Prague at Christmas: traditional markets and historic sites but also attractive venues in increasingly hip neighbourhoods

Christmas market on the Old Town Square, photo: Štěpánka Budková

During the Christmas period and the New Year, the Czech capital attracts hundreds of thousands many of whom want to experience classic Prague over the holidays: mulled wine, romantic walks and more. The same is being appreciated this year, of course, but Prague City Tourism is also putting an emphasis on new hip districts with new eateries, cafes, galleries and other sites people also might want to visit.

Christmas market on the Old Town Square,  photo: Štěpánka Budková
Prague City Tourism’s Barbora Hrubá told me more.

“Winter and especially Christmas and the New Year are among the busiest periods of the year when it comes to the Czech capital. For shopping, Christmas markets and so on. Last year we saw some 600,000 visitors over this period, so it really is a busy time for tourists.”

I guess there is certain kind of quintessential Prague experience at this time of year: visiting the Old Town Square, drinking mulled wine… can you fill me in on what visitors can see or do?

“Well Prague is truly a very romantic city so there is a lot of opportunity for romantic walks, drinking mulled wine, visiting the Christmas markets – the one on the Old Town Square has been voted by the media as one of the best in the world, buying handmade products and tasting Christmas cookies, there is a lot to see and do. There are also many exhibitions, which include displays of historic nativity scenes and so on.”

I know that Prague City Tourism also works to promote parts of the city which are lesser known… are you also promoting parts of the city which could be hip or attractive for younger visitors?

Holešovice,  photo: Pavel Culek,  CC BY-SA 3.0
“Absolutely. We have been highlighting districts like Vinohrady, Holešovice, Karlín, which are ‘lesser-known’ but definitely not less interesting. You can visit the website for information including five Prague walks we promote. Holešovice was described by the Independent, citing Travel Bloggers, as one of the coolest neighbourhoods in Europe (ranking 15th on a list of 23) and Prague’s Krymská Street in the past was highlighted by the New York Times, so the word is out and visitors want to see more than juts traditional parts of the city and to go beyond the historic centre.”