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3 days in Prague at Christmas

3 days in Prague at Christmas: Old Town Square

Prague at Christmas: a trip which has been on my bucket list for what seems like forever! Finally in 2019 we took the plunge and booked a three day trip to this magical festive city. I really didn't know what to expect at Christmas and the blog posts I read tended to focus on which markets to visit and things to do in Prague.

I wanted to share what we got up to but also my honest experience and impressions. Whilst we had an amazing time there are a few important things to consider before booking a Prague Christmas trip in 2020, and I wish I'd read more posts like this when I was planning my trip.

Prague at Christmas: First Impressions

When we landed at the airport we decided to get the public bus to the city. I highly recommend this as it only cost a couple of quid and was right outside the terminal - just look for platform G. You can buy tickets on the bus and I would recommend this as we bought a ticket from a machine only to be told it wasn't valid. You could also easily get a taxi outside the terminal if this is your preference but the bus was an express service which let us have a mini tour of the city on the way to our hotel, so this was good for me.

3 days in Prague at Christmas: Wenceslas square tree

When we got off the bus we had a 10 minute walk to our hotel, and we passed through Wenceslas Square which is one of the main markets in Prague. It wasn't too busy and delicious smells hit my nose before I even saw the colourful stalls. There seemed to be a nice mix of food and souvenirs, and seeing this got me so excited to dump our bags and get out to explore!

3 days in Prague at Christmas: wenceslas square

When we got back out to actually explore the Wenceslas Square market properly, I was actually quite surprised at how small it was for a main Christmas market in Prague. As the weekend went on I started to realise that the markets are actually spread out and not just concentrated in one area. This surprised me, I expected a huge Christmas market which would be bigger than any I have seen in the UK but it was very different. This isn't a negative observation, just something to be aware of when you are visualising what the Christmas markets will be like.

Prague at Christmas: Old Town Square

Old Town Square in Prague holds the main Christmas market. This means it has the largest crowds as well and I think this photo taken from the tower shows just how busy it was! On a side note, I'd really recommend heading up for the view as this was my favourite thing we did in Prague. I loved seeing the crowds from above and we played a good few games of iSpy up here! Top tip: head up just before sunset so you get to see the view both in day and at night when all the beautiful lights come on.

3 days in Prague at Christmas: views of old town square from above

The astronomical clock is a main sight in Old Town Square but it was slight let-down. It is worth having a look if you happen to visit on the hour but don't expect anything big! The crowds were absolutely huge when we visited the clock late at night, to the point people were bundling along in one huge wave of bodies. I didn't feel unsafe but I was careful to clutch my bag close to me just in case.

I really loved this market as it had some nice food and souvenirs, and a really lovely atmosphere. The tree is absolutely huge and like no other I have ever seen! This got me very much into the festive spirit and I would recommend trying to see this market first if you can and make sure you visit both at day and night. Look how beautiful it was when the tree was all lit up!

3 days in Prague at Christmas: Old town square at night

Prague at Christmas: Charles Bridge

We decided to head over Charles Bridge on our second day as this is one of the main sights to see and we wanted to check out a few Christmas markets over on the other side of Prague. Again it was busy but offered some nice views of Prague. 

There is a beautiful church just on the right of the bridge before you cross which offers some concerts, one thing I wish we had done is been organised and booked in for a carol concert - I would recommend doing this as soon as you arrive if it is something that interests you and you only have 3 days in Prague, as I think it would be a magical experience to squeeze in!

3 days in Prague at Christmas: charles bridge

Prague at Christmas: The Castle

We headed for the castle next with no real plan, but it turned out the castle was really big and actually had different Christmas market stalls in the grounds which are free to explore. We had some nice (lethal) hot honey wine from the stalls as you just get to the castle, and this was a nice small Christmas market which I recommend for a pit stop on your way around the city.

3 days in Prague at Christmas: honey wine

Within the castle was one of my favourite markets which mainly focused on food. It is located just in front of St. George's Basilica and you can't miss it as you walk round the castle grounds. In general, the food at Prague Christmas markets wasn't exactly what I expected as there was less variety than you would find in the UK. However, this market had a large selection of delicious food including local gnocchi and we really enjoyed sampling a few dishes. We visited at night and it had a lovely atmosphere.

3 days in Prague at Christmas: castle markets

One thing to bear in mind is that the prices quoted on the stalls is per 100 grams and they will try and fill the dish massively to charge you a fortune! Don't be nervous about asking them to stop after it is full enough. At first we thought they were being kind just giving us an extra-large portion but we soon realised it was going to cost us a fortune.

Prague at Christmas: Kampa Island

Kampa island is located in Malá Strana in Prague, not too far from Charles Bridge, and has its own Christmas market. We got some nice souvenirs here as it felt a little more authentic than some other markets, despite being quite small.

