One of Europe’s most well-known and grandest cities, Prague is fantastic to visit anytime of the year, but it really comes alive in the Christmas season.
With its stunning architecture, cobblestone streets, festive atmosphere and famous Christmas Markets, visiting Prague in December is an unforgettable experience.
From Old Town Square to Wenceslas Square and everywhere in between, here’s a look at some of the best Christmas Markets in Prague.
Prague Christmas Markets
The Prague Christmas Markets are unlike anything you’ve seen before.
The smell of grilled sausages and roasting ham, spiced trdelnik and mulled wine fill the air.
There are lighted Christmas trees everywhere and decorated wooden huts sell local handicrafts, Christmas ornaments and traditional Christmas treats.
As you wander under thousands of twinkling lights, listen to the singing carols, and admire the gorgeous decorations, it’s a magical experience that’s sure to get you in the festive spirit!
What to Know About the Christmas Markets in Prague
- Prague’s Christmas markets are free to enter, but you will need cash to purchase gifts, food or treats. Some places will accept cards, but many places will only take cash.
- Unlike other European Christmas Markets, most of the markets in Prague don’t require a deposit for the mugs when you purchase a drink. Drinks will be served in paper cups, which also means you don’t get the traditional Christmas Market souvenir mug!
- Christmas markets can get very busy, especially on weekends and holidays. The best time to visit is through the week, especially if you are visiting Christmas Markets with kids.
- Many of the larger, more well-known Christmas markets will have similar items for sale, but for more unique gifts, head to the smaller markets and the ones outside the Old Town.
Prague Christmas Market Dates 2022
Prague’s Christmas Markets usually start at the end of November and run until early January. The exact date for each market will vary, but here are the usual dates for Prague’s festive season:
- Old Town Square & Wenceslas Square: December 2, 2023 – January 6, 2024
- Prague Castle: December 2, 2023 – January 6, 2024
- Namesti Miru: November 20 – December 24, 2023
- Namesti Republiky: November 26 – December 24, 2023
- Tylovo Namesti: November 20 – December 24, 2023
- Kampa Island: December 8, 2023 – January 6, 2024
- Havelsky & Andel: Year Round
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Best Christmas Markets in Prague
Old Town Square
One of the largest and most popular Christmas markets in Prague is held in Old Town Square. It’s also the longest-running Christmas Market in Prague, and one that you shouldn’t miss!
Located in the heart of the city, this market features a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, which is lighted every afternoon at 4:30 and is especially beautiful to see after sunset.
There are large lighted angels watching over the festivities and an observation deck where you can get a good view of the lighted tree and market below.
And filling the square are wooden stalls filled with unique gifts, Christmas decorations and local specialties. There’s also traditional Czech glassware, wood ornaments and traditional ornaments made from straw.
Sample traditional Czech treats like trdelnik (a sweet pastry twisted around a stick and topped with sugar and walnuts) or svarene vino (mulled wine) while you wander the stalls.
You can also find a range of hot food such as grilled sausages and roasted ham as well as a few spots that serve traditional Christmas escargots and oysters.
There’s also a stage here with live music, traditional dancing and performances on the weekends, and for kids, there are workshops on Saturdays and Sunday.
Where: Old Town Square / Staromestske Náměstí
Dates: December 2, 2023 – January 6, 2024
Opening Hours: 10 am – 10 pm
Wenceslas Square also has a well-known Christmas market, which is smaller but no less charming than its counterpart in the Old Town.
More of a boulevard than a traditional square, the Christmas Market at Wenceslas Square is a stunning sight to see, especially after sunset with the illuminated National Museum as the backdrop.
It was here, years ago when I first got it in my head that I wanted to visit the Christmas Markets. Mind you, I was standing on Wenceslas Square in the middle of the summer, but my walking tour guide was telling us how festive the square becomes during the month of December when everything is decorated and wooden huts fill the square.
I’d never heard of Christmas Markets before, and this just sounded magical. Finally, almost a decade later, I made it to the Christmas Market on Wenceslas Square!
