Things to see and do during the Czech winter

Many would say that Prague and the Czech Republic is at its best in the spring, when the flowers burst into life, birds sing enthusiastically and the parks and countryside look resplendent in bloom.

However, the winter season also has its own unique attractions. Not only do the many days of cold crispness and pure blue skies seem to add to the Czech Republic's charm, but there's also a heck of lot to see and do in winter!

Check out our top 5 tips of things to do during a Czech winter.

Skiing.

If you are in Prague on a Thursday or Friday over winter, you’ll undoubtedly see hoards of locals packing their cars with skiing equipment, ready to head off to the mountains for a weekend of fun. Although many Czechs travel to the Austrian Alps for their winter kicks, there are some fabulous resorts closer to home. Great skiing is to be had across the northern Krkonose and Jizera mountain ranges, with resorts such as Spidleruv Mlyn and Rokytnice being especially popular. Skiing is surely one of the most popular winter activities for UNYP students over the winter season.

Hiking in the Mountains.

As long as you are careful, the Czech hills and mountains not simply for skiing. Many resorts also hire out hiking equipment and even snow shoes! A weekend spent traversing the show and enjoying the stunning scenery is a weekend well spent.

 

Christmas Markets in Český Krumlov.

If there is a town in the country that gives the beauty of Prague a real run for its money, then it would have to be Český Krumlov. Only a few hours south by train, Krumlov is an exemplar of baroque and gothic architectural delights and has been listed as a UNESCO heritage town since the early nineties. In recent years, the town has been putting on some spectacular Christmas markets. So if you’d like a fairy tale setting in which to sample muld wine and buy traditional Christmas biscuits, why not kill two birds with one stone and get on the train to Český Krumlov!

Open air skating

When it comes to open air skating, you won’t even have to leave the city. For several years now, Prague has hosted several temporary open-air ice rinks, a number of which are in the city center. There is a wonderful rink on Ovocný trh (Fruit Market), directly behind the Estates Theatre – and don’t worry if you don’t have the skates as almost all rinks have a hire facility.

New Year in Prague

Although the exuberance and excess of New Year – or Sylvestr – are not for everyone, it can’t be denied that the Czech capital is able to offer party revelers a great time. Many pubs, restaurants and music venues hold special “all-inclusive” promotions featuring beer, champagne, 3-course meals and live music. A very popular New Year celebration is held every year in Lucerna Palace – but be sure to book your ticket early if dancing to live music until the early hours is your thing.

One great advantage that our students have at New Year is getting two chances to see the Prague fireworks display! Should you miss the traditional midnight rockets along the Vltava, then be sure to be around Smetana Embankment at 6 pm on New Year’s Day, when the display is even more spectacular! Presumably, this repeat performance is for the capital’s little children – but it is still a great way to welcome in the New Year.

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