Between the sparkling lights and the smell of freshly baked pastries, there’s no better place to celebrate Christmas in Europe than in Prague. As you walk through the Prague Christmas markets with the snow falling at your feet, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into a real-life fairytale.
The Czech take their Christmas markets very seriously. Lined with craft booths, food stalls, and live entertainment, a Christmas market is the best way to experience traditional Czech culture and traditional Czech foods. With unique products and handcrafted gifts, the markets are also the perfect place to do last-minute shopping.
If you’re planning to spend a Christmas in Prague, then you’ll have a variety of markets to choose from. Each one is different, which only adds to the festive and often magical atmosphere. Since Prague is a small, walkable city, you can even walk from one market to the other.
No matter which market you choose to visit, we know you’ll enjoy your visit to a Prague Christmas market!
When are the Christmas Markets in Prague?
The Christmas markets in Prague take place in the winter and last for roughly one month. Most markets open during the start of Advent, which usually falls on the last weekend of November. They continue through December and end sometime in early January.
However, there may be some markets that end on or around Christmas. Likewise, you might find a market or two that open to the public a few weeks earlier than others. You can always check the website of the specific market you want to visit for exact opening times and hours.
Prague Christmas Market dates November 30th until January 5th.
The Best Christmas Markets in Prague
There are dozens of Christmas Markets to visit during your trip to Prague. For a festive atmosphere, fun activities, tons of shopping and food, check out one of the following Xmas markets in Prague.
1. Old Town Square Christmas Market (Staromestske namesti)
As the busiest and most famous Prague Christmas market, this vibrant market attracts millions of visitors each year. Located right in the middle of the historic city center, the Old Town Square market is buzzing with a warm atmosphere and festive Christmas spirit at all times of the day.
Hundreds of craft booths, food stalls, and shops are dotted around the bustling square, which is home to the famous Jan Hus statue and astronomical clock.
Related Article: Top Things to do in Prague
Besides the plethora of shopping, the highlight of Staromestske namesti is by far the stunning tree lighting ceremony. Every evening at sundown, the lights of the tree turn on and illuminate the night sky of Prague.
There is even a stage where you can watch carol singers, dancers, and other performances. If you can only make it to one Christmas market in Prague, don’t miss the one in Old Town Square!
- Address: Staroměstské nám., 110 00 Staré Město, Czechia
- Dates: November 30, 2019 – January 5, 2020
- Hours: 10 am – 10 pm (booths), 10 am – 12 am (food)
- Nearest Metro Stops: Staromestska (line A), Namesti Republiky (line B), Mustek (lines A & B)
- Recommended Hotel: Grand Hotel Praha – Check Rates
2. Wenceslas Square Christmas Market (Vaclavske namesti)
The Wenceslas Square Christmas market is also located in the center of Prague, which makes it’s ideal for visitors and tourists. Although it’s not as picturesque or well-known as it’s big brother, Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square it is still an excellent place to soak in the festive Christmas atmosphere.
Filled with booths, food stalls, and entertainment, Wenceslas Square is guaranteed to have something that sparks your interest. Hunt for hand-crafted wooden toys, purchase famous Czech glassware or buy a beautiful ornament to take back home.
Wenceslas Square also has a tree lighting ceremony each night at 5 pm. Not only will you see the Christmas tree decorated, but you’ll also get a chance to enjoy an entertaining light show! The animations are inspired by two poems – the Moldau by Bedřich Smetana and Giant Mountains Fairy Tales by Vadim Petrov.
Younger guests will also love the activities at Wenceslas Square. Besides looking for gifts and toys to put on their Christmas wish list, children can play in the small petting zoo located near the Christmas tree.
- Address: Václavské nám., 110 00 Praha 1, Czechia
- Dates: November 30, 2019 – January 5, 2020
- Hours: 10 am – 10 pm (booths), 10 am – 12 am (food)
- Nearest Metro Stops: Muzeum station (line A & C), or Mustek station (line A & B)
- Recommended Hotel: Jalta Boutique Hotel – Check Rates Now
Related Article: Perfect 3 Days in Prague Itinerary
3. Republic Square Christmas Market (Namesti Republiky)
Located a stone’s throw away from Prague’s historic city center, Republic Square is a charming Christmas market. You can find it right in front of the Palladium shopping center near the Old Custom’s House.
This is probably the smallest Christmas market in Prague. However, what it lacks in size, it makes up for in charm and character. Decorated with small, wooden stalls, you’ll experience the coziness of a local market right in the middle of the city!
Although there are only 30 or so stalls, you’ll still be able to find traditional classics like toys, candies, and souvenirs. Best of all, the prices here are considerably cheaper than in other Xmas markets in Prague. Since it’s located just a few steps from Old Town Square, you’ll probably find a better deal on all your Christmas shopping at Republic Square.
You can also find a variety of local food for sale. Sample some authentic sweets, drink a mug of hot mulled wine, and snack on hot roasted chestnuts.
