Prague has always been one of Europe’s most beautiful and intriguing cities. Prague Christmas Market is one of the winter highlights with its wonderfully festive atmosphere and beautifully decorated squares. Read on to find dates, locations and what to expect while you’re there.
Winter in Prague is an incredible time to visit. There are generally fewer crowds, making it easier to get around, but the city is still busy with events and festivals. The Christmas markets are hugely popular, so visit in the morning if you’d like a quieter experience.
Prague Christmas Market 2023
Several Christmas markets await you in Prague. The biggest markets are at the stunning Old Town Square, the historic Wenceslas Square, and across town at Prague Castle.
Prague Old Town Square Christmas Market
If you can only make it to one Christmas market in Prague, then I suggest visiting the Old Town Square. This is an incredibly beautiful, wide-open square, the oldest in Prague.
You’ll find a diverse range of stunning architecture and sights, including the famous Astronomical Clock, and you can spot the iconic spires of the Church of Our Lady before Týn.
Prague Christmas Market dates: Likely dates: 25th November 2023 to 5th January 2024.
Opening times: 10am to 10pm.
Location: Old Town Square.
Christmas Day: Partially open.
Admission: Free, no tickets required.
Christmas lights: No specific switch on date.
Ice skating: Yes, at several locations but not in the main square.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, plenty of option.
Gluten free: Yes, but very limited. But there are some dedicated GF cafes and bakeries in Prague.
Accessible: Yes, if you can manage cobblestones.
Pet-friendly: Yes, dogs are allowed on a lead.
Reason to visit: The spectacular Medieval locations, views of Prague Castle and the festive old town decorations.
Recommended tour: Book your Prague Castle ticket in advance to avoid the queues. This is the most popular attraction in Prague.
Specialities: Although originating from Transylvania, chimney cake is hugely popular in Prague.
Food tour: For a more in-depth experience of Czech food, I highly recommend this Prague food tour, one of the best I’ve ever taken.
Where to stay: The Julius Prague is a highly-rated hotel that is near both the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square.
Hotels near Prague Christmas Market
Prague is a safe, walkable city with a great public transport system that makes getting around easy.
The city is divided into numbered districts. Prague 1 covers much of the historic old town, including Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, Charles Bridge and Mala Strana and Prague Castle on the other side of the river. These are all great areas to stay in Prague.
Prague has many fantastic neighbourhoods outside of the old town, like Karlin, Žižkov, Vinohrady and even Holešovice if you want to get off the beaten path. But if this is your first time in Prague and you want to stay near the Christmas market, then I suggest staying in Prague 1.
I recommend staying at Julius Prague as it’s less than a 10-minute walk to the main Christmas markets.
Alternatively, I suggest the Golden Star if you want to stay near Prague Castle. I stayed here on my last stay in Prague, and the view across the city was incredible. This hotel is just down from the castle and a 25-minute walk to the Old Town Square.
Location of Prague Christmas Market
City and Christmas Tours
A city tour of Prague is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and culture. With its picturesque old town, vibrant facades, and magnificent architecture, Prague is a city that offers something for everyone.
I highly recommend taking this city tour of Prague to discover all of its highlights or even consider a food tour where you can explore the local culture through its cuisine.
I took this Prague food tour a few years ago, and it’s one of the best I’ve ever taken.
During a city tour, you can visit the most iconic landmarks and attractions, such as the historic Charles Bridge, the breathtaking Prague Castle, and the magnificent St. Vitus Cathedral. It’s especially worthwhile if this is your first time in Prague.
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What to Expect
If you’re curious about the Christmas markets, you should watch this video by a local Czech travel guide. It gives you a glimpse into the festive atmosphere, delicious foods, and beautiful decorations you can expect to see.
Christmas Specialties in Prague
Prague has many great Christmas specialties worth seeking out, including some great vegetarian options. If you can’t find them at the Christmas markets, plenty of restaurants in central Prague specialise in traditional Czech food. Here are a few dishes you might want to try.
- Vánočka – A traditional Czech Christmas bread that is sweet and braided, usually made with raisins, almonds, and candied fruit.
