bone-chilling cold?

Nov 10th, 2005, 06:52 PM
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bone-chilling cold?

Advice please on what warm clothing to bring to Prague for late November visit. We expect to walk and walk and walk, but don't know how much outerwear to pack: do we need down coats, or light coat with lots of layers and layers? Does it tend to rain in Nov? I read temp averages around 40 Ferenheit, but for those of you who are actually there, or have visited late fall, what should we expect? Thanks.
soxgirl is offline  
Nov 10th, 2005, 07:07 PM
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In Paris last week it was in the high 70' how colder might Prague be? Bone chilling to me means the Artic and I live in Florida! And we wwalked and walked then walked some more. 40 is hardly bone-chilling!
jody is offline  
Nov 10th, 2005, 07:46 PM
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uh, Jody, Paris is NOT Prague, weather-wise. It's a LOT colder in Prague than Paris. Prague IS bone-chilling cold in the winter, and it certainly can be so in late November as well. Budapest, which is further south than Prague, was bone-chilling cold down in the 30's (with a wind chill in the high teens/20's) around mid-NOv. of last year when I was there, but the first day I was there it was quite a bit warmer.

One cannot accurately predict how the weather will be when you're there of course, but you should be prepared for it to turn really cold within a day. I just looked at the Prague forecast for this coming week, and it shows highs of around 40 with rain/snow showers, low of 30F-so that should tell you something about what to expect at the end of the month-Paris, by contrast, shows a high of 55F for the same period).

To that end, I would suggest long underwear (because the winds really whip off the river), gloves, scarves, hats of some sort and layers with a lighter coat.
Spygirl is offline  
Nov 10th, 2005, 07:52 PM
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Soxgirl, you don’t say where you are from/living. That will make a difference in how you perceive the cold in Prague.

I was in Prague in December and January several years ago and understand “bone-chilling cold”. The dry cold just hits the surface, but the damp cold gets into your bones. I arrived from Toronto, which was FAR colder temp-wise, but dry. Prague was damp, as damp as Dublin where I was born, and yet much colder than Dublin.

I was dressed for Paris, my next destination: fashionably in a wool coat, pants, boots, scarf and I froze my A** off. Mind you, I DID insist on sitting at outdoor cafes J I got so cold I even bought a woolly hat!

I could definitely have used a down coat/jacket, but I won’t travel with one because they are bulky, ugly and unforgiving if you happen to be there during a warm spell. I suggest you check out some threads re suggestions on silk/thermal underwear that will allow you to dress “normally” and still keep warm.

Anther thing to keep in mind is that (in MY experience) the weather patterns in Europe have changed over the past couple of years so it is becoming increasingly difficult to define “normal”. You could find temps in the high 50s while you are there!

Regards Ger
OReilly is offline  
Nov 12th, 2005, 01:24 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I'm from Boston: 37 farenheit this morning and hitting upper 60s by tomorrow. I'll arm myself appropriately with the layer suggestions.
soxgirl is offline  
Nov 12th, 2005, 06:17 PM
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for historical weather trends, and a forecast before you go, see, click on weather
elaine is offline  
Nov 12th, 2005, 06:25 PM
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A few acquaintances have mentioned that Prague in winter is extremely cold. But I'm not sure about November. The recommended weather sites should help you plan and if you can pack layers then that would be good too.
francophile03 is offline  
Nov 12th, 2005, 06:31 PM
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I don't think that anywhere in November produces bone-chilling cold... that's usually a January kind of thing.

Sorry, but 40F is practically balmy. Do layers. A fleece vest will be light and warm.

Have a grand time!
Danna is offline  
Nov 12th, 2005, 07:16 PM
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I love to travel in the winter, and, though I am not a weather-wimp, I have experienced the bone-chilling temps while on vacation in Paris, Bologna and Iceland. We walk miles each day at a good clip, so I understand your concern about what to wear.

I highly recommend taking a long wool dress coat. Having the coverage to the knees is wonderful in the wind, and you can always let it flap open if you get too warm and need to air out a little. I have a long camel hair coat that looks elegant and is incredibly warm. The nice thing about a long coat versus a down coat is that you can easily drape it over your arm while in museums or other heated indoor spaces, instead of dealing with a huge puffy pillow-like ball of coat.

I also recommend taking a warm scarf and hat, plus earmuffs or a fleece ear band. When the wind is bone-chilling, having your ears snuggly covered can make all the difference (which is why we have a day's worth of pictures of me in Paris with my scarf wrapped babushka style around my head- I forgot my earband!)

I always take micro-fleece leggings and tops to use as pajamas in case the hotel room is cold. I also like to make sure my walking shoes have thick soles (to insulate me from cold pavement) and room for wool-blend socks.

My husband says I have a 5 degree range of comfort- I hate to be too hot or too cold. Here is what I normally wear for cold-weather travel:

1. ) three quarter length sleeve v-neck cotton/lycra t shirt- I'm allergic to silk, so this is what I use as my "long-underwear"- it has the advantage of being presentable if I get hot indoors and want to strip down to the bottom layer. I buy them at Target in coordinating colors and wear one per day. They roll up to nothing in your luggage.

Cashmere turtleneck -so snuggly and looks great. For a week-long trip I take 2 and wear one on the plane. Again, I roll them so they don't wrinkle and take up little room in the luggage. Since I have a clean t-shirt underneath, they stay fairly fresh if I air them out.

Loose cardigan or cowl-neck wool sweater to wear over the turtleneck for really cold days- If I warm up, I can tie it around my waist or twirl it around my shoulders.

Long camel hair dress coat

Wool trousers- I like stretch wool- very comfortable! (I find long underwear under pants to be overheating, and have always been fine in wool slacks, but I have worn cotton leggings under them in the snow.)