While it’s considered one market, there are actually two areas; one at the top of Wenceslas Square and one at the lower end. Both areas have a large Christmas tree and stalls selling gifts as well as food and drinks.
This is one of the few Christmas markets in Prague where some of the food stalls will accept credit/debit cards as well as cash. It’s also the only market in the city where you’ll pay a deposit for cups, as you do at Vienna’s Christmas Markets or the ones in Germany, as well as a deposit for plates when you buy hot food.
Mulled wine is the drink of choice here, and comes served in a Christmas Markets cup – although not a mug like you’ll find in Stuttgart or Vienna Christmas Markets.
Different types of sausages, including blood sausages, can be found here, as well as chicken skewers and even quarter chicken meals at some stalls. Sausages are served on a plate with veggies or other sides.
In addition to the food and treats, you’ll find a selection of unique gifts, including handmade wood and steel gifts, straw ornaments, fresh mistletoe, as well as ceramic and glassware. While some of the products are the same as you’ll see in the Old Town, there are also many unique handicrafts here.
Where: Wenceslas Square / Václavské Náměstí
Dates: December 2, 2023 – January 6, 2024
Opening Hours: 10 am – 10 pm
Set against the backdrop of St. Vitus Cathedral in the Prague castle complex, this market is seriously awe-inspiring, even if you’re not shopping for gifts or souvenirs at the stalls.
After you marvel at the impressive cathedral, wander under the light canopy or pose for a photo under the lighted archway as you sip a cup of mulled wine.
With 70 stalls, there are plenty of souvenirs and gifts to browse, as well as food and drink to sample. You’ll find similar Czech food and drinks as at the other markets, with mulled wine, sausages and trdelnik being offered throughout the castle complex.
There are some unique gifts here, as well as traditional straw and glass ornaments and handpainted ceramic houses.
As it’s a bit of a distance from the City Center and it’s well spread out within the castle complex, this market is less crowded and perfect to visit with kids. Trams run from the city center to Prague Castle and the castle stop is announced in English!
**Note that you will have to pass through a security gate and scan before entering the Prague Castle complex. Drones are not allowed and your bag will be scanned, but food and drink are allowed to be brought in.
Where: Prague Castle / Pražský Hrad
Dates: December 2, 2023 – January 6, 2024
Opening Hours: 9 am – 6 pm Monday to Thursday, 9 am – 7 pm Friday to Sunday
Namesti Miru, also known as Peace Square, is the first Christmas Market to open in Prague, starting a week before the other main markets.
Set against the backdrop of the impressive St. Ludmila church, this is a smaller market and more popular with locals than tourists.
Here you’ll find crystal ornaments, as well as fresh wreaths, handmade soaps and cosmetics. There are also traditional handmade nativity scenes, Christmas ornaments and decorated gingerbread.
In the evenings, there’s family activities and Christmas carols in front of the Christmas tree.
If you’re looking for an authentic Christmas Market to visit away from the crowds in Old Town Square, Náměstí Míru is definitely worth a visit.
Where: Peace Square / Náměstí Míru
Dates: November 20 – December 24, 2023
Opening Hours: 10 am – 7 pm
Conveniently located between Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, this year-round market is the oldest in Prague, dating back to 1232.
Throughout the year, you’ll find fresh fruit and veggies here, but during the festive season, stalls are filled with Christmas decorations, as well as unique handmade crafts and gifts, including wooden toys and Czech puppets and marionettes.
Because it’s a year-round market, you won’t find the hot food and mulled wine stands that you see at other Christmas markets in Prague, but you will find some unique Christmas gifts, as well as the screaming witches!
Where: Havel Market Square / Havelské tržiště
Dates: Year Round
Opening Hours: 6am – 7pm Monday – Friday, 7am – 7pm Saturady, 8am – 6:30pm Sunday
Located just outside the Palladium, the biggest shopping mall in Prague, the Christmas Market at Náměstí Republicky is known to have a good selection of food, as well as a variety of stalls selling souvenirs and gifts.
This is a smaller, less crowded market where you’ll find traditional Czech decorations, plus wooden toys and glass ornaments.
