Prague is seen as one of Europe’s most charming and colorful cities due to its medieval architecture, cobbled lanes and magical cathedrals. But don’t be mistaken: you’ll also find trendy coffee shops, modern concept restaurants and brand-new fashion stores at every corner of the street. There’s always something to do in this vibrant city and soon enough it will enchant you with its magic. So, here’s 8+1 reasons why celebrating the holidays in Prague should be at the top of your bucket list.
1. Christmas market heaven
If you absolutely love strolling from one Christmas stall to another with an ice-cream-filled doughnut cone in your hand while enjoying festive Christmas carols, Prague may be your kind of city. Its Christmas markets are among the best in Europe, and serve as a key ingredient to the city’s magic. The main Christmas markets are the ones at the Old Town Square and the Wenceslas Square, both located in Prague’s historical city center. They are open every day, from the first week of December until the first week of January.
2. Basement bars
As you may know, Prague is sat on the corner of the Vltava river. When Prague’s New Town was developed in the 13th century, the people wanted to artificially increase the level of the street to prevent the city from flooding. That’s why the city’s old ground floors have now become basements. Nowadays, a lot of these basements have been transformed into cozy pubs and bars that are definitely worth a visit. So, if you ever get tired of strolling through the city, take a break and chill at one of Prague’s basement bars with a nice Czech beer. Fun fact: the Czech Republic ranks number one in overall per-capita beer consumption.
3. Let it snow
Never had the chance to enjoy a white Christmas? You may get lucky during your visit to Prague. Czech
winters usually last from mid-November through mid-March and it often snows a lot during the season.
Result: you’ll get to see the most wonderful views.
4. Astonishing views
Although Prague has an awful lot of beautiful architecture to offer, there’s no better way to see the city than from up above. Prague is full of mind-blowing views and magical parks. If you like walking, you should explore Letna Park and Vyšehrad. These are two parks overlooking both the river and the city. On the other hand, if you rather take a coffee with your view, go to the Glass Bar at the top floor of the Dancing House or pay a visit to the Žižkov tower that offers you a 360° view. Still got loads of energy? Climb the 200 stairs leading to the Prague Castle.
5. Fireworks all over town
On New Year’s Eve, the entire city gathers to watch the fireworks together. Seeing the city covered in lights and colors is a truly unforgettable experience. So, grab a bottle of liquor, look for a nice spot by the Vlatva river and get ready to enjoy the spectacle.
6. Christmas shopping madness
Addicted to shopping? I’ve got some good news for you (and bad news for your wallet): a lot of the main
metro stops in Prague are located in giant shopping malls that are open from 9 AM until 9 PM. The city’s
main streets are also covered in nice stores varying from H&M and Zara to Calvin Klein and Nike. If you
want to make a day out of it, go crazy at Palladium.
7. Loads of comfort food
Prague is definitely the place to be if you’re a food lover: the city’s full of restaurants. The restaurants are extremely cheap: you can have a decent meal for less than 6 euro. Next to the traditional Czech cuisine that is known for its schnitzels and goulash, you’ll also find a handful of modern European restaurants with a variety of dishes. My personal favorite is Lavande restaurant. It brings you a modern version of gastronomy and is located by the marvelous Vlatva river. More into the traditional Czech experience? Book a table at Odpočívadlo. It’s a cozy basement restaurant and wine bar that serves old school Czech dishes.
8. NYE parties everywhere
Besides the overwhelming fireworks all over the town, there are loads of places where you can party your heart out on New Year’s Eve. You will be surprised by the number of hidden cocktail bars, basement clubs and alternative parties. One of the most surprising clubs is Chapeau Rouge: it looks like an old-fashioned pub, but nothing could be further from the truth! As the night moves on, they will allow you to go downstairs to the two clubs below ground level where you can enjoy good music, a psychedelic feel and a lively atmosphere.
9. Recovering from the holidays in an oasis of calm
Finally had enough of partying, eating and shopping? Take a relaxing day for yourself at the Corinthia Wellness in Vyšehrad. This is an indoor day spa located at the top floor of the Corinthia Hotel. It will only cost you around 22 euros for an entire day and you’ll have access to their pool, sauna and Hamman. Or you can simply grab a sunbed and marvel at the spectacular view that the top floor has to offer.