This post provides a list of several fun and exciting activities you can enjoy in Prague during the month of December 2023.
Our list includes a variety of events, attractions, festivals, and more.
As local tour guides, we know how much our guests enjoy being in the city this month.
And despite the cold temperatures, we lead walking tours in the city every day.
In the video below, Valery from Real Prague Guides takes you on a virtual walking tour of Prague Castle (albeit in warmer weather).
Prague this month is cold and cloudy, but somewhat dry, with a chance for some snow, but not too much.
Daytime high temperatures early in the month tend to be around 4 C (about 39 F) but fall to about 2 C (about 36 F) near the end of the month.
Warm shoes or boots and a thick pair of socks will also come in handy when exploring Prague on foot.
Also, consider a pair of gloves and a scarf and don’t forget a good pair of walking shoes as well.
Check out our post on December weather for the full forecast.
The following list covers ten of the best things to do in Prague throughout the month.
We include several family-friendly, nighttime, and free activities you can enjoy.
If you’re looking for even more great ideas, make sure to check out the following posts:
1. Visit a Christmas Market
There will be several festive holiday markets popping up all around Prague this month, giving last-minute shoppers a chance to find special gifts for their loved ones.
We created a list of our tour guides' top 5 markets.
Each of these markets will have a wide variety of items to purchase, including ceramics, jewelry, wooden toys, candles, ornaments, puppets, dolls, and festive treats.
In the video below, Tour Guide Valery introduces you to these markets.
While the idea is to go shopping, you don’t actually have to purchase anything at these holiday markets.
If you want, you could just enjoy all the beautiful decorations on display!
You can expect to find market stalls at some of the following locations:
- Prague Castle
- Peace Square
- Old Town Square
- Wenceslas Square
- Republic Square
- Havel’s Market
- St. George’s Basilica
You can also book a guide to take you on a tour of some of these markets. This Prague Christmas Markets Tour includes some food and drink tastings and information on Czech Christmas traditions.
TIP: If you’re still not familiar with the area, it’s worth noting that many of these locations are included in our free Prague walking tours.
2. Experience the Nutcracker
If you’re looking for a festive show to see, it’s hard to beat a holiday classic.
The Hybernia Theatre will be hosting The Nutcracker in Prague this December.
Seeing this ballet over the holidays is a tradition for many families each year.
Visit here to purchase tickets or learn more.
3. Try Classic Czech Christmas Treats
There are plenty of popular festive dishes to eat in Prague, and this is the best time of year to try some of them out.
Many of the following can be found at Christmas markets throughout the city:
If you're looking for a sweet treat, consider trying a Trdelnik.
These pastries are rolled around a stick, glazed with sugar, and baked over open coals until the sugar caramelizes. It is then topped with sugar, cinnamon, and chopped nuts, and sometimes filled with soft serve ice cream.
You might try a Palačinky, which some folks call a pancake. It's more similar to a French crepe with either sweet or savory fillings.
Sweet fillings are often fruits such as apricot or strawberry, and savory fillings might be ham and cheese or spinach and garlic.
Perník, or gingerbread, is a big part of the Czech tradition. You'll find all sorts of gingerbread cookies and houses at the Christmas markets.
There are also some traditional Czech Christmas cookies you won't want to miss.
- Pracny | Bear Paw Cookies | A nut and spice cookie coated in icing sugar
- Bílé lanýžové kuličky | White Truffle Balls | A cookie made of cream, butter, white chocolate, and rolled in coconut
- Linecké cukroví | Linzer Cookies | Strawberry or raspberry jam stuffed between two sugar cookies with a hint of lemon
- Plněné ořechy | Stuffed "nut" cookies | Created to look like a nut, often a walnut, this cookie is has a creamy filling inside
- Vanilkové rohlíčky | Vanilla Crescents | A buttery dough, almost a shortbread, with ground nuts, usually hazelnuts or walnuts, and covered in vanilla icing sugar
Let your nose lead you to the Pražská Šunka, or Prague ham. This boneless, mildly beechwood-smoked ham is roasted over an open flame.
You can also grab a Klobása, or grilled sausage, to warm you up. It's often served with brown bread and a dollop of mustard.
A popular Christmas Eve side dish you can pruchase is Bramborový salát, otherwise known as potato salad. Along with the potatoes are hard-boiled eggs, pickles, peas and carrots, onions, and perhaps even some cold-cut meat.
It's often served with fried carp, pork chops, or sausage.
When it comes to popular drinks, it's hard to beat Svaák, a mulled wine with hints of citrus like orange or lemon.
