearly extra 40 minutes after the sunset when you can see the light.
The good thing about this time of the year, is that you have a lot of day light as you can easily see light until 9 – 9.30pm ( or nearly 10 pm).
This is great if you are planning a day trip outside the Prague, such as visiting Pardubice, because it gives you enough time for your train journey, exploring the town, visiting a local museum at the town chateau and even have a light lunch or dinner at the many cafes in the town.
I always plan my longest day trips for June, July or August as you can do a lot in the day.
I tend to focus on visiting places in the morning/lunch time and then having a long walk in the afternoon-evening as it gets a little colder and the weather settles around 6 pm into a lovely summer evening. It’s the perfect time for walking when not a lot of people are out and about.
What to pack for your visit
You seriously don’t need a lot for your July visit to Prague! Although the weather is going to be hot, the second layer is always useful, especially in the morning and evening.
I would also pack, a good sun hat, sunglasses and a long light linen shirt, trousers or a skirt. I love to wear an easy to wear a dress, which I wash every night and just leave on a clothes hanger to drip dry in the shower.
It might be tempting to bring just flip flops or summer flats as it’s going to be very hot, but the Prague cobbles are very hard (and uneven surface) to walk on, so pair of comfy trainers or padded shoes are a must. You can find other tips on what to pack in this blog post.
There are two official public holidays in July
5th of July – St Cyril and St Methodius Day
6th of July – Jan Hus Day
Like with any other official Czech Bank Holidays, the days are celebrated with a day off on the exact date. If the date falls on Saturday or Sunday, there is no extra free day off during the week.
Whilst most tourist orientated businesses stay open during the holidays, public transport, trains and buses usually run Sunday service and banks and government offices are closed on those days.
Things to do in Prague in July
As I mentioned before, July and August is the official summer holiday, which means that many theatres and concert halls are taking a summer break too.
Instead of the regular theatre performances in traditional theatres such as the Estate Theatre, there are numerous summer theatre plays in parks and open spaces. These include Shakespeare Summer Plays in the Vysehrad Castle Grounds or Prague Castle Grounds or a comedy plays under the Zizkov Tower.
A lot of activities overall a little, so apart from the suggestions in this blog post, you can also find more tips on what to do in summer in Prague in my June blog post.
Taste the local ice-cream
The warm July evenings are the perfect opportunity (or an excuse !) for a self-guided tour around Prague tasting locally made ice creams. My guide include Czech owned ice-cream shops that have been my favourite over years.
My favourite ice-cream is still ‘Ovocny Svetozor’ at Wenceslas Square for their ever changing ice-cream flavours, that always taste great and prices that are still acceptable for a local to pay! I always pick at least couple of flavours and then sit at the nearby park to enjoy them.
Visit Prague Parks
There are many public parks in Prague, which are free to visit. Whilst the streets are hot with the summer sun, the parks provide shade and you can sit on a cooling grass and have a picnic, read your Prague guide book or just rest.
Parks or green spaces within walking distance of Prague centre
- Kampa Island & Park >>
- Shooter’s Island (on Vltava river 3 min walk from National Theatre)
Parks slightly outside the centre of Prague (but easily reachable by tram, metro or bus or a longer walk)
Parks outside the centre of Prague (about 60-80 minutes travel by public transport)
- Pruhonice Park (small entry fee) >>
- Ticha Sarka Valley >>
- Hostivar Natural Park >>
Take a paddle boat trip on Vltava river
Whilst you can take an organised boat trip on the river Vltava, I prefer to rent a little paddle boat that you can take out yourself.
Most rental places are on the ‘ Slovansky Island’ or Zofin Island just outside the National Theatre (access to the island is via a bridge from Masarykovo Nabrezi street as you go from National Theatre towards the Dancing House.
There are several different places to rent your paddle boat from. Prices are about the same in each place, but it depends on what type of boat you want to rent and for how many people. As an example boat for 2 people is 300 KCZ for 60 minutes. You can also rent boats for 4 people, which at around 500 KCZ work out a little cheaper per person.
The staff will explain where you are allowed to go and what you should avoid (you are not allowed to go close to the weir towards the Charles Bridge as it’s too dangerous). Vltava river is fairly quiet and slow around this area, so you don’t need to worry about being overturned in.
You also need to watch out for large powered boats and give them plenty of space to pass. Depending on how far you are from them, you might feel the water moving underneath your paddle boat, but that’s just fun part of being on the water!
Once you are on the river, there is no shade (unless you hide under the Legionares Bridge), so bring a hat, sunglasses and long shirt to cover your arms or legs. Clothes wise you are better off with shorts or longer skirt (or you can leave the pedalling to your friend!).
The standard rental is for 60 minutes, which is plenty of time to work your way around the Shooters Island with the views of Charles Bridge, Kampa Island with the art gallery at Nove Mlyny (New Mills), the row of yellow pinguins, the underneath of Legionares Bridge (with the perfect shade) and the edge of Children Island with the statue of dancing girl representing Vltava River.
Film Festival in Karlovy Vary
The first two weeks of July are jam packed with film stars, new films and anything else related to film. The only problem is, you need to leave Prague and travel a couple of hours west to Karlovy Vary.
The Karlovy Vary film festival is very popular, so you need to book your tickets well in advance.
Karlovy Vary is worth visiting just for the town itself. It’s a beautiful spa town, full of pretty 1900s town houses, elegant colonnades and of course healing water springs.
Bohemia Jazz Festival
Started in 2005 by Czech jazz musician Rudy Linka, the Bohemia Jazz Festival takes place each year at the beginning of July.
All concerts are free and they are all held at various venues around the centre of Prague, quite often in the streets and town squares around the Old Town Square.
International Folklore Festival
This festival is held in Prague towards the end of the month, usually the 3rd week of July. It’s an international celebration of traditional dancing, which you can watch in various venues around the Old Town Square.
Most of the performances are free to attend and a great way to spend a few hours watching traditional folklore dancing from countries such as Czech Republic, Germany, Russia, China, Izrael and many more.
Similarly to the UK BBC Proms, the Prague Proms are a celebration of classical music, which takes place in the second part of July.
You can catch many free and paid for concerts in the venues across Prague and listen to the classical, jazz and more popular music in the parks and other public venues. This festival was started in 2005 and it’s now attended by many international musicians and artists.
Shakespeare Summer Plays
Whilst the main theatres in Prague are taking time off during July and August, many dramatical theatre companies take part in putting together theatre plays performed outdoors. The Shakespeare Summer Plays at Prague Castle grounds are a great way to enjoy the traditional plays in more relaxed and casual way.
Zizkov Tower Summer Plays
The plays at this outdoor theatre are usually in Czech, but they could be still a great way to experience a theatre play in the shadows of the famous television tower.
You can also explore the Zizkov area beforehand – there are plenty of independent coffee places, pubs and restaurants around and on few days during a week, you can also visit the Farmer’s Markets at Jiriho z Podebrad Metro Station (5-7 minutes of walk from the tower).
This blog post was originally written on 6 August 2019 and last updated on 22 January 2023