December is the month of sparkling lights, magical candles and Christmas-themed music. Prague abounds in cultural, entertaining and festive events for music-lovers, cultural-minded gourmets and fun-loving children (and adults), there is something for everybody. The holiday spirit overflows in the Prague Christmas markets.
From early December, Prague is in a festive mood. Locals and tourists amble past the gigantic Christmas tree on Old Town Square that buzzes with activity. Czechs and tourists weave through the crowd looking for special Christmas presents; wooden angels, delicate Christmas bells, handmade earrings or bracelets. They admire brightly colored wooden puppets displayed in exquisitely decorated huts. Then they move on and look longingly at Bohemian crystal trinkets, handmade sweet-scented soap and hand-knitted woollen hats and gloves. The shoppers warm their hands on a mug of mulled wine and savor trdelnik, a sweet round pastry smothered in sugar and cinnamon, one of Prague’s culinary delights.
Christmas Market at Old Town Square, Prague — Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone
Watch out for the word Vanoci thr, Czech for Christmas market. The city has not just one Christmas market, but many, each equally sparkling and spirited. You will find the two largest Christmas markets at Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. Two smaller ones, but still large, are held at Namesti Republiky in front of the Municipal House and Palladium Shopping center and Havelske Trziste in the historic center.
The Christmas market at Námesti Miru in front of the Ludmilla Church and the one at Námesti Jiriho z Podibrad in the Vinohrady neighborhood are very much local affairs and see very few tourists. The Christmas markets are open daily from the beginning of December through the first week in January.