Prague In Autumn – A Wonderful Time to Visit

Image of a lake in Stromovka Park in Prague in autumn season
One of Stromovka’s lakes in autumn

Prague in Autumn

Prague in autumn is magnificent. 

It starts with the long, slow, but discernible end of summer in September to the short, sharp cold days of late November, it’s one of the best times to visit Prague.

Many of the things to do in Prague are similar to the rest of the year, but it’s probably the best time to take a walk and explore some Prague parks.

The Prague autumn colours are gorgeous, and are in their prime between mid-October and late November, with some autumn Prague colour hanging in there until the beginning of December.

Autumn in Prague is also a time when you’ll probably head indoors more than you would in summer.

We’ll point you in the direction of where to find Prague in fall colors, and suggest places to warm up away from the chilly weather you get in November in Prague.  

So pour yourself a cup of cocoa – or a glass of svařák, or mulled wine – and enjoy.

What Is Open Or Closed In Prague In Autumn?

Image of Prague in autumn from Vysehrad Castle
The River Vltava from Vysehrad Castle

Most Prague attractions remain open throughout the year, though some Prague gardens – designed to be seen in spring and summer – close after the end of September or October. 

Some of the cafes in the parks around Prague also tend to close by the end of October, as do the famed Prague beer gardens.

Prague In Autumn – Which Month?

Image of Shooters Island, Vltava River and Prague Castle in autumn
Enjoy great views of Prague Castle in autumn from along the river Vltava
Image of autumn colours on Petrin Hill Prague
Autumn colours on Petrin hill

Prague autumn weather differs markedly from month to month, as do the autumn colours you’re likely to see.

Prague weather in September can be beautiful. The temperature drops noticeably from August, with some cold, occasionally misty mornings, particularly where we live, on the Vltava river in Prague.

You still get days in the mid 20s Centigrade (around 70-75 °F), but you tend to get more days around 15°C.

The first of the autumn colour appears on the trees towards the end of September, and the red berries are out around this time as well.

Image of Prague Castle and Mala Strana in. autumn
Mala Strana and Prague Castle in autumn

Prague weather in October is a little cooler, as it progresses inexorably towards winter. You get more days around the 10-15°C mark. October weather in Prague is often cloudy, with plenty of dry grey days.

Autumn in Central Europe is also very dry compared with the UK, especially autumn in Wales, where rain is never far away.

You’ll usually find the pop-up cafes around the parks in Prague staying open until the middle of the month, sometimes a little later, depending on the temperature.

You’ll have noticed the pattern emerging by now – Prague in November weather is cooler still, with night-time temperatures sometimes dropping below freezing and plenty of cloudy days.

November is the best time to see fall colors in Prague – and if you happen to be there on a sunny day, the city and its parks look magical.  

Best Things to do in Prague in Autumn

Visit Charles Bridge At Sunrise

Image of the Charles Bridge and Old Town in silhouette at dawn in Prague
Sunrise on the stunning Charles Bridge

If you’re keen on photographing Prague, you will no doubt have seen images of sunrise on the Charles Bridge and thought, ”I want one of those.” Well, autumn is one of the best times to get it.

If you stand roughly halfway across the Bridge, the sun rises right behind the Prague Old Town skyline and the churches of St Francis of Assisi and St Salvator.

The buildings and statues on the Bridge are in silhouette at this time of day, and look incredible.

But give it the full treatment and get there over an hour before sunrise and watch the sky (hopefully) work its magic.

Explore Letna Park

Image of Prague in autumn from Letna Park
The view from Letna Park in autumn
Image of the beer garden in Letna Park in Prague in autun
Letna beer garden in autumn

Letna Park Prague sits atop the ridge across the river from the Old Town, bordering the suburb of Holešovice on its other side. Most points of interest lie along the ridge overlooking the city, including the brilliant Letna Park beer garden.

This is open during the warmer months, reliably until the end of September, but if the weather in Prague in October is good it can stay open later – we were pleasantly surprised to find them open around October 20th this year.

