Bohemian winter wonderland
Is it a right time to visit Czech Republic in winter months? Shouldn’t you wait until the spring time? What are the best places to visit and activities you might try? If you wonder the similar way, please find your answers in this article bellow.
Czech Republic lies in the central (yes central, not east Europe, Czech people insist on this term:), so in the winter time you can expect temperature between -10 °C to 10 °C and occasional rain and snow, mostly in the mountains. So warm clothes, hoody, hat and gloves are your essentials almost like a cup of hot tea or coffee in the cozy cafés. But don’t make the cold weather fool you, the winter time is definitely very good and special time to visit Czechia, here are few reasons why:
1. Christmas markets
Christmas became a phenomena, definitely. People come from all around the world to experience Christmas markets in Europe, among the most famous ones belong definitely Vienna, Dresden and Prague. Since the beginning of December, the main squares of the towns lighten up with thousands of lights, the huge Christmas decorated trees are erected and hundreds of local stalls with handmade crafts and traditional drinks and food are opened. The most visited markets in Prague are established at Wenceslas and Old town’s square which are the oldest ones and the most traditional. Come, drink some mulled wine, taste some Christmas cookies, listen to the Christmas carols and just soak up some Christmas mood. If you happened to be a little bit tired of the crowds, escape to one of the smaller towns in the Czech Republic – like Český Krumlov, Liberec or Brno, where the atmosphere is more local and calmer.
Yes, it snows in Czech Republic in the winter time although there is no guaranty of it, of course. If you really want to see snow, we recommend to visit some if the mountain ranges nearby. Šumava national park is perfect in the winter because many of the roads and trails are maintained and accessible for tourists. Ještěd Mountain in Jizerské hory is also very popular for winter walks and wondering about. Plus there is a great and very stylish restaurant and hotel on the top of the mountain which also gained a special architectonical award. Other place where you will definitely see snow are Krkonoše – the highest mountain range in the Czech Republic on the borders with Poland. On its highest peak you can even get by the cable car so the great views from the top are accessible for everybody!
3. Winter sports
Do you want to try one of the winter sports in Czech Republic? No problem! If you prefer downhill skies or snowboarding we recommend Krkonoše mountain range because of the numerous ski resorts and ski slopes. If you prefer cross-country skiing or walks with the snowshoes, we recommend Šumava National park due to its large number of walking trails and beautiful, pure and still very untouched nature. In south Bohemia, there is also a lot of ponds which got frozen in the winter time and therefore provide a great place to learn a pirouette or just to slide from one side of the pond to another on an ice skates.
4. Cozy cafés
No matter which town in Czech Republic you visit, you will always find a cozy cafés to enjoy the frozen days from. We recommend to try a traditional svařené víno (mulled wine) with plenty of sweet spices and very special taste.
5. Less tourists
Winter time is definitely the least busy part of the year for tourism so if you got always tired of the crowds while traveling, keep your visit in Czechia for this part of the year. The prices at the hotels and hostels get cheaper, and you will have the streets of the popular towns just for yourself. Plus you will get definitely more chance to meet locals and talk with them about life in the Czech Republic.
6. Plenty of indoor activity
Do you always travel in summer time and you feel sorry to spend too much time inside in the galleries or museums? Try it in the winter time. The main building of the Prague National museum at Wenceslas square just got renovated and it definitely deserves your attention. Other beautiful place, still out off the beaten track is for example the Strahov library which will drag you with its beautiful painted ceiling, walls and old bookshelves back to the mediaeval time. Other tip is to visit one of the bohemian glass factory either in Šumava or Jizerské hory. Bohemian glass used to be famous worldwide. During the communist era, most of the factories got closed but nowadays people are slowly coming back to this amazing craft. Usually the glass-making process is shown and explained to you sometimes you can even try it yourself! In most of the places you can also buy beautiful things which aren’t so overpricy like in Prague.
7. Food & drink experience
Do you prefer to get to know the cultures through taste, cooking and sharing? Have you tried a cooking courses in Thailand, India or Vietnam but you have no idea you can get one of these in the Czech Republic as well? It that case you should try some of the cooking courses in Prague! It’s definitely a best way to learn about authentic Czech cuisine and meet some locals meanwhile. If you happen to prefer a beer or wine tasting over cooking, there is also option for you. Visit Plzeň, a home of the traditional Czech beer recipe or visit one of the cellar in Moravia and try some of the Czech Riesling or Muller Thurgau. If you prefer to stay in Prague, there are also plenty of places to do the beer or wine – tasting as well!
Czechia in its winter coat may be less colorful and sometimes freezing, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy its hospitality and authenticity. You might enjoy it even more!