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Exploring Prague Christmas Markets: One Of Europe’s Most Magical Christmas Places

While we found some aspects of visiting Prague at Chrismas to be over-commercialized, and we didn’t love falling victim to the “ham scam” or the local “tourist exchange rate,” Caleb and I still think that Prague is worth visiting at Christmas and we would go back in a heartbeat.

In this Prague Christmas market guide, we’ll share things to consider when you’re researching whether or not it’s the right Christmas market to add to your trip, as well as some practical tips and guidance if you decide to visit the Christmas markets!

Here’s a video with some scenes from the markets to get the vibe!

YouTube video

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What You Should Know When Deciding To Visit Or Not

an overhead view of the christmas market in Prague

Chances are that if you’re reading this, you’re trying to figure out if the Christmas markets in Prague, some of the most famous in the world, are worth visiting. 

Prague is one of the *rare* super touristy cities where we found the markets to be actually really special and magical. Yes, at the main market in Old Town Square, we experienced a lot of people, but unlike our least favorite markets in Budapest or Vienna, it felt like everyone was there just to enjoy the market in a more laid-back way.

It made the atmosphere really chill and set it apart from so many of the other huge and famous markets in Europe like Nuremberg or Dresden.

The markets around the city are also all beautifully decorated and lit up with fairy lights. Pair that with the whole “gorgeousness” of Prague, and it makes everything really beautiful and romantic and adds to the magical atmosphere. There are a lot of beautiful cities in Europe, but Prague has some of the most beautiful architecture, so that makes it one of the most special and unique markets to visit.

We do have to say that we saw a lot of the same trinkets on sale as we saw at markets all across Europe, so that is a strike against Prague. If you’re looking for unique hand-crafted goods, it’ll be harder to come by here.

BUT, it’s PRAGUE.  The backdrop for the markets? *chefs kiss* and one of the main reasons we still think you should visit. Just manage your expectations accordingly!

Snow-covered roofs of Christmas market stalls with crowds of visitors enjoying the festive atmosphere near the Baroque Saint Nicholas Church in Prague

Questions To Ask Yourself To Help You Decide

Here are a couple of helpful things to consider when thinking if you should visit. If you answer yes to most of these questions, we’d say you should plan your Christmas market trip to include Prague!

  1. Are you okay with being surrounded by a lot of people? 
  2. Do you want to do things other than go to Christmas markets, so visiting bigger cities with more to do is important?
  3. Does eating at Christmas markets excite you? (we found most stalls to be food-focused!)
  4. Do you want to prioritize cities with a lot of history?
  5. Are you okay sacrificing having a super authentic, local experience to be in a beautiful place?

These are the markets you must visit

The iconic Church of Our Lady before Týn in Prague, dramatically lit against the night sky, overlooks the bustling Christmas market below

1.The Biggest Market: Old Town Square Christmas Market (November 30, 2024 – January 6, 2025)

This is the most famous and biggest market in Prague. We thought it was the most beautiful but also the most crowded, especially if you go during the evening or on weekends.  You really have to watch your bags because pickpockets are everywhere.

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Practical tips for visiting:

You can get some amazing photos going up the Old Town Hall tower (where the astronomical clock is), but we timed it horribly wrong, so don’t be like us. Google told us that it closes at 9 but not that they kick you at 8:40.  We got there at 8:20, and by the time we got to the top, we only had 7 minutes to walk around. Since it’s not free, it’s a waste! 

A woman overlooking the lit up Prague christmas market at night

We found this market, like most markets in Prague, to be about food. Just make sure you read my “ham scam” tip below because we were a victim of this scam with a funny name. We avoided buying any trinkets here, as they all feel mass-produced in China and are not authentic.

If you get overwhelmed by all the people in the actual market, there are tons of restaurants around the main square, so you can feel like you’re part of the atmosphere without being overwhelmed. We also saw mulled wine for $1 cheaper than at the stalls!

The Christmas market in front of the national musuem in Prague lit up at night with wooden market stalls

2. Wenceslas Square Christmas Market:  (November 30, 2024 – January 6, 2025)

This one is technically divided into the upper and lower parts of the square. The upper part is in front of the National Museum, which is SO pretty at night. You have to see it. The lower part is near the statue and near the Mustek metro stop, which makes it easy to get to if you’re taking public transport.

We liked this one because it’s more spread out and less busy, so we didn’t feel as “sardined” as Old Town Square. It doesn’t have a ton of shopping options, and we found this to have better food than the old town square.

We almost face-planted here SO MANY times because it basically turns into an ice rink at night, but more on that in a second. BE WARNED.

two quaint christmas market booths with wooden fronts and garlands stand side by side at a market in Prague. One sells mulled wine and one sells sweets

3. Namesti Republiky/Republic Square (throughout December)

This is a really small market a short walk from Old Town Square. 

Practical tips for visiting:

We loved this market because it’s very, very small and felt much more local than other markets around Prague. The vendors were also way more friendly! One nice lady basically saved our life when we tried to order Grogg (literally just booze and water), and she was like, “No, you don’t want that,” and gave us mulled wine instead.

A bustling Christmas market during daylight with shoppers walking among festively decorated wooden stalls under a soft winter sun.

Granted, a local told us the mulled wine here was the best of the markets, and we hated it. It’s literally hot red wine with no sweetener or spices. We’re not one to waste our favorite Christmas market drink (because BOOZE), but it was so bad we threw it away. So, maybe don’t get that here. In fact, this market is more about trinkets than food and drink. 

