Summer is the best time to travel to Prague. But what to do if free time appeared at another time? For example, in December? Go to Prague, or not?
December is a good time to travel in Europe. Prague is very beautifully decorated for Christmas. In addition, a package tour to Prague before the New Year holidays can be bought at a fairly reasonable price (if you're lucky).
Believe it or not, not all Russians are rich (and have their own oil derrick or gas pipe). Most Russians live quite poorly and do not have the opportunity to travel. We also have to save in order to be able to travel.
How to save on travel? For Russians, it is very often to buy a package tour. A package tour is often cheaper than a flight and a hotel separately. We bought a two-person package tour to Prague for one week for about 450 euros. The cost of the tour included: flight for two people St. Petersburg - Prague - St. Petersburg, transfer, hotel accommodation (bed and breakfast). You can travel to Prague on your own. Independent travel has its advantages. Flight St. Petersburg - Prague lasts about 2 hours.
Is it worth it to travel to Prague in December? Keep in mind: Christmas is a very important holiday for residents of many European countries. For example, in Prague, many enterprises finish their work at midday on December 24th. Located in the tourist center cafes, restaurants and shops return to serving tourists already on December 25th. But many enterprises remain closed on December 25 and 26.
In the photo: the Old Town Hall in Prague.
Pardubice Airport (Letiště Pardubice, code: PED) is located about 120 kilometers from the center of Prague. This is a military airport that has received international passenger flights since 1995. Many charter flights from Russia arrive at this airport. The new airport terminal was opened in 2017 and is named after Jan Kashpar.
The flight from Moscow and St. Petersburg to Prague lasts a little over two hours. The road from the airport to the hotel took a little less than two hours.
To get from Pardubice airport to Prague you need (for independent travelers): walk to the bus stop (about 800 meters from the terminal), get to Pardubice train station (many flights, for example buses 8.88, 23), get to Prague by train .
You can also order a taxi.
A&O Prague Metro Strizkov Hotel is one of the inexpensive places to stay for tourists in Prague. In fact, this is both a hotel and a hostel. There are both double hotel rooms and dormitories for 4-6 people. The rooms are quite spacious and clean. On different sites, the hotel has a category of two or three stars. You can get to the city center from the A&O Prague Metro Strizkov Рщеуд in less than half an hour by metro (red line).
- The distance to the Střížkov metro station is 650 meters.
- The distance to the nearest supermarket (Kaufland) is 800 meters.
- The distance to the OC Letňany shopping center is 3 kilometers. (Bus number 201.)
- The distance to the city center is 8 kilometers.
If you want to choose the best hotel in the city center, we recommend (for example) Grand Hotel Bohemia or Four Seasons Hotel Prague. These hotels have very good customer reviews. (See also here.)
Public transport works quite well, but it is quite expensive. (Expensive for tourists, local residents have the opportunity to buy long-term tickets at a better price.) Tickets for the metro (bus, tram) can be bought at stations, in some hotels and in other places. You will find more information here.
What to do in Prague in December? Walking in the streets. See the monuments of architecture. The city is decorated with festive illuminations for Christmas. Christmas markets are held in many places of the city.
Christmas lights and crowds of tourists create a festive mood. Where do these crowds of people go, who have come to Prague from different countries? This is not so important. You need to join this crowd and enjoy a walk through the beautiful, old city.
There are many museums in the center of Prague. How to find them? You will be prompted by advertising, which is a lot on the streets. Also ask at the tourist information offices (see the information here).
Guided tours are a great opportunity to get a lot of useful information and have a good time. Free tours are in Prague for those who are forced to save.
Most tourists buy guided tours during a trip to Prague. You can also visit nearby cities such as Vienna, Munich, Dresden, Karlovy Vary. Free guided tours in English are also held in Prague (you must register in advance).
For example, the prices of some excursions offered by our tour operator in December 2018 (in Russian): to Dresden - 35 euros, to Vienna - 55 euros, to Kutna Hora and Czech Sternberg - 35 euros, to Regensburg - 60 euros.
Prices for guided tours and offers can be found here.
