Prague is a paradise for Christmas shopping fans. From the start of Advent to the beginning of January, the city hosts Christmas markets, and although you’ll come across them on almost every corner, one of the largest and most atmospheric markets can be found on Old Town Square. Prague’s biggest Christmas tree and life-sized nativity scenes merely add to the atmosphere.
At the wooden booths, you can purchase traditional wooden crafts, Christmas decorations, and other attractive local products. And no visit to a Christmas market would be complete without traditional Czech Christmas pastries and cakes such as vánočka, pleated leavened pastry, crescent-shaped vanilla biscuits, gingerbread, and other sweet goodies
And while children will enjoy the sweets, their parents can sample a fortifying tot of something rather stronger, for example mead (medovina) or mulled wine (svařák).
So, if you’re in Prague in the run-up to Christmas and looking for some typical Czech Christmas gifts as a treat for yourself or your loved ones or friends, here are some suggestions:
They are usually made from a variety of materials (wood, ceramics, plaster and others) and can be purchased in many tourist shops in the city centre. Marionettes are usually quite affordable, which makes them attractive and original gifts. The most popular and common puppets are various types of witches and other fairy-tale characters.
More and more shops are selling wooden toys. Although generally excellent, they tend to be priced rather highly. But in any case, such a sign means quality.
It’s one of the most popular and most purchased Czech souvenirs to take home. And no wonder, because Czech crystal is among the purest and most delicate in the world. In addition, it offers something for everyone: from fans of kitsch items to admirers of great craftsmanship and aesthetic quality. But be cautious in your purchases – some shops offer inferior quality crystal.
The label “Czech Garnet” is a clear indication that you won’t find this rare precious stone anywhere else. Its unique quality lies in its beautiful colour. Products containing Czech garnet come in a variety of forms. Numerous shops in the centre of Prague claim to sell authentic Czech garnet. However, beware of counterfeits, and we recommend that you purchase only from certified dealers.
Traditional Czech Christmas decorations also make excellent gifts. They include hand-painted baubles, wooden or paper garlands, and decorations made from straw.
The 2022/2023 Prague Christmas markets will take place in the following places:
Old Town Square : from 26 November 2022 to 6 January 2023
Republic Square : from 26 November 2022 to 24 December 2022
Wenceslas Square : from 26 November 2022 to 6 January 2023
Peace Square : dates to be confirmed
Tylovo Square : dates to be confirmed
The Christmas markets are generally open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Peace Square, Tylovo Square and Republic Square, and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square.