- Address: Rybná 17, 110 00 Staré Město, Czechia
- Dates: December 1, 2019 – December 30, 2019
- Hours: 10 am – 10pm (booths), 10 am – 12am (food)
- Nearest Metro Stops: Náměstí Republiky (line B)
- Recommended Hotel: Hotel Josef – Check Rates ~ This is where we stayed in Prague while exploring Xmas markets.
Related Article: The Best Christmas Markets in Budapest
4. Prague Castle Christmas Market (Prazsky hrad)
Climb to the top of Prague Castle for one of the most amazing Prague Christmas markets. With the snow-covered city as your backdrop, you’ll get to enjoy a beautiful view along with a bustling Christmas atmosphere.
Over 70 different stalls are set up on Náměstí u Sv. Jiří – or St. George’s Square. You’ll find both traditional handcrafted products and souvenirs, as well as quirky, one-of-a-kind gifts that you won’t find anywhere else. Not to mention, you can enjoy a variety of warm snacks, like trdelník pastries.
Although many visitors come for the shopping and delicious Czech treats, the biggest draw of this Christmas market is the astounding view of Prague. The castle is located across the Vlatava River and boasts unobstructed views of the historic city center and surroundings.
Prague Castle is also the most popular attraction in the entire city, make sure to read our things to know before visiting the Prague Castle article. There’s no better setting than having the 9th-century castle loom over you as you enjoy the picturesque market in St. Geroge’s Square!
- Address: nám. U Svatého Jiří, 119 00 Praha 1-Hradčany, Czechia
- Dates: November 23, 2019 – January 5, 2020
- Hours: 9 am – 7 pm
- Nearest Metro Stops: Malostranská (line A), or Hradčanská (line A)
- Recommended Hotel: Three Storks – Check Rates
Related Article: Exploring Prague’s Jewish Quarter
5. Peace Square Christmas Market (Namesti Miru)
The Peace Square market can be found in the Vinohrady district, right in front of the Church of St. Ludmila. As it’s off the beaten path, it’s one of the best markets if you are looking for an authentic Czech experience. It’s mostly frequented by locals, since only a few tourists venture to the Southeast of Prague.
If you are visiting Prague in late November, you’ll be pleased to know that the Peace Square market is usually one of the first markets in Prague to open during the holiday season.
Traditional handicrafts can be found in almost every stall here, especially ceramic or wooden products. There is also a large variety of Christmas decorations, including Advent calendars, wax candles, and fresh wreaths.
The items are priced much more affordably than other markets in the city center. For this reason, the Peace Square is worth a visit on your Christmas market tour of Prague. You’ll get to soak in the authentic atmosphere of what makes this city so special!
- Address: Náměstí Míru, 120 00 Vinohrady, Czechia
- Dates: November 20, 2019 – January 5, 2020
- Hours: 9 am – 7 pm
- Nearest Metro Stops: Náměstí Míru (line A)
- Recommended Hotel: Hotel Trevi – Check Rates Now
Related Article: Can’t Miss Hidden Gems in Prague
6. Tyl’s Square (Tylovo namesti)
The market at Tyl’s Square is also located in the Vinohrady district of Prague. It may be small compared to the rest of the Christmas markets in Prague, but it’s still teeming with festive treats and traditional Czech goodies.
The entire square is decorated in bright lights. From the life-size angel statues to the glowing neon candles, the entire Christmas market is sparkling at all hours of the day.
Like the Peace Square market, Tyl’s Square market attracts mainly locals. As a result, you’ll find more boutique and independent items made with higher quality than what you’d find in the city center.
The food here is also a step up from what you’d find in other markets. Foodies will love the Moravian cakes and honey gingerbread cookies. If you’re feeling a bit thirsty, then you can also wash them down with a glass of Tuscan wine or a mug of hot chocolate. Make sure to read our Christmas market treats to eat while exploring the markets.
- Address: Tylovo náměstí, 120 00 Vinohrady, Czechia
- Dates: November 26, 2019 – December 24, 2019
- Hours: 10 am – 7 pm
- Nearest Metro Stops: Náměstí Míru (line A)
- Recommended Hotel: Miss Sophie’s – Check Rates ~We also spent a few nights here when visiting Prague in December.
Related Article: Best Beer Gardens in Prague
Czech Christmas Traditions
The Czech Republic is one of the most magical places to celebrate Christmas, not just in Europe, but in the entire world. There are a few interesting (and sometimes quirky) traditions you should keep in mind if you plan on spending the holiday season in the Czech Republic.
You might find locals fasting on Christmas Eve. If they refrain from eating the whole day, then it’s believed that a Golden Pig will fly through the sky! Although it’s more of a myth than a real belief, many Czech’s consider the Golden Pig to bring luck for the next year.
Unlike most western cultures, Santa Claus isn’t the most prominent figure during Christmas. While St. Nicholas – or St. Mikulas – brings gifts in early December, it’s Baby Jesus that delivers the gifts during Christmas time.