3 days in Prague at Christmas: kampa island

We managed to find a very festive restaurant called Velkopřevorský Mlýn on Kampa Island which definitely deserves its own mention as it was lovely! Think festive decorations, Christmas tunes and even a huge sleigh to pose in for your holiday snaps. The food was really hearty and warming. I would definitely recommend adding this place to your itinerary if you visit Prague. Reviews online are mixed about the service, which we decided to ignore (I say we, how could I not visit as soon as I saw that sleigh?) We both really enjoyed it, devouring delicious local goulash and apple strudel. The pictures don't do it justice at all so please visit for yourself to see how lovely it is.

3 days in Prague at Christmas: favourite restaurant

Prague at Christmas: Havelske trziste

I thought I'd save my absolute favourite Christmas market until last. What. a. place! I felt like I didn't completely get the magical Christmas feeling at all the markets, I'm not even sure why, but when I got to Havelske Trziste, or Havel's Market, I was in awe. It is only small but the souvenirs were extremely cheap and so cute!

3 days in Prague at Christmas: markets

I absolutely loved this toy shop just next to the market: the place of my childhood dreams. Around the edge of the market there are other cute souvenir shops with some gorgeous wooden toys and general souvenirs. I highly recommend a visit to this market for a more local taste of Prague which is just how I imagined it would be. An absolute must-visit if you have 3 days in Prague at Christmas.

3 days in Prague at Christmas: souvenir shop

Prague at Christmas: Food and drink

As I mentioned earlier there wasn't a huge array of food to try at the Christmas markets but definitely enough if you have 3 days in Prague. I had to try the local hot dog, Pražská klobása, which is similar to Bratwurst which you find at German markets. Very delicious with ketchup and mustard!

3 days in Prague at Christmas: hot dog

We enjoyed some tasty palačinky, which are very similar to French crepes and come with a variety of toppings - nutella and cookies was the best! There are a variety of hot wine options on offer at the markets but obviously being in Prague for the first time we wanted to have lots of beer. There was beer on offer at the Old Town Square market for £2 for a large cup - very nice and made my time in Prague quite hazy to be honest!

3 days in Prague at Christmas: £2 beer

If you visit in late December like we did, be prepared for bars and restaurants to be absolutely packed. We tried to visit some nice cocktail bars on our first night and got turned away from three before we gave up. We made a reservation for the next night and I would highly recommend doing this if you want to sample Prague's nightlife in your 3 day trip. The restaurants weren't quite so difficult to get into, I guess because many people will eat at Christmas markets this dilutes the crowds a little, but it is still worth booking if you see somewhere you would like to try.

Prague at Christmas: Considerations for 2020

If you are looking to book your own 3 day trip to Prague at Christmas for 2020 and beyond, I'd recommend going early in December if possible. We visited right before Christmas and the crowds were very intense, but I have heard it is a little lighter earlier in the month. The markets usually start late November and continue until the end of the first week of January, so there is plenty of time to schedule in a visit.

3 days in Prague at Christmas: crowds

We stayed at the K&K Fenix Hotel just off Wenceslas Square. It was fine but I think with hindsight I'd have rather been nearer to Old Town Square or the other side of Prague near the castle as we didn't spend much time in Wenceslas Square which held most of the main high street shops.

Make sure you make reservations for any bars or restaurants you really want to try as they will definitely get full in December and unlike other destinations, it was tricky to just turn up to bars and get a table.

I'd suggest shopping around a little for souvenirs. There was a wide range of products on offer in Prague, and I am glad I didn't just buy the first items I saw. If you take in all the markets before buying any Christmas decorations or presents for family and friends you will be able to work out where the best prices are and which products you like best. It isn't the same as UK markets where it's the same products repeated on each stall and imported from other countries, Prague souvenirs are local, hadmade and beautiful.

3 days in Prague at Christmas

Consider carefully how long you need in Prague when visiting for Christmas. We found three days was plenty of time to enjoy all the Christmas markets, in fact we could probably have seen everything we wanted in two days. It depends on your travel style and if you mind having long days, but there weren't a huge amount of touristy things we wanted to do. Two days would be absolutely fine to take in all the Christmas markets in Prague.

I hope this post helps those of you looking to book your own short trip to Prague at Christmas, please let me know if you end up booking! Feel free to pin this post for later and please share it if you enjoyed reading about my trip to Prague.

Prague at Christmas: Pinterest

6 comments

  1. Prague at Christmas looks so magical!! Lovely guide, definitely will think about going for the markets! 😊

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    1. Thanks I am really glad it makes you want to go, was so much fun! Melis x

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  2. I have never been to Prague before but it is somewhere I have always wanted to visit. It sounds like you had a lovely time, although I thought the Christmas markets would have been huge too xx

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    1. Yes it was more spread out than one huge market which was unexpected, we had a lovely time. Would definitely make a nice family trip! Melis x

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  3. The buildings look so beautiful! I'd love to do a proper Christmas Market trip somewhere, I did Bruges on an organised day trip once and it was so stressful - we barely got any time there and we were having to run around like mad trying to fit everything in - it was impossible to eat waffles, shop for chocolate and ice skate in 2 hours, and we never even made it to the Christmas Market!

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    1. Sounds like you needed way longer! The short trips / cruises are a great way to fit places in but I do love an aimless wander with plenty of time. Prague is a lovely Christmas trip, I'd like to try Germany next time! Melis x

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