Winter In Czech Republic: The Best Things To See And Do

Winter in Czech Republic is a really special time. Most people are reluctant to visit then – because let’s face it, the weather is frigid – and prefer going in the spring and summer months.

Yet, I challenge you to go then, and you will find a country with a special atmosphere – from the lovely Christmas Markets that dot the country in December, to the snow covered hills and mountains, and a fantastic range of things to do – from skiing to snow boarding and snow hikes, to activities suitable to those who aren’t fans of the cold weather.

Another great reason to visit the Czech Republic in winter is that you can score some fabulous travel deals! Save for the weeks around Christmas, when places like Prague are crowded with tourists wanting to visit the markets, if you go right after that you will be able visit for a fraction of the price. 

Before telling you all there is to see and do in winter in Czech Republic, let me tell you a bit more about the weather and what you can expect to find – warning: it will be cold!

Winter in Czech Republic
Winter in Czech Republic means cold and snow

Winter in Czech Republic

There is no other way to put it: winter in Czech Republic means cold days, freezing nights and high chances of snow. I visited at the beginning of December and that was certainly my experience. The good news is that it won’t always be overcast – you will be able to enjoy a sunny day or two. Besides, all that snow is great if you are planning on doing some proper winter activities, and it’s a good excuse to gorge on mulled wine to keep warm. 

Anyways, to be a bit more technical – Winter in Czech Republic properly starts in November, which is when the first snow starts falling. Temperatures are in the range of -5° C (20° F) to -10° C (10°F) and even less at higher elevations.

The coldest months are by far January and February, whereas in March it starts to warm up and gets all the way to 10° C (around 50° F), though there still are chances of snow.

Now that you know what winter in Czech Republic looks like, let’s take a look at the best things to do there at this time of year.

winter in Czech Republic
The views from Prague Castle 

What To See And Do During Winter In Czech Republic

Visit Prague in winter

Prague remains the best starting point for a trip to the Czech Republic. A fabulous city during the spring and summer months, Prague remains charming in the winter and you will find no shortage of things to do and beautiful sights. Here are a few you should not miss:

WENCESLAS SQUARE – This 750 meters long boulevard is often compared to the Champs-Élysées. On one of the sides you will see a statue of Wenceslas, protector of the country. That’s also where you’ll find the National Museum.

OLD TOWN PRAGUE – Between the colorful buildings, the small souvenir shops, the cafés, and the 14th century City Hall, there is plenty to see. Don’t forget to stop by Prague Orloj, a medieval astronomical clock. 

CHARLES BRIDGE AND MALA STRANA – One of the symbols of Prague, Charles Bridge’s construction started in 1357 and terminated in 1402. It connects the Old Town with Malá Strana, one of the most charming districts of the city.

PRAGUE CASTLE – From Malá Strana you can get all the way to the Castle where you will find Saint Vitus Cathedral. The views from there are splendid: you can see all the way tothe famous Dancing House, designed by architects Vlado Milunic and Frank Gehry (the same of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, in the Basque Country) and completed in 1996. Check here to book tour of the Castle with a local guide or check here for skip-the-line tickets.

LUDMILLA CATHEDRAL – In the heart of Prague, Saint Ludmilla Cathedral is a beautiful neo-gothic church built between 1888 and 1892. If you visit around Christmas time, you will also see a beautiful Christmas tree in the square in front of it, and one of the famous Prague Christmas markets.

PRAGUE CHRISTMAS MARKETS – One of the perks of winter in Czech Republic is the incredible atmosphere at Christmas. Prague Christmas markets are scattered throughout the city, and offer some great shopping opportunities. 

Make sure to check out my post “The Best Christmas Markets In Europe.”

places to visit in Prague
Visiting functionalism buildings is one of the coolest things to do in Prague

FUNCTIONALIST BUILDINGS This style is typical of the country and there are several examples of it in the capital city. Kostel Nejsvětějšího srdce páně church in Jiřího z Poděbrad square, built between 1929 and 1932, is one. Another is the Žižkov Tower, a TV tower 216 meters tall and that can be seen from various parts of town.

These are some of the best tours of Prague:

Make sure to check out this in depth guide about the best things to do in Prague by Prague experts Just a Pack. Here’s a full guide on where to stay in Prague and here one on the best hostels in Prague.

things to do in the Czech Republic
Brno is one of the nicest places to visit in the Czech Republic

Visit Brno in winter

Brno is a fantastic city, though it is one of those cities you would not think of visiting. Blessed with a relaxed atmosphere (even in the cold winter months) and a friendly, international vibe thanks to the fact that it is home to the largest university in the country. It’s worth visiting in any season. Here are some unmissable sights in Brno. 

CITY COUNCIL – The oldest building in Brno is where the City Council was located from the second half of the 13th century (the offices were moved to Dominikanska square in 1935). It’s main feature is the Gothic portal, and the tower from where the views are stunning.

SAINT PETER AND PAUL’S CATHEDRAL – This Romanic style basilica was re-built in gothic style.

VILLA TUGENDHAT – Villa Tugendhat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001. It was commissioned in the 1930s by the Tugendhats, a Jewish couple who inherited the land and employed the famous architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohes to design it. It’s built in Functionalist style, much like the nearby Café Era.

CHRISTMAS MARKETS – If you visit the Czech Republic in Winter, you will definitely have a chance to see Brno Christmas Markets, which are significantly less touristy compared to those in Prague.

