The Best Time to Visit Prague – Spring
Everybody will have a “Best Time to Visit Prague” whether it’s for the weather, open-air concerts, Opera season, Christmas or New Year. It comes down to a simple choice i.e. September/October or April/May but for me it has to be Spring. Spring is usually compressed into March and April although early May is also considered Spring but, without doubt it’s the best time to visit Prague. Clear skies, warm sun, fresh air and the light at this time of the year is very pleasant. Access restrictions are still in place and the chance of snow on the ground will mean that you could be forgiven for thinking it’s still winter. On this page I’ll attempt to point out what to expect, how to dress, what to eat and how to make the most of a trip to Prague in Spring.
What to Wear?
Yes, the packing question. Even though I’m recommending it as the best time to visit Prague, as with dressing for winter you are still going to be “layering up”. Traditionally you lose the windchill after the end of February but high-pressure warm sunny days will give way to cold evenings and nights. In past years early April has either seen me in shorts or or still with a winter jacket. You just never know what to expect. For footwear then be aware that you won’t have much in the way of ice but the danger can be grit left over from the winter so my general advice about wearing “walking shoes” i.e. not flat soles, is still valid for visiting Prague in Spring. Hat, gloves and a scarf are generally not needed during the day but you might appreciate them in the evening. Sunglasses may be needed if it’s going to be fine and clear. Sun cream? yes, unbelievable though it sounds, you can get burned here in the spring as we are one of the highest capitals in Europe.
What to Do?
April/May is one of my favourite times of the year hence why I say it’s the best time to visit Prague. The winter wind is gone, days can start chilly but warm up fast and the Parks and Gardens will be reopening to the public. Spring flowers will be breaking out all over the place so people who want to keep “fresh” will find no restrictions on outside attractions from the first week of April. Definitely take a trip up the Ujezd Funicular and explore the area of Petrin Park behind the Little Eiffel Tower. During the day, the street bands will start to appear again i.e. Dixie Jazz, Peruvian pipes, Digeridoos and pop-up classical performances. Prague in Spring in the evening it’s pretty much the same as in winter i.e. you’ll be looking at my nightlife, culture or entertainment pages for places to go. It’s not usually the time for external activities after dusk. River facilities will generally still be on winter schedules until April. After a long break the River Cruises start up again.
Easter will fall in March/April but in the tourist areas of Central Prague you won’t notice it too much. Churches will open for special services and there’s usually an early morning procession down from St Vitus Cathedral on the Easter Monday. It’s only if you go outside of Prague on the Monday morning that you’ll find the age-old tradition of “whipping” girls to give them Spring energy.
April Fools day is not exactly celebrated but on the morning of April 1st watch out for potatoes.
Burning the Witch takes place on April 30th and in this case the Witch is Winter so we celebrate the end of that season by throwing her on the fire, drinking beer and eating BBQ food. Expect a procession from Mala Strana and a bonfire in Kampa Park and the option to buy food and drink.
The Prague Spring International Music Festival begins in early May and runs for about a month so technically it starts in Spring and ends in Summer.
What to Eat and Drink?
I’ve always recommended a few scenic places to go to but from April their gardens will reopen and they are ideal spots for lunch on a sunny day. If it is on the cool side then you’ll have many places selling hot drinks both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. If you are going to try “Trdlo” (the cylindrical pastry) then my advice is to buy a hot chocolate to go with it. And of course check my Top Czech Food Picks. So really it could be said that this is the best time to visit Prague and enjoy outdoor eating.