- Řízek – A breaded and fried cutlet typically made from pork or chicken, often served with potato salad or sauerkraut. Vegetarian options can include mushroom or cheese cutlets.
- Kapustové Závitky – Cabbage rolls filled with a mixture of rice, vegetables, and sometimes meat. Vegetarian versions may have mushroom or tofu filling.
- Bramborový Salát – A potato salad made with boiled potatoes, carrots, pickles, peas, and mayo. It’s a classic side dish for a Czech Christmas dinner.
- Hovězí Svíčková – A popular Czech beef dish, typically served with dumplings and cranberry sauce. Vegetarian options can include seitan or mushroom svíčková.
- Medovník – A honey cake layered with cream and sometimes jam, popular for Christmas and other celebrations.
- Karbanátky – Meatballs made with beef or pork and served with a variety of sauces. Vegetarian options can include mushroom or bean balls.
- Rybí Polévka – A fish soup made with carp, a traditional Czech Christmas dish. Vegetarian options can include vegetable soup or mushroom soup.
- Ovocné Knedlíky – Fruit dumplings made with a dough of potatoes, flour, and eggs, stuffed with a mixture of fruit, often plums or strawberries.
- Medvědí Česne – A garlic soup made with lots of garlic, potatoes, and croutons. It’s a popular Christmas Eve dish in Czechia. Vegetarian versions can be made with vegetable broth.
Czech Christmas food is hearty and comforting, with lots of meat and potatoes, but plenty of vegetarian options are also available.
Here are some typical street foods you can find at the Prague Christmas Market:
- Trdelník – This is a sweet pastry made by wrapping dough around a spit, grilling it over hot coals, and then dusting it with cinnamon and sugar. It’s a popular street food at Christmas markets across Czechia and throughout Central Europe.
- Pražská Šunka – Prague ham is a smoked and roasted ham that is typically served in a roll or as a plate with bread and mustard. It’s a perfect food to warm up on a cold winter day.
- Smažený Sýr – Fried cheese is a popular Czech street food. The cheese is breaded and fried until it’s golden brown and served with tartar sauce or ketchup.
- Klobása – Grilled sausages are a must-have street food at any Czech Christmas market. They are typically served in a roll or on a plate with mustard and horseradish.
- Langoš – A fried dough pastry topped with garlic, cheese, and ketchup, it’s a delicious snack to share with friends. Originally from Hungary, but it’s popular everywhere.
- Bramboráky – Fried potato pancakes made with grated potatoes, onion, and garlic, usually served with sour cream or ketchup.
- Medovník – A layered honey cake that is a popular dessert in the Czechia, especially during Christmas.
- Guláš – A hearty stew made with beef, potatoes, and vegetables, it’s perfect for warming up on a cold winter day.
These are just a few of the typical street foods you’ll find at the Prague Christmas Market. Plenty of other options are available, including traditional Czech soups, roasted chestnuts, and mulled wine.
Wenceslas Square Christmas Market
Another popular Christmas market in Prague is held at Wenceslas Square. This is a huge 14th-century square that looks up the hill to the National Museum.
The area is lined with chalets serving hot drinks and snacks like roasted chestnuts and traditional Czech cookies. There is a Christmas tree at the base of the square.
Wenceslas Square Christmas Market dates: Likely dates: 25th November 2023 to 5th January 2024.
Opening times: 10am to 10pm. Some food and drink chalets close at midnight.
Location: Wenceslas Square.
Location of Wenceslas Square Christmas Market
Prague Castle Christmas Market
The largest castle complex in the world holds a compact Christmas market in front of the Basilica. It’s free to enter. Be sure to check out the amazing views before you leave.
Prague Castle Christmas Market dates: Likely dates: 22nd November 2023 to 5th January 2024.
Opening times: 9am to 6pm.
Location: Prague Castle, in front of St George’s Basilica.
Cost: Free entry.
Location of Prague Castle Christmas Market
Republic Square Christmas Market
Not far from Old Town Square is Republic Square. This is a quieter part of the city centre, but it’s a popular shopping area thanks to the Palladium Shopping Mall.
You might also like to visit the Museum of Communism while in this part of the city and venture over to the EMA Espresso Bar if you’re looking for great coffee.
