Prague Easter markets » 17 March - 08 April 2018
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 participate in Czech Easter traditions - Easter photos.
Easter markets 2018
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 17th March to 08th April 2018, 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 at Republic Square, at Havel's Market, on Kampa Island, and on the square in front of St. George's Basilica at Prague Castle.|
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 costume.
The most common sight, however, is hand-painted Easter eggs, which Czech ladies dressed in traditional costume can personalise for visitors by painting on a name or special message.
Easter Markets, Old Town Square
But the markets are not just about shopping. You can sample all manner of local food and drinks, 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.
There are plenty of hot drinks too. Outdoor
shopping is so much nicer with an ice-cold beer or cup of mulled wine (svařené víno or svařák) in your hand!
Music and dance is also a feature. On a stage at the Old Town Square, school choirs and folk groups perform on certain days (usually late afternoon). The children, dressed in traditional costume, travel from all over the Czech Republic to appear.
Children and the Easter markets
As well as admiring the bright colours and flowers that decorate the markets, children can visit a farmyard pen to feed and stroke sheep, goats and a donkey.
Meanwhile there are opportunities for children to join in Easter themed activities.
| There is a dedicated handicraft hut, plus events are sometimes arranged on the Old Town Square stage: kids can participate in painting eggs and flower pots, making Easter chicks, cutting colourful ribbons, and making baskets and Easter whips.|
Where to Stay in Prague
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 most popular is the Lesser Town
, which is across Charles Bridge
on the other side of the river.
As the city centre is compact and highly pedestrianised, 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 and the markets, entertainment, and the sights and attractions will all be nearby. The Prague Easter markets are free to enter, so whenever you fancy dropping in, you will be able to leave your hotel and be in the midst of the markets in minutes. Grab a drink, browse the stalls, soak up the atmosphere, then when you're ready to freshen up, it's just a short walk home
- Prague hotels.|
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 beautiful churches and historic buildings are magical at this time of year - classical concerts
The opera and ballet
season is also in full swing.
While for a typical Czech experience, black light and marionette theatres stage highly entertaining shows that are suitable for tourists - theatre
||School Folk Group|
Sightseeing is naturally a major reason to visit Prague, and the colours of spring bring the squares and historic buildings to life at this time of year.
Aside from on Good Friday and Easter Monday (see 'open over Easter' below), the sights and attractions are all open throughout the duration of the Easter markets.
A sightseeing tour can help visitors discover the true beauty of the city - from walking tours to coach tours to river cruises, there are lots of ways to explore Prague - Prague sightseeing.
Weather in March/April in Prague
Spring is undoubtedly in the air in Prague in late March and April. Expect long spells of warm sunny weather, interspersed with dull days and heavy showers.
weather is highly changeable, come prepared: on good days, visitors will find cool shirts, shorts, skirts and dresses most welcome, and bring sunscreen, sunglasses and hats. However, in case there is a cold snap or heavy shower, bring a warm fleece and a waterproof jacket or umbrella.
And as Prague is a wonderful city to explore on foot, a comfortable pair of walking shoes is a good idea.
What's Open over Easter (30 March-02 April)
The Easter markets are open every day over Easter, from Good Friday to Easter Monday.Tourist attractions
are all open on Easter Saturday and Sunday. However, only certain sights open on Good Friday and Easter Monday, and many have limited opening hours.Sightseeing tours
, walking tours
and river cruises
operate as normal.
The opera houses, concert halls and theatres are open, and there are special Easter classical concerts.
||Easter in Prague|
|Shops are open on Easter Saturday and Sunday. However, only certain stores open on Good Friday and Easter Monday, and many have limited opening hours.|
Restaurants, bars, cafés and clubs are open every day. For dining, we advise making a reservation well in advance (many restaurants will be booked out). 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.
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 20th century, during the communist era, the markets suffered a demise as the religious aspects of Easter were banned and consumerism was frowned upon; Easter celebrations became 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 come together 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 traditional Czech Easter, as celebrated in the towns and villages across the country. Easter is an exciting time of year, particularly for Czech 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 of spring and new life. On Easter Sunday, the girls and women of the village paint eggs ("kraslice"). This is a skilled affair with many variations on the decoration; usually a mixture 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 Easter 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. The boys and men set off on a whipping trip through the village.
Boys stop at people’s homes and whip the legs of every girl and woman who live in the house. Small boys are required to recite an Easter carol as they go about their whipping.
As if the whipping is not enough, a popular custom is also to 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. She may not appreciate it at the time, but it is actually good for the girl!
Once all the whipping and
dousing is over, the girl, strangely enough, rewards
the boy with one of her painted eggs. She then ties a ribbon around his whip and 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 bright ribbons attached.
In recent times, for older boys the gifts of eggs and ribbons
have given way to offers of shots of alcohol.
So by the time they arrive home, these young men can be
30 March-02 April
at Old Town Sq. & Wenceslas Sq.
17 March-08 April
at Prague Castle.
16 March-15 April
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