Christmas markets in Prague » 02 December 2017 - 06 January 2018
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.
Markets at the Old Town Square
|Christmas Markets 2017
Christmas markets (Vanocni trh) 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 are open every day from 02nd December 2017 to 06th January 2018, including on Christmas Eve
, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
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, at Havel's Market, on Kampa Island, and on the square in front of St. George's Basilica at Prague Castle.|
Note: the good news for visitors in late November is that the Christmas market at Prague Castle starts on 24th November, one week before the main markets.
What are the Christmas Markets?
The Christmas markets consist of brightly
decorated wooden huts stocked with handicrafts such as glassware, ceramics, jewellery, embroidered lace, wooden toys, scented candles, Christmas tree ornaments, hats and gloves, and puppets and dolls dressed in traditional costume.
Visitors should find nice souvenirs to take home, to decorate their houses or for Christmas gifts.
But the markets are not just about shopping. You can sample all manner of local food and drink, and observe traditional foods
Large hams are roasted on spits, there are terribly unhealthy but wonderfully tasty barbequed sausages (klobása), and cakes and pastries are prepared in front of you, like 'Trdelník', a hot sugar coated pastry.
To accompany the food, try one of the famous Czech beers
: Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen or Budvar.
Alternatively, there is a variety of hot drinks on offer; outdoor Christmas
shopping is so much nicer with a cup of 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 mighty Christmas tree transported from the forests of Central Bohemia. The tree is erected at the Old Town Square and draped in
a blaze of lights.
It is switched on nightly around 5:30pm, and makes a
spectacular sight set against Prague's dark gothic skyline.
Markets at Wenceslas Square
Wenceslas Square has a brightly lit Christmas tree too, which can be admired from all around the square.
But what is Christmas without carols?
School choirs often perform late afternoon on a stage at the Old Town Square. The children, dressed in traditional costume, travel from all over the Czech Republic to sing. The trip to Prague is one of the highlights of their school year.
The festive atmosphere in Prague throughout the period of the Christmas markets is simply wonderful!
The theme for the markets last year was the 'Traditional Spirit of Christmas and Nature'. The main squares, including the observation bridge at the Old Town Square, were decorated with natural materials, such as pine needles, wood, mistletoe and gingerbread. There was an emphasis on the traditional Christmas colours of green, white, red and gold. The market huts were decorated with bells, lanterns, gingerbreads and traditional Christmas sweets. The theme for 2017 will be released on the first day of the markets.
|Make the most of the Christmas Markets|
Prague's city centre is compact, which is ideal for pedestrians. Book a hotel in Prague 1 (city centre), and the Christmas markets and the main sights and attractions will all be within easy walking distance.
The Prague Christmas markets are free to enter. Stay in the city centre, and 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. Then when you're ready for a warm bath, it's just a short walk home - Prague hotels.
|Entertainment & Sightseeing
There is a range of entertainment on offer throughout the duration of the Christmas markets. In particular, we recommend buying a ticket for a classical concert.
Concerts in beautiful churches and historic buildings are magical at this time of year - Prague concerts
The opera and ballet season is also in full swing, with the addition of festive performances like the ever-popular 'The Nutcracker' - Prague opera and ballet
For a typically Czech show, black light and marionette theatre can be highly entertaining - Prague theatre
||Nutcracker, National Theatre|
Sightseeing is a joy in Prague, and the Christmas decorations and festive atmosphere lend the historic buildings an even greater charm than usual. A sightseeing tour can help you discover the true beauty of the city - from a stroll around the city to coach tours to river cruises, there are lots of ways to explore Prague - Prague sightseeing
A simple way to arrange your Prague city break is to book a Prague Package.
For weather, currency exchange and practical information: Prague tourist information.
For more information on the layout of the city: Prague tourism guide.
For a quick guide to what is open and when throughout December: opening times.
For information on specific dates in December:
- 5 December 2017: Mikulas Day in Prague.
- 24 December 2017: Christmas Eve in Prague.
- 24-26 December 2017: Prague Christmas Planner.
- 31 December 2017: Prague New Year's Eve Planner.
|Christmas Markets at Old Town Sq. & Wenceslas Sq.|
02 Dec-06 Jan:
|Christmas Markets at Prague Castle.|
24 Nov-08 Jan:
|Lighting of the Christmas Tree|
at Old Town Sq.
02 Dec: 17:30.
at Old Town Sq.
05 Dec: 16:00-18:00.
at Ovocny trh (behind Estates Theatre), Old Town.
05 Dec-31 Jan:
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 and other churches.
What's open over Christmas.
|New Year's Eve|
31 Dec: Celebrations & fireworks.
|City breaks with airport transfers, a hotel, city tour & entertainment:|