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Prague Christmas 2019

Prague Christmas Markets » 30th November 2019 - 06th January 2020

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 local drinks - photos.
Prague Christmas markets at Old Town Square
Old Town Christmas markets

Christmas Markets 2019

The Prague Christmas markets are open every day from 30th November 2019 to 06th January 2020, including on 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.

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 items on offer, visitors can buy ceramics, jewellery, embroidered lace, wooden toys, scented candles, Christmas tree ornaments, hats and gloves, and puppets and dolls dressed in traditional costume.
Christmas markets huts at the Old Town Square
Christmas market hut
Food at the Christmas markets
Food at the Christmas markets
You should find some nice souvenirs to take home, to decorate your house with or to use as Christmas gifts for friends and family.

But the markets are about much more than shopping. There is all manner of local food and drink to sample, much of it prepared at the stalls 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 sugar coated pastry (trdelník) and spicy gingerbread (perníčky).
For drinks, try a famous Czech beer like Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen or Budvar.

Or opt for a hot drink: honey wine (Medovina); mulled wine (svařák); hot chocolate (horká čokoláda); or grog, a mixture of rum, water, lemon and sugar.

Outdoor Christmas shopping is so much nicer with a mug of hot mulled wine in your hand!
Other attractions at the markets include an animals stable at the Old Town Square, where children can stroke sheep, goats and a donkey.

And at both 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 costumes sing in the late afternoon on a stage at the Old Town Square, with children travelling from all over the country to perform.
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 Christmas tree at the Old Town Square, transported from the forests of the Liberec 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 day.
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.

Theme of the Christmas Markets in 2019

The theme for the Christmas Markets in 2019 is 'Angels at Christmas'.

Angels play a key role in the story of Christmas, so this year they appear in the decorations: illuminated angels adorn the Christmas trees at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square; the gables of the market huts contain imagery of angels; and the Observation Bridge at the Old Town Square features large illuminated angels and a string of lights, which together create a magical, fariy tale like walkway.

Throughout the markets there is an emphasis on the traditional Christmas colours of green, red, gold and white, and also extensive use of natural materials such as wood, pine needles and mistletoe.

Reflecting the global mood to be more environmentally friendly, for the first time food and drink at the markets will be served with 100% biodegradable cups, plates and cutlery.

Wherever possible, food and drinks will also be locally sourced: Czech meat is used in the sausages and hamburgers, and there is wine from Rakvice in South Moravia.
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 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 on the other side of the river and easily accessible by strolling across Charles Bridge.

The city centre is compact and highly pedestrianised, so all three areas are within easy walking distance of each other.
Prague Hotels
Hotels in Prague 1
Prague Christmas markets at Wenceslas Square
Wenceslas Square markets
The sightseeing, entertainment and nightlife is mostly located in these three areas too.

Therefore, book a hotel in Prague 1 and the Christmas markets, sights and attractions, restaurants, theatres, concert halls and shops will all be nearby.

And as the markets are free to enter, whenever you fancy dropping in you can leave your hotel and be in the midst of the festive action in minutes: grab a drink and a hot snack, browse the stalls, soak up the atmosphere, then when you're ready for a warm bath, it's just a short walk home - Prague hotels.

The Weather in December in Prague

The weather in Prague in December is highly changeable. The average low is -2°C (28°F), but the temperature deviates 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.
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, with ancient monuments and magnificent squares to explore, and a dramatic history to uncover. The festive atmosphere lends the city an even greater charm than usual.

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

A sightseeing trip led by a friendly local guide can help visitors discover the true beauty of the city - from walking tours to coach tours to river cruises, there are many ways to explore 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 held in the churches and other historical buildings are magical at this time of year, both the Christmas concerts and regular performances: December concerts.

Opera and Ballet
The opera and ballet season is also in full swing: December opera & ballet.

And there are special festive productions, such as the ever-popular ballet 'The Nutcracker', which is staged at two theatres in the city centre:
The Nutcracker at the National Theatre in PragueThe Nutcracker at the National Theatre and Hybernia Theatre

The Nutcracker at the National Theatre:
Prague Experience still has tickets available for:
17,21,27,29,31 December 2019
Tickets for The Nutcracker at the National Theatre.

The Nutcracker at Hybernia Theatre:
Prague Experience still has tickets available for:
16,22,23,24,25,30 December 2019;
01,03,04,12,19,28 January 2020
Tickets for The Nutcracker at Hybernia Theatre.

If you are seeking a typically Czech experience, the black light and marionette theatres stage productions suitable for all ages and nationalities: December theatre.

Other Entertainment
For fine local Czech hospitality, try the warm and friendly atmosphere at the Medieval Tavern or 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 2019
at Old Town Sq. & Wenceslas Sq.
30 Nov-06 Jan
Daily 10:00-22:00

at Prague Castle.
23 Nov-06 Jan
Mon-Thu 09:00-18:00;
Fri-Sun 09:00-19:00
at Old Town Sq.
30 Nov-06 Jan
Daily 16:30

at Wenceslas Sq.
30 Nov-06 Jan
Daily 17:00
at Old Town Sq.
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 Sq.
-24:00 Midnight Mass at Strahov Monastery & other churches
24-26 Dec
Find out what's open over Christmas
at Ovocny trh (a square behind Estates Theatre), Old Town.
01 Dec-31 Jan
Daily 10:00-21:00

at Na Frantisku Sports Centre, Kozi Street, Old Town.
01 Dec-29 Feb
Daily 10:00-21:00
31 Dec
Festivities & fireworks
Prague Package
Prague City Break Hotel
City breaks with airport transfers, a hotel, city tour & entertainment:
Prague Package
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Your guide to the Prague Christmas Markets 2019

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