Prague In Snow

Prague is magical at any time of year, but Prague in snow is another realm altogether. Even on the greyest winter day, the cityscape of Gothic spires and steeples and Baroque towers and domes is absolutely captivating.

Towards the end of our first year living in Prague, we woke a couple of times to the tantalizing sight of snowflakes fluttering past our window. We kept hoping and hoping that we would finally get to experience the wonder of snow in Prague – and we got so, so lucky.

The snow – along with the Prague Christmas Markets – is the highlight of a visit to Prague in winter. Suddenly all of these amazing Prague buildings are coated with a sprinkling of white fairy dust.  It’s a dreamy spectacle, from the statues on Charles Bridge to the picturesque cobbled side streets of Kampa Island and Mala Strana.

We’ve written this article to help you make the most of your time if you get lucky with snow in Prague, and offer tips and suggestions on where to head in the event of snowfall. We’ve written a separate feature on visiting Prague during the winter, which gives a much wider overview of things to do in Prague in winter.  

Tips For Enjoying Prague In Snow

Image of Prague Castle in snow
A chilly twilight at Prague Castle
Image of Our Lady Victorious Church in Prague in the snow
Our Lady Victorious Church and Petrin Hill on a snowy morning
Image of the Hradcany district in Prague after snow
Hradčany district after snowfall

First of all, get up early, as Prague City Council’s employees do the same, with the express intent of clearing away all the magical white stuff before most people walk – and possibly – slip in it

Another reason for rising early is that if there has just been a dusting – a centimetre or two – chances are it will melt away, even from the rooftops, by late morning

The two busiest places in Prague when there is snow are Charles Bridge and Old Town Square – and these tend to be the first to get the snow-plough and shovels treatment

If you’re photographing Prague in the snow, it’s worth seeking out some of the best viewpoints in Prague, as described in our article

Among these, seek out some of the best towers in Prague – the Powder Tower, Old Town Hall Tower, Old Town Bridge Tower and Lesser Town Bridge Tower – are likeliest to offer the best views

Where To See Prague With Snow

Image of St Vitus Cathedral in snow from Charles Bridge Prague
St Vitus Cathedral from Charles Bridge
Image of a runner on the Charles Bridge in snow in Prague
Nice spot for a run on a snowy morning – the Charles Bridge

The Charles Bridge and Old Town Square are an absolute must, but these are likely to be cleared (at least partially) of snow early in the day, and they are where many others will be heading too.

Image of the Charles Bridge and Old Town in snow Prague
Morning snow on the Charles Bridge and Old Town
Image of St Nicholas Church Mala Strana Prague from the Charles Bridge in snow
Snow-covered St Nicholas Church in Mala Strana

If you’re up and about early, Charles Bridge is gorgeous in the snow, with the statues still coated in snow at first light. The stunning Prague architecture at either end of the Bridge, with its magnificent lookout towers, is another compelling reason to visit, and you also get views over Kampa Island and up to Prague Castle.

Image of Hrozovna Streeet in Kampa Island Prague
Snow on Hrozovna on Kampa Island
Image of the David Cerny Baby sculptures in Kampa Park Prague covered in snow
David Cerny’s Babies sculptures covered in the white stuff

The streets of Mala Strana are another happy hunting ground if you’re seeking out snowy Prague scenes. Streets like Hrozovna (off Na Kampe on Kampa Island) are wonderful, with the snow sticking to the cobblestones and centuries-old roof tiles.

Image of Queen Anne's Summer Palace in snow at Chotkovy Sady Prague
Queen Anne’s Summer Palace
Image of Prague Castle in the snow
Prague Castle in snow, as seen from below Chotkovy Sady

As I was in Prague during Covid-19 restrictions, the various Prague towers were unfortunately closed, so I headed for Hradčany, Prague Castle district. On the way, I stopped at Chotkovy Sady, one of the prettiest Prague parks next to the serene Renaissance Queen Anne’s Summer Palace, with views few visitors see over the Deer Moat to the ‘back’ or north side of Prague Castle.

Image of a tram in Prague in the snow
The 22 tram on its scenic run down from Prague Castle
Image of a family walking along a snowy street in Hradcany Prague
A family walking alopng snowy Novy Svet in Hradcany, Prague’s Castle district
Image of a street corner in Hradcany Prague Castle district in snow
The corner of Novy Svet and Cerninska streets in snow

I continued on the 22 tram two stops to Brusnice to one of my favourite places in Prague, a viewpoint overlooking the narrow Novy Svet street in the most off the beaten path part of Prague you could probably find. From there it’s a short walk into the heart of the district, down Loretanska, one of the most beautiful Prague streets, to Hradčanské námestí and the gateway to Prague Castle.

Image of Hradcanske namesti and St Vitus Cathedral in snow Prague
Snow on Hradcanske namesti
Image of St Nicholas Church in Mala Strana Prague with city skyline in snow
The Baroque splendour of St Nicholas Church in snow

It’s just a short walk from there to viewpoints over magical Mala Strana, dominated by the Baroque dome of St Nicholas Church, one of the most beautiful churches in Prague.

Image of St Lawrence Cathedral and Petrin Tower in snow Prague Czech Republic
The summit area of Petrin Hill with St Lawrence Old Cathedral and the Petrin Lookout Tower in the snow

Heading for the heights is always a good idea in the snow – firstly, you get to look down on the clusters of rooftops where the snow sticks. You are also more likely to find the snow sticking around considerably longer than down below at river level. I took my son to one of his favourite playgrounds in Prague on Petrin Hill a few days later, after an overnight snowfall had all but melted away. We took the funicular to the top, and found ourselves in another world, the whole of the summit area covered in 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) of brilliant white snow, contrasting with the deep blue winter sky.   

When Is It Likeliest To Snow In Prague?

Image of the Charles Bridge Prague covered in snow
Dawn on the snowy Charles Bridge
Image of the Daliborka Tower and Prague Castle in snow
An unusual view of Prague Castle from below, with the Daliborka Tower on the left

Ah, the million-dollar question. We had asked several Czech friends about the likelihood or frequency of Prague snow, and answers varied. One told us that Prague snowfall had become a rarity over the last decade, that they had only had one ‘decent’ snowfall in the last ten years.  Another advised that it tended to snow every year, that it was never very deep, and that it might stick around for a week or so, snowing from time to time.

Image of the Certovka Canal below the Charles Bridge Prague in snow
The Certovka Canal in snow

We have just spent our second winter in Prague, and woken up to snow five or six times now. We’ve had one snowfall in Prague in December, and five in January.

I also have a friend who visited one March and got an unexpected helping of snow. You can never really tell – it is pot luck, ultimately, but one thing to give you hope is that it has snowed three times this winter despite not being forecast. You never know.

Prague Winter Weather

Image of Castle district of Hradcany and St Vitus Cathedral in Prague in snow
It’s often very grey – but then there are days like this
Image of snow on the Charles Bridge in Prague
Snow on the Charles Bridge

It is fairly cold throughout winter in Prague, with temperatures only inching a degree or two above freezing point (0°C or 32°F) between December and February.

Prague weather in January tends to be the coldest – on average by a degree a day. The weather graphs don’t tend to tell you about the occasional bone-chilling day where the temperature doesn’t rise above -5°C and drops as low as -12°C – well, we’ve experienced more of these in January than any other month over two winters.

Generally, the most common weather in Prague in the winter tends to be cold and cloudy, with the odd glorious sunny day thrown in. There are also a few rainy days each month.