Prague Easter Markets » 16th March - 7th April 2024
The Prague Easter Markets are open daily at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. Visitors can browse the stalls for hand-crafted goods, taste hearty food and local drinks, and discover the delightful Czech Easter traditions - Easter photos
Old Town Easter Markets
Easter Markets 2024
The Prague Easter Markets are open daily from 16th March to 7th April 2024, including over the Easter weekend.
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), Na Kampě Square and Havel's Market.
|In addition, Prague Castle has a sizeable Easter market, held on the square in front of St. George's Basilica. Runs from 16th March to 7th April 2024.|
Open daily 09:00-18:00/19:00. Entry is free.
For a local Easter market, visit Peace Square (Náměstí Míru), which is 15 minutes walk from Wenceslas Square. The market attracts mostly Czech people, and runs from 16th March to 1st April 2024. Open daily 10:00-19:00. Entry is free.
What are the Prague Easter Markets?
Easter markets (Velikonoční trhy) celebrate the arrival of spring in Czechia, and the Prague markets are the most impressive in the country. They brighten up the city, bringing locals and tourists together in an uplifting, historic setting.
The Prague Easter Markets consist of wooden huts decorated with the vibrant colours of spring, and stocked with local handicrafts and traditional Easter treats.
Among the wares on display are ceramics, jewellery, glassware, embroidered lace, wooden toys, candles, and puppets and dolls dressed in traditional costume.
Prague Easter Markets at night
|Easter eggs and ribbons||
||The most common item is Easter eggs. These are made with the shells of hen eggs or wood, and are hand-painted in a variety of colours and designs.|
Surrounding the market huts, in and around the squares, are trees in blossom, and an abundance of flowers and colourful ribbons tied to the branches of birch trees.
While you can find nice souvenirs on the stalls, to take home to decorate your house with or to use as Easter gifts, the markets are about much more than shopping. There is all manner of local food and drink to sample, a lot of it prepared on the stalls in front of you.
|Popular Czech foods on offer include: large hams roasted on spits (šunka); terribly unhealthy but wonderfully tasty barbecued sausages (klobása); flatbread topped with garlic, cheese and ketchup (langoš); chips (hranolky); smoked meat dumplings (knedlíky plněné uzeným masem); sweet dumplings (sladké knedlíky); and pancakes or crêpes (palačinky).|
There are plenty of cakes and sweets too, such as spicy gingerbread (perníčky) and a hot sweet pastry (trdelník).
|There are various cakes and sweets to choose from too, such as spicy gingerbread (perníčky) and hot sweet pastry (trdelník); trdelník (sometimes translated as Chimney Cake) 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 it can have chocolate sauce spread inside it, and/or be filled with ice-cream.|
A word of warning to parents: once a child has tasted trdelník, there is no going back - its comforting, addictive nature means you will be pestered endlessly for another hit!
For drinks, visitors can sample famous Czech beers, such as Pilsner Urquell, Budvar and Staropramen (brewed in Prague).
| Alternatively, opt for a hot drink: mulled wine (svařák); punch (punč); hot chocolate (horká čokoláda); honey wine (medovina); or grog - made of rum, water, lemon and sugar.|
Easter Market's drinks hut
||Outdoor shopping is so much nicer with a hot mulled wine or cold beer in your hand!|
Food and drink at the markets is served with 100% biodegradable plates, cutlery and cups.
Where possible, ingredients are sourced locally: Czech meat is used for the sausages and hamburgers; the hams are from Czech pigs; the beer is exclusively Czech (naturally!); and the wine hails from Moravia, including wine used to make svařák.
Children and the Easter Markets
Another feature of the Prague Easter Markets is music and dance. 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.
|There is also a farmyard pen, where kids can feed and stroke animals such as sheep, goats and a donkey. Sometimes an alpaca puts in an appearance too.|
There are opportunities for visiting children to join in Easter themed activities: workshops are held on the stage at the Old Town Square to show children how to paint Easter eggs and flower pots, cut ribbons, make Easter chicks, and weave traditional Easter baskets and whips.
Alternatively, take your place in the crowd and watch folk dancing, listen to music, and watch the various events unfold.
|Stage at Old Town Square|
|A great place to take photos of the Easter 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 (entrance fee applies), 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.
Hotels in Prague 1
Where to Stay in Prague
The Easter Markets are held in the district of Prague 1, which is the city centre.
Prague 1 is compact and highly pedestrianised, and is 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 quick access on foot to the markets, are the Old Town and Wenceslas Square (which is in the New Town).
The third most popular area is the Lesser Town, which is located across the river from the Old Town, and can be reached by strolling across Charles Bridge.
|Most of the sightseeing, entertainment and nightlife in Prague is also in these three areas.|
Therefore, if you book a hotel in Prague 1, the Easter Markets, sights, tourist attractions, museums, theatres, concert halls, restaurants and shops will all be nearby.
The Easter Markets are free to enter. 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 at Easter in Prague
The weather at Easter in Prague is highly changeable in spring. During the time of the Easter Markets, visitors can expect long spells of warm and sunny weather, interspersed with dull cold days, and heavy showers.
What Clothes to Wear
In terms of clothing, be prepared for the wide fluctuations in weather and temperature:
On fine days, visitors will find cool shirts, shorts, skirts and dresses most welcome. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses and hats too.
In case of a cold snap or rain, bring a warm fleece and a waterproof jacket or umbrella.
As Prague is a wonderful city to explore on foot, wear comfortable walking shoes or boots.
Wenceslas Square Markets
|If you get caught out by the weather, there are shops in Prague that can help. These range from department stores like Marks & Spencer and shoe shops such as Bata, to specialist outdoor clothing and footwear stores like Rock Point.|
For sightseeing, dining and entertainment in Prague, most tourist establishments welcome visitors in casual attire. However, you will need to dress reasonably smartly at the opera houses and high-end restaurants.
