5 things to do in Prague when it rains

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Prague is a gob-smackingly beautiful city. One of the best things to do as a visitor is simply wander around the centre, lose yourself in the maze of cobbled streets and admire the many pretty buildings.

The one potential problem with this plan?

The weather.

A typical July in Prague, I am reliably informed, is scorching hot. Not this year. Frankly I am surprised that there is any water left in the sky given the recent relentless downpours.  And then there were the terrifying storms last week which left people screaming while running for cover to dodge the lighting bolts which rained down along with the, erm, rain.

So, should you find yourself on holiday in Prague (or you’re Prague based but entertaining visitors from Blighty) and find the weather to be almost as inhospitable as a Czech checkout lady, here are some ideas for some ways to explore the city while staying dry.

1. Go to the pub.

No trip to Prague would be complete without paying a visit to a local hostelry and sampling authentic Czech beer.  And then there’s the grub. Dumplings are tasty but somehow it doesn’t feel right to scoff down that kind of stomach lining, hearty fare when it’s sweltering hot outside. Use the poor weather as an excuse: indulge yourself with food that would give the health police a heart attack!  If you’re a knedliky virgin, I recommend you try them at lunchtime: it will be cheaper (most pubs have a special low-price menu in the middle of the day) and your digestive system will be better prepared to deal with the onslaught of stodge.

2. If you’re teetotal, try a tea house.

Inclement weather is a good excuse to explore another Czech phenomenon: the tea house or čajovná.  Don’t expect little old ladies serving scones with clotted cream though. Tea houses were established after Communism as an alternative to the smoke-filled Czech pub. They’re a place where people can get together and hang out over a hot beverage without having to face a hangover the next day. You choose from a vast menu of teas from Lapsang Souchong to first flush darjeeling. Don’t ask for milk though. Or coffee.

3. The Cinema, Czech Style.

Yes, I know you have cinemas back home.  But can you sit in a deck chair? Or a vintage car? Bio Oko is a twenty-minute tram ride from tourist-tastic central Prague, but more than merits a visit. And you’ll be supporting independent cinema too: hurrah! Don’t panic: all English language films are in the original version and many others are subtitled. Check out their program here.

4. Take an Underground Tour

If it’s raining above ground, why not take an underground tour? Lots of tourists pay the 100kc to climb (or take the lift) to the top of the tower in the Old Town Hall on Staroměstské náměstí (aka Old Town Square).  Few bother to pay an extra 50kc to go on a tour of the rest of the building as part of which you’re led through a maze of underground chambers and passageways, some of which are 9 metres below the square itself. You’ll be shown chambers where medieval prisoners were starved to death and the Nazis locked up their opponents. Is it worrying that I find this stuff fascinating?

5. Do what you were going to do anyway, but wearing a waterproof.

If you’re English, you’re more than used to the weather conspiring to ruin your holiday plans.  Do what you would do at home if you were on a sightseeing trip and the heavens suddenly opened.  Keep calm, don your kagoule, and carry on.

19 Comments

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19 Responses to 5 things to do in Prague when it rains

  1. Tessien

    “A typical July in Prague, I am reliably informed, is scorching hot. Not this year.” – Yeah, it’s funny how this reliable info often works out. When I was moving to London 2.5 years ago, I was reliably informed that it basically never snows in winter. Yeah, right 🙂

  2. When it’s raining cats and dogs,
    it is time to have some grogs.

  3. M-

    Haha – “knedliky virgin”

  4. Robert Maybin

    Reading this my eyes lit up to the joys that behold us when we visit in October. I think you are starting to give us our list of things to do, can’t wait.

  5. sharka

    And when you live in Prague you can: stay at home alone/with your partner/with friends and watch tv… films (Czech ones for being in the CR), English detective stories (Midsomer Murders, Agatha Christie’s…) … Eating Milkas, lunch, dinner prepared by yourself or read (Millenium triology for ex.) … I like when it’s raining… or go with your friends (girls usually) for a talk and latte/capuccino/hot chocolate/vanilla cream with whipped cream at the top to a coffehouse.

  6. What a great post! I miss living in Prague! The rain usually did not bother me that much since there was always something to do no matter what the weather was like. I loved hanging out at Dobra Cajovna Tea house 🙂

    • girlinczechland

      Hi Elisabeth,
      I think a Czech tea house is a great place to hang out when it rains. Beware the teenagers inevitably snogging away (or making out as they say where you are) in a dark corner though 😉
      GIC

  7. Sean

    ‘This kind of summer seems to me rather unfortunate’ from the famous Czech film: http://filmovy.stream.cz/ukazka/3095-rozmarne-leto-tento-zpusob-leta-zda-se-mi-ponekud-nestastnym
    Enjoy!

  8. My wife is in Ostrava visiting family…it snowed on her the other day…meanwhile I’m stuck in southern Illinois in the USA with 75 degree fahrenheit (23 degrees celsius) weather…

  9. how about running a half marathon? :))

  10. maria

    love this city :)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

  11. Jan

    If it rains in Prague, just hide yourself someplace. A café, a 24/7 bar you probably never noticed, a tearoom, doesn’t matter. Prague has a nice offer in the matter of hideouts. So hide you out someplace, enjoy all the underground feelings and get home safe and soud by the first night tram (or a later one). With our taverns looking like war hideouts, do you mean we’re not ready for bad weather? 🙂

    • girlinczechland

      Hello Jan,

      I’m a big fan of teahouses – it’s nice to have somewhere to go and hang out in the evenings which doesn’t revolve around drinking beer (not that I’m teetotal, it’s just nice to have the option to socialise without alcohol :))

      And Czechs are always prepared for any kind of weather. Isn’t that why they all wear ski-jackets even in the city centre? 😉

      GIC

  12. barča

    you can dancing in the rain 😀 / můžeš tancovat v dešti 😀

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