Further along the ridge, the Prague Metronome sits on the site of the detested statue of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, which was blown up in 1962 – this is now a popular area for skaters, scooters, skateboarders and more.

Continue around 300 metres further to the Baroque-Art Nouveau Hanavsky Pavilion, where you can also enjoy a beer outside.

This is a better viewpoint than the Letna Beer Garden, looking back up the river with several Prague bridges – including the unmissable Charles Bridge –  and the Old Town and Mala Strana, a real must see in Prague.

Hang out in Stromovka Park

Image of Stromovka Park in Prague in the autumn
Stunning Stromovka in autumn
Image of a lake in Stromovka Park in Prague in autumn season
One of Stromovka’s lakes in autumn

Stromovka Park Prague is the opposite end of Holesovice from Letna, roughly 1 km away. It’s one of the best places in Prague to admire the autumn colours. 

It’s a former royal hunting ground, landscaped in the style of an English country park in the 19th century around a series of small lakes, and overlooked by the partly late-medieval Governor’s Summer House.

Image of a bird feeder at Stromovka Park Prague
A bird feeder at Stromovka

The autumn colours in Stromovka are extraordinary, especially in the area between the lakes and the showgrounds at Vystavište Holešovice. There are also some restaurants and cafes around the Park, and several good playgrounds – an ideal place to go if you’re visiting Prague with kids.

Go fungi Foraging in Prague

Image of toadstool in a Prague park in autumn
There’s autumn fungi galore around the parks and forests around Prague
Image of the Chuchelsky haj forest near Prague
You’ll also find plenty of fungi in the Chuchelsky haj

We’ve just started taking an interest in finding fungi for the first time, as our son has just spent the first autumn that he’ll remember in Europe. He has found them fascinating, and so have we.

We’ve found them popping up everywhere, from grass verges in the suburb where we live to most parks in Prague.

We came across a profusion of them on Petrin Hill, and Stromovka also proved a fruitful hunting ground.

The Chuchelsky haj forest to the south of Prague also has plenty to of fungi to discover. Next time we’ll dust off the wicker basket and go foraging for real.   

Visit Old Town Square

Image of Prague Old Town Hall at night
Prague Old Town Hall Tower overlooks Old Town Square

There are several reasons to head for Old Town Square Prague in autumn.  The crowds of summer aren’t as overpowering, and around early October the weather is at its most pleasant, the daytime Prague temperature hovering around d the 20°C mark.

The restaurants and stalls are all overpriced, geared to making a quick koruna off tourists. But this is one time I’d be willing to pay over the odds for a drink, with the sun on the Square.

There’s no better backdrop than the spires of the superb Tyn Church and the mansions around the Square.

There is also a dash of autumn colour, with trees between the Old Town Hall and St Nicholas Church, and up graceful Pařížská street towards Josefov, the old Prague Jewish Quarter.

Explore Hradčany – the Prague Castle District

Image of the Hradcany district of Prague in autumn
Hradčany in autumn

The Castle is one of the top three attractions in Prague and a perennial draw for visitors, no matter what the time of year. We’ve always enjoyed exploring the area because we’ve found some of the best hidden places in Prague.

One of these is around the narrow Novy Svet (meaning New World), one of the most picturesque of Prague streets.

This quiet corner of the city is tucked into imposing brick ramparts, with plenty of trees close by going golden from late October onwards.

Warm up with a coffee or hot chocolate at Kavarna Novy Svet or Romanticky Hotel U Raka, a few doors down on Černinska – we did at both!

Chotkovy Sady

Image of Queen Anne's Summer Palace in Chotkovy Sady Prague
Queen Anne’s Summer Palace in Chotkovy Sady

Chotkovy Sady are one of the less-known gardens in Prague, a small park just below the Prague Royal Garden. They share a common feature, with the Renaissance Queen Anne’s Summer Palace, one of the most beautiful buildings in Prague, presiding over the bottom end of the Royal Garden and top of Chotkovy Sady.

