The Ultimate Guide to the Prague Christmas Market

Prague Czech Republic

Christmas is coming shortly and there’s no higher place to take pleasure in the festive spirit than in European Christmas markets.

When planning your subsequent winter getaway, why not go to one in every of the most lovely markets in the world?

The Prague Christmas market in the Czech Republic with their magical environment, native Christmas traditions, nice purchasing and scrumptious meals are one among the greatest Christmas markets in Europe.

Prague Czech Republic

As Czechs, who’ve been dwelling in Prague for a number of years, we visited the Christmas markets in the Czech capital many occasions. And we’re planning to go there once more this yr as a result of it’s an enormous a part of Czech Christmas custom.

Additionally, it by no means will get boring!

It’s an ideal place to unwind from the pre-Christmas buying insanity, get into the festive temper and have a cup (or two) of mulled wine.

Why Select Prague for Christmas Markets

Christmas markets in Prague Czech Republic

However why do you have to journey to Prague when there are such a lot of Christmas markets in Europe?

The important cause why we love the Christmas markets in Prague is that they aren’t as massive as these in Germany or Austria, so you will get a extra genuine festive environment right here.

The hottest markets are situated shut to one another and you may simply stroll from one to one other, there isn’t a want to use public transportation.

You can too discover an amazing number of Christmas merchandise, presents, meals and drinks accompanied by festive-themed leisure right here.

Gingerbread stall in Christmas markets in PragueGingerbread stall in Christmas markets in Prague

Normally, costs in the Czech Republic are decrease than in Western Europe so you’ll get a lot better worth in your cash in Prague at the Christmas market.

And we aren’t speaking solely about costs of Christmas merchandise or meals. The finish of the yr (apart from Christmas time and New Yr’s Eve) is taken into account as the off-season so you’ll be able to seize a discount in your flights or lodging to Prague.

Not to point out the beautiful historic middle, one in every of the most lovely cities in the world, which you could discover once you get uninterested in Christmas carols.

You will get impressed by our one-day itinerary.

When to Go to the Prague Christmas Markets

Christmas trees in Old Town Square, PragueChristmas timber in Previous City Sq., Prague

The Christmas markets in Prague (‘vanocni trhy’ in the Czech language) begin properly earlier than the holidays so you might have loads of time to get into the merry temper.

There are lots of markets unfold throughout the metropolis, they’re open day by day, the entry is free, and they’re one among the greatest issues to do in Prague.

Sometimes, the largest and the hottest Prague Christmas markets at (Previous City Sq., Wenceslas Sq., Republic Sq.) begin at the starting of December and final till the starting of January.

The smaller markets (Peace Sq., Tyl’s Sq. and others) already begin at the finish of November however end at Christmas Eve.

Earlier than you guide your flights verify the opening occasions of the Prague markets right here.

The place are the Greatest Christmas Markets in Prague?

Christmas markets in Prague Czech Republic

Christmas markets are an essential a part of Christmas custom in the Czech Republic and a should do in Prague, and that’s why you will discover them in most cities and cities throughout the nation.

These in Prague are the largest they usually supply the greatest number of Christmas merchandise.

Yow will discover them in lots of locations (particularly squares) throughout the metropolis, the hottest markets are situated in the districts of Prague 1 and a couple of.

You shouldn’t miss the following markets – these are the greatest Prague Christmas markets, the largest and hottest, but in addition the busiest as most vacationers head right here:

Previous City Sq. (Staromestske namesti)

The largest and most crowded Christmas market in Prague is unfold round the Jan Hus Memorial close to the Previous City Corridor and Astronomical clock.

Closest metro stations: Staromestska, Mustek

Wenceslas Sq. (Vaclavske namesti)

Held at the decrease a part of Wenceslas Sq., only a brief stroll from Previous City Sq..

Closest metro stations: Mustek, Muzeum

Republic Sq. (Namesti Republiky)

One a part of the market might be present in entrance of the purchasing centre Palladium, the different close to the Previous Customs Home (Stara Celnice). Inside strolling distance from each Previous City and Wenceslas Squares.

