The annual Christmas markets in Prague are one of the city’s main attractions. It brings hundreds of thousands of people to the streets, and they are extremely popular among tourists. Not only can you do a lot of Christmas shopping and taste interesting meals from the local cuisine, but you can also experience the Christmas markets at night when they are beautifully illuminated and breathe the air of one of the most beautiful European cities.
If you have been to Prague, you already know the city is beautiful. If you have been to the Christmas markets in Prague, we are not surprised to discover that you would like to revisit them. This is the place to buy local handicrafts, taste local drinks and food, and listen to and watch local artists perform at the stages in different locations in Prague.
When will the Christmas markets be arranged in Prague in 2024?
We’ll start this article with the most important information, the information most people are looking for. When are the Christmas markets arranged in Prague this year? Here you can find the dates.
- November 30, 2024 – January 6, 2025 – Christmas market at the Old Town Square.
- November 30, 2024 – January 6, 2025 – Christmas market at the Wenceslas Square.
The Christmas markets always stay open so that visitors can enjoy four Sundays with Christmas markets in Prague before Christmas. Since December 24 is on a Tuesday in 2024, the Christmas markets will open on Saturday, November 30, meaning that visitors can visit the Christmas markets on four Sundays before Christmas (December 1, December 8, December 15, and December 22).
The dates for the Christmas markets in Prague in earlier years.
- 2023: December 2, 2023 – January 6, 2024
- 2022: November 26, 2022 – January 6, 2023
- 2019: November 30, 2019 – January 6, 2020
- 2018: December 1, 2018 – January 6, 2019
- 2017: December 2, 2017 – January 6, 2018
- 2016: November 26, 2016 – January 6, 2017
- 2015: November 28, 2015 – January 6, 2016
The two most popular Christmas markets in Prague.
Prague has several Christmas markets, but the most popular are at the following locations.
The Christmas market at the Old Town Square
This is the most famous of them, located in the city’s center. It is beautifully illuminated, and there are lots of stands from where you can buy all sorts of products. It is also located close to many of the most famous attractions in Prague, making it a perfect place to start your day in Prague.
As you can see from the image above, this is a beautiful place to visit!
The Christmas market at the Wenceslas Square
Located near the Old Town Square, you will find the Christmas market at Wenceslas Square. It is a nice little walk between these markets, but be warned, it can get crowded on the path between the two markets during the busy hours of the Christmas markets. This market is located at a magnificent square, and once again, you will be able to buy all sorts of products made by local artists and eat and drink local specialties.
As you can see from the image above, the Christmas market at Wenceslas Square also has a fantastic atmosphere.
Where to live near the Christmas markets in Prague?
Would you like to live in a hotel near the Christmas markets in Prague? Are you looking for cheap accommodation, or would you rather spend more and live in a hotel with breakfast and four or five stars? See the map below for price estimations and an overview of hotels near the Christmas markets at Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square.Booking.com
It is worth remembering that the Old Town distances aren’t big. As a result, most of the hotels in the map above (unless you scroll in and out) are within a 5-10-minute walking distance from Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. Do not forget to book a hotel early, as things get really busy in December due to the extremely popular Christmas markets. If you have the possibility, it is normally cheaper to book hotel rooms during weekdays compared to the weekends.
What to eat and drink at the Christmas markets in Prague?
If someone tells you about a market, it is easy to think about a location where you can buy groceries or goods. That is often true, but when we think about Christmas markets, many people don’t associate it with shopping. Why is that?
To many, Christmas markets aren’t about shopping but eating and drinking. Why is it that the largest and the most popular stalls are those serving food and drinks? You know the answer already! It is okay to buy some handmade products in a stall, and then a Christmas present for your kids in another stall. But, after spending 15 minutes looking at the different stalls, something hits you. It doesn’t hurt but comes at you like a quiet predator. It attacks you through the nose and makes you get water in your mouth… it is the smell of Czech sausage, followed by the sweet smell of the Trdelnik (Chimney Cake), and all the other delights of the Prague Christmas markets.
Essential things to eat at the Christmas markets…
Anyone visiting the Christmas markets should eat lunch or dinner at the market, at least once. The Czech sausages are a number one delight worth tasting. It might not be healthy to eat sausages like these every day, but once or twice during your December trip to Prague is a must.
If you’d rather eat some ham, try ražská šunka. This is a large piece of ham that is served together with potatoes. It is a local dish, very popular, and very tasty.
