The Prague Christmas markets are one of the many Czech traditions that are carried on during that time of the year. They’re open every day from 1st December 2018 to 6th January 2019, including the Christmas Eve (December 24), Christmas Day (December 25) and New Year’s Day (January 1).
Prague, like all the cities of the world, becomes even more beautiful with Christmas lights!
Where are the markets and when they start
There are several Christmas markets around Prague. Some of them start a few days before the others (keep that in mind if you don’t want to go to one and find it closed). The biggest and oldest ones are held in:
- Old town square, starts on December 1;
- Wenceslas square, starts on December 1;
- near the Prague Castle, started on November 23.
There are many other smaller markets across all the city. Here’s the link with the opening dates of all of them, plus where they’re located.
Not all of the markets open at the same hour of the day, but as a good rule of thumb it is safe to say that between 11:00 am and 6:00 pm you will not find a closed one.
Keep in mind that it is pretty cold on the streets during Czech wintertime (maybe you already realized that, given the previous days!) so it is smart to find how to get to the markets via public transport. They’re usually well connected. Once you get there you will see many ways to warm yourself up. There is usually a lot of patio heaters located near the shops, or you can stand near a food stand and be fine as well. Nevertheless, remember to wear a warm coat!
What to taste
Once you end up at the market forget any kind of diet: there’s too much stuff to eat! You will be able to find a lot of typical Czech dishes, both sweet and savory. Look at the list of what you can’t miss:
• Spit-roasted ham (šunka);
• Barbecued sausages (klobásy);
• Salty potato pancakes (bramboráky);
• Traditional Czech Christmas braided cake (vánočka);
• Christmas cookies (vánoční cukroví);
• Gingerbread (perník).
A few things warm you up more than mulled wine!
Don’t forget to supply yourself with something hot to drink, not only to warm you up but also to cheer you up: there’s booze in them (if you like it)! Here’s what you can easily find in the markets:
• Mulled wine (svařené víno, “svařák”);
• Mead, which is a typical honey-wine (medovina);
• Punch (punč);
• Eggnog (vaječný koňak).
Wooden toys are a classic that never sets …
What to buy
Christmas markets also give you a great opportunity for shopping. What’s there to buy? Be ready for many local products, lots of them handmade:
• Christmas tree ornaments;
• Christmas decorations;
• Wooden toys;
• Scented candles;
• Winter accessories (scarves, hats, gloves).
Given that, it shouldn’t be hard for you to come up with something nice to buy as a present for your friends or partner or just as a souvenir to remind you “hey, I live in this very cool town!”
One last tip: as many of you know Prague is not the only European city holding Christmas markets. iÍf you fancy the idea of a little trip, don’t forget to check those other places!
Christmas lights, mulled wine: everypixel.com
Wooden toys: pixabay.com