Summer has finally made its way to Prague so I thought it’s about time I explained what to do in Prague in summer and how we locals actually spend summertime in Prague!
You know, Czech Republic is rather cold for the larger part of the year…it’s not necessarily bad, as winter and snow make places look beautiful (see Prague in winter) but if you’re like me and love the sun and warmth, you can’t wait for the summer months to roll in.
There are MANY better ways to enjoy Prague in the summer than to sweat along with all the tourists up the stairs to the Prague Castle or riding on the trams in peak hour.
Since I would like to show you the things locals do in Prague in summer, I put together this overview of what to do and where to hang out in Prague like a local, to really enjoy your time and the summer weather in Prague. :)
Pedal Boats on Vltava River
With the first sunrays, locals rush to the river to rent Prague pedal boats and pedal the weekend away on the river. It’s quite neat as you’re in a very different setting. The scenery is beautiful and the water is calming, that is unless you have someone on board who’ll try to rock the boat!
The main Prague boat rental areas are all on the Slovanský ostrov (also called Žofín) island, which is located just off Masarykovo nábřeží (near Národní and the National Theatre).
They are so popular on the weekends that if you come at an unfortunate hour, you might be left with 2 options only: a rowing boat (workout, anyone?) or a crazy long line. So if you don’t feel like exercising and impressing your sweetheart with some muscular action, grab a beer and wait in the line for the more easy-going pedal boat.
The pedal boats can get pretty unique too – some are shaped like a beetle car or even a swan :)
Regarding the practicalities of renting your boat, most importantly, make sure to bring your ID!
The prices are similar, so it doesn’t make a huge difference which one of the many providers you pick. Rental for an hour costs around 200 CZK ($8 or €7) and when the weather’s good, they can run till as late as 9pm! Evening rides are often more pleasant anyway, especially in the biggest heat of summer.
In my opinion, the pedal boats are one of the most typical Prague things to do in summer.
Náplavka is a wide pedestrian area running along the riverbank (Rašínovo nábřeží) where most of the riverside action is. There are markets along the bank every Saturday morning as well as countless events during the weekend and throughout the week too – both day and night. Concerts, screenings, markets, festivals… it all might be just happening on Náplavka!
You should definitely go for a stroll there, get an ice cream or a beer and laze the day away with people-watching and gossiping, just like locals in Prague do.
Summer Prague evenings are the most pleasant at Náplavka, especially when a heat wave hits. The River naturally cools its surroundings and provides a welcome little cool down.
Náplavka is easily accessible from Palackého náměstí, where the metro stops (stop called Karlovo náměstí, exit Palackého náměstí). The riverside recently got its own website with a program of events, find it here.
Prague fortunately is not just filled with concrete and beautiful buildings, but also with greenery. Lazying out in Prague parks belongs to one of the best things to do in Prague in summer and it’s what many locals do on the weekends.
The biggest and best lungs of Prague located near Prague city center are:
One of Prague’s largest parks doesn’t prohibit bikes, so you can even cycle through it. Apart from ‘just’ walking in greenery, you can relax on a shore of a little lake, do a BBQ or grab a beer at one of the beer gardens.
Recently a little container area popped up with plenty of drink choices as well as cultural events. See Stromovka’s Containall here.
Conveniently located on top of a hill, Letná offers one of the best views of Prague. The views go eastwards, so you can watch beautiful sunrises from there too (I never tried!).
In the evenings, the concrete part right under the metronome sees a local street bar opening. The atmosphere is chilled, people chat the night away and roller skaters still practice their jumps nearby. The bar is called Stalin, referring to a statue of Stalin that once stood right here.
Letná sees the yearly festival of modern circus happen on its grounds in August. See more below.
Havlíčkovy Sady is one of my favorite parks thanks to its proximity to my home. :) The multidimensional park has a decent viewpoint on top and a manmade grotto. There’s often a photo shoot taking place by a fountain under the grotto.
Strolling a little down the slop, you can spot a large vineyard with a pretty wooden gazebo overlooking it. It’s a great place to stop and order a glass of wine. On some evenings, tango dancing takes place at the upper part of the gazebo.
Riegrovy Sady used to be a synonym to one of Prague’s best beer gardens (see below). But that’s no longer the case. Still, though, the park is beautiful and you can stroll here year round. When walking its upper path, a view will open that’ll show even the Prague Castle. It’s an ideal spot for a sunset! Or a picnic by the sunset. :)
Prague has several islands and they all have one thing in common – they are all very green and pleasant on hot summer days!
Střelecký ostrov is the most central of the islands. There’s a restaurant and even an occasional party boat anchored there. A small obstacle course for kids provides some entertainment for families.
