Prague Easter Markets » 06th-28th April 2019
The Prague Easter markets are open daily at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. Visitors can browse the stalls for handcrafted goods, taste hearty food and local drinks, and discover Czech Easter traditions - Easter photos.
Old Town Easter markets
Easter Markets 2019
The Easter markets (Velikonocni trhy) celebrate the arrival of spring in the Czech Republic, 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 are open every day from 06th to 28th April 2019, including on Easter Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
The main markets are at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square (5 minutes walk from each other).
|There are also smaller markets held 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 Prague Castle market is open longer than the main markets, from 04th April to 05th May 2019.
What are the Easter Markets?
The Easter markets consist of wooden huts decorated with the vibrant colours of spring and stocked with local handicrafts - glassware, jewellery, embroidered lace, wooden toys, ceramics, scented candles, and puppets and dolls dressed in traditional costumes.
The most common sight, however, is Easter eggs, hand-painted in a wide variety of designs and colours.
But the markets are not just about shopping. Visitors can sample all manner of local food and drink, and observe traditional snacks being made.
Easter Market at Old Town Sq.
Drinks hut, Easter markets
| Popular food includes: large hams roasted on spits (Pražská Šunka); terribly unhealthy but wonderfully tasty barbequed sausages (klobása); Hungarian flatbread topped with garlic, cheese and ketchup (langoš); pancakes (palačinky); and a variety of cakes and pastries that are prepared in front of you, such as 'Trdelník', a hot sugar coated pastry.|
For drinks, try one of the famous Czech beers: Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen or Budvar. Or choose from a variety of hot drinks: honey wine (Medovina); mulled wine (svařák); hot chocolate (horká čokoláda); and grog, a mixture of rum, water, lemon and sugar.
| Outdoor shopping is so much nicer with an ice-cold beer or cup of hot mulled wine in your hand!|
And music and dance is a feature. School choirs and folk groups often perform late afternoon on a stage at the Old Town Square. Dressed in traditional costume, the children travel from all over the country to appear.
Children and the Easter Markets
As well as enjoying the general ambience of the markets and the food on offer, children can visit a farmyard pen to feed and stroke animals. There are normally sheep, goats and a donkey. Other animals, such as alpacas, can make an appearance too.
|Stage at the Old Town Square|
|| There are also opportunities for kids to join in impromptu Easter themed activities. Children can be invited on to the Old Town Square stage to paint Easter eggs and flower pots, make Easter chicks, cut colourful ribbons, and make baskets and Easter whips.|
Where to Stay
The city centre is called Prague 1 and is divided into several areas: the two most popular areas for visitors to stay, for easy access to the markets, are in the Old Town and around Wenceslas Square in the New Town.
|Next is the Lesser Town, which is across Charles Bridge on the other side of the river.|
| The city centre is compact and highly pedestrianised, so these three areas are within easy walking distance of each other, and the sights and attractions are spread across all three.|
Book a hotel anywhere in Prague 1 therefore, and the markets, sights and entertainment will all be nearby.
The Easter markets are free to enter, so whenever you fancy dropping in you can leave your hotel and be in the midst of the markets in minutes. Grab a drink and a hot snack, browse the stalls, soak up the atmosphere, then when you're ready to freshen up, it's just a short walk home - Prague hotels.
Hotels in Prague 1
Beautiful sights in Prague
Sightseeing in Prague
Sightseeing is a major reason to visit Prague, and the colours of spring bring the squares and historic buildings to life around Easter.
Aside from on Good Friday and Easter Monday (see 'open over Easter' below), the sights are open every day throughout the duration of the Easter markets.
A sightseeing trip can help visitors discover the true beauty of the city - from walking tours to coach tours to river cruises, there are a variety of exciting ways to explore Prague - Prague sightseeing.
Entertainment in Prague
There is a range of entertainment on offer throughout the duration of the Easter markets. In particular, we recommend buying a ticket for a classical concert.
Concerts in the ancient churches and other beautiful buildings are magical at this time - classical concerts.
The opera and ballet season is also in full swing.
And for a typically Czech experience, black light and marionette theatres stage shows suitable for all ages and nationalities - theatre.
Classical concerts in Prague
Easter market at Wenceslas Sq.
Easter Weather in Prague & Clothes to Wear
Around Easter, spring is undoubtedly in the air in Prague. Expect long spells of warm sunny weather interspersed with dull days and heavy showers.
As the weather is highly changeable, come prepared: on good days, visitors will find cool shirts, shorts, skirts and dresses most welcome. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses and hats too. However, in case of a cold snap or a heavy shower, bring a warm fleece and a waterproof jacket or umbrella.
Prague is a wonderful city to explore on foot, so a comfortable pair of walking shoes is also a good idea.
What's Open over Easter (19-22 April 2019)
The Easter markets are open every day over Easter, from Good Friday to Easter Monday.
All sights and attractions are open on Easter Saturday and Sunday. Only certain sights open on Good Friday and Easter Monday.
The sightseeing tours, walking tours and river cruises operate every day.
The opera houses, concert halls and theatres are open, and there are special Easter classical concerts.
||Easter in Prague|
| The shops are open on Easter Saturday and Sunday. Only certain stores open on Good Friday and Easter Monday, usually with limited opening hours.|
Restaurants, bars, cafés and clubs are open every day. For dining, we advise making a reservation (many restaurants will be booked out nearer the time). You can see what menus are available and make reservations in our restaurants section.
Please note: Prague is a popular city to visit over Easter and many venues and tours sell out. Therefore, reservations are recommended for any form of sightseeing or entertainment you may wish to participate in.
For an introduction to Prague: 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.
Origins of the Easter Markets
The Easter markets date back to the Late Middle Ages, when they were deeply tied to religious festivities. However, in the communist era in the 20th century the markets suffered a demise, as the religious aspects of Easter were banned and consumerism was frowned upon; Easter celebrations were limited to the welcoming in of spring.
Since the fall of communism and the liberalisation of the country, the markets have enjoyed a renaissance. Czechs and tourists alike gather in their thousands today, to browse the colourful market stalls and soak up the atmosphere.
| To help visitors understand the traditions on display at the markets in Prague, we offer an insight into a Czech Easter, as traditionally celebrated in towns and villages around 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 Easter 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 the whips become ever more colourful, with so many ribbons attached.
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!
19-22 April 2019
at Old Town Sq. & Wenceslas Sq.
06-28 April 2019
at Prague Castle.
04 April-05 May 2019
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