“Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and since we’ve no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.” Well, there is no need to worry about frightful weather as snow has been rather rare in Prague at Christmas in recent years but there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the Christmas spirit in this beautiful city.
Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is the Christmas markets. The traditional Prague Christmas markets are considered to be among the top Christmas markets in the world. They start always on 1 December and close at the end of the year or in the first week of January. Beautifully decorated Christmas trees protect nativity scenes, stallholders offer typical Christmas products and you may also admire displays of traditional Czech crafts.
The largest Christmas market is in the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí). This year’s angel-themed market is dominated by a large Christmas tree decorated in traditional colours – green, white, golden and red. The entire square is filled with the sweet smells of traditional Christmas treats, such as roasted chestnuts, hot wine, punch or mead as well as Christmas sweets and gingerbread. If you are not a sweet-toothed person, you may choose from a wide variety of meat meals, including Czech sausages, grilled chicken, pork knuckle and many others. Most stalls offer Christmas goods and Czech hand-made products – Christmas decorations, cookie cutters, candles or Advent wreaths. All-time favourites include traditional Czech blown glass balls, straw decorations, hand-woven blankets and wooden nativity scenes. You may also look forward to live performances of folklore and children’s groups. Stalls are open every day from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.
There are many other Christmas markets in squares all over Prague, including Václavské náměstí (Wenceslas Square), náměstí Republiky, náměstí Míru, náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad, Tylovo náměstí and Výstaviště Holešovice (Holešovice Exhibition Grounds).
Czech Christmas culminates on Christmas Eve on 24 December, when Christmas dinner is served. The menu typically includes fish soup, carp, wine sausages and schnitzels served with potato salad. After dinner, people exchange gifts brought to Czech children by Baby Jesus.
Come and experience Christmas atmosphere in Prague and try out all the renowned Christmas goodies!