This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for details.
Prague’s Christmas Markets have increased in popularity over the years, being rated as one of the best Christmas Markets in Europe by CNN. I’ve created this guide to help you enjoy all there is to offer in Prague’s fun, magical Advent markets.
Prague is a beautiful city to visit all year round however in the month of December, the city transforms into a magical winter wonderland. Think gingerbread men, roasted chestnuts, Christmas cookies and mulled wine paired with beautiful wooden stalls, sparkling fairy lights, beautifully decorated Christmas Tree – you start to get the picture right? And if you’re super lucky, a sprinkle of snow may add to the festive feel.
I’ve been living in the Czech Republic for almost 7 years, and have seen the popularity of Prague’s Christmas Markets rocket to becoming on of the top-rated Christmas Markets in Europe and one of the most beautiful in the world. I have written this guide in the hope that it will help anyone visiting to get the most out of spending time in Prague at Christmas and I have even included information on the smaller Christmas Markets that can be found in the areas surrounding the historic centre which will not only show you a different side to the city but offer unique experiences that have a more local touch than the larger ones in the Old Town.
Why choose Prague for a Christmas Markets break?
There are many reasons why you should choose to visit Prague for the Christmas markets. One of the main reasons is that Prague is beautiful in the winter. With the winter sun, the pastel colours and the twinkling of frost or (sometimes) snow against the blue sky, the scene is picture perfect. Prague is also smaller than the Christmas markets in Germany, so while they are certainly busy, they aren’t as big nor as commercial feeling as some of the German ones.
Prague’s Xmas markets are also located very close to each other so you can easily stroll from one to the other, and for the most part they are all located in the city centre. Prices are also lower than the markets in other European cities so you get much better value for your money.
Prague Old Town Square Christmas Market
- Location: Old Town Square Prague 1
- When: 28th November 2020 – January 6, 2021
- Opening Hours: 10:00 am – 12:00 am (Souvenir stalls close at 10:00 pm)
- How to Get There: Staromestska Metro (Line A Green) or Tram 2, 18 or 17 to Staromestska Tram Stop, then a short walk down Kaprova Street.
- Tree Lighting Times: 4:30, 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, 9:30pm
Let’s start with the most obvious and largest Christmas market in Prague located in the historic Old Town square. If you’re visiting Prague during advent, this Christmas Market will be almost unavoidable and due to its central location, it is the most crowded market.
A beautiful Christmas tree stands in front of the Týn Church, transported from different forests of the Czech Republic each year. Adorned with twinkling fairy lights and shimmering decorations it takes centre stage in Prague’s Old Town square. Be sure to visit at sunset, typically around 4.30 PM when the lights get switched on for the perfect Christmas Market photo!
In front of the tree, you’ll find the traditional nativity scene and on a few occasions, there has been a small animal petting stall which is often a huge hit with the smaller kids. There is a small animal food vending machine as well so the kids can feed the donkey, goats and sheep.
Traditional log cabins fill the entire square, encircling the Christmas tree and the annual footbridge that is placed in the centre of the square. You can walk over it to get a better view of the rooftops of the cabins and take a good picture of the market. Over the past few years, the Prague Christmas Market in the Old Town Square has also had a large stage which plays host to festive carols, classical music concerts, plays and activities for children and traditional dancing.
Námestí Republiky Christmas Market
- Location: Náměstí Republiky Prague 1. Right in front of the Palladium and Kotva Shopping Centres
- When: 30th November 2019 – 30th December 2020
- Opening Hours: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
- How to Get There: Náměstí Republiky Metro (Line B Yellow) or Trams 6, 8, 26, 15 or Bus 207
Located adjacent to the two huge shopping malls of Palladium and Kotva, this smaller Xmas market is a bustling scene throughout the day. Its log cabin stalls sell a variety of winter gifts including wool slippers and gloves as well as wooden toys and lace table wear. Although it is just a stone’s throw away from the Old Town Square, Náměstí Republiky’s Xmas market isn’t as busy and the prices tend to be a little lower as well.
