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Prague: Is May or July more crowded?

I read in the RS guide that tourist season in Prague peaks in May, June and September. Other websites say Prague is mobbed in July and August. Also, our hotel reduces rates for July compared to May. I find it hard to believe that the summer months are the least crowded in Prague, but if it's true, I'd like to go then.

Anyone know how summer tourism compares with the shoulder seasons?

Thank you.

Posted by
1402 posts

The return to normalcy after two years of Covid will likely see it return to being crowded in July and August. I was there in September of last year and Prague was deserted but 2023 will not be like 2021.

Posted by
14499 posts

In a way not surprising that the hotel rates in Prague are lower in July than they are in May, likewise in Germany and Austria.
Basically the period of reduced rates, if the particular hotel has such a policy at all, goes from mid-July to the roughly the end of August.

I inquired about this period of reduced rates in Vienna at two hotels, a 3 star and a 4 star, and was told that August was the best time to get the cheapest rates. What we see as high or peak season, they see as "reduced " season. Another reason for going over in July/August.

Posted by
402 posts

If you just looked at it from a weather point of view then May and September i.e. early and late summer are nice months to explore any European city. July/August can see some extremely hot temperatures. Can't speak for Austria/Germany but it's well known that August sees Czechs going to Italy and the Italians coming to Czech. Also the "mobbing" is in the first district. Look at the Prague 2 district for less crowds but still with quick access to the centre.

Posted by
27057 posts

Business travel is down quite a bit in July-August in many major European cities. Whether that's enough to offset the number of tourists who travel during school-vacation periods, I do not know. I am doubtful that overall visitor levels are down in central European cities, but I have sometimes gotten nice rates at what I call "business-class hotels" (3-star or low-end 4-star places) even when booking rather late (or perhaps because I booked rather late).

Posted by
10 posts

All other months than June, July and most of August are better for travel in Europe. Late March through mid May and late August through end of year are great times to travel in Europe. There's nothing wrong with Jan and Feb but they're usually colder, windier, and damper. If you're a Kid, then enjoy the crowds of summer. Just make sure you have reservations for everything you want to do.

Posted by
17854 posts

Most visit Prague to see a couple of historic districts that are highly renovated and serve one purpose, tourism.

Budapest is a nearly fully existent pre WWI city. Not more than 5% of pest was lost to WWII and the buildings continue to serve their original functions for the most part ... tourism is secondary to the established culture.

Buda suffered more, but much of it has been reconstructed or renovated to the pre WWI state.

Don't train Prague to Budapest, fly. It's fast and cheap.

Posted by
318 posts

We were in Prague in August of 2017, which was a very unusual mid-summer trip for us. I was worried about crowds and didn't feel it was overwhelming at all. We had a great trip and weren't that hot either. Note: we did sleep in a business class hotel that trip bc I think I planned it a tad late. Not a smaller mom and pop/more salt of the earth like Rick usually advises. It was honestly great, and we had no issue with hot nights, which is my other worry when traveling in summer. Can't speak to May or July specifically.

Posted by
4509 posts

I recall the Steves’ book saying that Prague crowds are down in August.

Paris is practically deserted in August but the tourist sites are still busy.

Like every city the symphonies and operas take July and August off.

Posted by
1942 posts

Prague is now busy in shoulder season too. Parents went there in 2019 in the middle of October and they said it was packed.

I personally would just go when the rates are cheapest and know it will be crowded for the foreseeable future as people are still making up for not traveling for 2 years.