Prague Christmas Markets » 26th November 2022 - 6th January 2023
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
|Latest News: The Christmas Markets are due to go ahead in 2022|
All major developments will be posted here
Old Town Christmas Markets
Christmas Markets 2022
The Prague Christmas Markets are open daily from 26th November 2022 to 6th January 2023, including on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
Opening hours are 10:00-22:00. Entry is free.
The main Christmas markets are held at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, in the heart of the city. The two squares are 5 minutes walk from each other.
Smaller markets are held at Republic Square (Náměstí Republiky), on Kampa Island, and at Havel's Market.
|There is also a sizeable Christmas market held at Prague Castle, on the square in front of St. George's Basilica. Opening hours are 09:00-18:00/19:00. Entry is free.|
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 many items on display are ceramics, jewellery, glassware, embroidered lace, wooden toys, candles, Christmas tree ornaments, winter hats and gloves, and puppets and dolls dressed in traditional costume.
Christmas Market stall
|While you can buy nice souvenirs from the stalls, to take home to decorate your house with or to use as Christmas gifts, the markets are about 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.|
Food at the Christmas Markets
||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).|
A traditional Czech Christmas fish soup (rybí polévka) is cooked by the cauldron load. The soup is made from carp, vegetables, cream and brandy, using over 1,500 kilograms of ingredients every year.
There are various cakes and sweets to choose from too, such as spicy gingerbread (perníčky) and hot sweet pastry (trdelník).
|Trdelník is made from rolled dough that is wrapped around a stick, baked on an open fire, then topped with a sugar and walnut mix. It is delicious on its own, but can also have chocolate sauce spread inside it and/or be filled ice-cream.|
|A word of warning to parents: once a child has tasted trdelník, there is no going back - its addictive nature means you will be pestered endlessly for another hit!|
For drinks, visitors can sample famous Czech beers such as Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen and Budvar.
Alternatively, opt for a 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 cold beer or hot mulled wine in your hand!
Food and drink at the markets is served with 100% biodegradable plates, cutlery and cups.
Where possible, ingredients are sourced locally:
the fish soup is made with carp from Czech waters and vegetables from local farms; Czech meat is used in the sausages and hamburgers; the hams on spits are from Czech pigs; the beer is exclusively Czech (naturally!); and the wine hails from Moravia, including the wine used to make the svařák.
The most impressive sight at the Prague Christmas Markets is the mighty 22m Christmas tree erected at the Old Town Square, which is brought from the Liberec region of North Bohemia in the Czech Republic.
The tree is dressed with red and gold baubles, and draped in a blaze of lights. It is a spectacular sight set against the dark Gothic skyline.
The tree lights are switched on at 16:30 every day, accompanied by rousing music. The tree lighting ceremony is then repeated every hour at: 17:30, 18:30, 19:30, 20:30, 21:30.
Wenceslas Square has its own Christmas tree too. In fact it has two, because the Christmas markets at this square take up both the top and bottom sections of the square. Their lights are switched on around 17:00 every evening.
Old Town Square Christmas tree
Other attractions at the markets include an animals stable at the Old Town Square, where children can stroke sheep, goats and a donkey.
The Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square have nativity scenes in wooden stables, depicting Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and the Three Kings.
And 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.
|A great place to take photos of the Christmas Markets at the Old Town Square is from the Observation Bridge (free to enter), which is erected in the centre of the square. Climb the steps to reach the platform, and take in an expansive view over the stalls.|
For a higher vantage point, climb to the top of the Old Town Hall Tower (payable), from where you can enjoy magnificent aerial views over the Old Town Square and beyond.
Street level photography is also worth considering: amongst the market stalls, vivid close up shots can be taken of the colourful wares and of the food being prepared.
Theme of the Christmas Markets in 2022
Decoration of the Christmas Markets is inspired by the traditional colours of Christmas: green, red, gold and white. There is also an additional theme which changes every year. Most recently it was 'Nature', with extensive use made of natural materials like wood, pine needles and mistletoe.
The festive atmosphere in Prague in December is simply wonderful!
Where to Stay in Prague
The Christmas Markets are held in the district of Prague 1, which is the city centre.
Prague 1 is compact and highly pedestrianised, and made up of several areas. All are within easy walking distance of each other.
The two most popular areas to stay in Prague 1, for easy access on foot to the markets, are the Old Town and around Wenceslas Square in the New Town.
The third most popular is the Lesser Town, which is located across the river from the Old Town, and can be reached simply by strolling across Charles Bridge.