It’s a wonderful place to experience autumn in Prague, with the trees full of colourful foliage into late November, with rarely seen views of Prague Castle from one side. Take tram 22 to Kralovsky letohradek, cross the street, the entrance is just down the hill on the left.

Břevnov Monastery

Image of Brevnov Monastery in Prague in the autumn
The lovely Baroque Brevnov Monastery

Břevnov Monastery (Břevnovsky kláster) is a stunning Baroque monastery complex in the western suburbs of Prague, a few tram stops beyond Hradčany. It makes a wonderful half-day trip from Prague city centre, and in autumn looks magnificent from across the pond outside the complex, with the rich autumn colours.

The beautiful Baroque church is dedicated to St Margaret (Sv Marketa) and it’s known to locals as ‘Marketa’. You can tour the church – designed by Prague’s Baroque master Kilian Ignaz Dietzenhofer – on weekend days, and explore the grounds and Garden for free.

There’s also an on-site brewery, believed to be the oldest in the Czech Republic. I can tell you unequivocally that they produce some of the very best beer in Prague, and indeed the country. You can enjoy a beer in the garden or in Klašterní Senk, the excellent Monastery Tavern across the courtyard.

Vrtba Garden

Image of the Vrtba Garden Prague
The gorgeous Vrtba Garden – you’ll have to make do with a springtime shot of this one!

The Vrtba Garden (Vrtbovska zahrada) is a glorious terraced Baroque garden in Mala Strana Prague, at the foot of Petřin Hill. It’s open until the end of October, and as its grand finale for the year, it’s lit up on Hallowe’en.

We were all set to go this year when pandemic restrictions forced its cancellation, so here it is on a gorgeous summer day.

Prague Museums and Galleries

Image of gravestones in the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague
The Old Jewish Cemetery is part of the Jewish Museum in Prague

There are a host of great museums in Prague, covering everything from chocolate to Communism and kinky to Kafka. If you have time, try to visit all the sites in the Jewish Museum in Prague, several of which are synagogues in the Josefov district next to the Old Town.  

There are also many art galleries in Prague, with the National Gallery Prague the largest presence, occupying several sites around the city.

These vary from the late Baroque Kinsky Palace on Old Town Square to the functionalist Trade Fair Palace (Veletrzni Palac) in Holešovice to the medieval Convent of St Agnes, back across the river in a quiet corner of the Old Town.

Petrin Hill and Park

Image of St Vitus Cathedral from Petrin Park in autumn
St Vitus Cathedral from Petrin Park
Image of the Seminary Gardens on Petrin Hill Prague in autumn
The Seminary Gardens look out onto two of the finest Baroque churches in Prague

There’s so much to see on Petřin Hill Prague. The hill above Mala Strana district looks over Prague Castle and the surrounding Hradčany area, and is one of the first places to head if you’re spending a weekend in Prague in autumn.

The lower slopes – comprising the Seminary Garden – are delightful in October, the many trees turning golden. Also head there if you’re visiting Prague in springtime, when they are all covered in gorgeous white blossom.

Image of the Hunger Wall on Petrin Hill in Prague in autumn
The Hunger Wall is a prominent Prague landmark on Petrin Hill
Image of Petrin Tower Prague in autumn
Petrin Tower in autumn

You can either take one of the many paths up the steep hill,or catch the Petrin funicular from Ujezd to the top. If you hold a day ticket or longer Prague travel pass, the trip is included within this.

At the top, there are more gardens, the Old Catholic Cathedral of St Lawrence, a mirror maze and the famous Petrin lookout tower. The Petrin Tower is often referred to as the Prague Eiffel Tower,  but it’s very much a miniature version, built two years after the original.

It’s one of the highest towers in Prague, giving extraordinary views, the best of which is over St Vitus Cathedral and Prague Castle.

