What is the best thing about December in Prague? Cozy pubs? Mulled wine? Seeing the beautiful buildings covered in a light dusting of snow? While all of these things are great, nothing screams Christmas joy and festive spirit like a Prague Christmas Market.
While the Czech Republic isn’t necessarily a religious country, they are indeed a traditional people and they sure know how to get into the Christmas spirit when the season rolls around.
Prague’s Christmas markets are unlike anything you’ve seen before, even if you’ve explored other Christmas markets around Europe. With traditional Czech food and drink, handmade souvenirs and gifts, and, of course, seasonal alcohol galore, Prague’s Christmas markets will show you a whole new side of the city.
Old Town Square Christmas Market
- Location: Old Town Square
- Dates: December 1, 2019 – January 6, 2020
- Times: 10:00 am – 12:00 am
No better place to start than the largest Christmas market in Prague! This Prague Christmas market is located right smack in the center of Old Town Square, sprawled around the Jan Hus Memorial in front of the Astronomical Clock. Because of the location, this also tends to be the most crowded market, so be sure to utilize those tricks and tips we gave you for this one, and keep your bags close!
This market is the biggest and the most popular for a reason. It’s got a lot of extras that the smaller markets simply don’t have.
First off, this market hosts the Prague Christmas Tree and nativity scene. The huge, real tree is the centerpiece of the market and stands in front of the Church of Tyn so you can get some great photos. The tree is beautifully decorated with lights and ornaments and really comes to life after sunset, when you can see it in all its lit up glory.
We recommend checking out the first tree lighting, which takes place the first day the markets are open and starts at 16:30 with the lights animated to music, and is repeated on a loop after that until 21:30.
The Prague Xmas market in Old Town Square also has a stage to host caroling, concerts, dance performances, and other live Christmas shows for visitors of all ages to enjoy. There are also some special events for kids as well as St. Mikuláš (or St. Nicholas to Westerners) and New Year’s celebrations.
This year, the market at Old Town Square will be open from December 1, 2019 until January 6, 2020. You can buy gifts and other trinkets from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm and you can enjoy the food and drink from 10:00 am until midnight.
Wenceslas Square Christmas Market
- Location: Wenceslas Square
- Dates: December 1, 2019 – January 6, 2020
- Times: 10:00 am – 12:00 am
Located just a short walk from the markets in Old Town Square, the Prague Christmas market in Wenceslas Square is another one of the most popular and crowded ones in the city. The main part of this market is located in the larger space at the lower end of the square opposite the National Museum, but slowly over the years the stalls have begun to trickle further down towards the museum.
The Wenceslas Square markets also have a Christmas tree, although not as big as the one in Old Town Square. The tree also has light animations though, running from 17:00 until 21:00 every night. In front of the tree you will also find a nativity scene. As for gifts, there aren’t as many options as there are in Old Town Square but the vendors here typically specialize in handmade wooden and steel gifts, so you’re still able to find something unique.
This market in Prague is also open from December 1, 2019 until January 6, 2020 with the food and shop stands having the same opening hours as the ones of Old Town Square: refreshments open from 10:00 am to midnight and goods open from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Havel’s Christmas Market
- Location: Havelská 13, 110 00 Staré Město
- Dates: Year-Round
- Times: Monday – Friday (6:00 am – 7:00 pm), Saturdays (7:00 am – 7:00 pm), Sundays (8:00 am – 6:30 pm)
Located right in between the Old Town Square markets and the Wenceslas Square markets, this year-round shopping center dates back to the 1200s and is one of the oldest shopping markets in Prague. While you can shop at it all year round, it really dedicates itself to Christmas when December in Prague rolls around so it makes it on this list.
As for souvenirs, you’ll find a lot of the typical touristy stuff like mugs, jewelry, and toys but they will add Christmas ornaments and other decorations during December in Prague. And of course, they will still offer the toys they’re famous for: the screaming witches.
Havel’s Market is open daily Monday through Friday from 6:00 am until 7:00 pm, Saturdays from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, and Sundays from 8:00 am until 6:30 pm.
Náměstí Míru Christmas Market
- Location: Náměstí Míru, Vinohrady
- Dates: November 20, 2019 – December 24, 2019
- Times: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Located in front of the Church of St. Ludmila, this is usually the first Christmas market of the season, opening even before the main markets in the city center. This year, this Prague Christmas market will open on November 20 and shut down on December 24 and will be open from 10:00 am until 7:00 pm each day.
This Christmas market is one of the bigger ones in the city, usually hosting about 60 stalls full of all the traditional Christmas necessities: Advent wreaths and calendars, candles and candle holders, gifts and souvenirs. This market also has a beautiful tree and a hand-painted nativity scene and holds events for families of all ages.
It is also located on the very edge of one of our favorite neighborhoods in Prague, Zizkov. We highly recommend visiting Zizkov if you want to experience a bit of Prague off the beaten path.
Tylovo Náměstí Christmas Market
- Location: Tylovo Náměstí near I.P. Pavlova metro
Located just a short walk from Náměstí Míru close to the I.P. Pavlova metro station, this is the smallest Christmas market in Prague – which means less people! This is the perfect place to go to find some Christmas gifts without having to fight your way through a crowd to see the stalls. You can still get the basics: wooden toys, jewelry, glass figurines and Christmas decorations, as well as some delicious food and warm drinks to enjoy while you browse.
Jiřího z Poděbrad Christmas Market
- Location: Jiřího z Poděbrad Square, Vinohrady
A bit farther away from the central markets, this Prague Christmas market will be cheaper than the ones in the center with a lot of the same products. Jiřího z Poděbrad hosts a popular farmer’s market during most of the year, and during December in Prague it is transformed into a festive Christmas market.
Less crowded than the center and a bit more family-oriented, the Christmas market at Jiřího z Poděbrad also hosts a regular program of events, including concerts, theater performances, workshops for kids, celebrations, caroling, and even some creative workshops where you get to create your own Christmas decorations.
Anděl Christmas Market
- Location: Pedestrian area outside Anděl metro station
- Dates: Nov 30th – Dec 25th
Located right on the pedestrian strip outside the Anděl metro station, this smaller Prague Christmas market is a bit less dressed up and therefore a bit more authentic than the ones in the center.
At this market, you’ll find a wide variety of goodies and treats just like at the other markets, but you’ll also most likely find something we haven’t mentioned yet: carp! There is a Czech Christmas tradition where they kill and eat carp for Christmas dinner, and so the Christmas markets can sell them. The carp stands aren’t terribly common as they’re a bit gruesome and smelly, but it’s definitely an authentic Czech experience.
- Location: Exhibition grounds at Výstavište in Prague 7
Located at the exhibition grounds at Výstavište in Prague 7, this Prague Christmas market is less well-known since it’s a bit farther off the beaten tourist path, but it’s big! This is the only Christmas market with an admission fee, though: 25 Kč per person and the official name is Advent na Výstavište.
This market also hosts an entertainment program for both kids and adults on the weekends. Usually opened with a festive procession at the start of the Advent season, it includes markets, Christmas workshops, live music, and more.
Be sure to check out each of these Christmas markets to make the most out of December in Prague! It might be cold, but it’s beautiful and you won’t want to miss out on Prague in all of its winter glory.
Article by Just a Pack Contributor: Brittany Muldoon