There is also a variety of food stalls here which makes it a great spot for lunch. Grab a sausage and a warm cup of mulled wine and enjoy the Christmas atmosphere before heading over to the Old Town Square to see the tree lights being switched on around 4:30 pm.
There is also a small farmers market in the smaller square opposite the Uni Credit Bank. Here you will find hand-made crafts and gifts as well as a range of food stalls and fresh produce.
Wenceslas Square Prague Christmas Market
- Location: Wenceslas Square, New Town Prague 1
- When: Still to be announced for 2020/2021 (Normally first week of December)
- Opening Hours: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm (8:00 pm on weekends) Food stalls open until 12:00 am (Midnight)
- How to Get There: Mustek Metro (Line B Yellow or Line A Green), Museum Metro (Line C Red) or Trams 3, 5, 6, 14, 24.
Probably the second most visited market due to its central location, Wenceslas Square Christmas Market in Prague’s New Town is a delight to wander around. Smaller than that of Old Town Square and Namesti Republiky, it is perfectly positioned in the centre of Prague’s shopping district and just a short stroll from the Old Town making it a perfect stop while Christmas shopping on the fashionable Na Příkopě high street.
At this Xmas market, you’ll find the same beautifully designed wooden chalets, specialising in handmade wooden and steel gifts. There are also a number of food stalls here as well which are open until 12:00 am (Midnight).
Havel’s Christmas Market Prague (Havelske Trziste)
- Location: Havelska Street, Prague 1
- When: All Year Round
- Opening Hours: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm & Sunday 8:00 am – 6:30 pm
- How to Get There: Mustek Metro (Line B Yellow or Line A Green)
Havel market is a favourite market of mine here in Prague that is open all year round. Located between the Old Town Square and the lower end of Wenceslas Square, this historic market is a must-see if not for its heritage but also for a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the busier markets. As the oldest open-air market in Prague, Havelska Market transforms for Christmas, selling a range of wooden toys, cackling puppets and Christmas trinkets as well as fresh produce and traditional souvenirs including postcards, Prague paintings, mugs and magnets etc…
Prague Castle Christmas Markets
- Location: St George’s Square (inside the castle complex behind St Vitus Cathedral) & Outside the castle gates
- When: 2020/2021 Dates to be confirmed
- Opening Hours: TBD
- How to Get There: You can either walk up the hill from Malostranske Namesti or catch the Tram 22 to Pražský hrad and enter through the side entrance. Alternatively you can walk up the stairs from Malostranske Namesti and enter from the south entrance but there are a lot of steps up!
Prague Castle has two Christmas market locations. The first is located outside the palace/castle main gates at Hradčanské náměstí. This is a very small market (10-12 stalls, serving mostly traditional food, and a few hand-made souvenir stalls.
The second is located inside the Prague Castle complex behind the St Vitus Cathedral that soars up behind the markets. You have to queue up and go through security to reach this market. Because of this, it is less busy than the other more accessible markets in the centre. 60-70 stalls fill out St George’s square every year selling everything Christmasy including warming mulled wine.
The mixture of the Christmas tress, picturesque fairy-light laden stalls, more intimate vibe, beautiful views over the city and the historic surroundings of the castle, makes this our favourite Christmas market in Prague.
TIP: Whilst you are at the castle, don’t miss the interior of the grand St Vitus Cathedral, the colourful houses on the cobbled Golden Lane or the stunning views from Hradčanské náměstí and the observation deck at the exit at the south of the castle (towards Villa Richter).