Hotels in Prague 1
|| Most of the sightseeing, entertainment and nightlife in Prague is located in these three areas too.|
Therefore, book a hotel in Prague 1, and the Christmas Markets, sights, tourist attractions, museums, theatres, concert halls, restaurants and shops will all be nearby.
The Christmas Markets are free to enter. So by staying in Prague 1, whenever you fancy dropping in you can leave your hotel and be in the midst of the action 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 back to your hotel.
Weather in Prague in December
The weather in Prague is very changeable in December. The average low is -2°C (28°F), but the temperature can deviate dramatically in both directions.
There are bright and sunny, relatively warm periods. Equally, there can be heavy bouts of snow that last several days or weeks, when temperatures head far into minus territory.
What Clothes to Wear
In terms of clothing, bring a warm winter jacket, hat and gloves. Many visitors also pack their thermals!
As Prague is a wonderful city to explore on foot, wear comfortable walking shoes or boots.
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.
For sightseeing and entertainment, most tourist establishments welcome visitors in casual attire. However, you need to dress reasonably smartly for high-end restaurants and at the opera houses.
Drinks hut, Old Town Square
See the sights in Prague
Sightseeing in Prague
Sightseeing in Prague is enchanting all year round, with grand monuments and magnificent squares to explore, and a dramatic history to discover. The festive atmosphere lends the city an even greater charm than normal.
The sights and tourist attractions are open throughout the Christmas season, except on Christmas Eve.
A sightseeing tour led by a professional 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 - Prague sightseeing.
Entertainment in Prague
There is also entertainment galore, including Christmas concerts and Christmas events.
|Classical Concerts + Opera & Ballet|
We particularly recommend you buy a ticket for a classical concert. Performances are staged in grand concert halls, in beautiful old churches, and in other historic buildings. They are magical at this time of year, both the Christmas concerts and regular concerts.
The opera and ballet season is also in full swing, with a wide variety of performances at the three opera houses: Prague State Opera, National Theatre and Estates Theatre:
• November Concerts + Opera & Ballet performances
• December Concerts + Opera & Ballet performances
• January Concerts + Opera & Ballet performances
|Festive productions are a prominent feature at many of the venues, such as the ever-popular ballet 'The Nutcracker' which is staged at two theatres.
The Nutcracker at the National Theatre:
23,26 November 2022;
03,11,21,22,26,30,31 December 2022;
06,07 January 2023
Listings & Tickets
The Nutcracker at Hybernia Theatre:
28 November 2022;
24,25,27,29 December 2022;
01,09 January 2023
Listings & Tickets
||Nutcracker at the National Theatre|
|Black Light Theatre|
If you are seeking a typically Czech experience, black light theatres in Prague put on shows that are highly visual, so can be enjoyed by all ages and nationalities:
• November theatre performances
• December theatre performances
• January theatre performances
For excellent local Czech hospitality, try the Medieval Tavern and Traditional Czech Night. Both are 'all-inclusive' events, and well suited to a cold winter's night.
WHAT'S OPEN over Christmas and New Year's Eve in Prague
For information on spending Christmas in Prague:
-24th December: Christmas Eve in Prague
-24th-26th December: Christmas Planner
For information on New Year's Eve celebrations in Prague:
-31st December: New Year's Eve
-31st December: New Year's Eve Planner
For more information on what's open throughout December: Christmas opening times.
For an introduction to the city: Prague tourism information.
For practical information, including currency exchange advice: Prague tourist information.
For travel advice: Travel to Prague and Travel around Prague by Public Transport.
For an easy way to visit Prague, the Prague Package includes a hotel, Prague airport transfers, sightseeing and entertainment.
Old Town Square & Wenceslas Square
26 Nov-06 Jan
Entry is free
26 Nov-26 Dec
Entry is free
26 Nov-06 Jan
Entry is free
Old Town Square
Old Town Square
05 Dec 2022
24 Dec 2022
-16:00 Christmas Mass for children at various churches
-16:30 Christmas Mass at Tyn Church
-21:00 Open-air Christmas Mass at Old Town Square
-24:00 Midnight Mass at Strahov & other churches
24-26 Dec 2022
What's open at Christmas: restaurants, entertainment & sightseeing
Ovocny trh (square behind Estates Theatre), Old Town
05 Dec-31 Jan
Na Frantisku Sports Centre, Old Town
05 Dec-31 Jan
|NEW YEAR'S EVE|
31 Dec 2022
Festivities & Fireworks