Prague: a city full of magic

The old-school trams lazily proceed through the narrow streets, the golden leaves fall onto the cobblestone alleys of medieval neighbourhoods, and the swans draw lines in the water as they sail along the Vltava River.

Late fall sees Prague at its most stunning and melancholic. It’s also the best season to catch a glimpse of the irresistible romanticism of the Czech capital. Enjoy endless wandering around the compact city centre, find cosiness in the warm cafés, and make the most of culinary exploration.

Here’s a guide to the best things to do in Prague in the late fall and early winter.

Photo by Janis Jekabsons


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Soak in the romance of the Old Town

Charles Bridge Prague

Prague’s Old Town can be many things at once. If you go down the classic tourist route (which you certainly should do), there will be loads of fellow explorers on their way to see the Charles Bridge, taking selfies in the Old Town Square, and queueing to enter St. Vitus Cathedral. While all these attractions are without a doubt must-sees, it pays to go off the beaten track in Prague. You’ll be surprised how the experience changes once you step away from the regular route.

Prague Old Town Square

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Visit Bethlehem Square for Baroque allure, a medieval chapel, and small-town vibes. Then walk around the ancient Jewish Quarter with its stone synagogues and cemetery, which is especially magical during fall foliage. Get contemplative in the riverside Kampa Park with exceptional views of the water and the slightly Venetian Čertovka canal.

Venetian Čertovka canal - the Prague Venice

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Above all, make your trip about slow marvelling rather than competing for a chance to take a pic of a top sight.


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Cosy up in the historic cafés

Autumn and lingering in a snug coffee shop go together very well. Prague’s historic cafés bear that Old World feeling – an elusive nostalgia for something long gone. Spiritually close to the Viennese coffee shops (the Czech Republic was once a part of the Austrian Empire), they’re absolutely stunning on the inside, too, with interiors to die for.

These cafés were long a favourite spot for artists, intellectuals, and writers, who frequented them for conversation and inspiration.

Cosy historic cafes where to go in autumn

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Café Imperial is an Art Deco jewel with an upscale Czech menu and absolutely breathtaking decor. For a more down-to-earth experience serving mostly breakfast, desserts, coffee, and Art Nouveau interiors, check out Kavárna Obecní dům. The Café Louvre dating back to 1902 provides a quintessential Viennese coffee shop atmosphere with local flair.

For even more interior sumptuousness, head to the impressive Café Savoy and stop by the Cubist Grand Café Orient.

Taste dessert with art Nouveau interior at Kavárna Obecní dům

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Discover the secret vineyards

Here’s a surprising fact: Prague is a great city for wine. Not only does it have fantastic wine bars, it also grows its own grapes. You can even find vineyards within the city limits. There are two Czech varieties to know: Bohemian (produced in the region encircling Prague) and Moravian (from the eastern part of the country). Both are famous for their white wines, so be sure to taste them while in the capital.

Salabka - vineyards within the city limits

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Two names come up when you think of Prague wine production. Salabka is an excellent spot with its own vineyards and winery, where you can see the process of the drink’s birth and taste it accompanied by Czech meals at the on-site restaurant. Not far away is beautiful Vinice sv. Kláry offering a guided wine trail and wine tasting. For bars, visit hip Veltlin, casual Bokovka, and Michelin-starred Field.

Wine tasting in Prague

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Explore the breathtaking Bohemian Paradise

Bohemian Paradise - an outstanding nature reserve in the Czech Republic
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Prague’s location in the heart of the Czech Republic and great transport links allow visitors to make the most of the country’s fascinating destinations.

If you’re interested in foliage, head to Bohemian Paradise, an outstanding nature reserve just a two-hour train ride from the capital. You’ll need to get to the lovely small town of Turnov, which doubles as a gateway to this beautifully-named and UNESCO-protected geopark.

Endless hiking trails in Bohemian paradise

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Bohemian Paradise is a wonderful land of perched castles, elegant châteaux, whimsical rock formations, endless hiking trails, and lots of fresh air. It’s a perfect day trip from Prague as well as the ultimate place to see the autumn leaves in their full glory.

Bohemian paradise - UNESCO-protected geopark

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Get medieval vibes at Vyšehrad

While the majority of visitors will only see the grandiose Prague Castle, there’s another fortified structure doubling as an exciting neighbourhood in this city. Vyšehrad is an enticing medieval fortress complex above the Vltava River that impresses with its scale, a series of mighty walls, and lush landscaping.