And, if you get cold, there’s a big warm Billa grocery store right around the corner that we visited regularly to warm up.

a small and empty Christmas market in Prague with a few wooden stalls

4. Na Kamp Square

When you walk across the Charles Bridge towards the castle, you’ll see a small set of stairs to your left near the end of the bridge. This takes you to Na Kamp Square. 

Honestly, we think you should skip this market. It had less than 10 stalls, and we walked around it for about 5 minutes. Then, we left to go somewhere else.

Shoppers in winter attire browsing through a Christmas market at night, illuminated by ornate light decorations and a glow from the festive wooden huts.

5. Tylovo Namesti (throughout December)

A very small and local market is quite a bit outside of the city center, about 25 25-minute walk. We were on the hunt to find lesser-visited markets, and this was one of our favorites. It had a very strong scent of mulled wine, and the wine was so much better than at Republic Square.  

We also think it’s super pretty because it’s decorated with lit-up snowflakes everywhere! 

A majestic Gothic church towers over a lively Christmas market, its spires lit against the night sky, with holiday shoppers milling about the booths below.

6. Peace Square (Náměstí Míru – usually the last week of November)

This is hands down our favorite local feeling market in Prague. It’s right in front of St. Ludmila church, which is GORG at night.

Practical tips for visiting:

We were really surprised with this market. When we first arrived, it seemed really small and like not much would be there, but we were wrong! There are SO many unique stalls here, from handicrafts to different foods. We had a traditional cookie with dried fruit, chocolate, nuts and caramel, and some other food we couldn’t find anywhere else. This is the place for local food and goods to buy.

Don’t miss walking up the stairs of the church for the best photo of the market!

Our Itinerary

For a suggestion of how to plan your day, we spent two days, and they looked like this:

Day 1: Old town square, lower Wenceslas square (we had half a day)

Day 2: Republiky Square, Charles Bridge, Na Kamp Square, Upper Wenceslas Square, Dinner at Husinec (SO GOOD), then over to Tylovo Namesti and Peace Square.

If you prefer to save the time and stress of planning out your own itinerary and navigating the markets, a tour with a local guide is a great way to do that!

>>check out prices and availability for this tour of 3 markets <<
>>check out prices and availability for a custom tour! <<

A large hunk of Prague ham with ketchup and brown bread on a white paper plate

The food You Must Try

You’ll find the usual suspects at the Christmas markets like Langos, tons of sausages, but a few “Prague specials” are:

  1. Prague ham (Pražská Šunka) – smoked boneless ham
  2. Crepes (Palačinky) – we had one with apricot jam, which was great, and one with ham, cheese, and Thai sweet chili sauce. They said it was traditional. Unsure about that, but it was tasty!
  3. Spicy red sausage (Pražská klobása)
  4. Becherovka – a traditional Czech liquor that tastes like Christmas.
a wooden christmas market stall in Prague selling mead

Here are some of the most common Christmas market foods around Europe with their Czech names so you know what you’re getting:

  1. Mulled wine (Svařák) – it’s less sweet than other countries, FYI.
  2.  Chimney cake (Trdelnik) – we have to warn you: we had the worst Trdelnik of our lives at the Prague market. It was SO DRY and flavorless that we THREW IT AWAY. You’re better off getting one from a bakery – we recommend the cafe “Tredelnik and Coffee.”
  3. Mead (Medovina) – hot honey wine.

Quick Tips To Know Before Going

1. Where to Stay

You will want to stay as close to the old town as possible. We stayed at Unitas Residence and LOVED IT. The staff was INCREDIBLE, and we could walk to all the markets on the list.

Did we mention they served free mulled wine some nights? OH YES

>> Click here to read reviews and check photos and, prices, and availability! <<

A large ham being roasted on a spit over an open fire

2.The Ham Scam

You laugh at the name, but we have fallen victim to this. When you buy Prague Ham, you will think that it’s SO CHEAP because the price on the sign is super low. But what they don’t tell you is that the price is for only 100 grams.

Basically, one bite. But we didn’t know, so we just ordered ham. So, the vendors will give you a MASSIVE portion and charge you an arm and a leg.

Make sure you say how much you want and that any vendor you order from isn’t priced by weight.

pastel buildings in Prague with icy streets as people walk

3. It’s ICY

The amount of times Caleb and I almost died just WALKING is insane. We went when there was snow on the ground, and I guess Prague doesn’t ice the sidewalks? We saw people falling all over, and it was actually really dangerous. I actually fell once, and I was grateful to have my HUGE backpack to break my fall.

 This goes for all the markets, so be careful, go slow, and BRING GOOD SHOES.

A busy evening scene at the Christmas market in Prague's Old Town Square, with the Gothic tower of the Old Town Hall rising above the crowd.

3. Don’t Go Opening Weekend

Hi, we’re dumb tourists, and we made this mistake. It’s wayyy busier than usual, so try to time it for NOT opening weekend. Heck, go during the week if you can.

4. Do Not Pay With Euros

You may not realize this, but the common currency in Prague is the Czech crown.  Most of the stalls take cash (some take cards or Apple Pay!) But if you pay in Euros, the vendors seem to have some crappy “tourist exchange rate,” and we got totally jipped.

We ended up going to a cash exchange place to get some crowns, and we recommend you do, too!

What Next For Planning Your Trip:

This post is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our best tips for planning your Christmas market trip! We wrote an ultimate guide with everything you need to know to have the best Christmas market experience!

So, do you think you’ll go to Prague? What questions do you have?

Other Helpful Christmas Market Posts:

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A couple embraces while watching the sunset behind the Crystal Palace in Madrid's Retiro Park, a moment of romance and tranquility by the reflective waters.

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