Prague is dark. And gloomy. And sinister. Not always. Only when it wants to be. It’s a city with personality – one that changes with every season (and mind you, Czech seasons are rather exquisitely defined compared to the ones in the UK), with the weather, with the mood you are in. As the infamous literary quote goes;
‘Prague never lets you go. This dear little mother has sharp claws,’Franz Kafka
Despite the lack of snow I experienced when I went there for a weekend at the beginning of December (it was minus 6 degrees though so that almost counts, doesn’t it?), I enjoyed seeing this gloomy December Prague so much that I feel like luring you in for at least a short visit is more than in order.
9 reasons to visit Prague in December
❄️ The atmospheric city
Prague is a city that breathes atmosphere – the frosty roofs, the smoking chimneys, the birds flying above the river. And you can always smell a pie being baked and hear a song being sung. FACT. They call it the fairy tale city for a reason!
❄️ So many Christmas markets!
If you haven’t seen my post about the markets then head over here. They are epic. And they are everywhere – absolutely bloody everywhere! And you can stuff your belly with loads of smoked sausages and wash it down with goblets of mulled wine at literally any of them.
❄️ Watching the first snowflakes
Watching the first snow flake flutter down on the red roofs is pure magic. No wonder so many famous artists have dedicated their lives to painting crooked alleyways flooded with the yellow light of street lamps topped with tiny white specks dotted all over the canvas.
❄️ The utter emptiness
If you wake up early enough Prague will be completely empty. So empty it will scare you a little. Walking down the cobbled streets under the veil of morning darkness is dead strange but it’s so worth it just for that empty awe you’ll feel.
❄️ Cozying up in a cafe with a mug of steaming tea
There’s so many adorable cafes scattered around Prague – and not just in the city centre. In fact the ones slightly out of the busiest streets are usually the most charming ones. Try this one next time you’re in Prague.
❄️ The fashionable Bohemians
Czech people are rather fashionable creatures (if I say so). And I ain’t being sarcastic when I say that not many nations can style a Micheline puffer coat as well as Czechs do – they can honestly make it work! And they dress for the weather (you kinda have to when -20 is looming upon you behind the door) which is a skill I lack completely.
❄️ Evenings spent in tea rooms
Czech tea rooms are not what you’d expect them to be if all you know is an English tea room. They are more like shisha lounges where people go to drink leaf tea. Tea rooms are incredibly cosy and you can sit on big Moroccan poufs on the floor and sip the Golden Dragon or Puehr or any of the 32894 different kinds of leaf tea they have on the menu.
❄️ Snow. A lot, a lot of snow.
Snow is not something I can guarantee you’ll see when you come to Prague in December (there’s none at the moment). What I can guarantee is shovelfuls of snow only an hour drive – Prague is not that far from some beautiful mountain ranges completely covered in snow. Especially if you’ve never seen metres upon metres of snow and branches of trees swaying under the weight of the white dust you’ll absolutely love it. Take a trip to the Jizerske Mountains and stay at these apartments (not just saying it because they’re run by my sister & her family, they are absolutely incredible & so affordable – about £35 a night for 2!).
❄️ When Christmas shopping is fun!
There’s a ton of amazing shopping centres in Prague. Think Westfield but a touch smaller, cosier, and waaaay less people. If you pick the right time of the day chances are it’ll be empty. And pretty much all of them are conveniently located on the underground lines – try Chodov or Zlicin, they’re my favourites!
Have you been to Prague in December? Are you going? Read more about Prague in this section.