Closest metro station: Namesti Republiky

Prague Fort (Prazsky hrad)

Situated at St. George’s Sq. (Namesti sv. Jiri) behind the St. Vitus Cathedral (Katedrala sv. Vita).

Closest metro stations: Hradcanska, Malostranska

Christmas decorations, Christmas markets in PragueChristmas decorations

If you’d like to see the place native individuals go, take a look at a few of the smaller Christmas markets for extra genuine expertise, for instance:

Peace Sq. (Namesti Miru)

Held in entrance of the Church of St. Ludmila (Kostel sv. Ludmily) in the Vinohrady district. That is often the first Christmas market of the season.

Closest metro station: Namesti Miru

Tyl’s Sq. (Tylovo namesti)

One other small market in Vinohrady.

Closest metro station: I. P. Pavlova

These are simply a few of the hottest Christmas markets in Prague however there are various extra of them as each metropolis district often holds their very own.

What do Czech Christmas Markets seem like?

Wenceslas Square Prague Czech RepublicChristmas tree in Previous City Sq.

Czech Christmas markets are often nestled round a adorned and lit Christmas tree, and considered one of the nicest issues to see in Prague.

The largest and the most well-known is the one in Previous City Sq..

There’s even a contest held yearly when individuals can ship their strategies for the proper Christmas tree and the one that discovered the chosen tree wins some cash.

The lighting of the Christmas tree throughout the first night of the market is an enormous occasion that begins the specific Christmas market. When you can, don’t miss the first ceremonial tree illumination in Previous City Sq..

You possibly can often discover some type of a Nativity scene, both static or reside, and it’s often situated close to the Christmas tree.

Christmas markets include picket stalls or huts adorned with Christmas ornaments, the place numerous Christmas merchandise (often handmade) or refreshment are on supply.

The commonest gadgets are Christmas tree decorations, handicrafts, glassware, picket toys, winter equipment, gingerbread, sweets, and so forth.

Roasted ham, Christmas markets in PragueRoasted ham

We like to drop into a few of the refreshment stalls to get a roasted ham or sausage. Petr washes it down with Czech beer (attempt Pilsner Urquell), whereas Kat is a fan of mulled wine.

There are various leisure choices coming with Prague Christmas markets – from live shows carried out primarily by youngsters or numerous choirs who sing Czech Christmas carols, family-oriented performances to native craftsmen showcasing their jobs (blacksmiths are the commonest and their stalls are additionally the warmest – simply saying!).

Most Christmas markets are family-friendly and there are many actions on your little ones.

They will pet sheep, goats or donkeys in animal stables, get busy in baby workshops, enter numerous competitions, style Christmas sweets and so forth.

You don’t want to spend all of your time in Christmas markets, there’s all the time a lot happening in the festive season – don’t miss a few of the Creation live shows carried out in historic buildings or church buildings, theatre, opera, ballet or exhibitions.

You’ll be able to even discover a couple of outside ice-skating rinks throughout the metropolis – go to the one in the Fruit Market (Ovocny trh) in the Previous City.

What to Purchase at the Czech Christmas Markets

Christmas products, Christmas markets in PragueChristmas merchandise

You is perhaps overwhelmed by the nice choice of Christmas merchandise in the markets as a result of all of it seems to be so fairly and it’s arduous to determine what to get.

The following are a few of the typical gadgets that it is best to take a look at (not solely) as a result of they make good Christmas presents:

  • Christmas tree ornaments
  • Christmas decorations
  • Creation wreaths
  • Handicrafts
  • Picket toys
  • Scented candles
  • Glassware
  • Ceramics
  • Jewelry
  • Winter equipment (scarves, hats, gloves)
  • Gingerbread merchandise

What to Eat & Drink at the Prague Christmas Market

Trdelnik, Christmas markets in PragueTrdelnik

Don’t miss out and do this typical Czech meals, which is obtainable in most Christmas markets:

  • Spit-roasted ham (sunka)
  • Barbecued sausages (klobasy)
  • Salty potato pancakes (bramboraky)
  • Conventional Czech Christmas braided cake ‘vanocka’
  • Christmas cookies (vanocni cukrovi)
  • Gingerbread (pernik)

Whereas visiting Prague, you will notice ‘trdelnik’ round each nook. It’s a candy pastry produced from dough that’s wrapped round a metallic stick (trdlo) and grilled over an open flame.

