…. in Old Town Square, Prague
I’ve just had the pleasure of visiting the fabulous Christmas Market in Prague’s Old Town Square which is situated between the Astronomical Clock and the imposing Gothic twin towers of the Church of Our Lady Before Týn. They had only just started to put up the little wooden huts and the giant Christmas Tree in readiness for the yearly tradition that goes on for a month throughout late November into early January.
All lit up and ready to go!
Prague Christmas Market Old Town Square
The main Christmas Market is in the Old Town Square although there is another one in Wenceslas Square at the bottom of Vaclavski Namesti, the main shopping street that runs from the National Museum. There are also a small scattering of other smaller markets all across the city where the locals tend to frequent rather than tourists.
Prague Old Town Square
The markets take on the traditional wooden hut theme and are packed to the rafters with glassware, jewellery, ceramics, scented candles and a vast array of Christmas decorations and food, such as spit-roast pork and cinnamon covered pastries which fill the air with delicious smells of Christmas. To accompany all the wonderful food, there’s the famous Czech beer Pilsner Urquell or a mug of spiced mulled wine to warm you up after a hard day of sightseeing and alcohol is pretty cheap with local beer coming in at around 60p a pint just outside of the main tourist spots.
Prague Old Town Square
Pretty Christmas Lights in the Trees
There are some great traditional Czech foods and keepsakes which you need to put on your suitcase to take home for Christmas and here are a few of my favourites that I came across:
This is so delicious; it’s a deep-fried flat bread made of a kind of pizza/bread dough. It’s eaten fresh and hot, topped with garlic and cheese, or sour cream and ketchup. This is really a Hungarian speciality and the name comes from láng, the Hungarian word for flame.
The Langos Hut
Among the Prague Christmas markets, it’s one of the most usual snacks. There are Frankfurter-style Párek sausages, or for the starving, the larger Pražská Klobása, which are bright red but not over-spiced, and will fill you up whilst walking round the market.
This is my favourite treat. These revolving Trdelnik are everywhere and they are really fun to watch being made. They are unusual pastries made of long, cylindrical-shaped strips of dough that are covered in sugar and rotated over blazing hot coals. They’re best eaten when still steaming from the coals.
Trdelnik on hot coals
Mulled wine to you and me. No Christmas market is complete without a proliferation of mulled wine huts, but not all are made equal. Svařené víno is the traditional Czech way of making mulled wine, which is very sweet and well-spiced, and frequently spiked with a drop of stronger stuff.
Mulled Wine Hut
This is a local traditional tipple, ‘Medovina’ which translates to “honey wine” and is effectively a Czech mead which sounds deliciously medieval. It’s quite strong and is an alternative to the usual mulled wine.
6. GLASS ORNAMENTS AND BAUBLES
The Czech Republic is famous for its Bohemian Crystal and you will find hand-blown and hand-painted glass ornaments everywhere in Prague, not just in the Christmas markets. But make sure to wrap them in lots of padding before packing away in your suitcase as they are very delicate!
Prague is home to the National Marionette Theatre, and you’ll find strange looking puppets everywhere, not just in the Christmas Markets but in shops too. These are hand-carved, and highly detailed and look surprisingly realistic.
Tips for Visiting the Prague Christmas Markets
The market in the Old Town Square also has an animal stable where kids can pet goats, donkeys and sheep as well as explore a large Bethlehem scene housed in a wooden stable.
Wenceslas Square is home to the huge Christmas tree which is beautifully decorated and makes for stunning pictures with the gothic architecture of the National Museum as a backdrop making the atmosphere simply magical.
Address: Old Town Square, Prague 1, Czech Rep
Metro: Staromestska (line A)
Tram stop: Staromestska (trams 17, 18, 53)
- Map of Old Town Square
I travelled on a direct flight to Prague Airport from London Heathrow by British Airways which took around 2.5 hours.