The capital city of the Czech Republic is a splendid place to visit during any season, but Prague takes on a certain magic during the winter months. When the snow starts to fall, it looks exactly like you would expect a Central European country to look like. From the expansive Christmas markets that you will find in the central districts to the budget-friendly flights and accommodations, here are five reasons why you should make Prague your choice for a winter getaway this year.
1. You will get to see so much more of the city
The summer brings lots of tourists to the capital cities of Central Europe. Swarms of stag parties, gap year wanderers, and general holiday makers flock to Prague during the warmer months, lured by the promise of cheap beer and a sunny climate. Although the city does attract its fair share of crowds prior to Christmas, from January to March, it is the perfect, peaceful getaway. From being able to walk the cobbled streets of the Old Town without having to push your way through, to leisurely exploring the Pražský Hrad (Prague Castle) compound, exploring the city during these months is an experience you just have to have!
2. The entertainment does not stop
Prague has a fantastic reputation for nightlife, and the party carries on through the winter season. The city has a vast clubbing scene, usually peaking around 2 a.m. with many venues staying open till dawn. Sasazu is the biggest rave and house music club in the region, hosting big name acts like Paul Van Dyk and Tiesto. Lucerna, on the other hand, which is located in Wenceslas Square, specializes in 80s and 90s dance music and hosts local bands during the week.
Not tempted to party till dawn? There is still plenty to do and enjoy in Prague even if nightclubbing isn’t your thing! A big attraction for winter 2017 includes the PokerStars Championships Prague, taking place at the Hilton Prague Atrium Casino December 7–19.
3. Czech food is perfect during the winter months
There really is no better time than the winter to eat dumplings, goulash, potato soup, and warm sweet pastries washed down with a cup of mulled wine or grog. Traditional Czech food is rich and hearty and is the perfect complement to a day of sightseeing in the snow. One of the best places to find authentic Czech cuisine, apart from the market stalls, is Restaurace Mlejnice. Located south of Old Town, this restaurant specializes in traditional foraged foods, including stews and goulash, and serves local wines from the Moravia region. It’s the perfect spot for a warm meal on a chilly night!
4. Cheap flights and accommodations
Off-peak travel means low-season prices on flights and accommodations, making a trip to Prague in January or February possible on the lowest of budgets. Whereas flights from London to the capital will cost an average of 203 USD / 4,416.42 CZK round trip during the summer months, average flights during January and February are around 68 USD / 1,479.39 CZK round trip. Higher-end hotels will also reduce their prices during the low-season months, and the winter is the perfect time to take advantage of cheap package deals from travel agencies and online booking websites like Expedia and Booking.com.
5. It’s Christmas!
It would not be winter in Prague without a visit to its famous traditional markets. From the end of November to the beginning of January, you will find an array of impressive and picturesque markets popping up across the city. The biggest is in the main square of Old Town, complete with a giant decorated Christmas tree, but there are plenty of others in the main district as well such as the one in Wenceslas Square and under Charles Bridge. If you take a trip a little farther out of the city center, then you can shop at some year-round markets like the one at Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad, which is packed with stalls offering traditional food, wine, and gifts. Prague’s Christmas market will run from 2 December to 6 January the following year.
A winter wonderland
Prague during the winter really does take on a fairytale atmosphere. The architecture and views in the City of 100 Spires are even more magnificent when covered with snow, the majority of which falls during January and February. The great thing about taking a trip to this winter wonderland is that it can be enjoyed equally by solo explorers, groups of friends or families, and romantic duos alike. All that’s left to be said is there are a few months until winter, so what are you waiting for?
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