Rug Up and Explore Prague In Winter

21 January 2014

The Charles Bridge bathed in sunlight is a popular depiction of Prague, yet one of the most romantic ways to see the city is when it’s cloaked in a blanket of snow. Prague in winter resembles something out of a fairytale, with its cobblestone streets dusted in white and the lights of its famous Old Town peering resolutely through the dark days of the season.

The Czech capital is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and one glance at this spectacular thousand-year-old city sums up precisely why. Nestled along the banks of the Vltava River, watched over by a brooding medieval castle and boasting a splendidly preserved Old Town, Prague offers a quintessentially European travel experience, even when the dark days of winter have set in.

 The Charles Bridge covered in snow

Winter Wonderland

While tens of thousands of visitors flock to the city in the height of the summer tourist season, in winter you can enjoy Prague’s cobblestone streets practically to yourself. Temperatures may hover around freezing, but that just means there’s a good chance you’ll be exploring this winter wonderland underneath a flurry of snow. Besides, there are plenty of chances to escape the cold and indulge in a restorative coffee in one of countless cafes dotted throughout this chic city.

Prague’s city centre is anchored by it historic Old Town on the right bank of the winding Vltava River. The Old Town Square between Wenceslas Square and the Charles Bridge is home to countless attractions, including the gothic Týn Church and the 600-year-old Prague Astronomical Clock, as well as the Old Town Hall – an eternally popular venue for weddings whatever the time of year.

Old-world Ambiance

Located in the heart of historic Central Europe, Prague’s somewhat confusingly named New Town was actually founded as far back as 1348. Dissected by the broad Wenceslas Square – a UNESCO World Heritage site and scene of some of the most pivotal moments in Prague’s distinguished history – the district is home to the National Museum and the haunting Museum of Communism.

When it’s dusted in snow, Wenceslas Square is the ideal place to spend some time indoors. Not only does it boast some of the Czech Republic’s most informative museums, this bar-lined thoroughfare also houses plenty of places to enjoy a drink in the beer-loving Czech capital.  It’s also where you’ll find the city’s beloved statue of St. Wenceslas, where thousands of Czechs once rallied to end Soviet rule.

A Different Perspective

Though the weather may be decidedly frosty, visiting Prague in winter is a great way to gain a new perspective on one of Europe’s most picturesque destinations. From ice-skating in the heart of the city at the popular Fruit Market, to gazing across snow-covered rooftops from Prague Castle’s lofty vantage point, the city casts itself in a new light against the whitewashed backdrop of winter snow.

This is Europe at its quaint, cobblestoned finest. The bridges across the Vltava may look resplendent in the summertime sunshine, but they lose none of their lustre amidst the gloomy shroud of winter. Take a walk across the Charles Bridge and experience it for yourself, for when the winter chill sets in, Prague is at its atmospheric best.

Mike Tuckerman

From Europe to Asia and many places in between, there's rarely a town or city I've not enjoyed exploring. When I'm not wandering the streets and discovering new destinations, you can usually find me hanging out with the locals at major sporting events.