There's also Grog, which combines Czech rum, hot water, sugar, and lemon.
Medovina is a hot mead (honey wine) drink with herbs and spices that's very sweet
Becherovka is the perfect chilled Christmas drink. The Czech bitter has a secret recipe of herbs and spices and to many has a gingery or cinnamon flavor
4. Attend a Concert
There aren't a lot of rock or pop concerts scheduled for December, but there are a number of Christmas concerts.
You are sure to get into the holiday spirit by listening to music in one of these stunning locations.
- Advent Concert III Czech Philharmonic Sextet | Suk Hall in the Rudolfinum | December 10th
- The Children's Opera Czech Christmas Mass | The New Stage Laterna magika | December 11th
- Christmas Gala Concert | Mirror Chapel at the Klementinum (St. Salvator Church) | December 11th, 12th, 14th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 21st, 28th, 31st
- Festive Christmas Concert | Smetana Hall in the Municipal House | December 24th
- Classical Christmas Gala Concert | Rudolfinum | December 25th
Other Locations Where You'll Find Holiday Concerts
- Boccaccio Ballroom
- Prague Castle
- St. George’s Basilica
- The Church of St. Martin
- National Theatre
- Cafe Mozart
- Jethro Tull | December 3rd, 4th
- The Prodigy | December 7th
- HAVASI Symphonic Arena Show | December 9th
For a list of other concerts in the city in December, visit here.
NOTE: While these holiday concerts may not be included with any tourist passes, you can save up to 50% off concerts at Prague Castle and Cafe Mozart using the Prague Card.
5. Celebrate New Year’s Eve
There are several different ways to celebrate this holiday in Prague, including the fireworks that will be launched at midnight in popular locations such as Prague Castle, Wenceslas Square, and Old Town Square.
As you may have guessed, it’s entirely free to enjoy these fireworks, so you won’t have to pay a dime to participate in this activity.
Some of the best places to see the fireworks are the Charles Bridge or the embankments.
Alkso Wenceslas Saure and Old Towne Square are popular gathering places.
You can also take a cruise that should give you a great view of the fireworks.
In addition to these activities, there will also be several restaurants, bars, and clubs holding New Year’s Eve parties.
Check this New Year’s Eve in Prague planner for more ideas.
6. Go Ice Skating
Head to the ice rink in Prague and enjoy some ice skating on your own.
In some of them, you can also rent skates if you don't have your own.
Some of the ice rink options are:
- Below Zizkov TV Tower
- Ovocny trh (behind the Estates theatre)
- Shopping Center Westfield Chodov
- Havličkovy sady (outdoors)
- Shopping Center Cerny
- Čapadlo Ice Rink
- Riegrovy sady
- Shopping Center Arkády Pankrác
- Střelecký Island
NOTE: Some free walking tours go through Old Town, so you may want to consider this activity either before or after some ice skating near the Estates Theatre.
7. See the Lamplighting at Charles Bridge
In honor of the holidays, a lamplighter dressed in period clothing will be lighting all the lamps along Charles Bridge.
This usually takes place throughout the month of December, every evening at dusk.
It won’t take a lot of time to come and witness the event, but it’s definitely a fun little activity to enjoy when the sun starts to go down.
Whether you want to bring the kids to see this centuries-old custom or you’re looking for something to do with a loved one, this momentary return to long-lost customs is certainly interesting to witness.
Needless to say, this event won’t cost a thing to attend!
8. See Mikuláš (St. Nicholas Day)
On December 5th, St. Nicholas comes to visit the children of the Czech Republic.
He brings with him two others: an angel and a devil. They have come to see how the children have behaved in the last year.
If they've been good, the angel gives them candy or sweets. If they've been bad, the devil threatens to take them to hell!
To escape from a terrible fate, the children sing songs and recite poems.
Children are brought to the markets after sundown to meet these three characters.
9. Visit Petrin Tower on a Snowy Day
If you're in Prague when it snows, the whole city turns into a scene out of a snow globe.
There's no better time to see all the beautiful architecture of this city than after a snowfall, and there's no better place to see it all than the top of Petrin Tower.
This observation deck offers some of the best views in the city, and during a snowy day, the scenic beauty of Prague you'll see from here looks like it belongs on a postcard.
Hours are 10:00 (am) - 18:00 (6:00 pm) during December.
Best of all, tickets to the tower are very affordable at 150 CZK, and admission is actually included with at least one Prague tourist pass!
10. Go Sightseeing
One of the easiest ways of learning all about the city and its history is by taking a pay-what-you-wish walking tour.