But there’s also hot food, and you’re sure to smell the aroma of grilling meat as you get close.
The prices here are less expensive than the more touristy markets at Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, and the food selection is better!
Where: Republic Square / Náměstí Republicky
Dates: November 26 – December 24, 2023
Opening Hours: 10 am – 10 pm
This is the smallest Christmas Market in Prague, although there are a few smaller areas with booths set up, like the ones we’ve mentioned below.
And only a few blocks to the larger market at Náměstí Miru, mentioned above, this is a perfect spot to stop on the way.
At Tylovo Náměstí you’ll find a row of wooden huts selling warm hats and scarves, fresh mistletoe, glass figurines, christmas decorations as well as plenty of warm drinks.
The options for warm drinks are interesting here, with everything from Christmas cider, which is apple cider and apple brandy, to more creatively named drinks, like “annoying mother-in-law”, which is cider and absinth, or the more traditional mulled wine and warm mead.
Where: Tylovo Square / Tylovo Náměstí
Dates: November 20 – December 24, 2022
Opening Hours: 10am – 7pm
Other Christmas Markets in Prague
The Christmas Markets at Kampa Island isn’t open as long as others in Prague, in fact, it didn’t open until December 8th last year, so we missed it by one day!
So while we haven’t personally visited this market, it’s known to have handmade gifts, traditional straw ornaments, painted mugs and glass or wood figurines.
Kampa Island is a lovely area of the city to wander through, with plenty to see and do in addition to the Christmas Market.
Sip on a warm drink as you browse the stalls for unique gifts, then continue through Kampa Island to see the Bridge of Penguins or the giant crawling babies. It’s also a great spot to see Charles Bridge and the view of the Old Town.
Where: Kampa Island
Dates: December 8, 2023 – January 6, 2024
Andel Metro Station
Outside the Andel metro station you’ll also find another smaller Christmas Market.
In fact, this is a farmers market the rest of year, but come December you’ll also find festive offerings, like fresh baked products, candles, handmade toys, and Christmas wreaths.
If you’re looking to get away from the busier, more touristy markets, this is a great place to go with a very local atmosphere.
Another small market, just steps from Old Town Square, Malé Námestí has a few booths where you’ll find mulled wine, trdelnik, traditional straw ornaments and the famous Prague ham roasting on a spit.
Prague really gets into the festive spirit, and aside from the main Christmas Markets, you’ll also find shops selling mulled wine and spirits throughout town, as well as small huts on a square or corner selling treats and crafts.
What to Buy at the Christmas Markets
Prague’s Christmas markets are full of unique gifts and souvenirs you won’t find anywhere else.
Visit the stalls for handmade Christmas ornaments and decorations, traditional Czech puppets, wooden toys, and handmade jewelry.
Prague is also known for ceramics, and you’ll find lots of ceramic mugs being sold at the markets, as well as painted houses.
But the Christmas Markets in Prague aren’t just about shopping! It’s also a place to meet up with friends, and sample food and drink.
What to Eat and Drink at the Christmas Markets in Prague
For those who love traditional foods, you’ll find a wide selection of local treats from grilled and roasted meat to sweet treats, and of course, warm beverages.
Trdelnik is a traditional sweet pastry and one of the most popular treats at Czech Christmas markets. It’s made from rolled dough that’s wrapped around a stick, then roasted over coals and served with sugar, walnuts and often spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.
Prague Ham is also very popular at the Christmas Markets. The ham is roasted on a spit, and served with bread and mustard.
Klobása is also another favorite, and you’ll find stalls serving up different types of sausages with a side of mustard and bread.
For those who prefer something sweeter, you’ll find sweet treats like vdolek (a deep fried doughnut) or ovocné knedliky (fruit dumplings).
Palačinky is another popular sweet treat made from crepe-like pancakes and is usually served with fruit or ice cream.
Apart from food, there are also lots of hot drinks to enjoy at the Christmas Markets in Prague.
Svařák is traditional mulled wine and found all throughout the Christmas Markets. While it’s known as glüwhein at German Christmas Markets like Mannheim and Dusseldorf, in the Czech Republic it’s known as svarak or svarene vino.