In the recent years, both Prague locals and foreigners alike like to come here and just relax sitting on the grass. The views from Střelecký ostrov are beautiful – you can see the Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, and even the funny yellow penguins on the neighboring Kampa Island!
There are also occassional events being held at the Střelecký ostrov. See the Facebook page here.
Biking / Roller blading etc.
Prague is unfortunately not a very bike-friendly city but there are some paths along the river that are quite nice. Sporty locals go there to run, cycle, roller blade and walk with kids and dogs. It’s quite fun but you mustn’t mind crowds. :)
The further you go from the city centre, the more rewarded you’ll be with several nice refreshment points and decreasing number of people.
If you make it as far as e.g. Klecany, you can even take a little ferry with your bike to the other side of the river and continue your ride through the forest.
You can start already by the Palackého náměstí and then continue upstream – as far as you want to go. A little leisure bike ride along the bank might suffice for those seeking views and enjoyment over a real workout.
Even the other side of the river (closer to Smíchov) features trails, with much less people. They are, however, more difficult to get to.
Here‘s an excellent source for cycling maps and all other info on biking in Prague.
Renting a bike in Prague
Getting a bike to ride can be a piece of cake if you use locals’ favorite app called Rekola. It’s a company run by cycling aficionados who first started out by repurposing old bikes and painting them pink. Rentals differ from one time to a whole season membership. You can see the bikes parked randomly all over the city. Their pink color does stand out so it’s easy to spot them :) The app has recently been translated also to English, but if you still can’t figure it out, ask among other pink bike riders, the whole community is very helpful.
Since the beginning of 2019, Prague has had its own ebikesharing. It works on a similar basis as Rekola, just the bikes feature a battery pack and are thus more robust. See more info here.
Standard Prague Bike Rental
Or else, simply rent a bike. Check out the current availability of this 3-hour bike rental starting at €8. If you feel a little lazy, go for an e-bike.
Renting a bike and a guide
There are several places where you can watch movies outside, enjoying the atmosphere and chasing away an occasional mosquito (if you didn’t apply repellent). We love them (the outdoor cinemas not the mosquitoes) and it’s therefore no surprise that an increasing number of summer cinemas keep springing up!
Bear in mind that the movies might not always have English subtitles, so if you care for not only the atmosphere but the actual motion picture too, pick Hollywood blockbusters ;)
Here are those most centrally located:
Český rozhlas Regina
Karlín summer cinema is sponsored by one smaller local radio station and they do a great job. They’re perhaps the only ones that have kept organizing the summer cinema regularly over the past years. I went there several times and it was always awesome. Come a little earlier (or as early as 1 hour before screening), seats are limited!
Movies start at 9-10 pm and cost just 60 CZK and the program can be checked here.
A recently opened space in former barracks, Kasárna Karlín organizes a looooot of different types of events. Every Thursday and Saturday, it’s about the movies, though! They feature more ‘artsy’ movies.
See more info and a program here.
Žluté lázně (Yellow Spa)
Located further along the riverbank, actually in the quarter of Podolí, sits this amusement complex. You can do sports, eat and have fun. In the summer of 2018 it seems their movie screenings are not to regular. Check out the program here. It costs just 50 CZK to see a movie.
· Prague Boat Cinema
A new addition to the Prague movie scene, the boat cinema is anchored in Holešovice and offers screenings every day of the week.
While they plan to screen movies also on the river bank just outside the boat in summer 2019, the movie hall inside the hall is available for a good movie experience anytime, since it’s heated and air-conditioned. See the program here.
Prague Beer gardens
We Czechs love to spend summer days and warm evenings just sitting around in beer gardens with friends. In Prague summer time, the gardens with pleasant shade from trees are of course the most desired ones. If you find a good spot in a beer garden like that, hold on to it for your dear life!
It’s hard to say which beer gardens Prague locals consider to be the best but I like the ones in Prague’s parks:
- Riegrovy Sady – a park located right by Vinohrady and Žižkov. As of May 2019, it looks like the former big beer garden won’t resume operations in summer 2019. :(
- Stromovka in Dejvice is another great park where you’ll find an awesome beer garden full of locals.