The sights are open 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. And the colours of spring lend the city an even greater charm than normal.
Sights and tourist attractions are open throughout the Easter season, except on Good Friday and Easter Monday (see below).
A sightseeing tour led by a professional local guide can show visitors the true beauty of Prague. From walking tours to coach tours to river cruises, there are many ways to explore the city.
River Cruises in Prague
The Vltava River flows through the heart of the city, and many famous sights line its banks. This makes river cruises an ideal way to experience the unique ambience of Prague.
Trips range from 2-hour sightseeing cruises, to lunch and dinner cruises aboard luxurious, ultra-modern boats. And they run every day, including over the Easter weekend.
The boats are heated in winter and spring, to ensure a comfortable journey no matter the weather.
Easter River Cruises
Entertainment in Prague
Throughout the time of the Easter markets, there is entertainment galore, including highly atmospheric Easter concerts and Easter events.
We particularly recommend attending a classical concert in Prague. Performances are magical at this time of year, both the Easter concerts and regular concerts.
They are staged in grand concert halls, Baroque palaces and ancient churches.
The best concerts always sell out, so we advise booking tickets in advance.
For excellent local Czech hospitality, consider either the Medieval Tavern or the Traditional Czech Night. Both are 'all-inclusive' events.
WHAT'S OPEN At Easter in Prague: 29 March-01 April 2024
|The Easter Markets are open every day over Easter in Prague.|
Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays in Czechia, but there is still plenty of sightseeing and entertainment to enjoy, and a wide choice of restaurants and pubs to dine in:
All sights and tourist attractions in Prague are open on Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday.
Only certain sights open on Good Friday and Easter Monday.
Sightseeing tours and
river cruises run every day over Easter.
The famous squares and Charles Bridge, some of the most attractive features of Prague, are of course open to stroll around throughout Easter too.
||Easter in Prague|
| The opera houses and concert halls in Prague stage Easter concerts and regular concerts.|
Several black light theatres are putting on shows as well.
The shops are open on Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday.
On Good Friday, while the majority of stores are open, some either close or have limited hours. On Easter Monday, by law only smaller shops (stores under 200 square metres) are permitted to open.
Restaurants, bars, cafés and clubs are open every day over Easter in Prague.
We advise making reservations for restaurants, as many will be booked out. You can view restaurant menus and make reservations in our restaurants section.
For river cruises, sightseeing tours and entertainment, we also recommend booking ahead of your trip. Prague is a popular city to visit throughout the duration of the Easter markets, and popular places and events often sell out, particularly over the Easter weekend.
Origins of the Prague Easter Markets - Czech Easter traditions
The Prague Easter markets have their origins in the Late Middle Ages, when they were deeply tied to religious festivities. However, during the communist era, in the 20th century, the markets suffered a demise, as religious aspects of Easter were banned and consumerism was frowned upon; the Easter celebrations were limited to the welcoming of spring.
Since the fall of communism and the liberalisation of the country, Easter markets have enjoyed a renaissance. Today, Czechs and tourists alike gather in Prague in their thousands to browse the colourful market stalls and soak up the magical atmosphere.
|To help visitors understand the traditions on display at the Prague markets, we offer an insight into a Czech Easter as traditionally celebrated in towns and villages throughout the country. Easter is an exciting time of year, particularly for children.|
Children finish school on "Ugly Wednesday." The following day ("Green Thursday") boys equip themselves with wooden rattles, called "rehtacka". They then form a group and walk through their local village or town, shaking their rattles vigorously. This, as tradition dictates, scares off Judas.
The same walk is repeated on "Good Friday" and once more on "White Saturday". On Saturday, progress is slowed by the boys stopping at every house and shaking their rattles until they receive a present!
The greatest symbol of Easter is the egg, with its connections to spring and new life. On Easter Sunday, the girls and women of the village decorate Easter eggs ("kraslice"). This is a skilled affair with many variations on the decoration: a mix of watercolours, picture stickers, bee's wax, straw and/or feathers.
For particularly well decorated eggs there is even an Easter egg contest held annually in Prague.
|As girls paint their eggs, the boys prepare their Easter whips ("pomlázka"), ready for Easter Monday. This is not the kind of whip used on horses, but is made from osier twigs, braided together. Once again, this takes some skill to make and the more twigs, the more difficult it is to braid a whip.|
Visitors may see examples of these whips in the Prague markets, should they wish to participate!
On Easter Monday people get up early, and the boys and men set off on a whipping trip through the village.
Boys stop at various homes and whip the legs of every girl and woman who live there. Small boys are required to recite an Easter carol as they go about their whipping.
As if the whipping is not enough, an old custom is to also grab the girl and throw her in a bath of cold water, known as an "Easter dousing". The whipping and dousing is performed to chase away illness and bad spirits - although she may not appreciate it at the time, all this is supposed to be good for the girl!
| ||Once the whipping and dousing is over, the girl rewards the boy with one of her painted eggs. She then ties a bright ribbon around his whip, before he moves on to the next house.|
As the boys progress through the village, their bags fill with eggs, and with so many ribbons attached the whips become ever more colourful.
In recent times, for older boys gifts of eggs and ribbons have given way to offers of shots of alcohol. By the time they arrive home, these young men can be in a fairly happy frame of mind!
For an introduction to the city: Prague tourism information.
For practical information, including advice on currency exchange: 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
16 March-07 April
Entry is free
16 March-07 April
Entry is free
16 March-07 April
Entry is free
16 March-01 April
Entry is free
29 March-01 April