In the heart of Czechia, Český Krumlov draws visitors to its UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic centre. The town is renowned for its well-preserved medieval architecture and scenic Vltava River.
The town’s charm and beauty are further highlighted at the Cesky Krumlov Christmas Market, where the main square is filled with wooden chalets and festive decorations.
In this guide, I’ll provide all the essential details for planning a visit, such as the confirmed 2023 dates, opening times, locations and local specialties you should look out for.
The stunning historic town centre provides an atmospheric backdrop for Christmas activities and decorations.
Local traditions such as lighting the candles on the Český Krumlov Advent wreath add a unique touch to the holiday celebrations.
Cesky Krumlov Christmas Market 2023
The Christmas market in Cesky Krumlov sets itself apart with a rich array of events and attractions that make the Advent period truly unique.
You can indulge in traditional Czech treats and crafts, but what adds a distinctive touch is the Bear’s Christmas, where bears from the Krumlov castle moat join in the celebrations.
Additionally, there are events such as the public lighting of the Christmas tree, St. Nicholas Day celebrations, and a live nativity scene complete with musical accompaniment.
Advent photo shoots at the Museum of Seidel Photo Studio and Christmas cruises on rafts provide more unconventional experiences.
The market remains open daily, featuring food, drinks, and Christmas-themed products, along with a weekend cultural programme to keep the atmosphere lively for both children and adults.
Dates and Location
Český Krumlov Christmas Market dates: 1st December 2023 to 1st January 2024.
Location: Náměstí Svornosti (Svornosti Square).
Opening times: Monday to Thursday: 11am to 6pm. Friday to Sunday: 10am to 7pm.
Christmas Day: Closed.
New Year’s Eve: Live music from 9:30pm to 1:30am.
Christmas lights: Advent opening ceremony and Christmas tree lighting: 3rd December 2023 at 4:30pm.
Santa: Father Christmas Post Office at Zlatý Anděl on 10th December.
Ice skating: No.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, plenty of options.
Gluten free: Yes, but limited.
Accessible: Yes, but note that the town is quite hilly.
Pet-friendly: Yes, but not recommended during busy periods.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
Reason to visit: Medieval castle backdrop, traditional Czech arts and crafts.
Recommended tour: Private city walking tour.
Specialities: Trdelník; Medovina (honey wine), Czech gingerbread, Moravian spiced wine.
Where to stay: Garni Hotel Castle Bridge is a popular hotel, located 3 minutes from Svornosti Square.
Hotels near Cesky Krumlov Christmas Market
For easy access to the Christmas market in Svornosti Square, consider staying in the Old Town area of CeskY Krumlov. This location puts you within walking distance of the market and other key attractions.
For a reliable and convenient stay, Garni Hotel Castle Bridge gets excellent reviews and is a short distance to the Christmas market.
Location of Cesky Krumlov Christmas Market
Recommended Walking and Food Tours
A city tour of Český Krumlov provides an excellent opportunity to get to know the town’s significant history and local culture.
Known for its well-preserved Old Town and significant landmarks, Český Krumlov is a place you’ll want to explore, even in colder months.
I recommend this private 2-Hour City Walking Tour, particularly for those visiting for the first time but locals might find it engaging too.
On this tour, you’ll explore key attractions, including the town and castle area, the Gothic church of St. Vit, and the former town brewery.
You’ll hear about the town’s history, its experience under communism, and its status as a UNESCO-protected site.
The tour is designed to cover the labyrinth of cobbled medieval streets and hidden corners, ensuring that you get a comprehensive understanding of this remarkable town.
Christmas in Cesky Krumlov
In the video, you’ll get a brief overview of the Cesky Christmas Market.
Christmas Specialties in Cesky Krumlov
Trdelník: A traditional Czech pastry, trdelník is made by wrapping dough around a stick and roasting it over an open flame. Once cooked, it’s often topped with a mixture of sugar and walnuts. This treat, crispy on the outside and soft inside, is a favourite amongst both locals and visitors.
Medovina: Honey wine, known as medovina, is a popular drink in the Czechia. It’s often warmed and spiced, making it an ideal beverage to sip while wandering the market.
Roasted Chestnuts: A staple at many Christmas markets, roasted chestnuts have a sweet and nutty flavour. They’re typically sold in paper cones and enjoyed hot.
Czech Gingerbread: Distinct from other versions, Czech gingerbread is rich in flavour and often intricately decorated. You’ll find these biscuits in various shapes, with some even resembling local architectural wonders.
Moravian Spiced Wine: Originating from the local Moravia region, this spiced wine blends red wine with spices like cinnamon and cloves. It’s typically served hot, making it a comforting choice.
