Prague in Springtime

by Czech Republic

Prague In Springtime

You may be wondering when the best time to visit Prague may be. Prague in winter may be a bit cold, and you’ve heard that Prague in summer is usually overcrowded, hot and expensive. So what about Prague in springtime?

Prague in spring is a real delight, as the Prague weather warms up, slipping out of the shackles of the winter cold and short days.  Many Prague attractions take a prolonged winter break, with some of the Prague gardens closed for five, even six months, and it’s a joy when they reopen. The city is at its most beautiful as cherry blossom trees fill the main Prague parks.

The warmer Prague spring temperatures also open up other options for things to do in Prague. It’s a time to enjoy the Vltava river in Prague once again, and Prague nightlife spills outdoors once more, especially the quayside bars at Naplavka. We’ll compare the weather in Prague in March with that in April and May, and also advise on what attractions in Prague reopen when.

So settle back and enjoy our guide to Prague in springtime.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Prague In Springtime?

Image of tulips below Prague Castle in springtime
This is what you see if you you visit Prague in April

Prague in March can still be cold, with some wintry weather persisting – we experienced some snow flurries as late as the middle of the month. That doesn’t deter too many – it’s a popular month for Prague city breaks among many Europeans. Prague temperatures in March tend to be pleasant in the sunshine, pushing up to around 17°C (63° F), and it’s generally a good time to get Prague deals.

(HINT – It’s also the best time to shoot sunrise on the Charles Bridge, along with September)

Imasge of the view across the river to Olds Town Prague in springtime
A springtime view across the river to Prague Old Town

Prague in April is, if anything, even more enticing, a time to experience the best of Prague. The weather in Prague in April warms up nicely, with sunny days in the early 20s°C (low 70s ° F). The Prague temperature in April is so much more comfortable than in summer, when it’s often over 30°C. If you need further convincing, look at those blossom trees again.

The weather in Prague in May is a few degrees warmer still, with the occasional day nudging up past 25°C. Ultimately it depends on what you want to see and do on your Prague holidays. The best of the spring blossom goes by early May, but more of the attractions in Prague are open than in April.   

Petřin Hill

Image of St Nicholas Church Prague and the blossom trees on Petrin Hill in Prague
The stunning blossom trees and St Nicholas Church in Mala Strana

Petřin Hill is one of the first things to see in Prague in springtime. – particularly if you’re intent on photographing Prague. The lower slopes, especially the Seminary Garden (Seminarska zahrada) are planted with hundreds of white blossom trees, and from April to early May it’s one of the most stunning sights in Prague.

Image of St Vitus Cathedral Prague Castle in spring
St Vitus Cathedral, seen from the blossom trees on Petrin Hill

Petrin Park is wonderful year-round, but it’s unmissable in spring. You can catch the Petrin Hill funicular to the top, where you’ll soon come across the Petřin lookout tower (signposted Rozhledna), one of the best towers in Prague with awesome views over Prague city and Hradčany, the Castle district.

Image of the garden on Ujezd in Prague
The blossom trees liniong the garden at Ujezd

The summit area also has the popular Mirror Maze, another popular attraction for kids in Prague, There is also a lovely Rose Garden (which is normally in full bloom around mid-June) and the beautiful Old Catholic Cathedral of St Lawrence.

 Petřin Hill is somewhere you could wander for a whole day, with so much else to see including the woodland walks the other side of the Hunger Wall on Kinsky Gardens. Don’t miss the glorious small garden at the bottom of the hill, next to the Újezd tram and funicular stops, where the trees are stunning, clad in pink blossom through April.

Prague Boat Trips

Spring in Prague is a wonderful time to appreciate and enjoy the river Vltava, which runs through the heart of Prague. Some Vltava river cruises run throughout the year, running from the embankment next to the Art Nouveau Cechuv Most (Svatopluk Cech Bridge) around to the Charles Bridge. In spring, longer Prague river cruises restart, including one from Rašinovo nabřeži (close to the Dancing House, one of the best-known landmarks of Prague). This makes use of the side channels to bypass the river weirs, continuing all the way past Prague Castle and around the river bend at Holesovice Prague to Prague Zoo – a great family day out.

Vrtba Garden Prague

The Vrtba Garden is a magnificent Baroque garden and an essential Prague sightseeing stop. It’s ingeniously built onto the base of Petřin Hill, and as you climb each terrace the views of Prague get better and better. The nearby Wallenstein Gardens tend to open later, in May, and entry to the latter is free. It’s one of the most beautiful gardens in Europe, built in. conjunction with the Baroque Wallenstein Palace which now serves as the location of the Czech Senate.

Prague Beer Gardens

The various beer gardens in Prague are hugely popular in the warmer months, and they tend to reopen by April. They’re a great Prague experience. The Letna beer garden is one of the most popular, with great city views from high above the river. Another of the best outdoor bars in Prague is the one in Riegrovy Sady, up on the hill in Žižkov. We also particularly like the Vysehrad beer garden overlooking Nusle.

Easter in Prague

Image of a blossom tree in Havlicek Park Prague in spring
Relaxing in the Prague spring sunshine at Havlicek Gardens, also known as Grebovka Park

Easter is one of the main seasonal events in Prague. The Prague Easter Markets run for a month (from March 20th to April 21st) at the same locations as the Prague Christmas markets – on magical Old Town Square, in Prague Castle and on Wenceslas Square with a smaller one in Na Kampe, one of the loveliest Prague streets, on Kampa Island.