It’s even more spectacular in fall, when the leaves change colour and everything seems to be drowning in gold.

Vyšehrad castle

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You can easily spend half a day in Vyšehrad. Start with a meal at one of the local restaurants on pretty Vratislavova Street leading to the castle. Then embrace the rich architectural heritage of ancient gates, picturesque chapels, curious monuments, and mystical graveyards within the fortress grounds.

The must-sees are the Neo-Gothic Saints Peter and Paul Basilica, the expansive city views from the Vyšehradské Gardens, and the old St. Martin Rotunda.

Praha vysehrad

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Catch a performance of classical music

What could be a better way to finish your autumn evening in Prague than dressing up and going to a concert? This city definitely knows a thing or two about classical music and enjoying it in style. Mozart often came to the Czech capital during his career, Smetana composed his oeuvres here, and Dvořák called the city home.

Not only is the Prague music scene of the highest class, but you also get to see some of the most stunning concert halls in the world.

State Opera in Prague

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The Neo-Rococo State Opera is an essential visit, the spellbinding hall of the National Theatre regularly hosts operas and ballets, the Rudolfinum is the seat of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and Smetana Hall at the Art Nouveau Municipal House (the ultimate classical performance destination) is a visual spectacle with regular musical happenings. Pick one or, better yet, visit them all.

The National Theatre of Prague

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Admire the Art Nouveau architecture

If you’re into architecture, Prague is a sensational city. Passing through different neighbourhoods here feels like completing a course in architectural history – you can see every important style and movement from the Middle Ages to the present day.

But Art Nouveau is the most impressive of them all. Intricate lines, rich materials, vivid colours, and bold vision define this short-lived but beguiling architectural style of the early 20th century.

Appreciate art nouveau buildings in Prague - Municipal House

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While other cities often have just a handful of Art Nouveau buildings, Prague has a whole universe of them. Hotels, museums, industrial objects, residential villas, concert halls, and even a railway station here are done in this style.

For the brightest gems, head to the Municipal House, see the Čech Bridge, witness the grandeur of Hotel Paris, and visit the Mucha Museum dedicated to the greatest Czech Art Nouveau artist.

Hotel Paris in Prague

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Have a spa day

When the temperature outside drops and the winds start blowing more enthusiastically, lounging in a hot tub or relaxing during a spa treatment becomes a cathartic experience.

Thankfully, Prague has you covered in this domain. Here you’ve got a nice selection of wellness, from budget-friendly to luxurious.

Have a spa day in Prague

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Carlo IV Wellness & Spa is one of the leaders in self-indulgence, with Neo-Renaissance style, an all-inclusive entrance pass, and an impressive indoor pool. The sumptuous Spa at the Augustine offers a variety of treatments. The M Spa boasts a rooftop pool with city views. And, for family-oriented wellness, check out the gargantuan Aquapalace, which doubles as a water park.

A rooftop pool with city views - The M Spa in Prague

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Take a tour of historic breweries

Beer is a matter of national pride for Czechs. In fact, in this country, the drink may often be cheaper than water – and that says something.

Czech brewing traditions span almost a thousand years, with the first breweries dating as far back as the 11th century. Back then, monasteries were responsible for the production of beer, but today the brew scene in Prague is diverse and extremely exciting to discover.

Why not embark on a hunt for the best breweries on your next fall visit to the city?

Take a tour of historic breweries

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Start with the Brevnov Monastery Brewery of St. Adalbert, where the brewing commenced in 993 CE, making it the oldest brewery in the city. For another historic beer spot, head to the Strahov Monastery Brewery. Be sure to check out classic beer houses like U Fleků and U Medvídků, which pair great beers with hearty Czech fare. Finally, explore the new wave represented by BeerGeek and Craft House Prague.


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Shop at the local boutiques

Prague is one of those magnetic cities that still have that special something – a feeling of magic in the air, the anticipation of a surprise. After all, this was the home of Franz Kafka, the master of warping reality. Nowadays, local shops are the prime bearers of that Prague atmosphere.

Shop at the local boutiques in Prague

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Hidden antique stores where masterpieces can be discovered amongst centuries-old dust, artisan studios filled with bombastic aesthetics, the energetic showrooms of local designers, and unconventional galleries.

It pays to be curious in Prague and simply go on a shopping spree with no expectations. You’re guaranteed to find something – something that calls out your name. So be sure to also embrace this side of Prague this fall!


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Text by Pavlo Fedykovych

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