There are currently free walking tours covering the Old Town, Jewish Quarter, Prague Castle, and Charles Bridge. You can also take tours of famous sites related to WW2.
Also, hop-on-hop-off bus tours of Prague are a popular option.
Another interesting way of seeing Prague is to take a cruise down the Vltava River.
If you can't make it to a guided tour, consider an audio tour instead.
Anyone with a smartphone and earbuds can enjoy these outings whenever they want!
While it does get chilly at night, the wintry atmosphere of November makes this Ghost and Legends tour of Old Town perfectly spooky!
11. Warm Up with Traditional Czech Food
December means colder weather, more layers, and searching out some warm comfort food.
Czech cuisine can definitely deliver on that last point.
Find a local pub for some delicious roasted pork, locally known as vepro knedlo zelo, or cesnecka - garlic soup topped with a raw egg.
As mentioned above, be sure to check out the warm, sweet treats on sale at the Christmas markets as well.
In the video below, Valery talks about her choices for the 6 must-try Czech dishes.
You may also want to consider taking a food tour to learn all about the most popular dishes in Prague from a professional guide.
12. Save Money With a Tourist Pass
No matter what you’re planning to do while visiting Prague, chances are a tourist pass will help you save a lot of money on several popular activities and attractions.
There are currently two types of passes in Prague – all-inclusive and prepackaged.
The all-inclusive pass includes admission to dozens of popular attractions for a specific amount of time (2, 3, or 4 days).
Prepackaged passes include specific attractions and tours for one flat price.
While this option is good for people who only have a few activities planned, the amount of money you save will be limited.
With an all-inclusive pass, the amount you save is determined by how much you use the pass to do – if you power through a lot of different activities each day, you could save over 50% on everything!
Here are some of the best attractions included with Prague tourist passes:
- Prague Zoo
- Prague Castle
- Old Town Hall
- Jewish Museum
- National Museum
- Vyšehrad Fortress
- Prague City Museum
- Petřín Observation Tower
- Astronomical Observatory
- Prague Historical Bus Tour
- Prague Venice River Cruise
- Basilica of St. Peter & St. Paul
- And more!
Some tourist passes also include skip-the-line admission at certain locations, allowing you to save both time and money.
No matter which option you choose, you should be able to save at least 25% - 50% off general admission prices.
For more details about how to use these services, please read our post covering Prague tourist passes.
13. Enjoy a Bathtub Carp
You might be surprised to hear that the traditional Christmas meal in the Czech Republic is not ham or turkey, but carp!
In some countries, the tradition of eating carp for the holiday meal dates back to the Middle Ages, when Catholics considered fish to be fasting food. Since they finished their advent fast on Christmas Eve, a meal of carp was served.
In the Czech Republic, however, most likely this tradition came about because of the many bodies of water stocked with fish.
Even more interesting is the tradition of the "keeping of the carp".
A carp was purchased alive a few days before the holiday and spent its final days in the bathtub, a pre-refrigeration freshness technique. Some folks continue the tradition to this day!
When the time comes to prep for dinner, the carp is killed, cleaned, soaked in milk, breaded and fried, and served for dinner.
Once the first star in the sky appears, the Christmas meal it eaten.
Some other dishes served with the carp might include fish soup, Bramborový Salát (potato salad), Kuba (barley, mushrooms, and fried onions), Vánočka (a sweet Christmas bread), and various Christmas cookies.
Note that there is a tradition of keeping a scale or two from the carp in your wallet to ensure you will have good luck in the new year.
14. Experience Christmas Traditions
In the Czech Republic, some folks follow a tradition in which an apple will tell your future. Everyone is given an apple after dinner, which is cut lengthwise.
If the seeds form a star, the person will have prosperity and good health. If a cross is found, it will mean a bad year and perhaps even death.
Relatedly, some folks believe you can predict your future using walnut boats.
People will put candles in walnut shells, light the candles, and place the shells in a bowl of water. If your boat floats, you can expect a good future, and it's a bad omen if your boat sinks.
Don't look for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. In the Czech Republic, Ježíšek, otherwise known as Little Jesus or Baby Jesus, brings the presents.
This tradition dates back 400 years. Ježíšek arrives and places the Christmas presents under the tree without anyone seeing him.
Children will have been kept out of that room while parents decorate a tree and place gifts under it. They then ring a bell that signals Ježíšek has visited, and then the gifts are opened.
One other tradition involved food, or should we say, lack of food. It's believed that those who go the whole day without food will see a golden pig.
Why a pig? This dates back hundreds of years to a time when a pig signified wealth and prosperity.