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Prague Christmas 2021

Prague Christmas Markets » 27th November 2021 - 2nd January 2022

The Prague Christmas Markets normally run 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 local drinks - photos.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

The Christmas Markets are expected to go ahead in 2021. However, the dates and the extent of the markets as stated in this guide are provisional.
Final details will be released in November 2021.

This guide outlines how the markets are expected to operate if life continues to return to some form of normality. It is based on information received from the authorities and on our knowledge of the markets, gained over the past 20 years of reporting on them.

All major developments will be posted here and on Coronavirus (COVID-19) News.
Prague Christmas Markets at Old Town Square
Old Town Christmas Markets

Christmas Markets 2021

This year the Prague Christmas Markets are expected to run from 27th November 2021 to 2nd January 2022. They will open every day, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

The main markets are held at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square (5 minutes walk from each other).

There are also smaller markets at Republic Square, at Havel's Market, on Kampa Island, and on the square in front of St. George's Basilica at Prague Castle*.

*Prague Castle Christmas Market opens 25th November

What are the Prague Christmas Markets?

Christmas markets (Vánoční trhy) are a key ingredient of the festive magic in the Czech Republic, and the Prague markets are the most impressive in the country. They light up the city, bringing locals and tourists together in a true 'winter wonderland' setting.

The Prague Christmas Markets consist of brightly decorated wooden huts stocked with local handicrafts and traditional Christmas treats. Among the many items on display are ceramics, jewellery, embroidered lace, wooden toys, scented candles, Christmas tree ornaments, hats and gloves, and puppets and dolls dressed in traditional costume.
Christmas Market hut at the Old Town Square
Christmas Market hut
At the centre of the Old Town Square is an Observation Bridge. Climb a small flight of steps to reach it, and take in the expansive view over the market.
Food at the Christmas Markets
Food at the Christmas Markets
While there are plenty of nice souvenirs to be found at the stalls, to take home to decorate your house with or to use as Christmas gifts, the markets are about much more than shopping. There is all manner of local food and drink to sample, much of it prepared and cooked in front of you.

Popular food on offer includes: large hams roasted on spits (Pražská Šunka); terribly unhealthy but wonderfully tasty barbequed sausages (klobása); flatbread topped with garlic, cheese and ketchup (langoš); smoked meat dumplings (knedlíky plněné uzeným masem); sweet dumplings (sladké knedlíky); and pancakes (palačinky).

There is also a variety of cakes and sweets to choose from, such as hot, freshly made sugar coated pastry (trdelník) and spicy gingerbread (perníčky).
For drinks, you can sample famous Czech beers, such as Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen or Budvar.

Or opt for a local hot drink: mulled wine (svařák); hot chocolate (horká čokoláda); honey wine (Medovina); or grog, a mixture of rum, water, lemon and sugar. Outdoor Christmas shopping is so much nicer with a cup of hot mulled wine in your hand!

Eco Markets

To be more environmentally friendly, food and drink at the markets is now served with 100% biodegradable cups, plates and cutlery.

Most of the food and drink is also locally sourced. Wherever possible, sausages and hamburgers are made from Czech meat, the beer is exclusively Czech, and the wine is from Moravia.

Other Attractions

Other attractions at the markets include an animals stable at the Old Town Square, where children can stroke sheep, goats and a donkey.

At the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square there are nativity scenes in wooden stables, depicting Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and the Three Kings.

But what is Christmas without carols? School choirs and folk groups dressed in traditional costume perform in the late afternoon on a stage at the Old Town Square, with children travelling from all over the country to appear.
Food at the Prague Christmas Markets
Trdelník baking
Christmas Tree at the Old Town Square
Old Town Square Christmas tree

Christmas Trees

Most impressive of all is the mighty 19m tall Christmas tree erected at the Old Town Square, which is transported from the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic.

The tree is dressed with baubles and draped in a blaze of lights, which are switched on at 4:30pm every day. It is a spectacular sight set against the dark Gothic skyline.

Wenceslas Square also has a brightly lit Christmas tree, with its lights switched on at 5pm every evening.
Once lit, the tree lighting ceremonies are repeated every hour as follows:
Old Town Square Tree Lighting: 16:30, 17:30, 18:30, 19:30, 20:30, 21:30.
Wenceslas Square Tree Lighting: 17:00, 18:00, 19:00, 20:00, 21:00.

Both Christmas tree lighting ceremonies are accompanied by rousing music. At the Old Town Square the music alternates between the title song from the Czech fairytale "Krkonoše" and the melody "Somewhere In My Memory" by John Williams.

Photo Opportunities

The best places to take photos of the Prague Christmas Markets are: from the Observation Bridge (free) at the Old Town Square; from the top of the Old Town Hall Tower (payable), which offers magnificent aerial views over the Old Town Square; and at street level, where amongst the market stalls you can take vivid, close up shots of the products for sale and the food being made.

Theme of the Christmas Markets in 2021

There is always a theme to the decorations at the Christmas Markets. Previously it was 'Angels at Christmas'. The 2021 theme will be announced at the end of November.

Always present in the decorations is an emphasis on the traditional colours of Christmas: green, red, gold and white. Extensive use is made of natural materials, including wood, pine needles and mistletoe.
The festive atmosphere in Prague in December is simply wonderful!