Timberland brand wool blend socks and walking shoes (2 pairs of shoes if weather will be wet.)

warm scarf


fleece earband or faux-fur earmuffs for bitter winds

attractive wool hat on its own in less bitter weather ( I bring two in case of wet weather, so one can dry while I wear the other.)

Oh yes...Don't forget the Chapstick!

Have a wonderful trip, and remember that you can always duck into a cafe to warm up!
BlueSwimmer is offline  
Nov 12th, 2005, 09:11 PM
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I have a camel hair dress coat which I love - but would not take traveling if I could bring only one coat. My down coat is warmer when needed and not sweltering if the weather is milder (and it had better pockets). It's not any "puffier" than a wool or cashmere or camel hair coat. And, it's waterproof. A wool coat gets soaked when it rains and does not dry quickly. I find it easier to drag around indoors (but you can nearly always check it - in restaurants, museums, etc.).

I also prefer 3/4 length to long. Long tends to drag on the floor when taking taxis, riding buses, going up and down stairs. For me, anyway, the extra length doesn't really keep your knees warm - it just gets in the way.
djkbooks is offline  
Nov 13th, 2005, 10:53 AM
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<Sorry, but 40F is practically balmy. Do layers. A fleece vest will be light and warm>

40F is the average, not the low. Add rain and wind from the river and crossing the Charles Bridge or walking along the river can definitely be bone-chilling. And it could be very cold at night. You may want to attend concerts and certainly will be going out to dinner so you will need a lot more than a fleece vest.

Heed the advice of the posters who have been there and now recommend layering, warm socks, hat or scarf to cover your head (and ears) and gloves. Someone recommends warm sleep clothing too -- good advice; my room was cold. You may be lucky and really have balmy weather but you'd be wise to prepare for a few very cold days.

I was in Prague in October last year and it turned very cold suddenly. Even the shopkeepers and hotel desk clerks were talking about it. The second day I was there I commented on how pleasant the weather was to a shopkeeper and he shook his head and said "Yes, but tomorrow the rain comes and then the cold." And it did!

I remember seeing other posts about Prague weather in late fall several months ago. If you don't have enough information now you could do a search.

The city is truly beautiful and the food is very good and very reasonably priced. I'm sure you'll love the Prague and have a wonderful time regardless of the weather as long as you're prepared.

Good luck.
Luisah is offline  
Nov 13th, 2005, 11:28 AM
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Thermal underwear, layers, and yes, a down vest.
Dave_in_Paris is offline  
Nov 13th, 2005, 11:52 AM
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All this seems to be a litte exaggerated. It's not really THAT cold. The way people describe it, I would think o Siberia or Manitoba in January. Late November still isn't winter and even in winter it almost never gets below -10 Celsius at night. If you would do some hiking somewhere up in the mountains, it would be cold, but as it's only around freezing, it's still is pleasant enough.
logos999 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2005, 02:21 PM
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All your specific clothing recs have helped me a lot. I know just what to pack now. Thanks to all of you who took the time to work this through for me. Bringing my own scarf, tho my daughter tells me not to cause they sell beautiful ones on every street corner. Can't believe we're actually leaving in 6 days.
soxgirl is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 11:47 AM
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Six days to go -- lucky you. Bringing your own scarf is a good idea, then you can purchase some there for gifts. I bought two beautiful tie-dyed silk scarves in a small shop on a side street down near the bridge. They had fleece tops and jackets in lovely colors and very unusual and original jewelry. I have a card someplace and will post the address when I find it. Not enough time to search today.
Luisah is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 03:30 PM
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November is tricky there. It will be cold, but maybe not snowing, yet. Bring a wool coat & layers (sweaters, turtlenecks). Even if it's cold outside, some cafes & theatres will be HOT inside, so you'll want layers for
practical purposes. You can buy some nice stuff there, so just pick up an extra sweater when you get there, if it turns out to be arctic. Don't think it will be that bad, though. Happy travels.

Oh, by the way, since everyone smokes there, I ended up having to dry clean my clothes several times during my winter trip there. I couldn't stand the smell from the pubs. It was cheap, though. You could also just plan on bringing washable clothes/jeans, etc, so you can go to the laundromat if you need to.
amp322 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 07:00 PM
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ugh-forgot about the smoking thing in Europe. Just going to have to put up with it.
Looked up weather on one of the recommended sites-starting when I arrive, there will be total of 2 hours of sun over the following 6 days, temps in the 30s, and snow showers.
Elaine sent me an extensive resource she put together on anything you want to know about Prague. Finished it Elaine. I thank you for compiling this narrative. And I recommend it to future travelers to Prague. I'm now armed with my notebook, Rick Steves, layers and layers of clothing, good walking shoes, too many sites to see and restaurants to visit, maybe Luisah's store address, and looking at takeoff minus 4. Cheers.
soxgirl is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 03:18 PM
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Snow -- great photo op; I'd love to see the statues on the Charles Bridge with a dusting of snow. You'll be warm enough so will be able to enjoy.

Found the card. Shop address is 8 Husova. I took a left onto Husova when walking toward the bridge. I think the shop is around Betlem Square and the Hotel Betlam Club. The name on the card is KRAB Textilni Galerie - Kateriny Rabasgave. I remember a good candy shop in the area too, several art galleries and a few cafes.

I hope you'll have a great vacation and also hope you'll write a brief report letting us all know how everything worked out for you. The good, the not so good and the wonderful.
Luisah is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 06:42 PM
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Cheers, Luisah.
soxgirl is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 06:46 PM
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Layers are the way to go and warm footwear.
coccinelle is offline  

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