Earlier this month my boyfriend brought me to Prague Christmas Markets for my birthday. I’m sure he had grand visions of it being the picture of romance. And it absolutely would have been, if one of my molars hadn’t decided that it wanted to make my life a living hell. Do not trust the beautiful photos that are dotted throughout this post. My face is only glowing because it was slick with Vicks and the sparkle in my eye is most likely due to me maxing out the daily dose of paracetamol, codeine and ibuprofen. Don’t worry, I’m a pharmacist, no chance of overdose here! But I appreciate your concern 😉
**TIP – If you have a toothache, definitely get it sorted before you go away. As much as I hate to admit it, my toothache really took away from my trip. I only figured out after my trip to Prague that EMERGENCY DENTISTS exist. So when I arrived home to Dublin I went straight from the airport to an emergency dentist. ROOT-CANAL O’CLOCK. Not terrifying at all. Ah, my glamorous high-flying lifestyle.
We stayed in the 4* Beseda Hotel Prague. It’s only a 10 minute walk from the old town square and 15 minutes from the famous Charles Bridge. They arranged an airport pick up for us. It cost around 700CZK (£22/€25). The hotel was always warm (important when it’s -4°C outside) and beautifully decorated for Christmas. Though it says the breakfast is “continental”, we all know that is a sketchy term at best. However, the Beseda Hotel serves up an INCREDIBLE “continental” breakfast with hot food as well. The one downside was that because of the season the place was packed – getting a table at breakfast was a bit of a struggle, no matter what time we tried.
Food & Drink
Ok, so I’m sure a lot of people visit the Prague Christmas Markets for the presents and crafts, but for me it’s ALL ABOUT THE FOOD. Unfortunately, I missed out on quite a few foodie opportunities in Prague this time because I was afraid to eat due to my torturous tooth. But, luckily, my tooth didn’t stop me from DRINKING. There was hot punch, honey wine, mulled wine, hot cider, hot chocolate and HOT AMARETTO WITH HONEY (Best thing I’ve ever tasted). I have never felt more festive than when I was sipping hot punch at the Old Town Square Markets and it suddenly started to snow. I felt like I was in a snow-globe.
Though I couldn’t FULLY enjoy the food at the markets I was able to do SOME research to bring you all the best tips and tricks. EXPLORE! Don’t just grab the first mouth-watering piece of food you see. Look around the outskirts of the market. In the old town square I had an unbelievable chargrilled camembert on a big piece of crusty bread. I found it at a little stall across from the main area. It was less busy, cheaper and tasted amazing. Suuuureee I had to chew with the left side of my mouth only, but it tasted spectacular.
The most popular food item is Tredlník with(or without) ice-cream. This has become Instagram famous. It’s essentially an ice cream in a donut cone. I really wanted to try it, but I was so afraid of the cold ice cream on my tooth that I just watched other people eat them, like a creep. If you want something savoury and you’re Irish, like me, you’ll get very excited about the selection of potatoes at the Prague Christmas Markets.
The markets at Wenceslas Square are the best for their savoury food selection. I had garlic and onion potatoes. They charge by the weight so cost depends on how hungry you are. But it’s not expensive. Like all Christmas Markets there is no shortage of giant sausage. But I’m vegetarian so I can’t help you there. The Old Town Square markets are better for sweet treats. We tried the “Kobliha” or donuts (see video below). One cost around £3 and we shared it between the two of us. There are so many different kinds that you’ll want to try a different one each day. Oh and DEFINITELY try the Nutella balls – as delicious as they sound. If it’s drinks you’re after I found the best selection by the Palladium Shopping Centre near the Municipal Host and the Powder Tower.
Prague Christmas Markets
I wasn’t really there for the typical Prague tourist experience. It was all about the Christmas markets for me. Honestly, there’s so much to do and see at the Christmas markets that you’ll barely have time to see anything else. PLUS it’s absolutely FREEZING outside in Prague in December/January so you won’t be able to be out and about for too long unless you’re some sort of human radiator. Make sure you wear hats, scarves, gloves, thermals and a heavy jacket.
If it’s Christmas gifts you want there’s no shortage of handmade baubles, personalised cookies, fluffy hats, embroided lace and wooden toys. In terms of entertainment there’s a live nativity scene with donkeys , goats and sheep etc at the Old Town Square. There are stages with live performances and caroling dotted around the city. All of which are free. Perhaps the most spectacular of displays is the giant Christmas tree in Old Town Square. It lights up at 5:30pm and every hour between then and 8:30pm it flashes in time to classical music. Watch my video to see what it looks/sounds like.
See For Yourself
If you missed the Prague Christmas Markets this year then have no fear, you’ll feel like you were there after watching my video. Plus the markets don’t finish until the end of the first week in January, so there’s still time for you to visit. And if the video wasn’t enough, make sure you check out the Prague Instagram account. It is seriously festive right now.
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