Klobása: A type of Czech sausage, klobása is often grilled and served with bread. It’s a hearty snack that pairs well with the cold weather.
Potato Pancakes: Crispy and savoury, these thin pancakes are made from grated potatoes and onions. They can be a versatile treat with sweet and savoury toppings.
Mushroom Soup: Commonly consumed during the festive season, mushroom soup in the Czech Republic is a thick and creamy affair. It’s often ladled into bread bowls for added warmth and flavour.
Pretzels: Large, twisted, and sprinkled with coarse salt, pretzels are a popular snack option. Whether plain or filled with various ingredients, they’re a filling choice as you explore the market.
Christmas Gifts and Stocking Fillers
Handmade Glass Ornaments: Český Krumlov has a rich history of glassmaking. You can find exquisite handmade glass ornaments at the market, reflecting the town’s artisanal traditions. Each piece is delicately crafted, making it a unique gift or tree decoration.
Wooden Toys: Traditional wooden toys, often carved from local timber, are a favourite amongst stall-goers. They range from simple figurines to intricate puzzles, representing the craftsmanship of the region.
Lace Products: The South Bohemian region, where Český Krumlov is located, is renowned for its lacework. These lace items encapsulate the region’s textile heritage, whether it’s delicate doilies or intricate tablecloths.
Ceramic Ware: Drawing inspiration from Bohemian designs, ceramic ware from Český Krumlov is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Mugs, plates, and decorative pieces often feature motifs representing the city or its surroundings.
Marionettes: Puppetry has a significant place in Czech culture. Handcrafted with attention to detail, Marionettes are not just toys but also art pieces. They make for intriguing gifts, especially for those interested in theatre and crafts.
Honey Products: The Czech Republic has a thriving beekeeping community. From raw honey to beeswax lip balms, these products are natural and often come in artisanal packaging.
Advent Wreaths: Freshly made with local flora, Advent wreaths from Český Krumlov embody the festive spirit. Whether for your front door or table centrepiece, they bring a touch of Bohemian Christmas to any setting.
Beer and Wine: The Czech Republic is famous for its beer and Moravian wines. At the market, vendors often package these into gift sets, providing a taste of the region’s renowned beverages.
Hand-knitted Scarves: With the cold setting in, hand-knitted scarves are both a practical and heartfelt gift. Made using traditional patterns, they offer warmth and a hint of Bohemian style.
Music Boxes: A timeless souvenir, music boxes from Český Krumlov often play traditional Czech melodies. They are intricately designed, making them a delightful keepsake or gift.
Things to Do in Winter
For additional information on winter activities and the latest events in the city, I recommend checking out the Cesky Krumlov official website for visitors. Start here for an overview of things to do and see.
Sustainable Christmas Tips
Here’s a brief guide on how you can explore Český Krumlov more sustainably this Christmas:
Eco-friendly accommodations: Český Krumlov has a selection of hotels dedicated to green practices. Many of these establishments are powered by renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind.
Mindful eating at the markets: While the Christmas market in Cesky Krumlov serves an array of sumptuous local delicacies, it’s essential to be conscious of your consumption. Order reasonable portions to prevent food waste, and if you’re uncertain about the quantity, it’s always best to start small – you can always go back for more.
Ethical shopping: As tempting as it is to buy every handcrafted item at the Christmas stalls, practice ethical consumption. Consider the longevity and use of each item. Purchasing only what you truly need or have a use for ensures you’re not contributing to unnecessary waste or impulse buying.
Sustainable diets: Cesky Krumlov’s Christmas market provides an opportunity to delve into the local cuisine. Opt for dishes made from locally sourced ingredients, which reduces carbon footprint due to transport. Additionally, explore plant-based or vegetarian options that typically have a smaller environmental impact than meat-based dishes.
Eco-conscious travel: The compact nature of Český Krumlov’s historic centre makes it perfect for exploring on foot or by bicycle. By choosing these modes of transport, you’ll get an intimate view of the city’s charming nooks and minimise your carbon emissions. Public transportation, available for longer distances, is another eco-friendly choice to move around the city. There are several daily trains from Prague if you’re visiting from the capital.
Cesky Krumlov Christmas Market 2023 dates are 1st December 2023 to 1st January 2024.
Cesky Krumlov Christmas Market is located at Náměstí Svornosti (Svornosti Square), in the historic town centre.
What time does Cesky Krumlov Christmas Market open?
The Christmas market in Cesky Krumlov opens Monday to Thursday: 11am to 6pm. Friday to Sunday: 10am to 7pm.
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Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Český Krumlov, Czechia. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.