Where to Stay in Prague

The city centre is called Prague 1, which is made up of several areas. The two most popular areas to stay in, for easy access to the Christmas Markets, are the Old Town and anywhere near Wenceslas Square in the New Town.

Next most popular is the Lesser Town, which is just across the river from the Old Town, and can be reached by strolling across Charles Bridge.

Most of the city's sightseeing, entertainment and nightlife is located in these three areas too.
Prague Hotels
Hotels in Prague 1
Prague Christmas Market at Wenceslas Square
Wenceslas Square Market
The city centre is compact and highly pedestrianised, so all three areas are within easy walking distance of each other. Therefore, book a hotel in Prague 1 and the markets, restaurants, sights and tourist attractions, theatres, concert halls and shops will all be nearby.

The markets are free to enter, so by staying in Prague 1, whenever you fancy visiting them, you can leave your hotel and be in the midst of things in minutes: grab a drink or a hot snack, browse the stalls, soak up the atmosphere, then when you're ready to freshen up, it's just a short walk home - Prague hotels.

Weather in Prague in December

The weather in Prague in December is very changeable. The average low is -2°C (28°F), although the temperature can deviate dramatically in both directions.

There are bright, sunny, relatively warm periods. Equally, there can be heavy bouts of snow that last several days or weeks, when temperatures head well into minus territory.

What Clothes to Wear

In terms of clothing, bring a warm winter jacket, hat and gloves, and as Prague is a wonderful city to explore on foot, a comfortable pair of walking shoes.

If you get caught out by the weather, there are shops in Prague that can help. These range from generalist stores such as Marks & Spencer and Bata Shoes, to specialist outdoor clothing and footwear shops like Rock Point.
drinks hut at the Prague Christmas Markets
Drinks hut, Old Town Square
Most tourist establishments welcome visitors in casual attire, although you will need to dress reasonably smartly for high-end restaurants and the opera houses.
Stalls at the Prague Christmas Markets
See the sights in Prague

Sightseeing in Prague

Sightseeing in Prague is enchanting all year round, with ancient monuments and magnificent squares to explore, and a dramatic history to uncover.

The festive atmosphere lends the city even greater charm than usual.

The sights and tourist attractions are open throughout the time of the markets, except on Christmas Eve.

A sightseeing tour led by a local guide can help visitors discover the true beauty of Prague - from walking tours to coach tours to river cruises, there are many ways to explore to the city - Prague sightseeing.

Entertainment in Prague

There is also entertainment galore, including Christmas concerts and Christmas events.

Classical Concerts
We particularly recommend buying a ticket for a classical concert. Performances, which are held in the ancient churches and other historical buildings, are magical at this time of year, both the Christmas concerts and regular concerts:

-November concerts
-December concerts

Opera and Ballet
The opera and ballet season is in full swing, with a range of performances to choose from at the Prague State Opera, National Theatre and Estates Theatre:

-November opera & ballet
-December opera & ballet
Festive productions are a prominent feature, such as the ever-popular ballet 'The Nutcracker', which is staged at two theatres:

The Nutcracker at the National Theatre:
Performances start: 15th December 2021

-The Nutcracker at the National Theatre

The Nutcracker at Hybernia Theatre:
Performances start: 29th November 2021

-The Nutcracker at Hybernia in November
-The Nutcracker at Hybernia in December
-The Nutcracker at Hybernia in January
The Nutcracker at the National Theatre in PragueNutcracker at the National Theatre
If you are seeking a typically Czech experience, the black light and marionette theatres stage productions suitable for all ages and nationalities:

-November theatre
-December theatre

Other Entertainment
For excellent local Czech hospitality, there is the Medieval Tavern and Traditional Czech Night. Both events are well suited to a cold winter's night.

More Information

For information on what is open in Prague in December: Christmas opening times.

For information on spending Christmas in Prague:
- 24th December: Christmas Eve in Prague
- 24th-26th December: Christmas Planner

For information on the New Year's Eve celebrations in Prague:
- 31st December: New Year's Eve
- 31st December: New Year's Eve Planner.

For an introduction to the city: Prague tourism information.

For practical information, including currency exchange: Prague Tourist Information.

For travel advice: Travel to Prague and Travel around Prague by public transport.

For a simple way to arrange your Prague city break: Prague Package.
informationCHRISTMAS 2021
Old Town Square & Wenceslas Square
*27 Nov-02 Jan
Daily 10:00-22:00

Prague Castle
*25 Nov-02 Jan
Daily 09:00-18:00
Old Town Square
Daily 16:30

Wenceslas Square
Daily 17:00
Old Town Square
05 Dec
24 Dec
-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 Strahov Monastery & other churches
24-26 Dec
Find out what's open over Christmas
Ovocny trh (small square behind Estates Theatre), Old Town
05 Dec-31 Jan
Daily 10:00-21:00

Na Frantisku Sports Centre, Kozi Street, Old Town
05 Dec-31 Jan
Daily 10:00-21:00
31 Dec
Festivities & fireworks

*Dates and times are provisional. Final details will be announced in November.
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Your guide to the Prague Christmas Markets 2021

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