You’ll also find warm mead, known as meadovina, or warm cider with sprits added.
Popular options added to the cider are Jagermeister, schnapps or Tatratea, a unique tea-based herbal liquer.
What to Expect at a Christmas Market in Prague
Prague’s Christmas Markets are similar to other European Christmas markets, in that you’ll find wooden stalls selling food and treats, as well as Christmas decorations, handcrafted items and other gifts.
And there’s always a Christmas tree, beautifully decorated, which the stalls are centered around.
There’s also a nativity scene, usually carved out of wood and near the Christmas tree.
But what makes Prague’s Christmas Markets unique is the festive atmosphere and sense of community. You’ll find friends and families meeting up for drinks or snacks, or strolling through the market to do some shopping.
The Christmas Markets in Prague are very much centered around shopping and eating, without the ferris wheels, carousels or skating areas that you will find at other European markets.
Where to Stay in Prague
Most of the sights and attractions, as well as the larger Christmas markets are in the Old Town, so staying in one of the hotels here is a great option if you’re looking for something central.
The New Town is also a good option for accommodations, as prices are a bit less expensive and availability may be better, yet it’s only a short walk to the Old Town.
We stayed at the Clarion Hotel City, which was directly across from Tylovo Namesti and our room had a view of the Christmas market! Rooms were clean and spacious, breakfast was excellent and it was only a short walk to Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square or the main train station.
Czech Christmas Traditions
When visiting Prague during Christmastime, it’s worth learning about Czech Christmas traditions to get an authentic experience.
One of the most popular Czech Christmas traditions happens at the beginning of December, with Mikuláš Day, known in other countries as St. Nicolas Day.
On December 5th, Mikuláš, along with an angel and a frightening looking character named Krampus, are seen throughout town, visiting children at the Christmas Markets to see if they have been good.
If they have, the angel writes their name down in a large book and Mikuláš knows to bring them a present. If they haven’t been good, then the story is that Krampus will give them a potato, or if they’ve been really bad, he’ll put them in his sack.
There are plenty of Krampus characters to watch out for on Mikuláš Day, and while most are actually pretty friendly, they might wipe some soot on a child’s cheek.
Christmas is celebrated on December 24th, with special Christmas Eve dinners taking place in homes across the country. The traditional dinner usually consists of carp and potato salad. Large buckets of carp on sold on street corners until Christmas eve, but Czech families will buy it in advance and store in the bathtub until Christmas Eve!
Present appear under the Christmas tree after dinner and are brought by Baby Jesus. Presents are opened on Christmas Eve and then Christmas Day is spent relaxing or spending time with family.
What to Pack for a Christmas Market Visit in Prague
The weather in December in Prague will vary, but expect wet and chilly weather, with temperatures around zero. There’s a chance of snow, in fact our first night in Prague it snowed just as we arrived at our hotel, which made for a rather wet, but magic visit to the Christmas Market.
When considering what type of clothing to bring, think in layers.
A base layer will keep you dry – my kids have these great base layer pants from Decathlon – and a middle layer, such as fleece, will insulate.
For the outer layer, be sure to bring a warm coat, as well as mitts or gloves, and a hat.
Also, make sure you bring comfortable boots since there will be plenty of walking around and sightseeing.
And be sure to bring a reusable bag or daypack, as you will find plenty of unique items throughout the Christmas Markets.
Read more on what to pack for visiting Christmas Markets in December.
Final Thoughts: Prague Christmas Markets
Visiting the Christmas Markets in Prague is an unforgettable experience. Enjoy the festive atmosphere and lively streets throughout Old Town Square and other markets in Prague this Christmastime.
For more ideas and inspiration on visiting European Christmas Markets, be sure to check out these posts:
- Best Christmas Markets in Vienna 2023 (plus Highlights for Kids)
- Ultimate Guide to Dusseldorf Christmas Market (2023)
- Stuttgart Christmas Market – A Great Christmas Market for Kids
- Ultimate Guide to the Mannheim Christmas Market
- Bratislava Christmas Markets
- Visiting European Christmas Markets with Kids