Winter in central Europe can be pretty chilly, and Prague is no exception. The start of 2017 saw temperatures as low as -15 degrees Celsius in the city, and heavy snowfall. While Prague is generally warmer than other parts of the country, and snow is quite uncommon, it still helps to be prepared. So, here are some tips on how to not just survive the winter, but make the most of it.
1. Go Ice Skating
Prague is well known for its ice hockey scene, and the sport is extremely popular among those who live here. For those who aren’t keen on contact sports, there’s still a lot of fun to be had simply skating, and there are plenty of opportunities to do this throughout the city. It’s reasonably priced, too, with most places costing less than 100 CZK for entrance and skates rental. Ice skating is an activity the whole family can enjoy, and an entertaining way to spend a frosty evening.
Here are our recommendations for the best places to hit the ice.
2. Go Skiing
Granted, you might find it difficult to go skiing in central Prague, but there is a host of great ski resorts within a fairly short distance of the capital. Monínec is one such destination, only an hour away from Prague by car. It offers a great quality of skiing at a reasonable price, with accommodation.
Other resorts include Špindlerův Mlýn, located close to the city of Liberec which is a bus journey away from Prague. Nearby is Harrachov, another good choice for skiing enthusiasts, and there are many others in different parts of the country. It’s possible to rent equipment at most of the ski resorts, and day passes cost around 650 CZK for adults and slightly less for children.
For those who aren’t too keen on hurtling down steep slopes, there are plenty of opportunities to go cross country skiing, a much less intense activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and ability levels.
3. Visit the Aqua Park
Most people associate swimming with the summertime and hot weather, but the winter shouldn’t be a barrier to those wishing to take a dip. Aquapalace, which lies on the outskirts of Prague and can be accessed easily by bus, combines aquatic fun with relaxation. Families can enjoy the indoor water adventure park, relax in a luxurious sauna, or tone up in the onsite fitness centre.
Day passes for a family range from 65 to 71 euros, depending on the activity, and the park is open until 22:00 every day.
4. Explore the City in the Snow
Prague is a city famed for its beauty, and there’s no better time to appreciate this than in the winter. Walk along Charles Bridge in the snow, or watch the flakes settle on the tiled rooves of ancient Gothic buildings. For a taste of history, it is well worth making the trip to Prague Castle, where fascinating buildings and majestic views await.
If you crave a bit more peace and quiet, it’s a simple matter to leave the busy streets and stroll through a park such as Riegrovy Sady or Letna. These are both within easy reach of the city centre and offer a pleasant, natural environment. Another great option is Vysehrad, an ancient fort that offers breathtaking views of the city. Even better, it’s largely undiscovered by tourists, so make the most of the peaceful atmosphere. Prague takes on a magical quality in the cold weather, and it’s worth braving the weather conditions to experience it.
5. Visit a Warm Bar or Pub
All that walking around can get tiring, so recharge the traditional Czech way with a pint or two of the best beer in Europe and a warming, hearty meal. There is no shortage of pubs in Prague, and in the winter months they become even more welcoming. There’s nothing more comfortable and satisfying than sitting back in a warm chair while the snow lashes against the window.
There are too many excellent pubs to list, but one rather unique place to visit is the Prague Beer Spa. Here you can escape the low temperatures by literally bathing in beer, and enjoying all of the relaxation and health benefits.
Our list of recommended pubs with tasty Czech beer for a reasonable price includes:
- Lokal Dlouha
- Potrefena Husa
- The PUB
- Vinohradsky Parlament
- Pivovar u Dobrenskych
- U Veverky
- Pivnice U Zlateho Slona
6. Enjoy some Honey Wine
A cold beer is always a nice treat, but the sub-zero temperatures sometimes call for something a little warmer. Medovina (Mead, or honey wine) can be found at street markets around Prague, and in many bars and supermarkets. It’s a wonderfully effective antidote to the cold, and tastes pretty great as well.
7. Go to the Cinema
In challenging weather conditions, going to watch a movie is an activity you can always rely on. Luckily, Prague has several cinemas, most of which screen movies in the original language. These range from large multiplexes to smaller, independent venues which are often more affordable.
Our list of recommended Prague authentic (non-commercial) cinemas includes:
- BIO|OKO at Františka Krizka 15, 170 00 Prague 7
- Kino Svetozor at Vodickova 41, 110 00 Prague 1
- Kino Lucerna at Vodickova 36, 110 00 Prague 1
- Kino Aero at Biskupcova 31, 130 00 Prague 3
8. Don’t Forget to Book an Uber (for Free)
In the freezing weather, unnecessary walking is probably the last thing on your agenda. Luckily we have Uber in Prague, a modern taxi alternative. Using our discount code PRAGUEGO, you can get a free ride, making sure you stay warm and dry at no extra cost. Check out our Uber page for more information.
Hopefully, with these tips, Prague’s winter seasons should be easier to manage. So wrap up warm, venture outside, and you might have even more fun than in summer.