June – August
LCY → PRG
Freedom of movement
Taxi: 18 £GBP (20 min)
Bus: 0.7 £GBP (30 min)
Train: 0.7 £GBP (30 min)
There aren’t many cities in Europe that can truly be described as being a year-round destination, but the seasons don’t deter visitors to the Czech capital Prague. Prague holidays are as much about basking in the sun on riverside beaches or outdoor restaurant terraces, as it is about immersing yourself in the festive atmosphere found when the Christmas markets set up shop in the early days of winter. Known as ‘the golden city of 100 spires’ Prague is stunningly beautiful and incredibly well-preserved and following the fall of the Iron Curtain the city has become one of the top tourist destinations in Europe attracting more than 4 million international visitors every year.
This is a city proud of its well deserved 1992 UNESCO World Heritage status, due to it being packed with magnificent architecture on almost every corner. That architecture charts the history of the city from the medieval era, forward into the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque periods and through the neoclassical, art nouveau and cubist movements in a way that is easily digestible. By night Prague transforms into a cosmopolitan metropolis, where you can sample the electric bar culture and night life while grazing on delicious local fare and the Czech Republic’s famous strong beer in the Mala Strana and Nove Mesto areas. So you will definitely enjoy your city breaks to Prague.
Prague winters are reasonably cold with average daily temperatures sitting at around freezing point, and sunshine being a rarity. Snow fall is common from about mid-November to late March but tends to be light and snow cover of more than 20 centimetres (8 inches) is rare.
Summers are typically sunny and bring average high temperatures of 24 degrees Celsius (75 Fahrenheit). Temperatures by night in summer can tend to be quite cool, so this time is comfortable for holidays to Prague. Rainfall in Prague is low (the city experiences less rain than Paris and Rome). Winter is typically the driest season, whereas in summer there can be heavy rain especially in the form of violent storms and showers.
The historic centre of Prague escaped practically unscathed from World War II, unlike so many other European cities, leaving its Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings intact. Most of the best Prague places to stay during your Prague holidays are found here.
With its unspoiled architecture and beautiful Vltava River bank setting with views up to the magnificent castle, the city has a cinematic quality and often doubles as a film set.
Prague’s centre is compact, bordered on three sides by a broad loop in the Vltava River. The heart of the city is Stare Mesto, or Old Town on the river’s east bank, packed with a wealth of architecture from different eras and a hub for cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs and nightclubs for interesting Prague city breaks.
The northern part of the city, Josefov marks the old Jewish quarter, whilst in the south is Nove Mesto, or New Town, which dates from the 19th century.
Reached by a number bridges, the most famous of which is the 14th century Charles Bridge (Karluv Most) built under the orders of Charles IV, the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia, is the 13th century Mala Strana, or the Lesser Quarter, originally a German settlement. Occupying a hill in the north of the city is Hradcany, established in the 9th century and home to Prague Castle – it is the city’s oldest district.
Prague might sound like it is vast in size when you describe the number of things to do on your Prague holidays, but the centre of the city is easily negotiated on foot.
Catch a tram and start with the Hradcany Castle with its fantastic views and see the changing of the guards, in this district you will also find St Vitus Cathedral – constructed and modified over a period of 600 years, and Zulata Ulicka (Golden Lane) filled with petite 16th century cottages that now serve as shops.
Then head for the sights closer to the river: the Old Town Square’s 500-year-old astronomical clock, Tyn Church’s Gothic spires, and the Tyl Theatre, where Don Giovanni by Mozart was staged for the first time.
Take a stroll on the Charles Bridge or catch Petrin Hill’s funicular to scale its Eiffel Tower replica.
Prague’s National Museum holds fascinating artifacts in the anthropology, archeology, mineralogy, pantheon and zoology galleries. To view one of city’s most comprehensive art collections head for The Centre for Modern and Contemporary Art. The Museum of Decorative Arts houses more than 250,000 examples of decorative art from the 16th to early 20th century. The National Theatre is the place to catch some performances in one of the most stunning buildings in the city.
Wenceslas Square and surrounds is the place to go to indulge in some retail therapy during your Prague breaks. While more than 200 shops can be found in the Palladium Shopping Centre. For designer labels Parizska Street offers fashion and luxury boutiques from names such as Cartier, Christian Dior, Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton and Prada. However, many more reasonably priced treasures can be found on the market stalls around Old Town Square.
In winter Prague becomes a ‘Winter Wonderland’ with Christmas markets offering hearty food, mulled wine and a festive atmosphere. The main markets are open daily and are in Wenceslas and Old Town squares. The less busy markets at Republic Square and Havel’s Market are also worth a look.
In summer it’s a completely different story as Prague transforms into a sun-soaked playground. Tones of sand and hundreds of deck chairs are brought to Vltava River bank annually to create an urban beach experience. Simply find a spot to soak up the sunshine or take part in the many games and activities on offer during your holidays to Prague.