It’s introduced as sometimes Czech however it’s not totally true, it’s widespread in most of Central Europe.

‘Trdelnik’ obtained closely promoted in Prague throughout the previous couple of years and you will discover it in most touristy locations.

Nevertheless, you must nonetheless give it a attempt – you possibly can have it empty, sprinkled with sugar, or with a filling (ice cream is the hottest).

You possibly can watch ‘trdelnik’ being made in most markets and standing by the hearth will even heat you up.

The following Christmas drinks will assist you to to hold heat too:

  • Mulled wine (svarene vino or svarak)
  • Mead (medovina)
  • Grog
  • Punch
  • Eggnog (vajecny konak)

Czech Christmas Traditions

Czech Christmas traditions are totally different from these in Western Europe.

For us, the most necessary day of Christmas is Christmas Eve (24th December), particularly the night, when we have now household dinner, youngsters get their presents and a few households go to a midnight mass in the native church.

For Christmas dinner we take pleasure in fish soup and fried carp with potato salad – that’s why you possibly can see massive tanks with fish on the market in lots of locations a couple of days earlier than Christmas.

Selfmade Christmas cookies are an enormous a part of the vacation in each family and every household has their very own ‘secret’ recipes for the greatest cookies.

There’s a Christmas tree colorfully adorned and lit in each home.

The major determine of Czech Christmas is Child Jesus (Jezisek), not Santa Claus (although you would see Santa in most outlets).

Throughout Christmas Day (25th December) and St. Stephen’s Day (26th December) Czech individuals like to go to household and buddies.

Christmas is the time when households come collectively and luxuriate in lots of good meals and in addition fairy tales (there are numerous Czech fairy tales on TV throughout Christmas and we love watching them yearly).

Outlets are often closed from the afternoon on 24th December till 25th December, a few of them open on 26th December (gross sales time!).

Scorching Tip: St. Nicholas Day in Czech Republic

Christmas tree in Republic Square, PragueChristmas tree in Republic Sq., Prague

In case you are in the Czech Republic in the night of fifth December (a day earlier than St. Nicholas Day), you’ll in all probability meet St. Nicholas (Mikulas) accompanied by an angel and a satan in the streets.

They ask youngsters in the event that they behaved throughout the yr – in that case, they provide them a small current (often a bag of sweets).

If the youngsters have been naughty, they get a lump of coal or potatoes as an alternative (they nonetheless get some deal with in order that they aren’t too unhappy).

How to Make the Most of Prague Christmas Market

 Sun going down in Old Town Square, PragueSolar taking place in Previous City Sq., Prague

We hope we satisfied you that the Christmas markets in Prague must be in your bucket record. It’s a good way to begin the festive season and get some unique Christmas presents or decorations.

It’s chilly in the Czech Republic in December (anticipate temperatures under zero diploma Celsius / 32 levels Fahrenheit), so gown warmly.

The Prague Christmas markets are extremely popular worldwide and that’s why they will get crowded, particularly in Previous City and Wenceslas Squares.

For those who can, attempt to go to the markets throughout weekdays to keep away from the crowds (that’s what we do).

As locals, we favor the smaller markets for extra genuine expertise and decrease costs. But when it’s your first time in Prague you shouldn’t miss the huge markets too – it’s simply up to you ways a lot time (and cash) you’ll spend there.

Most stalls don’t settle for bank cards as they’re simply small distributors, so deliver money with you (the native foreign money is Czech koruna, not Euro).

We like to go to the Prague Christmas markets after it will get darkish and the stalls mild up, it’s a very magical expertise (particularly if it snows).

There’s nothing like absorbing the distinctive environment of medieval Prague, shopping the picket stalls, listening to Christmas carols, having fun with Czech conventional meals and sipping mulled wine.

In case you are in search of memorable experiences, Prague all the time delivers.

Planning a Journey to Prague

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Have you ever visited the Christmas markets in Prague but? Do you might have some other recommendations on what to do in Prague? 

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