Summer is drawing to a close, and long summer days by the river, trips to the beer garden, and long hikes in the country are all about to become a thing of the past in Prague. However, there’s no need to despair. The chilly Central European winter is still several months away, and the season of autumn (or fall) is one of the best times to be in Prague.
With high tourist season at an end, the hordes of visitors that swamp the city during the summer months are now much reduced in number. With the end of August comes the opportunity to walk from one end of Charles Bridge to another in less than four hours, with a much-reduced risk of being trampled to death in the process. Not to mention the sweltering summer days are replaced by crisp, mild temperatures, perfect conditions for pounding the cobbled streets and exploring the city in comfort.
And don’t forget, of course, the beautiful golden leaves that drape every corner of Prague in a rusty carpet of foliage. It’s an unusually leafy city, and this is never more breathtakingly obvious than in autumn. So simply walking around the streets of Prague can be a rewarding and inspiring way to spend a September day here, but there are other activities to keep you occupied while the leaves turn brown.
Let’s go through a few of the main ones:
Crunch your Way through a Park
Prague is full of parks, and the end of summer is arguably the best time to see them. Wrap up (or don’t – September in Prague can still be pretty toasty) and head to Petrin Hill, Riegrovy Sady, or many of the other parks in the city to get a taste of autumn.
You don’t have to confine your ramblings to Prague, of course. The region of Moravia in the south-east of the Czech Republic is a great place to take a day trip and become immersed in the thickly forested countryside.
The best bit about taking a walk in the park? You’ve earned the right to a plate of hot Goulash and a few warming beers in one of Prague’s innumerable cosy pubs.
Drink your Fill of Wine
As summer comes to an end, so does the grape harvest, and everybody knows what that means: it’s wine season!
The Czechs pride themselves on their wine, and this time of year is their chance to show it off. During September and October, wine festivals explode into life throughout the country, giving you the chance to taste some extremely reasonably priced vintages in style.
One such event is the Troja Wine Festival, which takes place this year on 16 September, in the courtyard of the Troja Castle in Prague 7.
It’s been running for 18 years, and is a chance to watch winemakers in action, attend seminars, and of course sample the produce. Tickets can be had for just 25 CZK, or 1 euro.
Another great wine festival takes place in Havlíčkovy Sady, a park in Prague 2. Officially a grape harvest celebration, it comes with 80 stalls selling a variety of wine and food, and is a great way to really experience the vibe of a grape harvest while getting pleasantly drunk on its results. And admission is free!
Read about other wine festivals (vinobranis) in/around Prague in Rosie’s post Young wine, Fun and Festivals: Get the Most out of the Last Days of Summer.
Eat your Fill at a Food Festival
Whenever you come to Prague, you’re virtually guaranteed to find some kind of food festival taking place. In September, however, this citywide pastime becomes even bigger, hosting some of the most prominent events in Europe.
BurgerFest, taking place on the 9th and 10th of September, is the largest burger festival in Central Europe. This year, the 6th instalment of the festival, will see burger restaurants from across the country come together to show off their wares.
Like all good burgers, what really sets this festival apart is the dressings – you can also enjoy live music, stand-up comedy, and grill contents. Come to Holesovice to join the fun.
If that isn’t enough, head to Smíchovská Náplavka on the 23rd September for a huge food truck show. Trucks from countries all over Europe flock to Prague to share their food. It’s an event no foodie should miss.
So, as September rushes towards us, don’t worry about the colder weather and closing beer gardens – get out there and embrace the glory of Prague in autumn.