What’s not to love about Prague? I visited Prague in the winter for 3 days and saw a ton of great architecture, visited several Christmas markets, and strolled through the charming cobbled stoned streets.
WHEN TO VISIT PRAGUE?
Spring and Fall would be a great time to come to Prague – less crowded and still a little warm, but I decided to go in December. You may think winter would be a nasty time to travel, however the overcast sky fit perfectly with the gothic, moody city. If you’re concerned about the cold weather, make sure you bring gloves, a scarf, and a hat and you should be okay. BUT if you are in Prague from the end of November to the New Year, Christmas markets are in full swing and there are a number of things to help you get warm there: open fires cooking food, a decent crowd around you, and not to mention the punch! (A little more about that later).
BEST THINGS TO SEE IN PRAGUE IN 3 DAYS:
- Old Town & Astronomy Clock – Even if you’re in Prague just for a day, I think going to Old Town and seeing the Astronomy Clock is a must. If you’re there around Christmas time, this was my FAVORITE Christmas Market in Prague. You can take a peek inside St. Nicholas’ Church, see the Church of Our Lady before Tyn towering over the square, go up the Astronomy Tower, and then wander your way to Charles Bridge.
My favorite part about the Astronomy Clock are the figures at the top that represent what was despised at the time the clock was made (1410). Vanity and greed on the left hand side and death and lust/ “earthly pleasures” on the right. Every hour the clock strikes, death (the skeleton) rings a bell and the other 3 figures shake their head showing their unreadiness “to go”. I would recommend going to the Astronomy Clock and Charles Bridge in the morning before it gets too crowded!
2. “Castle District” – Continue walking over Charles Bridge and up the hill to Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral.
While I was there, I wasn’t able to go into the Castle, but if you can when you’re there I would imagine it’s beautiful! The outside of the Castle and Cathedral are exquisite with their detailed architecture, so the inside is probably just as gorgeous if not more. While you’re walking around in the “castle district” head over to Strahov Monastic Brewery and try local, authentic, Czech beer. I took a tour while I was there (email ahead of time to take a tour!) and found out that the priest blesses their beer, especially the Christmas and Easter beer batches! I have to admit, the beer I had the rest of my trip did not hold up to the Strahov Brewery.
I had their IPA, Amber, and Christmas beer and all three were really good. You can tour the brewery as well which is filled with fun tidbits of information like how the priest from the monastery come over and bless the brews and enjoy a few as well!
While you’re walking down from the brewery back to Charles Bridge take a moment and stop at the Loreto to admire it’s beauty.
3. John Lennon Wall – If you’re into some colorful street art, check out the John Lennon Wall right over the river on the side of the Castle and Brewery! It’s surprisingly not too crowded, tucked away in the streets.
4. National Theatre – I would highly suggest booking a ticket for a show, opera, anything in the National Theatre. The inside is gorgeous!!! While I was in Prague, I saw “The Nutcracker” since it was December and everyone is in the Christmas spirit. After leaving the theatre, it felt like I went back in time with all of us women in our dresses and heels walking along the sidewalk, clicking away and avoiding cracks in the cobblestones. One of my favorite Prague memories.
5. Wander the streets – I think my favorite thing about traveling is just wandering around, looking at the architecture, and seeing something you might not have seen if you planned out everything. You can get out of the tourist spots and see more of what the locals do or where they eat (which also saves money).
If you aren’t already adding Prague to your bucketlist, let me give you one more reason. THE. FOOD. IS. AWESOME! Since I went in the winter and the food is hearty and substantial, it was a match made in heaven. Being outside wandering around in the cold, all you want is either a hot bowl of goulash, some kolbasa, ham, halušky (cabbage and potatoes), trdelník, OR all the above! Going to Old Town’s Christmas Market, you can try all of these things at a fair price and enjoy eating them while admiring the Christmas decorations.
Trdelník which is traditionally from Hungary, but is found everywhere in the Czech Republic!
On the left is ham, duck, cabbage, a potato pancake, and bread dumplings. On the right is goulash in a bread bowl, red and white cabbage, roasted pork, and potato pancakes.
I had a wonderful time eating my way through Prague for a couple of days! The Christmas markets were cozy and beautifully decorated and the historic architecture was spectacular. Definitely one of my top favorite places I’ve traveled to.
If you have any favorites or awesome places that weren’t listed feel free to leave a comment, its much appreciated!