Prague was named the top destination for a Christmas vacation by U.S. News & World Report in 2017. After just minutes of strolling around this beautiful and historic city, it’s easy to see why! Colorful and ornate buildings flank cobblestone streets, and as the sweet smell of mulled wine wafts from street vendors through the air, it’s hard to not picture yourself in a fairytale. During the Christmas season, when the buildings are decked out in holiday finery, you might even feel like you’re at the North Pole! The best way to get in the festive spirit is to visit one of Prague’s Christmas markets. There are multiple outdoor markets throughout the city that boast shopping, food, and entertainment. If you’re planning a trip to this magical city in the upcoming holiday season, read on for the top Christmas markets to visit in Prague!
1. Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí)
The Old Town Square is the heart of Prague. Dating back to the 12th century, it is home to some of the city’s most impressive landmarks, like the Church of St. Nicholas, the Kinský Palace, and the Astronomical Clock, a medieval timepiece with figures that animate every hour. As Prague’s most important square, it is also home to the city’s biggest Christmas market. Dozens of gift stalls sell products special to the Czech Republic, and there are also food stalls that sell traditional delicacies. Traditional folk music and dance performances take place on a stage, with the performers wearing colorful costumes. There are even a large nativity scene and a petting zoo!
Old Town Square Christmas Market
Address: 110 00 Prague 1, Czech Republic
Date: December 1, 2018 - January 6, 2019, 10 am to 10 pm
Website: Old Town Square Christmas Market
2. Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí)
Wenceslas Square is home to one of Prague’s other large Christmas Markets. In 2017, this market was named alongside the Old Town Square market as one of the top 10 Christmas markets in the world by CNN! Just a five-minute walk from the Old Town Square, it’s easy to visit both of these festive markets on the same day. A large Christmas tree is lit up every night at 5 pm, accompanied by musical performances. The stalls are full of beautiful products like wood-carved toys and glass-work ware. The market is not just about shopping, though — be sure to try some traditional Czech food like barbecued pork and sausages!
Wenceslas Square Market
Address: 110 00 Nové Město, Czech Republic
Date: December 1, 2018 - January 6, 2019, 10 am to 10 pm
Website: Wenceslas Square Market
3. Republic Square (Náměstí Republiky)
The Republic Square Christmas Market is a little smaller than the previous markets on this list, but it’s certainly worth strolling through, preferably with some mulled wine in hand! It has about 35 wooden stalls selling Christmas decorations like mistletoe and Advent wreaths, as well as delicious Czech sweets like Trdelník, a pastry coated with hot sugar. Many of the cakes and pastries are prepared right in front of you, so you’ll be getting some authentic cuisine in addition to the holiday festivities!
Republic Square Christmas Market
Address: New Town, 110 00 Prague 1, Czech Republic
Date: December 1, 2018 - December 30, 2018, 10 am to 7 pm
Website: Republic Square Market
4. Peace Square (Náměstí Míru)
Most of the Christmas markets in Prague open at the beginning of December, meaning if you leave before November is over you miss out on much of the festivities. However, the Peace Square Christmas Market is one of the first to open, so if your trip falls before December you can still join in the holiday cheer! This Christmas market takes place in the main square of the Vinohrady district in front of the Gothic Church of St. Ludmila. The market has about 60 stalls brimming with traditional handicraft products made of ceramic, straw, or wool. It is also known as one of the Christmas markets that is a little less touristy than others in the city, which makes for an authentic holiday shopping experience.
Peace Square Christmas Market
Address: Náměstí Míru, 120 00 Praha 2, Czech Republic
Date: November 20, 2018 - December 24, 2018, 10 am to 7 pm
Website: Peace Square Market
5. Holešovice Exhibition Grounds (Výstaviště Holešovice)
The Christmas market at the Prague Exhibition Grounds is a little different than others on this list. Instead of being held outside, it is an indoor market in an exhibit hall. However, the exhibit hall is a beautiful and impressive building that dates back to 1891, so you’ll still be getting a taste of Prague’s historic architecture. The Christmas market is combined with the arts, craft, and pottery market, so you’ll be experiencing two markets in one! Alongside Christmas goods you can also peruse handmade crafts for a wide selection of holiday gifts. This market only lasts for a few days, so if your visit overlaps be sure to stop by.
Holešovice Exhibition Grounds Christmas Market
Address: Stromovka 1058, 170 00 Praha 7-Bubeneč, Czechia
Date: November 30, 2018 - December 2, 2018, 10 am to 6 pm
6. Place Tylovo (Tylovo náměstí)
Christmas markets can certainly be fun, but they can also be a little overwhelming with all of the shopping stalls and crowds. If you’re looking for a low-key market without giving up the whole experience, make your way to the Place Tylovo Christmas Market. This market has only about 20 stalls full of unique and beautiful products. It also has delicious foods and drinks like honey gingerbread or Medovina, a honey liquor. In this quiet and peaceful atmosphere, there will be no stressors to take you out of the holiday spirit.
Place Tylovo Christmas Market
Address: 120 00 Praha 2, Czech Republic
Date: November 23, 2018 - December 24, 2018, 10 am to 7 pm
Website: Place Tylovo Christmas Market
The perfect city for Christmas market hopping
Aside from its magical atmosphere, there are a lot of great reasons to choose Prague as your Christmas market shopping destination. Unlike the huge Christmas markets in Germany or Austria, the markets in Prague are smaller for an intimate, relaxing experience. However, they are still big enough that you’ll find lots of products specific to the Czech Republic, like handmade puppets and toys, matryoshka dolls, and Bohemian crystals. Generally, prices are also lower in the Czech Republic than in other parts of Europe, meaning you don’t have to feel guilty about hopping from one Christmas market to the next. You’ll have enough for a Czech beer or mulled wine to sip on while you watch a Christmas performance. There is no better way to get in the holiday mood!
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