On the photo: The Church of St. Lyudmila (Kostel svaté Ludmily). The temple is located on Peace Square (Náměstí Míru), the nearest metro station: Náměstí Míru. The temple is open only during church service (16:30 in 2018).
On the topic: how much does it cost to eat in Prague. Prices for the famous, Prague Trdelnik from 60 CZK (in the city center). Prices in pubs and restaurants are not cheap (for low-income tourists). It will seem to someone - it is cheap, but to someone - it is very expensive, depending on the level of income. For example, the prices at McDonalds: coffee - 29 CZK, chickenburger - 29 CZK. (For comparison: a chickenburger in Russia is about 0.6 euros, at Pulkovo airport it is 0.9 euros. Food prices in large supermarkets are favorable.) 2018.
On the video: Prague Old Town Square panorama for Christmas.
Guided tour to Vienna
Vienna is quite far from Prague. Traveling by bus lasts approximately 4 h. But our tour was not at all tedious, and this is the merit of our guide, Irina. All the way to the capital of Austria, we were told about the Czech Republic, about the history of the Czech Republic and Austria. (On the way back they watched a movie on a historical theme.)
Sunny weather pleased us in Vienna. (The bright sun rarely pleases us in my home town at this time of year.) The tour lasted about 1.5 hours, then three hours of free time. Vienna, at least the central part of the city, is a very beautiful city. You can confidently recommend to visit the city at least once.
In the photo: Vienna Town Hall at Christmas.
You will find more information about guided tours in Prague here.
Trip to Dresden from Prague
The trip between Prague and Dresden by bus takes less than two hours. Our bus tour included a tour of the historic center of Dresden and free time (about 3 hours).
Dresden did not make such a vivid impression as Vienna. Christmas sales have already begun during our trip to Dresden. Therefore, a little time spent on shopping.
The Altmarkt-Galerie Dresden Shopping Center is located in the city center, about 300 meters from the art gallery (Old Masters Gallery).
In the photo: one of the buildings of the Old Masters Art Gallery in Dresden.
Is it worth it to fly to Prague in December?
Is this a good idea to visit Prague in December? In our opinion, yes. Decorated with festive lights, streets, Christmas markets and crowds of tourists from different countries create a festive mood. After Christmas, sales also begin.
Two - three days is enough for the first acquaintance with Prague. If you come for a longer time, buy trips from Prague to other cities (Vienna, Munich, Dresden, Karlovy Vary).
What to do in Prague in December? Walk the streets of the Old Town. Walk along the Charles Bridge to the opposite bank of the Vltava River, climb the hill and walk to Prague Castle. Pay attention to the architecture and monuments. Be sure take a on one or more guided tours.
More information can be found here.
Food. In each city there are expensive and cheaper restaurants and cafes. Everyone can choose according to his wallet and according to his tastes. Food can also be bought in supermarkets.
For comparison, our "McDonald's index".
The cost of a hamburger / cheeseburger: Prague - 29 kroons, Vienna - 1 euro, Dresden - 1 euro.
Coffee: Prague - 29 CZK, Dresden - 1 euro, Vienna - 1.4 euro. (For coffee, you can take portioned cream.)
About the weather
How to choose clothes for a trip to Prague in December? Winter can be pretty cool in Prague. It may fall a little snow, and maybe a little rain. (During our trip, the air temperature was +3C - +8C. A slight semblance of rain was no more than one hour per week.
Therefore, the clothes should be universal, and quite warm.
If you want to wear a fur coat (for women), it will be wise to take along a jacket in case of rain.
It was interesting to visit new cities. (It always happens to me.) The architecture of Prague, Vienna and Dresden is somewhat similar. But these cities are completely different from my home city.
I was interested to see these beautiful cities. But it is not the first time that I am convinced that my city also has very beautiful places. I am sure that you, too, would be very interested in St. Petersburg.
Citizens of many countries need a visa to visit Russia. (Like the Russians for travel to many other countries.) But you can visit St. Petersburg by ferry, and a visa is not needed in this case. Ferries depart for St. Petersburg, for example, from Helsinki and Tallinn. Have a nice trip.