Make the Czech capital your city escape this month. With crowd-free snowy streets, warming spa treatments, cosy cafés and chic shopping, it's a wonderful time to visit
A wintry sunrise over Prague
Blustery weather and below-freezing temperatures may not seem like the most enticing conditions for a city break, but don't let the Czech winter keep you from booking a trip to historic Prague. The winding, lantern-lit streets and medieval architecture are never more beautiful than with a frosting of snow, while its famous café culture, hearty fare and old-world charm make it the perfect place to hunker down during those colder days.
Glassware at Cihelna Concept Store
Low season is an ideal time to explore: the sights are quieter and the streets more peaceful, allowing visitors to soak up the atmosphere like a local. Situated in a former 14th-century monastery in Malá Strana, Mandarin Oriental, Prague is a fitting introduction to the city's old-meets-new ethos, with a serene, contemporary interior lending a modern edge to its characterful setting. A short stroll across the stunning Charles Bridge brings you straight into the heart of the Old Town, where you'll find key attractions such as Prague Castle, St Vitus Cathedral and the National Gallery.
Prague's Savoy Café
For those partial to a little retail therapy, Pařížská Street is a must-visit for high-end fashion by both Czech and international designers. If bad weather hampers browsing, hop in a cab to Harddecore on Senovážné náměstí, where you'll find a stylish edit of independent fashion and homewares under one roof. Design lovers should make time to visit Concept Store Karlin on Křižíkova Street, which specialises in products by German brand Blomus and stocks modern pieces by other well known European names. Nearby wine bar Veltlin – where you can sample a large selection of local wines – is an excellent pit stop if you need to escape from the cold. Back in Malá Strana, the Cihelna Concept Store is the place to go for exquisite objets d'art, handcrafted glass and porcelain.
The DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, in Holešovice
A trip to Prague wouldn't be complete without a visit to one of the city's grand cafés. With its ornate neo-Renaissance ceiling and in-house bakery, the elegant Café Savoy – only a 10-minute walk from the hotel – is a favourite. And the ever-evolving local culinary scene means there's a wealth of exciting eateries to discover, from restorative vegetarian fare to serious comfort food, such as the upscale burgers at Dish on Rímská Street. If you're in search of a fine-dining stalwart, look no further than Michelin-starred La Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise for a refined and modern take on traditional Czech cuisine.
Crisp air and winter sunshine may well have you feeling energised and wanting to wander further afield, in which case Holešovice, the city's former meatpacking district, is worth checking out for its arty, up-and-coming feel. Alternatively, if unparalleled relaxation is what you're after, stay close to home and while away a few heavenly hours at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Prague. Located in what was once the monastery's chapel, this wellbeing sanctuary will revive body and soul. For an unforgettable treatment, try the Linden Embrace Journey. Inspired by the natural properties of the linden tree and designed to instil a deep sense of warmth and peace, it includes a full body scrub and a massage with hot linden poultices. Pure bliss.