Are you coming to visit our Christmas markets this year? Awesome, Prague Christmas markets are one of the most beautiful ones in the world! And Prague is ready. But do you know who is ready, too? Pickpockets, scammers, average restaurants, fake charity and other parasites ripping people off during this lovely time of the year….I don´t want to scare you; this blog post will be positive in the end. I promise! I just would like you to help you to discover the Christmasy Prague in a more authentic way.
Who is writing you this blog?
My name is Dana and I have been living in Prague my entire life. Besides writing this blog, I also work as a tour guide. Running my own tiny business called Prague Behind The Scenes. With my services I strive to support respectful tourism in Prague and help visitors to discover the city in a less touristy way. So, if this sounds like your style of travelling, please feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. When the Prague Christmas markets start and when do they end?
All the Christmas markets, including the biggest and most popular ones on the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, open up on Saturday December 2 at 10am! But they will end on different days! Please see below.
Old Town Square Christmas Market 2. 12. 2023 – 6. 1. 2024 This is the biggest and most popular Christmas market in Prague. And also the most crowded one. If you are accommodated in the area, you might be a bit shocked:-) Please, be aware of pickpockets at the market and keep your backpacks and hand bags on your bellies.
If you want to take the most fabulous pictures of the markets, climb up the Astronomical Clock Tower, there are stunning views and all the photojournalists go there to take their fabulous pictures from Prague. During the first opening hour there is even a 50 % discount on the entry to the tower!!!
My opinion about the Old Town Square market: I went there on Saturday December 2 and just like every year…overrated and touristy, nothing what i could call local and authentic. I could barely move around on Saturday afternoon. Weekends are rather extreme there, weekdays are much better. Plus, I wasn’t impressed by the offer, nothing really special I could recommend to you. But of course, the surroundings are beautiful!!!
Wenceslas Square Christmas Market 2. 12. 2023 – 6. 1. 2024 There is more space on this square but it’s mostly about food and mulled wine…The market is situated at the top of the square (beer, mulled wine, hot apple juice, mead, sausages, street food). Another (bigger) part is at the bottom of the square called Můstek.
Náměstí Míru Christmas Market 20. 11. 2023 – 24. 12. 2023 Lovely local Chrismas market right in front of the beautiful St. Ludmila Church. This Christmas market is not so frequented by tourists, you will mostly meet here locals or expats.
My opinion about the market: I went there today (Sunday December 3) and was pleasantly surprised. Lots of tiny stalls with not only the ordinary mulled wine or chimney cakes. There were also different cookies, roasted nuts, hand-made baskets, Christmas ornaments, ceramics, clothes, gloves, warm socks and no single use cups for drinks! Only deposit cups!!! I think this is 100% worth visiting. And only 5 minutes away from the crowded Old Town Square. Just hop on a metro and get off at Náměstí Míru stop (green line).
Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad 29. 11. – 23. 12.2023 Small Christmas market but with friendly local atmosphere.
My opinion about the market: I went there today (Sunday December 3) and I think this is the most authentic local Christmas market where you will not be overwhelmed with things and activities. You can really find some nice gifts there: snacks, charity hand-made products (I bought a nice tote bag and supported an organization giving work to homeless people) and I also enjoyed a great community atmosphere. It’s much smaller and from what I have learnt, only open from Wednesdays until Sundays. It wasn´t crowded at all. Nice escape from the city madness. Just hop on the metro and get there in 10 minutes.
2. Visit all the main Christmas markets easily by metro!
Yes, all the above mentioned Christmas markets are located on the same metro line (green). No worries about getting lost. All the markets are located by the exits from the metro.
Get yourself a 24-hour ticket and stay flexible. You can travel as much as you wish for only 120 CZK (5 euro). If you are 65+ you can even travel for free (please just keep your passport with you).
So, where to find the markets? What stop you should get off?
Old Town Square market = “Staroměstská” metro stop (green line)
Wenceslas Square market = “Můstek” or “Muzeum” metro stops (green line)
Náměstí Míru market = “Náměstí Míru” metro stop (green line)
Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad market = “Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad” metro stop (green line)
3. How to pay: cash or card?
Guys, this is very important. You will need cash when visiting the Christmas markets. Some stalls accept cards but definitely not all of them. From my experience it´s 50:50 cash / card. Some places even accept euro (for example some stall on the Old Town Square). But don´t count on them and exchange some money or withdraw them from ATM.
Where to get Czech cash without being ripped off, please check my blog post: Where to exchange money in Prague and how much?
And how much money will you need at the markets? It depends what you plan to buy. But just for the refreshments and sampling some food, one person should have ca 500 – 1000 CZK / day.
4. What are the biggest tourist traps on the markets?
Definitely the street food.
Chimney cake – you will see it absolutely everywhere. This is nothing local or typical Czech. That´s actually one of the biggest local tourist traps all year round. Product of Prague mass tourism.
Another big trap are all kinds of hams and meals cooked in the big pots in front of you. There is nothing wrong with them. The only problem (the trap) is the price stated on the board. The price you will always see is price for 100 grams (0,2 pounds), not for the whole portion. People often think – wow! – that’s a bargain, so cheap!! But in the end it’s definitely not. Because the portion you will get will be huge. And the price they will ask you to pay will be huge too.
Wish you a fantastic Advent time in Prague without being ripped off and lovely Christmas holiday with your beloved ones 🎁🎄🎁
Dana, owner and fully certified guide for Prague Behind The Scenes | small-group tours and experiences.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or want to see Prague in a more authentic way: email@example.com
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