When strolling through the Old Town district in Prague, sooner or later you will end up at Havelske Market because it is on the tourist trail. It is the oldest market in Prague and Tourists Guides rave about it. This market is exactly what you expect it to be: vegetables, fruit, flowers souvenirs and tourists. During the Christmas season the market is decked out with Christmas decorations and selling mulled wine and Christmas fare.
Havelske City Market lacks locals. They think twice before buying here because they prices are sky-high. Locals go the farmers’ markets and shopping centres in the suburbs for better value for money.
Havelske City Market for Fruit, Vegetables and Souvenirs
Guidebooks and tourist brochures speak highly of Havelske City Market. True to say, it is the only permanent open-air market in the centre of Prague and on the main walking route from Wenceslas Square to Old Town Square. The market is famous for its fresh fruit: ripe strawberries, crimson cherries and juicy pears are begging to be bought. Sandwiched in between the fruit stalls are the souvenir stands stocking wooden puppets and toys, Bohemian crystal and glass jewelry. The souvenirs are not really different from the ones you can buy in any souvenir shop in the Old Town nor are they cheaper. If you are prepared to pay ‘tourist prices’, Havelske Market is your place to be. However, if you like more realistic prices and want to mix with the locals, go to residential areas for true bragains.
Is Havelske Market worth a Visit?
Havelske Market may seem a good place to buy a healthy snack: a sweet red apple or some bananas. If you are money conscious, you avoid this fruit and vegetable market as prices are much higher than in the nearby Albert supermarket at Wenceslas Square. If you have never been to an open-air market, Havelske Markets will live up to your expectations. But if you are not particularly interested in shopping at market stalls, don’t make a detour to visit this market.
If you like open air or organic farmers’ markets, go to the market on namesti Republiky near na Prikope shopping street. This market is also touristy, but slightly less than Havelske. If you really want to be Czech with the Czechs, go to the farmers’ market Jirak on namesti Jiriho z Podebrad in the Vinohrady district. (metro station line A, Jiriho z Podebrad station) Open from Wednesday to Saturday, from 08.00 to 18.00, Saturdays until 14.00.
Havelske Market, Havelska 13, Stare Mesto
Opening Hours: seven days a week 06.00-18.30
Photos Marianne Crone