Everything You Need to Know about Prague’s Christmas Markets 2021
Imagine this: you are in Prague for Christmas and wondering what is the best place to soak in the holiday atmosphere. Well, there is a simple answer: you shouldn’t miss the Christmas markets throughout the city. Or actually… this year it is, again, more like Christmas hotspots all over the city. Just before all the markets were about to happen, our government had to shut them down due to the worsening epidemiological situation. Does it change the fact that Prague is stunning and magical? Not at all! Here are a few tips on how to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere despite the restrictions.
Old Town Square – The Prague Christmas Tree
This year we might miss out on mulled wine and hot chocolate in here, but there is definitely one star of the show – the Prague Christmas Tree! Every year we choose a new one in a nationwide competition, and when the time comes to see it for the first time, we are all overjoyed. For many locals seeing the theme of decorations on that particular tree is the only reason to even go to the very crowded Old Town Square at this time of the year.
It appears that the only Christmas Market that has somewhat escaped the closure is located at the upper part of Wenceslas Square. What is now officially a Farmer’s Market will serve you some nice hot mead and mulled wine, hearty Czech comfort food and a glimpse into what we were looking forward to all this year. There are also a few non-profit organisations selling what could become Christmas presents, as well as traditional decorations. Most probably the market will stay open between 26. 11. 2021 and 2. 1. 2022 from 10 AM to 8 PM.
Jiřího z Poděbrad – The Farmer’s Market
Located right next to the metro station Jiřího z Poděbrad, this Christmas Farmer’s Market is vivid, local and definitely worth your time. It is set on the square right in front of the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord, a magnificent landmark you definitely shouldn’t miss. What is more, Žižkov, the district this market is located in, is very special in itself. It used to be the designated working-class district, so it still seems to follow its own rules and have unique energy you won’t find anywhere else in Prague. The Farmer’s market is open every Wednesday to Friday from 8 AM to 6 PM, on Saturday from 8 AM to 2 PM. Even though it might not be a Christmas market per se, it will definitely bring some of that cosy atmosphere to you. Plus the snacks are delicious!
First of all, I must say that the Manifesto markets are far from traditional. They are pop-up markets that try to make use of “dead spaces” around the city centre and they do it with style. In fact, they are so good that they were featured in the prestigious architectural magazine Dezeen. The numerous stands serve a wide selection of the finest Czech delicacies and beverages. Besides quality, the markets are focused on sustainability, so they are run completely on renewable energy. What is more, for their Christmas makeover they will not serve any disposable plastic cups. Instead, you can get specially designed Christmas mugs with the Manifesto Market logo.
In the Florenc location, you can enjoy Wintermarket in a heated tent (reservation needed).
The other location – Anděl – will be hosting Winter Markets this year as well. Hop on metro line B (yellow), and get to the station with the same name. From 24 November to 23 December 2021 you will find stalls with traditional Christmas products in bio quality.
Dyzajn Market – Winter
As the name shows, this is a Christmas market focused on design. It is the largest open-air sales exhibition of designer goods in Prague, and it is definitely worth a visit. Besides the many unique gifts and souvenirs you can get there, you can also enjoy premium quality coffee, warm mixed drinks and excellent food. There will also be an accompanying programme featuring Christmas concerts, theatre performances and book readings.
- Where: Výstaviště Holešovice, Prague 7
- When: 11-12 December 2021, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Free admission, children and dog-friendly, wheelchair accessible
Náměstí Republiky – CANCELLED
This lovely little market takes place every day from 27 November 2021 to 6 January 2022, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. You cannot miss this as you’re walking around the centre: the smells of hot chestnuts, mulled wine, and Christmas cookies are so inviting and cosy, that it turns a simple walk into a Christmas fairytale. As a little bonus, you can look forward to seeing examples of local craftsmanship at some stalls.
Prague Castle – CANCELLED
People say that you haven’t really been to Prague if you haven’t visited our famous castle (the biggest in Europe, by the way). So if you decide to see this magnificent building during the Christmas holidays, there is a special bonus for you that will make your visit even more memorable. Of course, I am speaking of St. George’s Square Christmas Market. It’s small, it’s local and absolutely beautiful. On the cold winter days, a cup of hot chocolate or mulled wine will fill you up with Christmas warmth and give you the strength to enjoy the lovely panorama of the city veiled in snow. The market opens on 27 November 2021 and closes on 2 January 2022. From Monday through Thursday it is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., from Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Náměstí Míru – CANCELLED
This Christmas market is located a bit further from the centre, but it’s all the better for it. The location itself is stunning, right under the beautiful cathedral of Saint Ludmila. It is the locals’ favourite and for a good reason. You can find many Christmas decorations, handmade gifts and local fresh products. It will be open from 20 November until 24 December 2021, so if you come here on Christmas Eve, be sure not to miss it and go during the day!
How to get there from the centre: Just take the green metro line (A), it’s just a couple of stops; the name of the stop is Náměstí Míru.
Tylovo Náměstí – CANCELLED
If you don’t want to travel far from the centre but still experience a truly local atmosphere, head to I.P. Pavlova, where you will find one of the oldest Christmas Markets in town. What makes this one extra special (and super cool too!) is the fact that it is eco-friendly and sustainable. If you want to find out more about it, join our Christmas Tour, it’s an inseparable part of our magical Christmas route. It will be open from 26 November through 24 December 2021, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
What to eat at the Christmas Markets?
First of all, I recommend visiting the Christmas markets on an empty stomach. People say you can really experience a place after tasting the local food, and this is twice as true for Prague during the Christmas holidays. At all markets throughout the city there is a great variety of foods to choose from: Prague ham or sausages you can smell from miles away, or Czech Christmas cookies, waffles, pancakes and gingerbread cookies for the ones with a sweet tooth; the choice is endless. My personal favourite is roasted almonds: warm, crunchy, sweet, and incredibly tasty. And of course, after all that food, you’ll probably need a drink or two to wash it all down. Don’t forget to taste our traditional mulled wine, punch or hot mead.
What Christmas souvenirs should you buy?
Czech people are known around Europe as the people with ‘golden hands’, which means that they are extremely talented in handicraft and design. So, if you’re in Prague for the holidays, you should definitely get yourself some traditional Czech souvenirs that would last a lifetime!
For example, check out the beautiful glass ornaments for your Christmas tree, or the paper or wooden carved crèches with figures from Czech folklore at the nativity scene. You will also find a great variety of hand-made lace tablecloths and placemats that will make your table look amazing on all occasions, not only on Christmas!
November 13, 2021