As a result, many children eat dinner near the Christmas tree, waiting for the sound of a bell which signifies that Baby Jesus is near. For this reason, many people open gifts on December 24th. In other cultures, people open presents and celebrate on December 25th, but the Czech’s start a bit earlier.
The food you eat during Christmas also serves another purpose. Many Czech’s believe that the food you eat will determine your outlook and luck for the coming year. For example, Czech’s will cut an apple in half and look at the inside. If the core has five corners, then you’ll have good fortune. If the apple only has four corners, then you can expect bad luck.
On Christmas Day, most religious people will attend mass. After they come home from church, they usually celebrate with a family lunch.
There are a variety of fascinating traditions and superstitions during the holiday season in the Czech Republic. Some of these may be different from your own culture and traditions. If you are in Prague or other cities in the Czech Republic during Christmas, you’ll have a better understanding of what to expect.
Prague in December
- Average Temperatures Prague in December (Fahrenheit): High: 40, Low: 32
We personally loved visiting Prague in December, we preferred it over July. There are fewer tourists visiting Prague in the winter and the cooler temperatures are great for walking around and exploring the city. You can always pop into a cafe to warm up! If you can plan your visit mid-week the Christmas markets are less busier, they are very popular during the weekends.
Christmas season is one of the best times to visit Prague. Surrounded by Renaissance buildings and Gothic architecture, the city is the perfect backdrop for a lively market. Not only will you be able to see the stunning scenic landscape of the city, but you’ll also have the opportunity to shop for the best gifts in the Czech Republic.
Prague is a city full of wonder but becomes even more enchanting during the holidays. The sprawling city squares are filled with fun shops, delicious snacks, and activities to keep you entertained all day.
Although you can’t miss a visit to the market in the Old Town Square, I recommend stepping outside the historic city center and exploring a few of the lesser-known markets. They’re more affordable, less touristy, and full of charm. You’ll also find unique gifts and treats that will make memorable gifts for your friends and family. There are so many great day trips from Prague if you have time.
If you find yourself in Prague during the holidays, don’t forget to experience the beauty of a traditional Prague Christmas market!
Our Trip To Xmas Markets in Prague
Prague, a city we both fell in love with on our first visit back in July 2014. After several trips to Europe Prague is one of our favorite cities. When we had the opportunity to go back to Europe in December and visit some of the best Christmas markets in Europe we jumped on it.
Our Christmas market Viking River cruise ended in Nuremberg, Germany, and Prague was only a 3-hour bus ride away. It was a no-brainer, we would end our 3 weeks in Europe in one of our favorites – Prague. We read the Prague Christmas markets are supposed to be some of the best Christmas markets in Europe, and they didn’t disappoint.
Our favorite part of Prague is the Old Town, we love just getting lost walking down all the cobblestone streets. We decided to spend our first 3 nights right in Old Town at Hotel Josef. Situated less than a 5-minute walk to the Old Town Square our hotel was the perfect place to base ourselves as we explored the Xmas markets in Prague.
The Old Town Square is home to the largest Christmas Market in Prague surrounded by the city’s most famous buildings. Within a fifteen-minute walk from our hotel, there were 3 additional Prague Christmas markets.
Staying at Hotel Josef we were able to come and go from our hotel throughout the day, which was great as we didn’t have to carry all of Christmas purchases all over town with us.
No matter what time of year you visit Prague, stay in the heart of Old Town. There are so many restaurants, bars, museums, and attractions to keep you busy!
We were in Prague to see the Christmas markets and the best way to see the town’s best Christmas markets was to take a Christmas market tour with a local. Book Now Prague Christmas market tour with a local – price is around $50 and includes visiting 3 Xmas markets and traditional snacks.
We learned Czech holiday traditions, like carp being their main course at Christmas dinner. BUT first, they bring the carp home and let is swim in the bathtub for a few days! The children even play and name the carp before it becomes dinner.
We couldn’t walk through the Christmas markets without indulging in some of the local drinks. We warmed up with a small cup of local honey wine, a nice sweet treat to warm us up. There are tons of tasty treats to be had.
We finally tried a chimney cake, we have been eyeing them up all the way back in Budapest which was 3 countries ago. Here in Prague, there were vendors who smear Nutella in the middle, we went with the traditional. In Prague, they call them Trdelník, which are a must at a Christmas market in Prague. The rolled sweet dough was one of our favorite things we ate at the Christmas markets in Prague.
We ended our tour back near Hotel Josef in Old Town Square at the largest Christmas market in Prague. We wandering through some of the stalls and noticed the differences between the markets.
The Old Town square market is catering primarily to the tourist and the smaller local markets are where the people of Prague shop. The main difference was in the price, many items were only 10-20 crown more, and some of the local markets had unique locally made items too.
Related Article: Best Museums in Prague – Including the Prague Beer Museum
After 3 hours exploring the Christmas markets in Prague with our local guide, it was time to say our goodbyes. We would have never ventured out to the local Christmas markets had we not gone with a local guide. We even returned to our favorite Prague Christmas market the next day to finish our Christmas shopping.
Related Article: Unique gifts at the European Christmas markets
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