Pilsen is renowned for its iconic beer, rich history and festive charm at Christmas. The city’s vibrant squares light up, inviting both locals and tourists to explore the Pilsen Christmas Market stalls.
In this guide, I’ll detail the essential information for planning a visit in 2023, including confirmed dates and opening times.
Pilsen Christmas Market 2023
Every winter, Republic Square in Pilsen (Plzeň in Czech) comes alive with festive cheer, filled with enticing aromas of mulled wine, punch, and freshly baked Christmas cookies.
As you wander through the numerous stalls, you’ll find a variety of hand-crafted goods, perfect for gifting or decorating your home.
Alongside the bustling marketplace, the cultural programme enriches the experience with carols, the lighting of the grand Christmas tree, and a living nativity scene that provides a glimpse into the traditional Christmas story.
A short distance away, St Bartholomew’s Cathedral stands tall, its Gothic architecture providing a serene backdrop to the festivities.
Ascending the cathedral tower, you’re treated to a mesmerising panorama of Pilsen, illuminated with twinkling Christmas lights.
Dates and Location
Pilsen Christmas Market dates: 23rd November to 23rd December 2023.
Location: Republic Square.
Opening times: 10am to 6pm.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Christmas lights: Yes, Christmas tree lighting and switch on date: 23rd November 2023.
Ice skating: Yes.
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: Traditional Czech crafts; renowned Plzeň beer; authentic trdelník.
Recommended tour: Old Town gastronomy tour.
Specialities: Trdelník; grilled sausages; Czech pastries; mulled wine; local cheeses; beer-infused specialties.
Where to stay: Hotel Rous is a popular hotel, located steps from the Christmas market.
Hotels near Pilsen Christmas Market
Staying close to Republic Square in Pilsen ensures you’re right at the heart of the Christmas festivities. The surrounding areas are bustling with restaurants, shops, and historical attractions, providing first-time and returning visitors convenience.
For a comfortable stay with a strategic location, consider booking a room at Hotel Rous, which is located just around the corner from the main square.
Location of Pilsen Christmas Market
Recommended Walking and Food Tours
A city tour of Pilsen is an excellent way to immerse oneself in its deep history and cultural significance. With its significant brewery heritage, iconic cathedral, intricate architecture and the Great Synagogue, there’s lots to see and do, even in winter.
Many beer tours are available in Pilsen, but I recommend this food tour instead, as you’ll learn about the city’s history and food as well as its famous locally brewed beer.
To explore the best Christmas markets throughout the country, I recommend reading my Czech Christmas Markets 2023 guide, which includes details on Pilsen and other notable destinations like Prague.
Christmas in Pilsen
Trdelník: Often found spinning over open flames, trdelník is a traditional Czech pastry. It’s made by wrapping dough around a stick, then grilling it and finishing with a dusting of sugar, nuts, or even a sprinkle of cocoa.
Czech Grilled Sausages: A beloved staple, these sausages are typically served with a slice of rye bread and mustard. They’re a perfect warm snack on a chilly winter day.
Beer-infused Delicacies: Given Pilsen’s rich brewing history, various snacks incorporate local beer. From beer cheese to beer-soaked bread, they perfectly capture the essence of the city.
Pilsner Urquell: Originating from Pilsen, this lager is a must-try. It has a distinct crisp taste, making it a favourite for both locals and visitors alike.
Mulled Wine (Svařené víno): A classic Christmas market drink, this spiced wine warms you from the inside out. It’s infused with a blend of spices and sometimes a splash of rum.
Mushroom Soup: Vegetarians often gravitate towards this hearty soup. It combines fresh mushrooms, herbs, and spices, served piping hot in a bread bowl.
Pickled Cheese (Nakládaný Hermelín): This Czech specialty involves camembert-like cheese marinated in oil and spices, usually accompanied by slices of fresh bread.
Potato Pancakes (Bramboráky): These crispy delights are shallow-fried till golden. They offer a perfect balance of crunch and softness and are often enjoyed with a dollop of sour cream.