The Easter Markets in Prague are full of handicraft stalls, with painted Easter eggs the most popular item. There are also plenty of trdelnik stalls selling the famous Prague chimney cakes with a sweet filing of your choice. There is also an Easter Monday tradition of young men (we were told ‘playfully’) chasing and whipping young women with willow branches. Hmm. Apparently this is still popular in the countryside, and with the Czech Prime Minister, though it’s not something you’ll see too often in Prague!

Troja Chateau Prague

The Baroque Troja Castle – across the street from Prague Zoo – has one of the most beautiful gardens in Prague, and it’s a strong candidate for the best place to experience springtime in Prague. The Garden has a plantation of utterly magnificent Japanese cherry blossom trees that go pink for a few weeks in April, and it’s oner of the best things to see in Prague at this time of year.

It reopens at the beginning of April.

Pruhonice Park

Image of Pruhonice Castle and Park near Prague
Pruhonice Castle and one of several lakes in the Park

Pruhonice Park Prague lies on the city’s south-eastern boundary. It consists of a stunning 19th century neo-Renaissance castle, and around 250 hectares of uniquely landscaped parkland, with meandering streams, meadows, woodland trails and scenic lookouts. Spring is one of the best times to visit Pruhonice because of the profusion of rhododendrons on some of the woodland walks.

Pruhonice Park is open all year round.

Kampa Island Prague

Kampa Island is an artificial island on the west side of the river and Charles Bridge, and it’s part of the Mala Strana Prague district. It only comprises a few streets and a beautiful park, but it’s a welcome refuge from the Charles Bridge crowds. Kampa Park has amazing river views, especially to Charles Bridge. It also has three of David Černy’s Babies sculptures, some of which can also be seen clambering up the side of the Zizkov TV Tower. There are also some pleasant cafes and bars around Na Kampe, the main square on the island.

Naplavka Prague Nightlife

If you’re visiting Prague in May, the boat bars of Naplavka will be back in full swing. It’s one of the maion hubs of nightlife in Prague, a series of boats moored along the embankment between Palackého náměstí and Výtoň, next to the Smichov railway bridge. The evenings become longer and warmer, perfect conditions for eating out at one of the floating restaurants or stopping by for a beer or two.

Vysehrad Castle

Image of the fortress and Basilica in Vysehrad Prague
The Basilica of SS Peter and Paul dominates the riverside skyline

Visitors on short breaks to Prague usually don’t make it up the river to Vysehrad.Castle, but they miss out on one of the best places to visit in Prague. The riverside fortress was for centuries a rival to Prague Castle, and has great significance to Czechs as it was the legendary home of the Přemyslid dynasty a thousand years ago.

It is also home to a gorgeous 19th century neo-Gothic Basilica, one of the finest churches in Prague. The ramparts are among the best viewpoints in Prague, with views south to the suburbs and north towards Prague Castle. The excellent beer garden, with awesome views of Nusle and Vršovice, also opens in the springtime, a great place to while away an evening in Prague.

Outdoor Prague Markets

Image of Havelska Market in Prague Old Town
Havelska Market, serving Prague Old Town since 1232

The regular Prague outdoor markets run throughout the year, but the warmer spring weather makes them so much more enjoyable. The market on Havelska in the Old Town dates back to 1232, and stalls sell fruit, vegetables, other food and some Prague souvenirs.

Image of the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Church on Jiriho z Podebrad Square Prague
Jiriho z Podebrad Square is glorious in spring

The Saturday Farmers Market is held on Naplavka (see above) and another is held on Jiřiho z Poděbrad Square in Žižkov all day Friday and Saturday 0800-1400. Incidentally, if you visit Prague in springtime, this square happens to be one of the most beautiful places in the city, with an avenue of blossoming magnolias leading to the magnificent Modernist Church of the Sacred Heart of Our Lord.

Open House Prague

Image of the Cubist Villa Kovaricova below Vysehrad Castle in Prague
The Cubist Vila Kovaricova

Open House Praha is an annual event, where around forty Prague buildings usually closed to the public are open for the weekend.  The event normally takes place in May, but had to be postponed to September 2020 because of the coronavirus outbreak. If you’re just spending the weekend in. Prague it’s unlikely you’ll have time, but there are some fascinating buildings to see, from theatres to medieval Old Town houses to the superb Cubist Vila Kovaricova, just below Vysehrad fortress.

Czech Castles Reopen in Spring

Image of Castle Blatna chateau in Bohemia Czech Republic
Castle Blatna can be visited between May and October – but you get this view year-round

One minor frustration I have with castles in the Czech Republic is that they are not open deeper into the winter. This doesn’t apply to Prague Castle or Vysehrad, but is true of most castles around the country, even including the World Heritage-listed one at Česky Krumlov and Karlštejn Castle, a short train ride from Prague.

Most Czech castles close at the end of October for the winter reopening either in April or May. Blatna Castle (pictured) has a relatively short season, from May to September with weekend opening in October. If you’re planning to stay in Prague for a week, it’s good to have the option to take some day trips from Prague, get out into the countryside and explore more of the Czech Republic.

Prague Zoo

If you’re scratching your head wondering what to do in Prague with kids, this will sort you out for a day. Prague Zoo is rated one of the best in the world, and the biggest recommendation I can give is that my son and I both burned through 12-visit annual passes in double-quick time. The gardens are beautiful, and there are some incredible animals to see, including orangutans, gorillas, elephants and many, many more.

DAVID ANGEL

DAVID ANGEL

AUTHOR

David Angel is a British writer, historian and photographer. He has been travelling and photographing Europe for over 20 years and his work is regularly featured in worldwide media including the Guardian, BBC, Times and Sunday Times.

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