Hradec Kralove is renowned for its captivating architecture and rich history. It comes alive each winter with its festive Hradec Kralove Christmas Market.
The city’s squares radiate warmth and tradition, drawing visitors with the promise of Czech culinary delights and handcrafted goods.
In this guide, I’ll detail all essential information, such as the confirmed 2023 dates, opening times, locations and local delicacies to expect.
Hradec Kralove Christmas Market 2023
The Christmas market in Hradec Králové is located in the city’s historical centre on the expansive Great Square.
The area becomes a bustling hub, filled with stalls offering everything from traditional gingerbread and sweets such as wood-fired trdelník (chimney cake) to quality Czech wines and hot cider.
You can shop for various Christmas decorations and gifts, including toys, ceramics and original handcrafted products.
The city’s location, near the confluence of the Labe and Orlice rivers, combined with the city’s mix of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and modern architecture, creates a great atmosphere that encapsulates the city’s rich history and elegance.
Dates and Location
Hradec Králové Christmas Market dates: 8th December to 22nd December 2023.
Location: Velkém Náměstí (Great Square).
Opening times: 2pm to 6pm.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Christmas lights: Yes, lighting of the Christmas tree: 3rd December 2023.
Ice skating: No.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, plenty of options.
Gluten free: Yes, but limited.
Pet-friendly: Yes, but not recommended during busy periods.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
Reason to visit: A small city with a cosy atmosphere and warm traditions.
Specialities: Trdelník, mulled wine, Czech pastries, traditional sausages, local cheeses, honey wines.
Where to stay: Hotel Okresní Dům is a popular hotel, located 4 minutes from the Great Square.
Where to Stay in Hradec Kralove
Staying near the Great Square in Hradec Králové ensures easy access to the vibrant Christmas market festivities.
I suggest considering Hotel Okresní Dům for its popular reputation and proximity to the market.
I recommend reading my Czech Christmas Markets 2023 guide to discover the top markets throughout the country this year.
Christmas in Hradec Kralove
Trdelník: A sweet pastry from the Czech lands, trdelník is made from rolled dough wrapped around a stick, then grilled and topped with sugar and walnut mix. While its presence can be felt across Central Europe, the Czech rendition has a unique taste and texture, making it a popular treat in Hradec Kralove.
Mulled wine: Warming and aromatic, mulled wine is a spiced red wine heated with cinnamon, cloves, and orange zest. It’s a staple at many European Christmas markets and perfectly complements the chilly winter weather in the city.
Czech pastries: Local bakeries take pride in presenting an assortment of pastries, each filled with fruits, nuts, or poppy seeds. The intricate designs and rich flavours make them a festive favourite among both locals and visitors.
Traditional sausages: Grilled to perfection, these sausages, known locally as klobása, are a hearty snack for meat lovers. They’re usually accompanied by mustard or horseradish for an extra kick.
Local cheeses: Czechia has a rich dairy tradition, and its cheeses, both soft and hard, can be sampled at various stalls. They pair brilliantly with local wines and beers.
Honey wines (Medovina): A traditional Czech drink, medovina is a sweet, fermented beverage made from honey. It’s especially popular during the winter months and is often enjoyed alongside hearty meals.
Pierogi: Though more associated with Polish cuisine, pierogi have also found a place in Czech Christmas markets. These dumplings, filled with a range of ingredients from mushrooms to berries, cater to various palates, including vegetarian options.
Pickled vegetables: For a tangy treat, various stalls showcase jars filled with pickled cucumbers, onions, and even cabbage. These add a refreshing bite amidst the richer festive offerings.
Gifts and Stocking Fillers
Bohemian garnet jewellery: Sourced from the region, Bohemian garnet is a deep-red gemstone used in various pieces of jewellery, from necklaces to earrings. The shimmering stone, set against silver or gold, can be a timeless gift for loved ones.
Wooden toys: Rooted in traditional Czech craftsmanship, local artisans carved these toys intricately. From simple figurines to more complex mechanical toys, they serve as charming playthings and decorative keepsakes.
Ceramic pottery: Displaying both utility and aesthetics, the ceramic products from the region encompass mugs, plates, and decorative vases. The designs often encapsulate Czech folklore, adding a cultural touch to every piece.
Traditional hats and scarves: Keeping you warm in style, these woollen accessories, often hand-knitted, incorporate patterns and colours synonymous with Czech winters.
Things to Do in Winter
For a thorough rundown of winter activities and up-to-date events in the city, I suggest checking out the city’s page on Visit Czechia.
Sustainable Christmas Tips
Here’s how we can adopt more responsible travel practices in Hradec Králové this festive season:
Eco-friendly Hotels: While planning your stay in Hradec Králové, look for hotels committed to sustainability, especially those harnessing renewable energy sources. The city is gradually seeing an increase in places that prioritise green practices, making it simpler for visitors to choose accommodations with a lighter ecological footprint.
Mindful Market Dining: Christmas markets in Hradec Králové are filled with tempting treats. However, be conscious about portion sizes and try to order what you can finish to minimise food wastage. Sharing dishes with companions can be an effective way to taste a variety without excess.
Ethical Shopping Choices: When wandering the festive stalls, getting carried away with the array of unique products is easy. However, prioritise purchasing items you genuinely need or will use. Hradec Králové’s markets often feature handmade crafts by local artisans, making them both a sustainable and special souvenir choice.
Sustainable Food Choices: Embrace the array of vegetarian and vegan options available at the city’s Christmas markets. Opting for plant-based dishes broadens your culinary experience and reduces your carbon footprint.
Eco-friendly Transport Options: Hradec Králové has well-connected public transport. Opt for trams or buses when moving around the city, or even better, explore the festive streets on foot or rent a bicycle for short distances. Such choices help in reducing the carbon emissions associated with personal vehicles.
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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 Hradec Králové, Czechia. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.