Prague Market or Holesovice Market Past and Present
Prague Market, Pražská tržnice in Czech, is fast becoming one of Prague’s latest hotspots! The old, dilapidated warehouses have been demolished and made way for trendy bars food trucks, outdoor cafes, live music and performances. Today, Pražská tržnice, is a happy mix of retail, culture and food, for sale at the fresh food market as well as in the cafes and food trucks. Prague Market used to be brimming with market stalls with a range of ‘imported from Vienam’ and driven by Vietnamese vendors, a market with a somewhat shady reputation. This is where you could buy balaclavas, butterfly knives, brass knuckles or counterfeit cigarettes and perfume. This is now history. All that is left of the former market is the fruit and vegetable hall.
5 reasons to visit the Prague Market
1. Largest fresh market in Prague
2. Food trucks
3. Gastronomy from Asian to ‘ordinary’ Czech cuisine
4. Music venues and cultural events
1. Farmers’ Market
The indoor fruit and vegetable market is located in hall 22. It is the largest farmers’ market in Prague selling fruit and vegetables, herbs, fish, meat, eggs and dairy, pastries, but also organic products, and Asian and Russian specialties. There are 80 stands, including beekeepers with their own honey, gluten-free sausages, seeds and seedlings, cheese and more. Open: all year round, Monday to Friday 08.00-17.00 and Saturday 08.00-14.00
2. Food Trucks
Food trucks with culinary specialties, such as classic burgers, pulled meat, baked sandwiches, Italian, and Asian cuisine. Great food al fresco! The food truck season is from May to October. Come for lunch or the evening for a beer, music and DJs. The food trucks are located between halls 13 and 17, open daily from 4 pm to 10 pm
3. Prague Market: Gastronomy
* Tràng An restaurant, hall 5
Tràng An restaurant started as a food stall in one of tiny alleys of the Prague Market. The Vietnamese owner prepared lunch dishes for his compatriots who sold textiles in the market stalls. When curious visitors and tourists came to try Pho soup and other delicacies, his food stall was too small and he moved to one of the larger pavilions in the market. His classic Vietnamese dishes are still popular as are his vegetarian specialties. Open 10am-8pm.
* SaSaZu, at the Prague market
Sasazu offers a fusion of Asian cuisine and works on the principle of ‘sharing’, dishes are placed in the middle of the table and everyone helps himself. All dishes are prepared with fresh, local ingredients.
* Chef Parade
The Chef Parade Cooking School organizes cooking classes for beginners and advanced for both adults and children. In addition to the cooking courses, you can buy here a whole array of herbs and spices for home cooking.
* Pražské taštičky (Prague bags), next to the Pražská tržnice tram stop at the main entrance
Pražské taštičky are dough bags stuffed with various fillings, ham and cheese, spinach, cheese or apple and cinnamon. They resemble Polish pierogi, Italian ravioli, or Indian momos.
4. Prague Market: music venues and cultural events
*Jatka 78, hall 7 and 8
Jatka offers alternative art and performances from dance to circus and acrobatics acts. There are regular workshops, conferences, lectures and exhibitions. Jatka comprises a multi-purpose theater hall, small stage, rehearsal room and it is home to Cirk La Putyka. You don’t need to speak Czech to understand the performances. Jatka is also bistro and bar. The lunch menu offers a choice of four main courses including vegetarian ones. Many shows are kid friendly. Open 10am-10pm.
*Trafo Gallery, hall 14
Trafo Gallery is a studio and exhibition space of the artist collective “Trafačka”. They are housed in a very large hall with a huge skylight that creates light and space. Trafo Gallery presents works of their own collective as well as prominent Czech and international artists. There are rotating exhibitions, usually six a year. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM and on Saturdays from 10:00 AM.
Cultural garden, bar and cafe, with varied program of live music, theater performances, concerts, workshops and also programs for children.
Rock Opera offers an unconventional spectacle and celebrities of Czech show business. Rock Opera Praha is the only Czech theater that focuses on rock operas, acrobatic shows, rock bands and singers.
Sasazu is not only an Asian restaurant but also one of the largest music clubs in Prague with seating for 2.500 guests. Performances include a wide variety of genres, such as Lily Allen, Macy Gray, Kosheen, Paul Van Dyk, Tiesto, Markus Schulz, Morcheeba, Public Enemy, Busta Rhymes and One Republic.
Tourist Walking Trail
When the city of Prague inaugurated the slaughterhouse in 1895, it was one of the most modern and well-organized abattoirs in Europe. Thanks to the solid construction and typical architecture, the complex still stands. A trail leads from the main entrance to the most important buildings. There are fourteen stops with historic photos and explanatory texts. The route starts at the main entrance at Bubenske nabrezi, via hall 22 and Jatka 78 to the water tower and on to the eastern part of the site.
Prague Market in the Holesovice district: from 1983 to 2020
For more than thirty years the Prague market was the place to be for antiques, clothing, electronics, cosmetics and also shoes and bags because there was a Bata shop. The merchandise on the market was mainly cheap cigarettes and drinks or cheap clothes directly imported from Vietnam. The stall holders were Vietnamese who had come to former Czechoslovakia from North Vietnam when these two communist countries were friends in communist days. At the time, there were many food stalls, most of them have now gone. Some of them like Tràng An have become more up-market. From an architectural point of view the Prague market is interesting: robust buildings and industrial heritage.
Prague Market in Holesovice: in the past
From the late eighteenth century, the site and the buildings were used as a slaughterhouse. This particular location in the Holešovice district was chosen because in those days it was on the outskirts of the city and the wind was mostly blowing in a favorable direction, away from the centre. The stench from the abattoir did not linger, but drifted towards Libeň, which was not part of Prague at the time.
It was not until 1983 that a goods and food market established itself here. During Communism, the locals came to this market early in the morning to search for fresh fruit and vegetables, but also for other products that were scarce in those days. It was a thriving market and resembled a “city within a city” for a while. But with the fall of communism and the rise of shopping malls, Prague Market turned into a haven for counterfeit goods.
Prague Market is located in the Holesovice district north of the city centre. This neighbourhood has undergone a metamorphosis in recent years: from a run-down working-class district to one of the hippest neighbourhoods in Prague with boutiques, interesting shops, restaurants and coffee shops. Modern art lovers should definitely pay a visit to Dox, centre for contemporary art. And foodies shouldn’t miss out on spending an evening at SaSaZu club and restaurant.
Address, Prazska Trznice, Prague Market, Bubenske nabrezi 13, Holesovice, Prague 7