Table of contents
- What to do in Prague in December
- Christmas atmosphere in Prague
- Prague, the perfect city to savour December
- Top 8 activities you can enjoy in December in Prague
- 1. Christmas markets
- 2. Visit the lantern man at Charles Bridge
- 3. Go ice skating
- 4. Discover Christmas trees throughout the city districts
- 5. Go on an Advent or New Year’s Eve Cruise
- 6. Discover Prague’s history through its museums
- 7. See Mikulas on St. Nicholas Day in Old Town Square
- 8. Walk through Prague’s streets
What to do in Prague in December
Prague is a stunning city to visit all year round. Famous for its spell-binding history and architecture with Baroque, Renaissance and Gothic gems, beautiful bridges to stroll through, rich culinary culture and booming artistic scene, it’s easy to understand why Prague is one of the most attractive travel destinations in the world with an incredible offering of sightseeing spots.
But visiting the Czech capital in December holds a magic of its own that is truly worth exploring with plenty of different plans to take part of.
Christmas atmosphere in Prague
The city’s usual allure is enhanced during December by the winter weather and beautiful festive decorations, making it the perfect backdrop to breathe in the holiday season. Not only will you be able to enjoy the city with fewer crowds than during the summer, but you’ll find the festive atmosphere genuinely irresistible.
Prague, the perfect city to savour December
Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, a family trip or a solo adventure, the list of activities to enjoy in Prague during December is endless.
With options for people of all ages and tastes, it can get a little overwhelming to know what are the must-dos and must-sees of the city during winter. That’s why below you’ll find our curated list of the top 8 things to do in Prague in December.
Top 8 activities you can enjoy in December in Prague
Before you keep reading, be warned that by the end of the list you’ll find yourself craving to visit the Czech capital more than ever. Fewer places are as pretty to visit during the winter months to fully seize the Christmas season.
1. Christmas markets
Planning on visiting Prague during December? Don’t leave without exploring its renowned and whimsical Christmas markets!
Carried out throughout the city’s major squares, Christmas markets are a must-see while in Prague and are composed of hundreds of beautiful wooden stalls filled with traditional hand-made goods. Prague’s Christmas markets are among the most beautiful in the world and are perfect for gift shopping or simply being mesmerized by the intricate Christmas decorations that fill up the city’s vibrant streets.
Prague’s Christmas markets are also a fantastic way to have a taste of typical Czech cuisine. Foodies who stroll through Prague’s acclaimed Christmas markets will rejoice by the generous offering of delicious food and drinks.
Have a taste of Czech Christmas biscuits, grilled sausages, barbecued pork, hot roasted chestnuts and other specialties from the country’s rich culinary heritage. You will of course want to accompany your dishes with some typical mulled wine, beer or hot chocolate!
Some of the most famous Christmas markets in Prague can be found in Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, Republic Square and Náměstí Míru which offer a more local vibe.
2. Visit the lantern man at Charles Bridge
If you want to embrace a unique Christmas experience, look no further than visiting the lantern man at the beautiful Charles Bridge, the oldest bridge in the city.
Though most of Prague was already using electric power by the 1950s, in 2002 a special initiative was launched by the Prague City Hall to bring back the use of traditional gas lamps including those that light up the way through the cobblestone road of Charles Bridge.
The gas lamps at Charles Bridge are normally lit up automatically throughout the year, but every day during December you’ll be able to witness friendly lamplighter Jan Žákovec (who is conveniently over 2 meters tall) dressed in a period uniform manually lighting the gas lamps as he greets passersby.
This beautiful tradition brings back the romantic feel of the 19th century and has become a must-see during the winter season and a special way to embrace the holiday spirit leading up to Christmas.
You can witness this charming scene any day from November 28 to December 23, between 16:00 h and 17:00 h.
3. Go ice skating
There’s no better way to embrace the weather in Prague in December than by enjoying the incredibly fun sport that is ice skating.
Ice hockey is a huge sport in the Czech Republic, so it’s only natural that during the winter months ice skating has also become a definitive go-to activity with plenty of options for both indoor and outdoor ice skating.
Unlike skiing, ice-skating is not as dependent on the weather and can be performed any time during the winter. Another great advantage is that you don’t need any equipment of your own as most ice rinks offer budget-friendly renting services for everything you need to glide through the ice. Here are some of our favorite outdoor ice rinks in Prague:
The Tower Ice Park, underneath the famous Žižkov TV Tower
Open Monday to Sunday from 9:00h to 21:00h.
Individual tickets range from 100 CZK (3,96€) to 120 CZK (4,75€) and vary depending on the time of day. Family tickets are also available.
Na Frantisku rink, located in the Jewish Quarter near the Vltava River,
Open Monday to Sunday from 8:00h to 18:00h.
Individual tickets range from 40 CZK for children (1,58€) to 70 CZK (2,77€) for adults.
