Christmas time is here and one of the most beloved tradition in Central Europe is to visit the annual Christmas Markets. Travelers from other countries often decide to plan a weekend in Prague in order to experience the city and use the chance to visit Prague Christmas Markets.
Of course you can browse through the downtown and get a punch or hot wine at any of the markets that you pass by. But how about to have a small tour that allows you to experience a better organized visit of the Christmas Markets in Prague? That’s what you are about to find in this post.
Prior arriving in Prague I suggest to book some kind of accommodation, Prague is going to become a city with wide network of Airbnb hosts, there is a broad variety of properties you can choose from. After arriving in Prague, got your accommodation figured out and ready to take off to explore the Christmas Markets get some change, since you cannot purchase anything via debit or credit card. There are few exchange offices that will not rip you off like these.
1) If you’re at the bottom of Wenceslas Square (Vaclavske Namesti), just like 200m from there is a tourist office run by the city of Prague with very good exchange rate. Adress: Na Můstku 2
(btw. google street view from 2009 is showing the one that used to be there – where they ripped tourist.. it’s gone now)
2) If you’re at the Old Town Square (Staromestske Namesti), there’s a pretty damn honest exchange place just a few metres away. Adress: Kaprova 14
Retrieved from here.
In case you want to exchange elsewhere be cautious and read the current exchange rate as well as the commissions, there are often traps such as 0% and 40% worse rate as normal, or good rate with 28% commissions. You can find more on exchanging money in Prague in my recent post.
After you get yourself some cash you can finally start exploring the markets. There are three “main” markets in the Prague downtown. One right at the castle, behind the St. Vitus cathedral, another one at the Wenceslas Square and the most dominant one at the Old Town Square.
Prague Christmas Markets at Prague’s Castle
When I went to the city last weekend I started at the castle, metro stop Malostranska (A – green line) from there you can walk up to the castle or take the tram N22 to Prazsky Hrad, the Christmas Markets are right behind the Saint Vitus Cathedral. Here you can get a super sweet punch or some potatoes or sauerkraut dumplings that I would not recommend (price is listed for 100g, a portion of two potatoes will cost you 10 EUR, quite a rip off). Nevertheless the atmosphere is worth the visit, it’s not as polluted and the surrounding buildings of the castle make you feel like in a fairy tale.
Old Town Square Christmas Market
From the castle you can walk down towards the city center, enjoying the fabulous view, walk across the river and you will find yourself right at the Old Town Square dominated by a huge christmas tree (there is also a light/music show). Prague Christmas Market on the Old Town Square is the most visited market in the city center, there are tons of shops to buy food and some souvenirs.
You can get trdelnik which is sweet dough with cinnamon (not really a czech invention) and try langos (fried dough with garlic and cheese). You can also enjoy some hot drinks.
The best experience you can get here is to get up to the city hall tower and get a fabulous view over the Christmas Markets as well as over the city center.
INSIDER TIP: there are two ways how to get up, you can wait in the (usually) quite long line right at the tower, or you walk 20 metres on the left from the clock (orloj) to the “Tourist info office” from there you can also get up to the tower and skip the queue. You can get a discount for the tickets up, if you have a valid student card on-site.
Wenceslav Square Christmas Market
Another Prague Christmas Market is situated 10 min walking from the city hall at the Wenceslav Square, a good place to finish the tour and start enjoying nightlife (check out the NEBE club).
Let me know how you enjoyed the tour and what would you recommend to try or see to fellow readers.
You can also read about how to enjoy Christmas Markets in Vienna in my previous post. I wish you a beloved christmas time, spend with family and friends. Prague Christmas Market open every year to the end of November and close on the 6th of January.
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