Best Christmas Markets In Prague

Prague is one of the best places to visit in Europe. As it does every year, Prague becomes a true winter wonderland setting from November 30 to January 6. Although Prague is a wonderful destination in the Czech Republic year-round, during the Christmas period in particular this medieval capital city welcomes thousands of visitors from all over the world.

Every year, a theme is assigned to the Christmas Markets in Prague. Ranked among the top ten Christmas markets in the world, the markets are made up of brightly decorated chalet-like wooden huts where visitors can buy a multitude of handicrafts, including ceramics, jewelry, embroidered lace, wooden toys, scented candles, ornaments, hats and gloves and everything in between.

You can even find puppets and dolls dressed in traditional costume sold mainly during the Christmas season. An interesting option for lovers of old style is Prague. Known among world travelers as one of the most charming places in the world, Prague is ideal for photographs of red-roofed buildings, countless bridges, and Renaissance, Gothic, and Baroque architecture.

This beautiful chocolate-box-like city attracts millions every year, especially around Christmas time when the Christmas markets open. There are snow falls often to make the city look even more beautiful.

best Christmas markets in Prague

For both visitors and locals alike, Prague is a great place to enjoy the wholesome festive spirit that one can only experience when visiting Christmas markets in Europe.

1. Old Town Square Christmas Market

Another vibrant and picturesque city center. The square is hidden in the middle of the old part of Prague, enclosed by homes of baroque and rococo. The old town is an UNESCO World Heritage site known for its gothic and baroque architecture. Right here you'll find old sculptures, town Hall, Prague Astronomical Clock and, obviously, souvenir shops, road artists, cafes plus much more.

The two main markets in Prague, or Vánoční trhy as they are known in Czech, are always held at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. The markets are in an easy-to-reach central location and are a 5 minute-walk from each other. While both markets are delightful, the market in Old Town Square is perhaps the most-beloved Christmas market of all.

In the center of the market, you will find the traditional mighty Christmas tree, transported from the forests of the Liberec region of the Czech Republic, whose lights are switched on every day at 4:30 pm. What makes the Christmas market in this square a cut above the rest is the number of beautiful oddities of the square itself that can be enjoyed year-round.

Check out the Astronomical Clock. One of the more notable is the Prazsky Orloj or the Prague Astronomical Clock. The astronomical clock at the wall of the town hall is is the oldest astronomical clock in the world which is still in use. It not only rivals the clock in St. Mark’s Clock Tower in Venice, it comes into its own during the Christmas celebration that focuses so much on brightness, warmth and kindness.

Listening to its musical merriment, you may well wonder if the clock and its display were designed specifically for these comforting aspects of Yuletide joy.

The areas where the markets are located is walking distance to most of the city's important sites and more importantly, boasts several accommodation options to choose from. The two most popular areas to stay in for Christmas markets in Prague are the Old Town area (also known as Prague One), where you can find Old Town Square and a handful of the city’s main attractions, and anywhere near Wenceslas Square in the New Town.

One of the favored accommodations in the area is the Radisson Blu Hotel in Prague, particularly during high season, as it conveniently located nearby the city and its most popular sites. It is a 9-minute walk from the market on Wenceslas Square and 17-minute walk from the one in Old Town Square.

Get into the festive mood and browse stalls. Enjoy the Christmas carols and indulge in the traditional savory and hearty food while sipping on a hot cup (or two) of Glögg, or mulled wine. Popular food on offer includes large hams roasted on spits (Pražská Šunka); barbecued sausages (klobása); Hungarian flatbread topped with garlic, cheese and ketchup (langoš).

You can also taste pancakes (palačinky) and a variety of sweets and cakes, such as spicy gingerbread and a hot sugar-coated pastry (trdelník).

Next, visit the nearby Josevov - the Jewish district in the old town. Stop by an eatery for lunch. Dedicate the rest of your evening visiting Prague's Jewish Museum. Also, try to cover Old-New Synagogue, the Old Jewish Cemetery and the Spanish Synagogue. The oldest active jewish synagogue in the world is located here.

2. Wenceslas Square Christmas Market

The central square of the city, which is entitled by the National Museum and the monument to St. Wenceslas. Restaurants, shops, museums are located along the square.

If you are short on time and have some last-minute Christmas shopping to do, the charming streets of Wenceslas Square are lined with plenty of shops to get you in the mood to browse the amazingly diverse and invitingly lit Christmas stalls at location. However, if what you are looking for is a more historical, cozy and true-to-Prague visit, head straight for the market in the Late Medieval Old Town Square.

Once you reach Prague, you can take a private taxi, airport shuttle, or public bus till your place of stay. Check in your hotel or backpacking hostel (whatever deems fit).

Try booking it weeks in advance and look for an accommodation in and around the main city centre. Eat something and sleep to be able to revive from the jet lag and get some rest. Wake up early and start your day by visiting Old Town Square. You will need tickets to visit here so book them online. Observe and enter the famous Clock Tower, all the spiked towers and fancy buildings there.

3. Prague Castle Christmas Market

Today – it is one of the largest existing castle complexes in the world. A sort of city in the city, the Old Prague with its towers and cathedrals, squares and gardens, bridges and streets. Entrance to the territory of Prague Castle is free. Visit the cathedrals, towers, and museums on the territory.

There are some good cafes in nearby for having lunch. Taste the pastry trdelník (chimney shake), which are sold on every street corner.

Next, visit Mala Strana. Check out the pretty city views from here. Next place on the list should be Wallenstein Garden. This garden consist of hundreds of unique sculptures and fountains. If you have stamina left, head to KGB Museum.

If not, head straight to Charles Bridge and see it light up in the evening. It’s beautiful to seen the old picturesque bridge in the heart of the city. It was built for almost 25 years in the distant XIV century and was named on behalf of the founder, Charles IV. Today it offers a beautiful view of the old center, on the Vltava River, it is decorated with ancient sculptures, therefore isn’t surprising that it is never quiet and boring here.

The Czech Philharmonic is apparently one of the best orchestras in Europe. Lots of influential artists (sculpturers, fresco painters, stuccateurs, composers, writers etc.) from central europe lived and worked in Prague. Among the museums are a museum about the composer Antonin Dvorak and another about the writer Franz Kafka.
Visit Cesky Krumlov. This city in South Bohemia region is a must see. It looks even more beautiful than Prague. The beautiful Vltava river and red roof houses makes this city a treat to watch.

Try the trdelnik at the Christmas Markets in Prague. This popular warm treat is made from rolled dough wrapped around a stick, roasted slowly over an open flame until it's golden brown and is topped with cinnamon, sugar and crushed nuts.

Celebrating Christmas in Prague means basking in the all-round festive atmosphere of the markets to then unwind from the pre-Christmas shopping madness at the many special holiday concerts and events held throughout the city.
Kalyan Panja