10 Things to do in Prague for Christmas
It’s finally here, the time of year we have all been waiting for – Christmas time! If you are a sucker for the holiday season, there is no better place to spend snow-filled days than the charming and beautiful city of Prague in Czechia.
Filled with ice skating rinks, cozy underground pubs, outdoor and indoor beer halls, plenty of boutique shops, and hipster cafes, Prague has everything you could ever ask for when trying to find a European winter wonderland.
If you are lucky enough to book a ticket to the Czech capital for the holiday season, there are some absolutely must-do’s that will make your trip the best possible time. Tired of sledding in your backyard at home? Find an Airbnb and get moving!
10. St. Nicholas Day
If you can manage to swing it with work and school to arrive in Prague in early December to get your bearings before Christmas Day, St. Nicholas Day is one of the biggest celebrations of the year! On December 5th, this very interesting and historical celebration centers around Mikulas and his companions, an angel and a devil that socialize with the local children.
Walking around the streets giving kids candy, this traditional holiday is like Halloween and Christmas all in one – what could be any better? If you fancy dressing up for the occasion, you won’t be alone – plenty of families dress up for the day, choosing whether to give their kids coal or treats if they have been on their best behavior all-year-long.
9. Christmas MarketsLooking for some spiked egg nog and some gifts to bring back home? There are MANY Christmas markets that you can visit in Prague, with the most popular being in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. Possibly the main tourist attraction for the winter months, the Christmas markets have a wide assortment of Czech trinkets, traditional foods, strong drinks, and anything else that you want to gift to someone special.
8. Visit the Prague Castle
Seeing the Prague Castle covered in snow, glistening in the moonlight, and shining high above the river is a sight that you need to see to believe. Despite being known for its crowds and influx of visitors during the tourism season, the architecture, beautiful buildings, historical churches, and extensive views make the trek up the hill to the castle more than worth it.
7. Ice Skating
Try your chance at being like Nastia Lukin for the night – or maybe just try to get one loop around the rink without falling. There are numerous ice skating rinks dotted throughout Prague, with some of the most popular locations being in Na Frantisku by the Jewish Quarter, and Ovocny trh – a free location controlled by the Prague city hall. Solo budget travelers will love this spot – not only will you be able to save a few euro, but you can also hopefully find a romantic date while gliding on the ice.
6. Na zdraví!Confused as to what this means? Does ‘cheers’ ring a bell? Take a visit to a nearby beer hall or indoor pub to warm up on a snowy and blustery day, or sit outside at a beer hall with beautiful views of the city, complete with massive pints, outdoor heaters, and great people-watching opportunities.
5. City Walking Tour
Although walking around the city in the freezing cold might not seem like the best way to spend a frigid December day, on the sunnier days in Prague this can be one of the best activities and ways to see the historical and beautiful buildings. Finish a free walking tour with a quick dip into one of the traditional Czech restaurants, helping yourself to some Řízek.
4. Vltava River TourAfter a city walking tour, get a different side to the city and a unique perspective by taking a tour on the famous Vltava River. Don’t worry – you won’t have to sit outside in the freezing weather. Many boats offer covered seating, letting you gaze out at the snow falling on the river while sipping on a hot chocolate.
3. Christmas Eve Celebrations
You’re in Prague for Christmas after all, right? Christmas Eve is one of the most important days regarding the Czech holidays, with most Prague locals staying home with their families to enjoy a day by the fire. Luckily for you as a tourist, this gives you a chance to explore the city without the usual crowds – so take advantage of it!
2. Charles Bridge Lamp LightingSince you will be in Prague a few days before Christmas, you will be privileged enough to be there for a lamp lighting ceremony. A lamplighter dressed in traditional clothing will light every lamp along the famous Charles Bridge, connecting both sides of the capital city. Starting at 4 pm every day from December 1 to 23, this event is just a few minutes long but is a traditional experience you should go to at least once during your trip.
1. Enjoy a Holiday Meal at Cafe Savoy
Have you been looking for some flavorful food that you can’t get anywhere else in the world? Head to Cafe Savoy for a luxurious and extravagant experience. Keep in mind, this restaurant is always crowded – always. However, if you are willing to stand outside in line with a hot cider, you can brave the cold and spend a few extra euros for a unique and lavish dining experience.
There you have it! The top 10 best things to do in Prague during Christmas. So pack your bags, bring your holiday sweater, and book a nanny, since Czechia in the winter is calling your name.