Prague Christmas markets » 26th November 2016 - 06th January 2017
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.
Christmas Markets 2016
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. The markets light up the city, bringing locals and tourists together in a true 'winter wonderland' setting.
The main markets are at the Old Town Square
and Wenceslas Square
(5 minutes walk from each other).
Plus there are 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
The Prague Christmas markets open every day from 26th November 2016 to 06th January 2017, 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 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, such as 'Trdelník', a hot sugar coated pastry.
To accompany the food, try one of the famous Czech beers
- Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen and Budvar - or choose from a variety of hot drinks. 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. There is also 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 Pecka, a town northeast of Prague. 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.
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 this year is the traditional spirit of Christmas and nature. The main squares, including the observation bridge at the Old Town Square, are decorated with natural materials, such as pine needles, wood, mistletoe and gingerbread. And there is an emphasis on the traditional Christmas colours of green, white, red and gold. The market huts are decorated with bells, lanterns, gingerbreads and traditional Christmas sweets.
|How to 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 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. And 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 the 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 special festive performances such as The Nutcracker - Prague opera and ballet
For a typically Czech theatre experience, the black light and marionette theatres are highly entertaining - Prague theatre
Finally, sightseeing is a major activity in Prague, and the Christmas lights and festive atmosphere lend the historic buildings an even greater charm. 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 enjoyable way for everyone 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:
- 5th December 2016 - Mikulas in Prague
- 24th December 2016 (Christmas Eve): Christmas Eve in Prague
- 24th-26th December 2016: Prague Christmas Planner
- 31st December 2016 (New Year's Eve): Prague New Year's Eve Planner
26 Nov-06 Jan:
Old Town Square & Wenceslas Square.
|Lighting of the Christmas Tree
26 Nov: 17:30 at Old Town Square.
05 Dec: 16:00-18:00 at Old Town Square.
05 Dec-31 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 Strahov Monastery and other churches.
24-26 Dec: What's open and when at Christmas.
|New Year's Eve|
31 Dec: Celebrations & fireworks.
|Prague Package |
|City breaks with airport transfers, a hotel, city tour & entertainment:|