Prague Christmas Markets Perfect Winter Escape

Prague Christmas markets are held in the city centre and in the suburbs from late November to early January. Main Christmas markets in the centre are at Old Town Square, Republiky (Republic) square and Wenceslas Square. Smaller markets, mainly local affairs, are outside the centre in the Vinohrady and Smichov districts. Prague Christmas markets are in various parts of the city. The only snag is how to find them. This is no problem when you join a guided Christmas Markets Tour.

Most Christmas Markets are open from 26 November 2022 – 6 January 2023, entrance is free.

Prague: December highlights

1. Christmas markets
2. Christmas tree on Old Town Square
3. Lighting the Christmas tree
4. Lamplighter and gas lamps
5. Carp on the menu

Christmas markets

1. Prague Christmas Markets at Old Town Square

Date: 26 November 2022 – 6 January 2023
Open: 10.00 – 22.00 hours, food stands until midnight

This is the largest and busiest of Prague Christmas Markets and features carol singing, live shows and folk dance performances. Children will love the small petting zoo and feeding the sheep and donkeys. Wander along the wooden chalets, drink mulled wine and eat traditional snacks. Buy handmade craft gifts, toys, jewelry, winter clothing and accessories. Be sure to attend the Christmas tree lighting ceremony on the last Saturday in November. From that day on, when the sun is down, the fairy lights of the tree turn on and illuminate the night sky of Prague.

2. Christmas market in Wenceslas Square

Date: 26 November 2022 – 6 January 2023
Open: 10.00 – 22.00 hours, food stands until midnight

Wenceslas Square is the second largest of Prague Christmas markets and specializes in handmade wooden gifts. You will find here traditional handcrafted souvenirs and unusual one-of-a-kind gifts. Be sure to taste delicious warming drinks such as hot chocolate or spiced mulled wines and traditional Christmas snacks like langose (deep-fried pizza with garlic and grated cheese), trdelnik (freshly made dough sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar) and pancakes. Read more about langose and other street food.

3. Castle of Prague Christmas markets

Date: 26 November 2022 – 6 January 2023
Location: St George’s Square and at the Stable yard
Open: 09.00 – 18.00 hours Monday to Thursday, 09.00 – 19.00 Friday, Saturday and Sunday

This Christmas market is famous for vendors offering a wide selection of upmarket Christmas goods such as advent calendars and wreaths, mistletoe, candles, candle holders and festive delicacies. Svarene vino, Czech for mulled wine, sweet and well spiced, and frequently spiked with stronger stuff. Drink a mug or two of medovina, honey wine or mead, to fight off the cold and buy a bottle to take home. Read more about mulled wine.

Christmas markets

4. Christmas market at Republiky Square

Date: 26 November 2022 – 24 December 2023
Open: 10.00- 19.00 hours

A small Christmas market compared to the one in Old Town Square but with a wide selection of Christmas goods such as hand-blown and hand-painted glass ornaments, purpura, seasonal version of potpourri composed of cinnamon and other winter spices and pottery ware decorated in folkloric patterns and an excellent selection of festive food.

5. Christmas markets at namesti Miru

Date: 20 November 2022 – 24 December 2022
Open: 10.00 – 19.00 hours

Christmas markets at namesti Miru only has 60 huts but with a wide selection of traditional Christmas goods including Christmas tree decorations, handicrafts, glassware, wooden toys, winter accessories, gingerbread, sweets, mulled wine and seasonal snacks. This is a small markets and the first Christmas market to open during the festive season. It is mostly visited by locals and much more affordable than other markets.


Christmas tree on the Old Town Square

The fairy-lights in the Christmas tree on the Old Town Square are lit on the last Saturday in November. It is an exciting moment because it is never sure that they flop on at the first attempt. Eventually the tree is lit and sparkles in full glory. The Christmas tree stays until early January. According to tradition, the branches are transported to Prague Zoo as animal food. The trunk is used to make furniture for old people’s homes.

Lamplighter and Christmas Markets

From December 1 to December 23, between 4 and 5 pm, a lamplighter, dressed in medieval costume, walks across Charles Bridge. With a long hooked stick he pulls the ring to light the gas lamps and explains to the spectators how gas lamps work.He continues his route via Mostecká Street, Malostranské Square and Nerudova Street to Hradčanské Square and then to Loretánské Square to light more gas lanterns.The lamplighter can be seen only during the Advent period. The rest of the year, the lights are turned on centrally and automatically.

What’s on the Czech Christmas Menu?

Carp! As simple as that. Plastic barrels full of live carp fill the streets just before Christmas. Carp is the Czech answer to turkey in the Anglo-Saxon world. Fresh, that is the number one requirement and served with potato salad. Another popular Christmas dish is sauerkraut soup. Christmas shopping becomes even more fun with a glass of mulled wine and Prague sausages served with sauerkraut and mustard.
Read on: Carp Massacre at Christmas in Prague.

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