Republic Square Christmas Market dates: Likely dates: 25th November to 24th December 2023.
Opening times: 10am to 10pm.
Location: Republic Square (Náměstí Republiky).
Location of Republic Square Christmas Market
Tyl’s Square Christmas Market
Cross over into Prague 2 in the Vinohrady district for the small Christmas market at Tyl’s Square (Tylovo náměstí). This is a quieter area of Prague, just behind the National Museum.
Tyl’s Square Christmas Market dates: Likely dates: 25th November to 24th December 2023.
Opening times: 10am to 6pm.
Location: Tyl’s Square (Tylovo náměstí), Vinohrady, Prague 2.
Location of Tyl’s Square Christmas Market
Peace Square Christmas Market
Also in Vinohrady is the small market in Peace Square.
Peace Square Christmas Market dates: Likely dates: 19th November to 24th December 2023.
Opening times: 10am to 6pm.
Location: Peace Square (Náměstí Míru), Vinohrady, Prague 2.
Location of Peace Square Christmas Market
Smíchov Christmas Market
Head off the beaten path to the Smíchov district for this Christmas market. This area is mostly a mix of business and shopping with some residences. I stayed in this area one time and was happy to catch the tram around the city. Prague 5 is mostly busy with locals.
Smíchov Christmas Market dates: Likely dates: 23rd November to 24th December 2023.
Opening times: 10am to 6pm.
Location: Anděl, Prague 5.
Location of Smíchov Christmas Market
Prague is home to one of the best Christmas markets in Czechia and all of Europe. Read my guide to find more that this country has to offer. Discover where to go, things to do and the best ways to experience Czech food, history and culture.
Visit Czech Republic is the official tourism website of Czechia. It’s an excellent resource for finding things to do in Prague but also throughout the country. Find museums and galleries of interest, information on wine vacations and where to find the best Czech food.
Sustainable Travel Tips
- Shop mindfully: When visiting the Prague Christmas Markets, you could consider buying locally made crafts or souvenirs that have a cultural and environmental connection to the region. For example, you could purchase hand-made ornaments made from locally-sourced materials instead of plastic trinkets that are often mass-produced and imported.
- Walk, cycle and use public transport to get around: The city of Prague has an extensive public transportation network, including trams, buses, and the metro. Using public transport can help reduce your carbon footprint and lessen the strain on the city’s roads. You can also consider walking or cycling to the markets, especially if you’re staying nearby.
- Stay in a sustainable hotel powered by renewable energy: There are many eco-friendly accommodations in Prague that are powered by renewable energy, such as solar or wind power. These hotels often use energy-efficient technologies and employ sustainable practices to minimize their environmental impact.
- Avoid using plastic or buying items made or packaged with plastic: You can bring your reusable shopping bags or containers to the markets and avoid purchasing items that come in plastic packaging. This could include items like snacks or beverages that can be bought in reusable cups or bottles.
- Try to eat locally sourced organic food where possible: You can explore the local food culture of Prague by trying out local restaurants and food stalls that offer organic or locally-sourced produce. This not only supports the local economy but also helps ensure food security in the city.
- Limit your consumption of meat and dairy: Czech cuisine is heavily meat-based, but you can try to reduce your meat consumption by opting for vegetarian or vegan options at restaurants or food stalls. This helps reduce the carbon footprint of meat production and supports local plant-based food options.
- Explore more than just the main tourist areas: Prague is a beautiful city with many hidden gems to explore beyond the main tourist areas. Consider visiting local neighbourhoods, parks, and historical landmarks to better understand the city’s culture and history.
- Support the arts and attend local events: Prague has a vibrant arts scene, with many galleries, museums, and cultural events happening throughout the year. Consider attending local events or visiting galleries and museums to support the local arts community and learn more about the city’s history and culture.
The Christmas markets in Prague start on 25th November 2023 and ends on the 5th January 2024.
The biggest markets are at the stunning Old Town Square, the historic Wenceslas Square and on the other side of town in Prague Castle.
If this is your first time in Prague and you want to stay near the Christmas market, then I suggest staying in Prague 1, the central city district.
Please comment below if you want to leave a review of Prague Xmas Market.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Prague, Czechia. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.
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