Kampa Island

Image of a mill on the canal at Kampa Island in Prague
One of the old mills on Kampa Island
Image of Charles Bridge Prague looking towards the Old Town
Charles Bridge and the Old Town from Kampa Island

Kampa Island Prague is a wonderful part of Prague to explore, with some of its prettiest streets, a picturesque canal, some of the best views in Prague from the riverfront and Kampa Park, with its cool collection of statues and sculptures.

The autumn colours on Kampa tend to be gone by early November, but the Park is a joy to visit at any time, with its David Cerny Babies sculptures, and the Yellowe Penguins are always popular with kids.

Also check out the hobgoblin guarding the Čertovka Canal (also known as the Devil’s Stream). The canal is a great place to stop by for a while, with a couple of the old water mills now turned into cafes. While you’re there, check out the brilliant view of the Charles Bridge.

Shooters Island – Střelecky Ostrov

Image of Shooters Island and Charles Bridge Prague
Warm autumn colours on Shooters Island in late light with Charles Bridge behind
Image of woman relaxing by the river in prague during the autumn
Relaxing by the river in autumn

Shooters Island is just across the river from Kampa Island, and in recent months has become one of our favourite places to go in Prague. It’s a park below Legion Bridge (Legii Most), one of the prettiest bridges in Prague, with stairs and a lift down to river level from the bridge.

We love it for the intense autumn colours and the Cocovan coffee caravan which is there until mid-October, not to mention the views it affords of landmarks of Prague including Charles Bridge and the National Theatre (Narodni divadlo).

Our Little Man loves it for the rope bridges and obstacle course and the chance to come face to face with the local coypus (also known as nutria) who come here to be fed by the locals.

Traditional Czech Food

Image of Moravian sparrow dish at restaurant near Hvezda Prague
‘Moravian sparrow’ from U Holecku restaurant near Hvezda

Typical Czech cuisine revolves around meat, potatoes and dumplings, and autumn is the ideal time to warm up on this hearty fare. Try svičkova, beef sirloin with dumplings, a creamy sauce and cranberries.

Or head to Pivince Štupartská on one of the side streets in Prague Old Town for their superb pork knuckle (vepřove koleno), tender pork which just melts off the knee joint. The Czech variant of gulaš is also one for the colder weather.

Vyšehrad

Image of Vysehrad cstle and basilica in autumn in Prague
Vysehrad in autumn from the river
Image of Prague Castle and Vltava River from Vysehrad in autumn
The view from Vysehrad towards Prague Castle in autumn

Vyšehrad is one of the best places to visit in Prague. It’s not as well-known as Prague Castle, but is of similar significance to Czechs as it’s the legendary home of the Přemyslid dynasty which ruled the surrounding region of Bohemia in the early Middle Ages.

The ancient fortress and Basilica within have been rebuilt several times – the castle walls date from the Baroque period, while the Gothic Revival Basilica – the interior of which is a Prague Art Nouveau masterpiece – dates from the early 20th century. The adjacent Cemetery is like a Czech Pantheon with many greats from the fields of arts, literature and more buried there.

Vysehrad is also one of the best parks in Prague, with gardens, a playground and refreshing walks around the ramparts taking you to some of the best viewpoints in Prague

The autumn colours up there are stunning, especially along the ramparts on the side closest to the river.

Obora Hvezda

Obora Hvezda Prague is a short tram ride out of the city, an extensive forest park where all the main paths converge on the striking star-shaped Summer Palace (letohradek). 

This is way off the beaten path Prague, where you only tend to find locals. It’s a great place to admire the Prague autumn colours, and there are also several cool playgrounds for the little ones.

Unfortunately the café next to the Summer Palace is closed after October, but there’s a very good pub and restaurant, U Holečku, on the way back to the tram stop at Sídliště Petřiny.

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David Angel
David Angel is a British writer and photographer who has been travelling and photographing Europe for over 25 years.  His work is regularly featured in worldwide media including the BBC, the Guardian, the Times and the Sunday Times.