Prague Christmas markets » 28th November 2015 - 06th January 2016
The Prague Christmas markets are open daily at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. A 'winter wonderland' awaits, for visitors to soak up the festive atmosphere, browse the stalls, and enjoy Christmas carols, hearty food and hot wine - photos.
Christmas Markets 2015
Christmas markets (Vanocni trh) are a key ingredient of the festive magic in the Czech Republic, and the Prague Christmas markets are the most impressive. They light up the city, bringing locals and tourists together to share in the spirit, in a true 'winter wonderland' setting.
The main markets are at the Old Town Square
and Wenceslas Square
(5 minutes walk from each other). There are also smaller markets at Republic Square, Havel's Market
, and this year for the first time, at Prague Castle
(in front of St. George's Basilica
The Prague Christmas markets are open daily, including on Christmas Eve
, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
markets consist of brightly
decorated wooden huts selling traditional handicrafts: glassware, jewellery, embroidered lace, wooden toys, metalware, ceramics, scented candles, Christmas tree ornaments, hats, gloves and scarves, and puppets and dolls beautifully dressed in traditional costumes.
Visitors should find some nice items to take home, to decorate their houses or to use as Christmas gifts.
But the Christmas markets are not just about shopping. Visitors can observe traditional foods
being made, and sample all manner of local produce.
Large hams are roasted on spits, there are terribly unhealthy but wonderfully tasty barbequed sausages (klobása), and cakes and pastries prepared in front of you - try 'Trdelník', a hot sugar coated pastry.
To accompany the food, there are the famous Czech beers - Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen and Budvar - and a variety of warm drinks on offer. Outdoor Christmas
shopping is so much nicer with a cup of hot mulled wine (svařené víno or svařák) in your hand!
The Christmas markets at the Old Town Square also have an animals stable, where children can stroke sheep, goats and a donkey. And there is a large Bethlehem scene depicting
Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and the Three Kings in a wooden stable.
Most impressive of all is the Christmas tree, shipped from Česká Lípa, which lies to the north of Prague. The tree is erected at the Old Town Square and draped in
a blaze of lights.
It is switched on every night around 5pm, and set against Prague's dark gothic skyline makes a
Wenceslas Square has its own brightly lit Christmas tree too, which can be admired from all around.
But what is Christmas without carols?
School choirs often perform late afternoon and early evening on a stage at the Old Town Square. The children travel from all over the Czech Republic to sing, dressed in traditional costumes. The trip to Prague is a highlight of their school year.
The festive atmosphere in Prague throughout December is simply wonderful!
|New for 2015: a theme for the markets has been introduced, which takes its inspiration from the Czech painter Josef Lada, who is famous for depicting traditional winter scenes in Czech villages. His designs have been used to decorate both squares. And the Bethlehem scene at Wenceslas Square has Lada’s figures inside.
Giant 3D books have also been introduced, which tell stories about winter, local traditions and Christmas.
How to make the most of the Christmas Markets
Prague's city centre is compact, which is ideal for pedestrians. Book a hotel anywhere in Prague 1 (the city centre), and the Christmas markets and all the main sights and attractions
will be within easy walking distance.
The Prague Christmas markets are free to enter. By staying in the city centre, whenever you fancy dropping in, you can leave your hotel and be in the midst of the markets in minutes. Grab a drink, browse the stalls, and soak up the atmosphere. And when you're ready for a warm bath, it's just a short walk home - Prague hotels
.Entertainment & Sightseeing
Aside from the markets, there is a range of entertainment and sightseeing on offer. In particular, we recommend buying a ticket for a classical concert. Concerts in ancient churches and grand concert halls are magical at this time of year - Prague concerts
The opera and ballet season is also in full swing, with performances proving popular at the opera houses and theatres - Prague opera and ballet
And for a typically Czech experience, a trip to a black light theatre or marionette theatre can be a fun activity - Prague theatre
Sightseeing is a major reason to visit Prague. The Christmas lights and festive atmosphere bring the historic buildings to life, and a sightseeing tour will help you discover the true beauty of the city - from walking tours to coach tours to river cruises, there is an exciting way for everyone to explore Prague - Prague sightseeing
An easy, good value way of organising a Prague city break is to book a Prague Package
For weather, currency exchange and practical information: Prague tourist information
For a quick guide to what is open and when throughout December: opening times
For information on specific dates in December:
- 5th December 2015 - Mikulas in Prague
- 24th December 2015 (Christmas Eve): Christmas Eve in Prague
- 24th-26th December 2015: Prague Christmas Planner
- 31st December 2015 (New Year's Eve): Prague New Year's Eve Planner
28th Nov-06th Jan:
Old Town Square & Wenceslas Square.
from 16:00 at Old Town Square.
05th Dec-31st Jan:
Ovocny trh (behind Estates Theatre), Old Town.
16:00 Christmas Mass for children at some churches.
16:30 Christmas Mass at Tyn Church.
21:00 Open-air Christmas Mass at Old Town Square.
24:00 Midnight Mass at some churches, including Strahov Monastery.
What's open and when at Christmas.
|New Year's Eve|
31st Dec: Celebrations & midnight fireworks.