Toys and mulled wine: Christmas markets attract young and old

Only ten days remain to Christmas Eve, the main festive day of Czech Christmas. People are buying Christmas trees and mistletoe, baking Christmas cookies and also looking for presents for their loved ones. One of the favourite places to buy inexpensive and traditional gifts is a Christmas market.

Radio Prague went to the most famous market in the centre of Prague for a taste of the atmosphere.

The astronomical clock in Prague's Old Town Square is counting down the remaining hours to Christmas. The air is fragrant with cinnamon and vanilla from mulled wine and traditional sweets. Packed with both locals and tourists, the markets offer everything from wooden toys, to handmade lace. But the most enthusiastic visitors have to be the children.

"It's the Christmas tree we like the most," says 7-year old Michal while showing me a gingerbread man he has bought for his mum.

Gingerbread men, wooden toys, Christmas tree decorations and sweets, those are the goods most appreciated by children. The adults usually look for something to warm them up, be it hot sausages, mulled wine or hot mead. Some are just soaking up the atmosphere, like this British woman.

"I love it, it's really nice. This is my first time in Prague. I'm surprised at all the beautiful buildings and the beautiful markets."

RP: Have you bought any presents?

"Not yet, we just arrived yesterday, but the food is lovely."

RP: Have you tried mulled wine?

"Yes, I have and it's nice. My husband just told me not to have it so early in the morning!"