It is the most wonderful, magical time of the year! Unfortunately, the Christmastime season is looking very different than in previous years due to COVID. But that doesn’t mean we should lack our holiday cheer. Personally, my favorite part of Christmastime is the beautiful decor and the multitude of vivid lights. Christmas decorations give off such a homey and heartwarming feeling. If you want to see some of the most beautiful Christmas decor then I would highly consider putting a visit to the Christmas markets in Prague very high on your bucket list. I promise the markets will not disappoint! I went a year ago for the infamous markets and I would go again in a heartbeat.
Old Town Square Market
In Prague, the two main Christmas markets are held in the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Markets. Tourists from around the globe all gather around in Prague during the months of November – January to join in the Christmas festivities. These markets host many products such as handmade beautiful glass ornaments, traditional Czech desserts, and of course, Prague’s infamous hot wine. You can easily spend hours in the market and not get bored. Just the overall ambience of being surrounded by the Christmas music and lights feels like your life is perfect at the moment.
Bring Czech koruna’s (currency) to the market and walk in with an empty stomach! Sorry vegetarians, but meat lovers will absolutely be in heaven with the meat delicacies offered at the market. You can walk anywhere in the market and smell the delicious ham and sausages roasting over the open flames. Add a little mustard to your sausage and you’re set!
Now let’s discuss those scrumptious carbs that everyone loves. The market sells anywhere from traditional Czech-Hungarian flatbread with ketchup, cheese, and garlic to chocolate crepes. Don’t let me get started on the chocolate desserts. You’re able to purchase these mouth-watering chocolate-dipped waffle pieces sprinkled with more chocolate. Or, while you’re at the market why not try the notorious fresh trdelnik (let me stress, this is NOT a Czech delicacy – it is Slovakian!)
Stay Warm with Mulled Wine or Czech Beer
One thing is for certain, you cannot come to the Czech Republic during the wintertime and not try their mulled wine. I know, warm wine does not sound ideal, but when it’s freezing outside and you’re walking around for hours, trust me, you’ll love it. The wine has hints of citrus or apple to its taste. It’s quite delicious if I say so myself.
The moment you’ve all been waiting for… CZECH BEER! My absolute favorite type of beer besides Belgian. They drink beer like it’s water in Prague. No seriously, at restaurants they don’t even ask if you’d like water. We had one waiter come to us offering beer and when we asked for water they looked a little puzzled. If you’re in Prague definitely get the Pilsner or if you want to be more adventurous, try something else!
Holiday Shopping on Pařížská Street
Care to spoil your loved ones with lavish gifts? Then take a stroll down Pařížská! It reminds me of the luxurious Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris. The street is filled with high-end luxury stores like Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Prada, Louis Vuitton, etc. Don’t worry, if you’re not looking to splurge on jewelry or even window shop, you can always take home a Bohemian glass souvenir. Prague is known for its world-renowned glass and that will sparkle in any household.
On your way to the Prague Castle, right after you get off the Charles Bridge, is the cutest gingerbread shop ever. I’ve been there twice on each trip I’ve been to Prague, and will go back again! The gingerbread is so tasty and fresh! They have every type of gingerbread cookie you can imagine. As soon as you enter the store you are given a little tray to carry whatever you wish to purchase.
It is the perfect gift to bring back for family and friends. My favorite part of the store is that there is an employee or two making fresh gingerbread right in open in the back. That makes the store more authentic to me, and overall experience.
O2 Hockey Arena
One of the best hockey players of all time comes from the Czech Republic, looking at you, Jaromir Jagr! The O2 Hockey Arena is approximately a 12-minute ride from the Old Town Square. Catching an HC Sparta Praha hockey game is an absolute MUST if you’re into hockey. The tickets are unbelievably cheap. I sat by the glass for about $8 USD… I am not even joking. The atmosphere is more lively than a game in the U.S. in my opinion, as hockey is the Czech Republic’s leading sport. I am pretty sure the fans even had a chant for an offsides call! Not to mention each team had a band! Yes, a BAND. It was the first time two of my friends went to a hockey game!
Now, do you wish to put visiting Prague during Christmastime on your bucket list?!
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– Fran Romero (@chess_romero)
Featured image and other images courtesy of Franchesca Romero.