Prague’s festive Christmas markets in full swing

With Christmas just around the corner, there’s no better time than now to stop by one of Prague’s many Christmas markets. Czechs may be buying less this year but they are enjoying the good cheer.  

Photo: René Volfík,

It’s the most festive time of the year and despite the economic woes –a spiraling inflation and the energy crunch - Praguers are enjoying the city’s many Christmas markets.

The Christmas market season traditionally begins on the 26th of November and runs until the 6th of January, it’s also open on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years Day. The markets are spread out across the city, from Old Town Square to Náměstí Míru, and provide a wide range of traditional Czech Christmas fare, that people can buy as artisan gifts for friends or sample on the spot.

Photo: René Volfík,

And what could prepare you more for the holidays than stopping by a brightly lit up, populated square, selling beautiful Christmas decorations, wooden toys, spiced hot wine, and juicy potato pancakes and sausages. Could there really be anything more Czech?

We caught up with some folks who are working at this year's Christmas markets to see what they love so much about the season here in Prague. Claudia Chamilova has been working at the Christmas market in Jiřího z Poděbrad, and says the festive environment at the markets is second to none.

Photo: René Volfík,

“My favourite part of the Christmas market season is that people are really happy, out enjoying the markets, and really loving Christmas. Everyone is smiling, and then we are too, so I really think it’s perfect.”

But while the season may be starting off with large crowds of people due to the quelling of Covid fears, Kristina Gubricka, who works selling handmade clothing at the Náměstí Míru market, has noticed that people are a little more cautious when it comes to spending money this year.

“I would say that people are a little bit more careful with their money this year. They spend less than before Corona, and I think this is because of the energy prices. So mostly people are just looking, and not spending as much, they aren’t buying a lot of things.”

Photo: René Volfík,

The lower levels of spending this year shouldn’t come as a surprise. A recent survey from Ipsos agency revealed that two thirds of Czechs plan on easing their spending. But while consumers may be spending less on gifts, Chamilova, who sells traditional beverages at the Christmas market, says that she and her team can’t stop working.

“I think this Christmas market season is very good, because the customers are still happy about the markets and there are still a lot of customers, especially in the afternoon. We can’t stop working! So I think there's no difference between before Covid and after.”

Photo: Amelia  Mola-Schmidt,  Radio Prague International

Regardless of the fears of inflation, and the added financial stress Czechs may be feeling this holiday season, the Christmas market season is a brief period of much needed catharsis.  Kristina, who originally comes from Slovakia, says that working at the markets provides her with a feeling of comfort and home while she lives away from her family.

“It is definitely like home here. We have very similar food, drinks, as well as the traditions and Christmas crafts, so it’s really a little slice of home here.”

No matter where you are in the city, from Old Town Square, to Prague 3, there are some things that Claudia says you must try at a Czech Christmas market.

Photo: René Volfík,

“Our special Czech wine, and also a beer -we have special beer. Other things are similar to other markets, like Czech sausages.”

So, in case you haven’t stopped to admire one of the beautiful Christmas markets our city has to offer, on your next walk through your neighbourhood, make sure to stop by, talk to the wonderful folks working at the festively decorated stands, enjoy some medovina or Svařák, and get a true taste of Czech Christmas.

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