Another ice rink worth checking out is the one found on the rooftop of the Galerie Harfa Shopping Mall. Ice skating on a rooftop overlooking the city? It’s a definitive yes from us.
With most outdoor skating rinks open until mid-March, it’s a perfect winter plan to enjoy during the weeks leading up to Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
4. Discover Christmas trees throughout the city districts
Every year, Prague’s different city districts display beautifully arranged Christmas trees. The most famous tree is always placed in OId Town Square and is carefully selected every year so make sure to walk through it to admire the 22-meter high tree in all its splendor.
The one in Old Town Square may be the most famous tree in the city, but it’s certainly not the only one. Other stunning Christmas trees to discover throughout the city are:
- Christmas Tree on Jiriho z Podebrad Square
- Christmas tree on Marian Square
- Christmas Tree on Bethlehem Square
- Christmas Tree on Karlin Square
- Christmas Tree on Peace Square
- Christmas Tree in Vodickova Street
5. Go on an Advent or New Year’s Eve Cruise
River cruises are a fantastic way to cross through the heart of the city and discover historical landmarks without dealing with the large crowds. Add a nice cup of hot mulled wine to the equation, and you’ll be in for a unique adventure that will put you in the best Christmas mood. Some even offer Christmas carols to accompany you during your cruise!
With the Vltava River flowing through the center of the city, river cruises are highly popular in Prague during the entire year, but during advent -the weeks leading up to Christmas- the experience is enhanced by the whimsical Christmas lights and decorations and the overall festive atmosphere.
Options for advent and New Year’s Eve cruises are plenty, with durations normally ranging from 45 minutes to 1 or even 2 hours.
Prices also range greatly since you’ll find cruise options that include a delicious hot meal, as well as a variety of different boats to choose from, however, tickets normally start at 14€ for adults and 8€ for children and go up accordingly.
6. Discover Prague’s history through its museums
Sure, museums are not on everyones’ top things to do while on holiday, but with Prague’s rich history, as well as the great variety of unique -and quirky- museums, travellers who check out the city’s incredible museum options will not regret doing so and will leave with a better understanding of the Czech’s Republic artistic, historical and political heritage. Check out some of our top recommendations below:
The National Museum of Prague
Probably Prague’s most famous museum. Discover the country’s rich history by visiting the several buildings at Wenceslas Square.
Open Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. Tickets start at CZK 200.00 (around 7,91€) with free entrance for children 6 years old and under.
Address: Václavské nám. 68
An important museum that chronicles the experience of victims and survivors of the Holocaust.
Open during the winter every day except Saturdays and during Jewish holidays from 9:00h to 16:30h. Tickets start at CZK 350 (around 13,84€) with reduced fees for students and free admission for children up to 6 years old.
Address: U Staré školy 141/1
Open since 2005, the Kafka Museum is a fascinating space that will immerse you into the author’s life and work. It offers a rich literary and biographical experience complete with first edition books as well as original letters and drawings from one of the most important figures in modern literature.
The Kafka Museum opens every day from 10:00h to 18:00h. Standard tickets have a cost of CZK 240 (around 9,49€) with reduced prices for students, seniors and people with disabilities. Children 6 years or younger have free admission.
Address: Cihelná 635/2b
If you enjoy quirky museums, you’ll want to visit the Museum of Torture and Torture Instruments. Explore some of the most macabre torture devices ever used. This museum is highly popular among tourists so
Open Monday through Friday from 11:00h to 18:00h and from 10:00h to 20:00h during the weekends.
Regular tickets have a cost of CZK 160 (around 6,33€). Reduced tickets are available for * children under 15, students under 26, seniors 65+.
Address: Celetná 558/12, 110 00 Staré Město
7. See Mikulas on St. Nicholas Day in Old Town Square
Every December 5th you can witness Mikulas along with an angel and a devil roam the streets greeting children in awe. But it’s not just greetings children will receive, as according to the tradition well-behaved children will get candy while those who have been naughty receive lumps of coal, or even worse, will be taken in the devil’s sack! Visit Old Town Square on December 5th to fully embrace this Czech tradition.
8. Walk through Prague’s streets
As you can see, there are special things to discover in almost every corner of Prague. As with all great cities, an incredible way to explore the city is by foot!
How cold is Prague in December? It does get very cold in Prague with an average temperature of 0ºC but as soon as you start walking through the streets you’ll warm up and be able to comfortably enjoy the city.
For more information about the weather in Prague and what to expect during each season visit Weather in Prague: What’s The Best Time to Visit the Czech Capital.
Top Things to do in Prague→ Here we’ve listed some of the most emblematic sights in Prague. Just make sure you wear comfortable shoes and bundle up to stay warm.
There you have it, our list of the top 8 things to do in Prague in December. Have fun exploring one of the most beautiful cities in the world during one of the most special times of the year!