It’s hard to imagine that just thirty years ago, Prague was referred to as a “charming, yet undiscovered” city in Central Europe. Today, it is the sixth most visited city in the region, drawing in more than 4 million visitors each year. With its fascinating history, gorgeous architecture, delicious local food and affordable prices, it ticks off every must-have box for European travelers. So if you are planning to head to this European city but are still undecided about when, here are six reasons why you should visit Prague in spring!
6 reasons to visit Prague in spring!
1. It’s one of the most walkable cities in Europe
Forget about taxis or hiring a car – the size of Czech Republic’s capital city makes it perfect for travelers who prefer to let their feet do the exploring. All of Prague’s major sights are within walking distance, with the oldest areas cornered off into walking zones with limited motor traffic, while there is an abundance of walking tours, ranging from self-guided to organized group tours. Don’t be afraid to throw the map out the window and get lost within the twisting narrow streets. It’s a wonderful way to explore Prague, and your unexpected turns may lead you somewhere unique and memorable.
2. Springtime in Prague is magical
One of the most frequently asked questions by travelers is: “When is the best time to visit Prague”? While the summer months mean beautiful warm weather, it also signals an influx of tourists driving up hotel rates. If you want to save money and still enjoy the excellent weather, spring is an ideal time to visit Prague. The crowd is sparse, hotels in the city center are reasonably priced, tickets to museums and attractions are cheaper and the temperature won’t be turning you into a puddle of water. Plus, you will be just in time to see the city shaking off winter months, flowers coming into bloom and locals taking part in numerous springtime celebrations like Easter and the Prague Spring International Music Festival.
3. Prague is teeming with a rich architectural history
With the city of Prague mostly untouched by WW2, its medieval architecture has remained intact. From its Romanesque buildings dating back to the turn of the first millennium to the soaring towers, spires and buttresses of the Gothic period, Prague is a history buff’s paradise.
Spring is the perfect time to hit the streets of Prague and discover these ancient buildings. Not only will you dodge the crowd, but you won’t have to cut your day short because of the sweltering heat. Spring is also the time when the city hosts Night of Churches. A fantastic evening where over 70 churches from Old Town, New Town and the rest of the central neighborhoods open their doors free of charge. It’s an excellent opportunity to see some of the oldest architectural masterpieces up close and in a magical setting.
4. Visit the famous Prague Castle without the crowds
The Prague Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site dating back to roughly around 880 and is the most significant Czech monument in the Republic. It holds the Guinness world record for the largest coherent castle complex in the world – measuring in at 570 meters in length and 130 meters in width. The castle’s walls hold some of the city’s most visited attractions from old cathedrals, fortifications and lavish gardens among others. One of the most interesting parts of the castle for architecture geeks is the Old Royal Palace. It is most notable for the Vladislav Hall that was designed by Benedikt Ried in the 16th century. The structure is lauded for its soaring ceiling and its blending of Late Gothic elements and the new Renaissance style.
5. Prague’s delicious street pastries
While Prague may be better known for its architecture and beer – it’s quickly becoming a destination for pastry lovers. With all the walking you will be doing, you are going to need a sugar rush to keep up the momentum and Prague delivers in every way. It’s a sweet tooth’s dream come true, with candies, sweets and chocolates on almost every street corner. Try one of the most famous Czech pastries: Trdelnik. This simple but delicious dessert is rolled by hand into a thin snake-like shape before being twisted around a roller and dipped in a mix of sugar, vanilla, nuts and cinnamon. Grab a seat at Krusta, if you want to watch the art of one being made while you wait. If you are in the mood for something a little bit more decadent – the Parizsky Dort or “Parisian cake”, this is for you. It is the king of cakes in Prague, made from a layer of chocolate sponge dough and coated with jam and filled with chocolate whipped cream with the whole cake topped off in a thin chocolate layer. It is the triple chocolate cake of your dreams and definitely not one to miss while visiting Prague in spring.
6. The Czech Beer Festival in Prague
The city of Prague is packed with bars and breweries and is considered one of the best places in Europe to have a drink. You’ve probably already heard all about two of the largest traditional breweries Pilsner Quell and Budweiser. Since the fall of Communist rule in the country, the beer scene has exploded from 40 breweries to nearly 300. With this love affair for beer, spring is the perfect time visit during the annual Czech Beer Festival. It is a gastronomic event that is held for 17 days every year in May and features a selection of 150 beers from the Czech Republic and a few foreign brews from the United States or the United Kingdom. The festival has been ranked amongst one of the 40 global events to visit by the Financial Times and seats up to 10, 000 people with bartenders dressed in traditional Czech costumes. So, if you love a great craft brew and want to get a taste of Czech culture, head to Prague in spring and drink to your heart’s content!
With such convincing reasons, it’s little wonder why Prague is recognized as one of the most enchanting cities in Europe. But with that recognition comes crowds! Visit Prague in spring and discover its architecture, food, beer and culture – minus the swarm of people.
Lauren Melnick, co-founder of Wanderlust Movement, is an experienced travel writer and a globetrotting storyteller for young South Africans who seek to travel for less. If you liked this article, show us some love by rating us with a “5 star”!