Poppy Seed Strudel (Makový závin): This strudel is a typical Czech dessert that combines poppy seeds, sugar, and raisins in a delicious pastry wrap. It’s often enjoyed with a dusting of icing sugar on top.
Gifts and Stocking Fillers
Handcrafted Ornaments: Within the hustle and bustle of the Pilsen market, artisan stalls display intricate ornaments, often made of wood or glass. Each piece showcases the maker’s dedication, making them ideal gifts to remember your trip or adorn your tree.
Pilsner Urquell Products: Being the birthplace of the renowned Pilsner Urquell lager, you’ll find various branded items such as mugs, shirts, and even novelty beer mats. They serve as a perfect memento for beer enthusiasts.
Traditional Czech Toys: Skilled artisans present a range of wooden toys that often evoke a sense of nostalgia. Ranging from puzzles to carved figurines, these toys are not only for children but also for collectors who appreciate their craftsmanship.
Czech Crystal: Czechia is famous for its crystal. In Pilsen, stalls showcase an array of crystal products, including glasses, vases, and decorative items, each reflecting skilled craftsmanship.
Artisanal Chocolates: For those with a sweet tooth, various stalls showcase chocolates made with local ingredients. The combinations range from classic to adventurous, ensuring there’s a flavour profile for everyone.
Czech Garnet Jewellery: Czech garnet, a deep-red gemstone, has been cherished for centuries. At the market, you’ll find jewellery pieces ranging from simple studs to elaborate necklaces, all incorporating this iconic stone.
Bohemian Glass Beads: Known for their vibrant colours and intricate designs, these beads are often used in jewellery or as decorative pieces. Crafted with precision, they capture the essence of Bohemian artistic traditions.
Wooden Puzzles and Games: Interactive and engaging, these puzzles and games are crafted with precision. Ideal for both children and adults, they provide hours of entertainment while showcasing local woodworking skills.
Things to Do in Winter
For a list of winter activities and the newest events in the city, I recommend checking out Visit Pilsen, the city’s official tourism website.
Sustainable Christmas Tips
Here are some ways you can embrace responsible travel in Pilsen this Christmas season:
Eco-friendly hotel: Pilsen is home to several hotels that champion environmental conservation by sourcing renewable energy. Staying in one of these places reduces your carbon footprint and supports businesses dedicated to sustainable practices. Opt for hotels that clearly indicate their commitment to renewable energy, and remember to conserve water and energy during your stay by reusing towels and turning off lights.
Conscious Food Choices at Markets: Aim to reduce food waste as you indulge in Pilsen’s market delights. Buy reasonable portions, and if you’re not sure about a dish, consider sharing it with a friend. This way, you get to taste a variety without wasting food. Pilsen’s markets are renowned for their variety, so choose wisely.
Ethical Consumption: The Christmas markets in Plzeň present a plethora of artisan products and souvenirs. Buy gifts mindfully, choosing items that you genuinely love or know the recipient will value. Handmade crafts from local artisans support the community and ensure that your purchases are unique and meaningful.
Sustainable Diets: While Pilsen’s festive food is tempting, consider integrating more plant-based options into your meals. These choices usually have a lower environmental impact than meat-heavy dishes. There is a range of vegetarian and vegan stalls at the market, highlighting Czech culinary traditions with a sustainable twist.
Eco-friendly Transportation: Pilsen has an efficient public transport system, reducing the need for individual car travel. Opt for buses, trams or even bicycles when exploring the city. Not only is this a more sustainable choice, but it also gives you a chance to see Plzeň from a different perspective and interact with locals.
The Pilsen Christmas Market 2023 dates are from 23rd November to 23rd December 2023.
You’ll find the Christmas Market in Pilsen’s main square, Republic Square, right in the heart of the city.
The market welcomes visitors starting at 10am to 6pm each day.
If you want to leave a Pilsen Xmas Market review, comment below.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Pilsen, Czechia. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.