- Letná park – a cool big park featuring a beer garden with a stunning view of Prague[clear h=10]
In any case, you can’t do wrong by just strolling your way through parks or practically anywhere further from the city center. Just sit down anywhere you’ll find it nice. Beer gardens in Prague are plentiful and popular! [clear h=15]
Prague Ice cream
We locals love the ice cream so much we even have an ice cream festival! It’s usually held in June. So where’s the best ice cream in Prague? You’ll get only the highest quality if you choose one of these ice cream shops with the most amazing Prague gelato:
- Angelato – Creamy ice cream and perfect sorbets just like in Italy; 4 locations around Prague
- Puro Gelato – Fresh ice cream every day in 3 locations around Prague
- Zmrzlinář – Only one ice cream parlour with just a few flavors but perfectly crafted
- Crème de la Crème – Italian like hand-crafted ice cream sold in 2 locations in Prague[clear h=10]
There’s a lot happening in Prague in summer! Prague Summer Festivals range from food to music to modern circus festivals.. I always have trouble deciding where to go :) There’s a handy updated list of upcoming events in Prague here on Prague City Tourism site.
The most noteworthy events are:
June: Prague in June belongs to music festivals. Check out the Metronome and/or United Islands of Prague (this one’s free!)
July: Visiting Prague in July means smaller festivals here and there
August: Letní Letná festival of modern circus
Escaping Prague heat
Once Prague gets hot, it’s time to escape.
Trips to Nature
A little trip to greenery always comes in handy and especially on the weekends it’s what many city kids like to do. If you don’t feel like organizing it yourself, you can join one of Discovering Prague’s events (which I join quite often actually) or have something in and around Prague organized for you privately.
Similarly, you can take a pre-arranged trip such as:
- Countryside dotted with volcanoes in an off-road vehicle
- Hiking Bohemian Paradise
- Hiking Bohemian Switzerland (group) or the same option on a budget
- Canoeing on Sázava River
Prague Swimming Pools
There are quite a few places to refresh in Prague during summer too. Here are some pools you can head to, both natural and artificial:
- Podolí, Prague 4: The closest outdoor (and indoor) swimming pool you can get to from the city center loved by locals but always full when the weather’s nice and warm.
- Petynka, Prague 6: Slightly off the beaten path, it gets quite empty during the workweek. The water quality’s great, I heard.
- Divoká Šárka, Prague 6: Located in the wilderness of a nature reserve of the same name on the outskirts of Prague, Divoka Sarka swimming pool is not for the faint hearted. Because of the water temperature! :) But the location is one of the best, I’d say. [clear h=5]
There’s of course many more swimming pools in Prague, this is just my subjective choice of those, which are popular among locals in summer.
I’m sorry to say that, but most locals work! Even in summer :)
If you yourself need to get some work done while in Prague, I have the best recommendation for you: K10 Coworking! Housed in a beautiful villa, which served as a residence to a Danish ambassador, it has its own garden (wifi covered!) and 3 floors of cool-looking offices. Here you can work and not give up on Prague summer vibes.
Let me know if you come to work at K10 Prague based on my recommendation, I’m at the villa often too and it would be fun to meet up! :)
K10 is now part of the Impact Hub network, together with its Czech base in Smíchov.
Prague Summer Weather
How is the weather in summer in Prague? In short, every year it varies. But you’re more likely to experience some very hot days:
Weather in June in Prague can be tricky. Usually the days will be warm, but not too much. In 2018, the temperatures during the day moved between 20°C and 25°C. Mornings and evenings can still feel a little cold.
Prague weather in July averages 17.6°C (63.7°F). That’s the official number. However, it’s quite likely that during the day the temperatures will oscillate between 25°C and 30°C (77 – 86°F). If there’s no weather anomaly, you won’t need a sweater. :)
Weather in Prague in August sees the official average at 17.3°C (63°F), but just like in July, the temperatures might as well hit the thirties. Often even more than that. Prague heat wave in 2018 was quite extreme. Given the lack of A/C in most places, it wasn’t a pleasant experience for many tourists.
It might rain or not, you never know. Fortunately, for the rainy days, I put together a comprehensive Prague Rain Guide.
Weather in Prague in summer can get quite unpredictable. Prepare for warm temperatures but don’t forget long sleeves and pants too, just in case.
[clear h=10]Obviously, Prague is a great destination that won’t break the bank and it’s very unlikely you’d experience a heat stroke here. So come on over![clear h=15]
If you need tips on awesome cafes to go to, check out my article on the 5 New Cafés of Prague – some featuring pretty awesome gardens![clear h=15]
There’s nothing better on a fine summery morning than a delicious breakfast. Well, get ready for an overload of that – here are my tips on where to have the best breakfast.[clear h=15]
Oh no! You’re coming in winter?! That’s actually quite awesome too, Prague is beautiful during wintertime! See what to do in winter in Prague.[clear h=15]
Your turn now! Let me know your thoughts about Prague in summer :) [clear h=15]