Namesti Miru Christmas Market (Vinohrady)
- Location: Náměstí Míru, Vinohrady
- When: Still to be announced for 2020/2021 (Normally last week of November)
- Opening Hours: 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
- How to Get There: Náměstí Míru Metro (Line A Green) or Tram XXX
Nestled in the residential area of Vinohrady in Prague, Náměstí Miru is an off the beaten path Christmas market and worth a visit for a laid back atmosphere away from the crowds. With approximately 60 stalls placed in front of the Church of St. Ludmila, you can expect a more local feel and you’ll find a larger selection of traditional Christmas goods that are hand-made, including Christmas wreaths for the table and door, mistletoe, hand-made toys, decorations, advent calendars and sweet treats. You’ll also find another lovely festive Christmas tree and hand-painted nativity scene.
Top tips for visiting Prague Christmas Market
Since Prague Xmas market has become so popular over the years,I highly recommend planning your visit to them strategically and knowing what to expect. Below I have written some top tips to help you navigate your way around Prague Christmas Markets so make your visits less stressful and more magical!
Carry cash with you
I highly suggest carrying cash with you when you visit Prague Xmas markets. Most of the stalls won’t accept credit cards, especially when paying for food, drinks or items that cost small amounts.
There are plenty of ATM machines around, so if you don’t have any, it is easy to withdraw some. Be sure to pay attention of exchange rates if you change cash for cash, and make sure you always receive the correct change back from vendor stalls.
watch the tree lighting
The sunsets around 4:00 pm in Prague in December. After sunset, the tree lights up and at every hour 4:30, 5:30 etc there is a tree lighting ceremony where the tree lights up accompanied with seasonal music.
avoid visiting on weekends
The four of five weekends that fall over the advent period are always the busiest times to visit Prague’s Christmas markets. It is also when the hotels are the most expensive. Therefore, I highly suggest trying to visit during the week. You’ll find fewer crowds, slightly lower hotel rates and you’ll have an overall better experience.
If you visit during the day (during working hours in the week) you’ll also avoid the locals who live in Prague, so there will be even fewer people walking around and crowding around the stalls.
What to buy in the Prague Christmas Markets
One of the best things about Prague’s Christmas markets are that they have yet to be flooded with the cheesy, traditional junk of Christmas souvenirs imported from China. Most of the Christmas stalls you’ll find are filled with beautifully crafted hand-made products, many that are unique to the Czech Republic.
Beautiful hand-painted baubles, wooden puppets, and ornate honey wax candles that takes weeks to hand carve are just a few of the things you’ll expect to find alongside smatterings of delicious food stalls that entice you with their sweet (or smoky) smell.
Whichever Christmas market you decide to visit in Prague, put the following Czech products on your list of things to buy, because I can assure you, they will bring more joy and probably last longer than any singing Santa ever would.
Glass ornaments & baubles
Hand-blown and hand-painted glass ornaments and Christmas baubles with images of snowy Prague are one of the top souvenirs purchased at the Prague Xmas markets because they are small enough to take home in your hand-luggage.
In recent years, Christmas baubles have become an item many people collect on their travels. They make great Christmas market souvenirs and great little stocking fillers for family and friends who like having bauble baubles from around the world on their Christmas tree.
Hand iced pernick cookies are a staple souvenir and a very popular item found at almost all Christmas markets throughout Prague. These cookies are the Czech equivalent of traditional gingerbread, lightly spiced with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger.
You can find them cut into various festive shapes and decorated with royal icing in a range of designs. Some are very intricately decorated and some have lavish designs. Depending on the design and size they can cost anything from 100 kc for three small biscuits to 500 kc for a bag.
The Czech Republic have a long and rich tradition of mead (honey wine) productions that reaches as far back as the 6th century. The traditional honey wine called Medovina (Med is honey in Czech) is approximately 13% alcohol and it is sold alongside other honey gifts in the Old Town Square and at Namesti Miru Christmas markets. It is a unique and tasty gift to stow away in your luggage for friends and family at home, but be sure to know your import allowance when it comes to how much you can buy and take home.
If you plan on consuming honey wine at the Christmas market, I highly recommend waiting until you don’t plan on drinking anything else, as its super sweet and if you’re unsure, some stalls offer free tasters before purchasing a bottle.