These are some of the best tours of Brno:

things to do in the Czech Republic
Taking the steam train – one of the things to do in the Czech Republic in winter

Ride a steam train

Winter in Czech Republic means enjoying all sorts of activities which aren’t available the rest of the year – such as riding the steam train. Every year, around Christmas time and just for that one day traditional steam trains go around the Czech Republic, taking a (small) crowd of enthusiastic locals to more remote villages where they can attend festivals and enjoy a family day out. 

The sight of the train from a distance is mighty, with the thick dark smoke against the white of the snow. The engine is a work of art. There are trains going around the country. I recommend taking the one that goes from Valašské Meziříčí, a couple of hours drive from Brno, to Valašké Kloubouky, one of the loveliest places to visit in winter in Czech Republic. The ride lasts little over one hour.

Visit Valašké Kloubouky Christmas Markets

If you visit the Czech Republic in December you will certainly have a chance to go around Prague Christmas markets. For more Christmas markets, head to Valašké Kloubouky, whose opening is marked by the Jarmark festival.

Visiting Valašké Kloubouky during the festival is a great opportunity to get a bit of local action. There are a lot of tourists around, but I’d say that a good 90% of them are people from the Czech Republic who are all there to enjoy the market, eat gingerbread cookies, drink Medovina (a sort of hot wine prepared with liquor and honey) and obviously do some Christmas shopping.

Get off the beaten path in Roznov

Roznov is a lovely small town at around 4 hours drive from Prague, and one of the places to visit in the Czech Republic to get a bit off the beaten path. After the crowds of Prague and the international atmosphere of Brno, it makes for a nice, welcome change.

The city is home to the incredible Wallachian Open Air Museum, founded in 1925 and where original buildings from the late 19th century have been moved to re-create a perfect Wallachian style village. This is an interesting place to learn a bit more about Czech traditions and history, and if you spend winter in Czech Republic you will see it covered in snow – just gorgeous.

things to do in the Czech Republic
Walking in the snow – a must during winter in Czech Republic

Drink some good beer…

One of the best things to do in the Czech Republic is drinking freshly brewed beer. Roznov happens to be an excellent place to do that, as there is a great brewery, called Roznovsky Pivovar, that produces some excellent pilsners and ales, and has an annexed refined restaurant as well as a pub.

… while enjoying a beer spa

A beer spa is a must when in the Czech Republic! There are many spas in Prague, but if you go to the one annexed to the brewery in Roznov you are in for a real treat. You certainly know where the beer is coming from!

The spa is a truly relaxing experience, that starts with a hot beer bath, taken while sipping a good beer, and a yeast mask, and then continues with relaxation on a warm bed. It’s definitely a thing to do during winter in Czech Republic, especially at the end of a cold day.

Go for a hike in the snow

Pustevny is one of the nicest places to visit in the Czech Republic. It is a lovely mountain station that can be reached from Trojanovice, at around 15 minutes drive from Roznov. In order to get there, you will have to ride a cable car which stops right at the mountain station, in front of a series of quirky looking buildings.

Pustevny is supposed to have a great view of the mountains and to be a great place to hike. I can’t really comment about the view (it was snowing when I went and the visibility was very limited) but hiking in the snow is actually a lot of fun, and one of the coolest (literally!) things to do in the Czech Republic in winter.

things to do in the Czech Republic
Family fun in the snow – a must for winter in Czech Republic

Go skiing

I guess it goes without saying, right? Skiing – including downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding and even ice-skating – is a must during winter in Czech Republic, and if that’s something you enjoy you will find plenty of places to do it. Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland National Park is a winter wonderland proper. 

Eat!

Winter in Czech Republic means plenty of chances of trying local staples. Prague and Brno are packed with good restaurants where you can try dishes such as marinated sirloin, roasted pork, goulash and schnitzel. They are all very earthy and comforting!

What To Pack For Winter In Czech Republic

If you are going to visit the Czech Republic in winter, it’s of the utmost important that you pack the right items – you really need to be prepared for cold weather and snow. Here’s what you should take with you.

To find out what I typically pack, check out My Ultimate Packing List.

Would you ever visit the Czech Republic in winter?

Further readings

For more winter travel ideas, check out my posts:

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Read about the things to do in Czech Republic in winter - via @clautavani
Discover the best things to do in Czech Republic in winter - via @clautavani

13 thoughts on “Winter In Czech Republic: The Best Things To See And Do”

  1. Aww, that’s an amazing article! I’m really glad you enjoyed my hometown. ♥️

  2. Hi loved the article. We’re in Prague for 5 days in early January, is there anywhere we can day trip to, to see snow? Not necessarily to hike but just to see views of it and play in it a bit.

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  4. I will be going to France for Christmas. Contemplating to fly out to either Prague or Italy after? Do you reckon Prague would be better choice compared to Rome etc?

  5. I can’t say, really. They are two very different cities. I have a post on Rome you can read to see if you could find it interesting. All in all, I think that in Prague you’d find more of a Christmas atmosphere, but it’s also much much much MUCH colder than Rome. On the other hand, you can’t beat Rome for historical and archaeological sites, and the food in Italy is just something else!!

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  7. How many days did you stay in Czech?? The itinerary seems interesting but me and my family only have 1 week holiday. Is it enough?

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  9. After visiting Prague in summer when it was busy I think I should visit in winter. It looks like something out of a fairytale. I love Christmas Markets so this would be a perfect time to visit. Thanks for the informative article.

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