Cannabis enthusiasts visiting Prague, Czech Republic in November’s shoulder season can expect less tourists and more affordability, as well as an opportunity to witness the city’s famed Christmas markets that literally light up the chilly outside while club, concert, ballet, opera, black light and marionette theatre season gear up at indoor venues.
Prague may be Europe’s most cannabis-friendly city, but it doesn’t wear its cannabis pride on its emerald sleeve, unlike nearby Amsterdam. As in most European countries, cannabis is still illegal and medical cannabis patients are left in limbo land without proper licensing or access to lab-tested premium meds.
Still, Prague residents and visitors can rather easily obtain decent-to-excellent flower bud strains from private home-to-medical grade growers (see “if you go” section for buying recommendations). Edibles and other ingestion methods such as vaping are still quite rare, but cannabis tinctures and salves are another matter. In fact, it is legal for citizens over 18 to grow up to five plants for medical use at home. This is why most Czech grannies and grandpas have grown their own for centuries to provide a fresh store of smoking bud as well as soothing transdermal medications to sick friends and family.
The city’s famous Christmas Markets rev up this year starting Nov. 26 although Prague’s holiday lights and window dressings magically transform the city by mid month. Both Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square are open from morning to late evening with dazzling decorations along with holiday shopping, charming carolers, traditional foods and warm drinks such as mulled wine and hot chocolate.
—Prague’s O2 Arena is one of Europe’s best and biggest concert venues. Lit-up like a jewel at night, “The 02” rocks late fall with the world tours of Rod Stewart (Nov. 7), Jean-Michel Jarre (Nov. 8), Justin Bieber (Nov. 12), Petr Hapka (Nov. 24) and Elton John (Nov. 26).
–Day tripping using Prague as a central base is one of the delights of this ancient city as it sits just slightly northwest of the country’s dead center. One of the best day trips is located just two hours north by train to a mountainous forest oddly enough called Bohemian Switzerland, which is actually sits on Germany’s south border.
–If you are visiting the Czech Republic on Nov. 17, remember this is a national holiday called the Day of the Struggle for Liberty and Democracy. This no-work day commemorates a famous student protest in 1939 against the Nazi occupation and also celebrates the 1989 Velvet Revolution. Most tourist-laden businesses are open for the holiday, but shops frequented by locals will probably be closed or have limited hours.
If You Go
Prague may sound like a cannabis lover’s dream, but it isn’t as easy it is sounds. A tradition of using cannabis as medicines goes back thousands of years, so medical cannabis has always been accepted as a true medication. But like most European countries, it isn’t truly legal. However, Prague is the most openly accepting European city for growing your own and toking in public (just don’t do it in front of the authorities). Cannabis growers here do it privately and the best buds can be found by befriending cool locals. Just remember to ask politely and expect to pay top notch prices for whatever you can find.
Time to Go: Fall
Weather: Cold with intermittent showers