When to Go to the Czech Republic

Street view of Old Town Hall, Prague, Czech Republic
Long summer days and late sunsets in Prague allow more time for daytime sightseeing.
By Rick Steves and Honza Vihan

In the Czech Republic, including Prague, the "tourist season" runs roughly from Easter through October. July and August have their advantages, with the best weather, longer days (daylight until after 21:00), fewer tourists in Prague than in the peak months of May, June, and September, and busy festivals held in small towns around the country. In spring and fall (May, June, Sept, and early Oct), the weather is milder, and the colors and scents are more powerful. That's also when you're most likely to come across festivals celebrating the local wine, beer, and food.

Winter travelers find the concert season in full swing, with remarkably fewer tourists — but outside of Prague, many sights are either closed or open on a limited schedule.

In December, Christmas markets fill main squares around the country, fragrant with the scent of hot wine with cloves. After a quiet Christmas season, Prague explodes with fun on New Year's Eve, teeming with thousands of Germans and other Europeans.

In January and early February, when few tourists come, visitors may well wake up to a Prague silenced by the wistful glimmer of snow, which quickly melts in the Old Town but stays on the ground at Prague Castle and on top of Petřín Hill. Seeing the Charles Bridge blanketed by fresh snow makes the hours spent out in the cold worthwhile. Frequent pub stops, with lots of plum brandy and hot wine, are essential at this time of year — and they bring you closer to local life. Winter can linger, but Prague usually turns green with spring around mid-April.

Honza Vihan is the co-author of the Rick Steves Prague & the Czech Republic guidebook.