You want Christmassy? You want a giant Christmas tree? You want a Christmas market surrounded by stunning European buildings? Well, Prague’s Christmas market has them all, and more.
Nestled in Prague’s Old town square, the main Christmas market (there are other smaller ones around the city) looks like it has been lifted straight out of a children’s fairytale.
Let me take you on a stroll through the busy market stalls.
We could start our tour by the famous astrological clock on Prague’s Old town hall tower – tip: if you bypass the crowds waiting for the clock to strike on the hour (not a great deal actually happens), and walk around the other side of the tower, you will find a tiny park area, where during the market the trees are lit up beautifully with a sprinkling of white fairy lights.
The nearby Jewish Quarter is also lit up in a similar style, elegantly illuminating the luxury fashion boutiques. The scene feels very Hollywood, and you could be forgiven for imagining Audrey Hepburn doing a bit of late Christmas shopping under the lights.
Ok, so let’s make our way through the lines of stalls to the market’s crowning light show – the giant Christmas tree. From the park area, we pass the first food stalls – the smell of spit roasts filling the air. In-between these stalls are ones selling hot wines – mulled and apple. On a wintery day, or preferably evening (when the market’s lights really come alive) a cup of hot wine adds to the festive experience and helps keep away the chill. With our wine cups nicely warming our hands, let’s head for the centre of the square. Twisting through the crowds, we pass stalls selling trdelnik (traditional Slovak pastries), langose (deep fried flatbread), bramborak (potato pancakes), hotdogs, roasted chestnuts, gingerbread, wooden toys and marionettes and christmas tree decorations.
Finally the Christmas tree comes into full view, in all it’s restrained glory – simple, but elegant. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch the musical light show. The tree’s lights dance to the sound of classical Czech music.
So, raise your wine, toast to a ‘Merry Christmas,’ and enjoy the show.
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