Visit This Popular Tourist Destination For A Picture-Perfect Winter Holiday Vacation

There's something magical about chilly winter holiday destinations. Bundled in heavy coats and decorated with scarves and warm hats, people wander cobblestoned streets admiring festive lights and sipping mulled wine. If this sounds like the ideal way to celebrate the holidays, Europe might just be the place for you. There are plenty of European destinations worth visiting in December, but one beautiful city in Czechia, perhaps more commonly known as the Czech Republic, is particularly charming in the winter.

Prague, Czechia is known for its history, traditional cafes, draught beers, and landmarks, including Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge. The city has earned its nickname as the "city of a hundred spires" for its beautiful and numerous architectural peaks. While it's a wonderful time to visit any month of the year, the winter season is really something special. The average temperature in December is 32.3 degrees Fahrenheit, and it might snow which just contributes to the festive ambiance. With plenty of Christmas markets, open-air musical performances, lights, decorations, and ice skating, Prague has plenty to see and do in wintertime. However, Prague is a very popular winter destination, so make sure to plan ahead. Book flights and hotels well in advance to ensure a picture-perfect winter holiday vacation.

Things to do in Prague in winter

Christmas markets are the main winter attractions in Czechia's capital city and they're some of the best Christmas markets in Europe. They run from early December to early January in many popular spots, the largest of which is the staroměstské náměstí, or Old Town Square. Here, a Christmas tree shines daily, there are live music performances, nativity scenes, local food, like gingerbread and trdelník, and stalls full of unique and handmade gifts. Prague's second-largest Christmas market, Wenceslas Square, is a must-visit for foodies, and only a 10-minute walk (five-minute taxi) away. Plus, families with little ones will find a petting zoo near the square's Christmas tree.

To see Prague illuminated at night, one excellent option is a river cruise. Prague Boats operates eco-friendly tours on fully electric boats so you can see the city from a unique perspective in a sustainable way. Some cruises include dinner, a welcome drink, live music, and they always offer stunning views of the city's landmarks and festive atmosphere.

Ice skating is another fun winter activity in Prague. To skate in the city's center, try the rink at the Fruit Market in Prague Old Town. It has a fairytale setting. There's also a rink on Galerie Harfa shopping center's roof, providing a unique alternative. Skating in both of these locations is free, and skates are available to rent.

Where to stay in Prague in winter

This winter, stay in one of the most magical Christmas destinations in the world. There are plenty of accommodation options to choose from to suit any type of traveler. For a luxury 5-star hotel in the center of town, try Augustine, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Prague, where room rates start at approximately $600 per night. The historic building is ideally situated below Prague Castle and a few steps from the Charles Bridge. Both are stunning sights in winter, especially when it snows. Inspired by the 13th-century Augustine monastery (which is interconnected with the hotel and is still home to four monks), the hotel has multiple dining options, seasonal cocktails, a spa, and a fitness room.

Alternatively, the Mosaic House Design Hotel offers more affordable rooms for around $120 per night and prides itself on being sustainable and eco-friendly. With a chic interior and amenities like a spa, fitness center, and stylish indoor café, the hotel has several types of rooms to suit a variety of travelers any time of year. Hostels are also an affordable accommodation option in Prague, and one of the most popular is the Charles Bridge Hostel & Apartments. Located in the heart of the city at the Charles Bridge, this prime location combined with its winter prices — as low as $16 per night – is hard to beat.