Kids often habitually skip the main course and jump straight to the desert. That is easy to understand as the smell of the Chimney Cake (Trdelnik) attacks your nose. This sweet dough is covered in sugar, later to be grilled (caramelizing the sugar), and then dipped in either cinnamon, cocoa, walnuts, chocolate, or some other ingredient. Sometimes, they even add Nutella and whipped cream to the finalized product. No matter what, this is one of Prague’s most popular products at the Christmas markets, and one you should try!
What to drink at the Christmas markets in Prague?
The cheapest is to bring a bottle of water from the supermarket, but that is boring! If you eat like a local, you should drink like a local. What should you order together with your food? If you don’t mind consuming alcohol, you already know that Czech beer is known worldwide. Pilsner is the most famous brand of them all. Most people buy this as they want a drink to accompany their sausage or some other piece of meat at the Christmas markets.
Would you like to try something more special? Becherovka is a very popular spirit from the Czech Republic. It is based on more than 20 different herbs, but it might be that you will feel the alcohol taste (it has a 38% alcohol percentage) stronger than the taste of the herbs.
A third drink you can buy at the Christmas markets is Tuzemák/Tuzemský. It is a local Czech version of rum from the Caribbean Sea. It is made from potatoes or sugar beets, and later they add all sorts of rum essence to the drink. This drink isn’t popular only to drink, but the locals also use it in Christmas cookies.
Frequently asked questions about the Christmas markets in Prague?
Where can I find the smaller Christmas markets in Prague?
There are quite a lot of smaller Christmas markets in Prague. If you are in the center of Prague, a natural place to visit is Republic Square. This square is known for the popular shopping mall Palladium, and it is a big square with lots of things happening. Throughout December you can find a Christmas market at this square. It isn’t as big and popular as the two main Christmas markets, but it has a nice atmosphere and is a great place to drink some hot wine.
A place outside the city center known for its beautiful Christmas market (and Easter market) is the so-called Peace Square, better known as Náměstí Míru among locals. The square is only 1 km from the Wenceslas square, so you don’t need to use any transportation to get there. If you still want to visit the Christmas market at Náměstí Míru, the easiest method is to travel by metro to the station with the same name. This market opens earlier than the main Christmas markets in Prague, meaning that it is a good option if you arrive in the last week of November.
There are other small Christmas markets at Na Kampě Square and Tyl Square. The first is in the Old Town of Prague, close the the Charles Bridge. The second market (Tyl Square) is very close to Náměstí Míru, making it easy walking distance from Wenceslas Square.
How can I travel to the Christmas markets in Prague by public transportation?
There are lots of transportation options if you want to visit the Christmas markets in Prague. The easiest for many is to travel by metro to the stop Muzeum (at Wenceslas Square), or the stop Náměstí Republiky. From these metro stations, you can easily visit all the important Christmas markets in Prague.
There are lots of buses stopping in central Prague, for example, buses 905, 907, 908, and 911 (stop Muzeum).
Tram lines 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 9 stop at the Wenceslas Square.
Would you like to travel by bus directly to the Old Town Square in Prague? Bus 194 is the best option for you! The name of the stop is Staroměstské náměstí.
How cold will it be in Prague in December?
The average temperature in Prague in December is 0 Celsius. That is an average temperature, so things can be very different as you visit the city. You should be prepared for temperatures between -5 Celsius and +5 Celsius. One of the smartest things you can do is to check the weather forecast before you travel, as it will give you an estimation of what temperatures you can expect during your trip to Prague.
It is also crucial to check whether it will be windy or not. Prague is much more bearable at 0 Celsius compared to +5 with lots of wind. In other words, the wind will heavily influence whether you will be freezing or not.
When do they turn on the lights on the Christmas tree at the Old Town Square?
The biggest and most famous Christmas tree in Prague is located at the Old Town Square. They normally turn on the lights around 16:30, so if you want to witness this moment, arrive a few minutes before 16:30. Normally you can listen to beautiful music during the event. They often switch on and off the lights throughout the evening, so if you missed out at 16:30, return to the Old Town Square around 18:30, 19:30, or 20:30 to get a new chance).
Are there river cruises on the Vltava in December?
You might be surprised to read this, but December is one of the busiest months in the tourist industry in Prague. As a result, business is booming and there are river cruises available throughout the day. You can click the link to read more about different river cruises available in Prague during the Christmas market season.
Are you ready to visit the Christmas markets in Prague? Do you have any further comments or questions? Use the comment field below, and we will do our best to answer, or just enjoy reading your comment!