Tips and Highlights of Christmas in Prague

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Tips and Highlights of Christmas in Prague

There is no better time to visit Prague with your loved ones than Christmas. The tradition of Christmas markets has been part Czech culture for centuries, starting the festive spirit and sorting families with all sorts of Christmas goodies. They are more authentic and familiar than other bigger ones in Europe. Mix with the locals and fall in love with the colors, sounds and smells.

The period of Christmas markets for this season is 26th November 2016 – 6th January 2017. They are open daily, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

You will find the main ones at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square (5 minutes walk from each other):
Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí)
Nov. 26, 2016 - Jan. 6, 2017
10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Metro Stop Staromestská

Dominated by a big Christmas tree decorated with hundreds of lights and surrounded by beautiful ancient Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings, it is the biggest and busiest market in Prague. Apart from the crafts, food and drink stalls, you will find a local choir singing carols, a stable with animals and a Bethlehem scene. 

Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí)
Nov. 26, 2016 - Jan. 6, 2017
10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Metro Stop Mustek
Tram Stop Vaclavske Namesti or Vodickova

This market is located in the lower half of Wenceslas Square. It is also nice with the gothic National Museum as a background, street decoration and the wooden huts but the tree which dominates the market is artificial. The most popular stalls are the blacksmiths and the drink ones.

There are also smaller markets at Republic Square, Náměstí Míru (Peace Square), Holešovice Exhibition Grounds and a permanent one at Havel's Market:

Republic Square (Náměstí Republiky)
Nov. 26 - Dec. 30, 2016
10 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily
Metro Stop Náměstí Republiky (line B)
Tram stop Náměstí Republiky (tram 5, 8, 24, 26)

In front of the Palladium, the biggest shopping centre in Prague is just located on the left part of the square. You can enjoy the Christmas market stalls, the market atmosphere and prices. You can park at the Palladium.

Náměstí Míru (Peace Square)
Nov. 20 - Dec. 24, 2016
10 a.m. - 7 p.m. daily
Metro Náměstí Míru (metro line A or tram 4, 10, 16, 22)

The most local and early Christmas Market of the year, Peace Square market is located in front of the Church of St. Ludmila in the elegant Vinohrady District, Prague 2. It is surrounded by Neo-Renaissance, Art Nouveau, Pseudo Baroque and Neo-Gothic architecture, beautiful parks and plenty of bars and cafes.

Havel’s Market
Havelska Street, Prague 1.
All year round 09:00-18:00, daily
Metro Stop: Mustek (line A or B)

It is a permanent market from the 13th century and lies over 200 meters on the Coal Market Square (Uhelný trh). You will find the traditional wooden toys Ježibaba (Baba Jaga), an evil character of the Slavic mythology that lives in the forest and preys on lost people, organic food and random busking sessions.

 

What you need to go for!

Traditional crafts: looking for a typical present from Prague? Glass ornaments and baubles made from Bohemian Crystal, jewellery, embroidered lace, wooden toys, ceramics, scented candles, Christmas tree ornaments, hats, gloves, scarves, strange looking, hand-carved and highly detailed puppets and dolls.

Traditional foods: Spit roast of pork; barbequed sausages such as parek (small one), klobása (larger dark-red), bavorska (white sausage) served with mustard and bread; chunky soups, stews and bowl food halusky, a very filling mix of small dumplings with fried bacon; lángos is a deep fried flat bread topped with garlic, cheese and ketchup or sour cream; and pastries (Trdelník), hot sweet bread mix cooked in a cylinder with different flavors, the most common one is cinnamon. 

Traditional drinks: Tasty Czech Beers, mulled wine (svařené víno or svařák), grog (rum, hot water, lemon and sugar) and medovina (honey-wine).

To make the most of Christmas Markets, it is better to stay at a central location such as Hotel KINGS COURT. It offers a great start point in Prague 1 to explore the Christmas Markets because it is located directly at the Republic Square that holds a Christmas market of its own and within 5 minutes by walk from Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square. The Prague Christmas markets are free to enter so you can go in and out and rest at your hotel in the city centre or have a wonderful Christmas meal at its restaurant, Brasserie mEating Point.

Some words about Christmas Eve:
Most Czechs celebrate Christmas Eve and spend it at home with their families. There will be less people around, a great opportunity to explore Prague. You can enjoy plenty of sightseeing and activities such as Christmas concerts but be aware that the hours are limited and quite a lot of shops, bars and restaurants are closed so plan ahead.

Christmas markets are usually open all day from 10am to 6 pm, sightseeing tours are available only in the morning and it will be better if you book a table for that night in advance.

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