Category Archives: Food

5 Christmas Markets in Prague not to be missed

Prague Christmas Markets are open from
November 20, 2015 – January 3, 2016

Visitors come from all over the world to experience the Christmas markets (vánoční trhy) in Prague. Some unique products that are available at the markets are Christmas ornaments and holiday decorations, traditional Czech Christmas cookies, tablecloths, Frankincense or the Czech Christmas potpourri called purpura. Some other items on offer are Czech wooden toys, crafts, clothing accessories, scented candles or handmade soap. You can taste some traditional Czech foods that are made fresh right in front of you. Hot wine (svařené víno or svařák), grog, and warm honey liquor called medovina come in handy in the cold weather. Czech Christmas carols add to the festive atmosphere. After dark, the markets are lit up beautifully.

When Are the Markets Running?

The dates during which Prague Christmas markets are open are usually different from year to year. In general, you’ll find at least some markets running from the last week of November into the first week of January. Almost all Prague’s Christmas markets are open in the three weeks before Christmas, including the main ones at Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. The smaller markets run until Christmas, the one on Old Town Square is usually open at least until January 1, and the Wenceslas Square market typically stays around through the first week of January.

Christmas Markets in Prague 2015 – 2016

The largest and most popular markets are on the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square.

• Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí)
November 28, 2015 – January. 3, 2016
10 a.m. – 10 p.m., food stands 10 a.m. – midnight
The Old Town Square Christmas market is the most beautiful and busiest one in Prague. Little stalls are nestled around the Jan Hus statue and surrounded by centuries old Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. The market is dominated by a Christmas tree, which is adorned with hundreds of lights and is lit every evening at dusk, usually around 5 p.m. A stage is erected every year where Christmas concerts and short plays are performed in the open air.

• Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí)
Nov. 28, 2015 – Jan. 3, 2016
10 a.m. – 10 p.m., food stands 10 a.m. – midnight
This is another large Christmas market in the city center. It is located in the lower part of Wenceslas Square and is usually dominated by an artificial Christmas tree.

• Republic Square (Náměstí Republiky)
Nov. 25 – Dec. 24, 2015
A Christmas market within walking distance from the Old Town Square and near the Náměstí Republiky metro station (line B) and tram stop (tram 5, 8, 24, 26).

• Peace Square (Náměstí Míru)
Nov. 20 – Dec. 24, 2015
10 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily
This is a local Christmas market visited mostly by the residents of the surrounding district of Vinohrady. It is held in front of the Church of St. Ludmila on the pleasant Náměstí Míru in Prague 2 (metro line A or tram 4, 10, 16, 22 to Náměstí Míru). It is traditionally the first Christmas market of the season.

• Holešovice Exhibition Grounds (Výstaviště Holešovice)
Dec. 4 – 6, 2014
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily
The ‘Christmas at the Exhibition Grounds’ market in Prague 7 is usually accompanied by a weekend entertainment program for both children and adults. The price of admission is 25 CZK. Take tram 12, 17 or 24 (e.g. from the Nádraží Holešovice metro station, line C) to Výstaviště Holešovice.

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6 Affordable Authentic Czech Restaurants in Prague

Authentic Czech Food – The Well Known

I have been a local guide in Prague for many years and these are 6 of my favorite places to take my guests when they are visiting Prague. These places are a great way to experience Prague’s history and culture. The two best classic Czech Restaurants/Cafes that have been in Prague for decades are Cafe Slavia and Cafe Louvre which are both on the same street leading to the National Theater (National Street). Both restaurants have been visited by many famous Czech artists and  authors to meet and discuss their work since the early 1900s. Artists such as Franz Kafka, Karel Čapek, Toyen, Kupka and many others. Both cafes are full of Czech history and classic Czech food. The decor of both places are astounding and a good way to experience the feeling of Prague as a local.

Cafe Slavia

Café Slavia is a traditional cafe in the historical center of Prague that offers Czech and international cuisine. The menu includes salad, fish and meat specialties. You can try our breakfast menu, which you can order from 8 o clock in the morning. You can absorb the history and sit by the window with a incredible view National Theater, Charles Bridge and the Prague Castle while enjoying your lunch and a nice glass of beer or wine.

Cafe Louvre

Another classic historic restaurant in the center of Prague is Cafe Louvre. It was know as a main office or hangout for many Czech artist scientists and authors. Albert Einstein visited here as well as Frany Kafka and many others. The cafe serves authentic Czech food as well as seasonal dishes. the service is impeccable and the decor is breathtaking. They even have a large billiard room where you can drink play pool and smoke cigars. It is still a traditional smoking restauant/cafe with a non-smoking section. After your lunch or just a break for coffee to rest your feet. I would suggest having the apple strudel dessert. It is incredible. A true classic of Prague.

U Pinkasu

This is the original place where the first Pilzen Beer was introduced to Prague. The restaurant and pub U Pinkasu started in 1843 by the Pinkas family. They heard about a new beer brewed in Pilsen by Burger’s Brewery. They made a deal with a local carrier and the first two casks of Pilsen Beer were brought to U Pinkasu. Now U Pinkasu is a classic place to stop in Prague for a tasty Pilzen beer. It is also a restaurant offering nice Czech Food. The food is tailored to accompany the beer with nice beer starters and small dishes to munch on while you wait for your main course. The food is Old Bohemian style from 1843 with lots of pork, beef, chicken, and duck with the Czech traditional potato dumpling (Knedlinky). They will even cook you a goose, turkey, or piglet, if you order 24 hours in advance. The great thing is that it is locate a short walk from Wencelav Square. So you can stop in during your sightseeing for a beer break, lunch, or dinner. Locals and even famous Czechs meet here for beer so you might even run into someone famous here.

U Pinkasu Restaurant

Baracnicka Rychta (Old Czech Restaurant)

Baracnicka Rychta is one of the oldest restaurants up near the Prague Castle founded in 1874. It has an interesting history because this is the place where the Nazi SS and soldiers would party and eat during the German occupation of Prague. It serves good Czech food and many dishes featuring chicken, pork, beef and some vegetarian items. The style is traditional Czech and they have a good selection of beer and wine by the glass. It also has big cultural hall where they have many events.

Authentic Czech Food – The Lesser Known

U Veverky (The Squirrel)

U Veverka is a Czech restaurant away from the center tourist crowds near Hradcanska metro station. You won’t find any tourists here and the prices are very reasonable. Be sure to make a reservation for dinner because if fills up very fast because it is a very popular place. They have authentic traditional Czech food and a great goulash. Try their lunch specials from 10:00-3:00 pm at a smaller price and still just as good as the main menu. They have soups salads and daily specials. It serves fresh Pilzen and all the locals are drinking there. This is a nice place to experience the true Czech lifestyle. Fresh Pilzen on tap! You might see me here. For dinner always make a reservation!

U Houbaře (The Mushroom Hunter)

U Houbaře is a quiet Czech restaurant away from the tourist center across from the museum of modern art in Prague (Veletrzni Palace). Its has great Czech traditional kitchen with Czech classic meals such as Smazak (Fried cheese) and Goulash as well as Svičkova (roast beef) and all come with tradition knedlinky (dumplings). Its a great place to stop for lunch when visiting the modern art museum. They have fresh Pilzen on tap and large portions with reasonable Czech prices. You can eat like a local here and you won’t see any other  tourists here.

About the author Zaneta Endlicherova – Zaneta is the founder of Prestige Prague Tours a personal guide service in Prague and writer for the Prestige Prague Insiders Guide.

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