Spending Christmas in Prague is absolutely wonderful. It's a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience. Yes, I know that sounds completely cliche - but it's true.
Honestly, where else can you experience the magic of Christmas AND have so much beauty to see throughout a city?
That's right, in PRAGUE!!!
This page has a few ideas about spending Christmas in our lovely city. It also includes a few interesting local Czech traditions.
The center of Christmas in Prague is Old Town. It's square is filled with Christmas markets, an events stage and enormous tree.
The markets sell a wide variety of things - so it's a great place to pick up little gifts and souvenirs. I always like to watch the blacksmith as he pounds out candlesticks or bells.
Of course there is plenty to eat and drink at the Christmas markets too. Decorated gingerbread is very popular in Czech Republic and we recommend trying the warm treat, trdlo. It's not a particularly traditional treat, but nevertheless it's a tasty warm treat with toppings like cinnamon, sugar and crushed nuts.
Warm drinks are also on hand. Mulled wine (svařák) and honey wine (medovina) are a couple of good ones.
For 2016/7, the markets are open from 26 November to 6 January. They are open everyday 10:00 to 22:00.
You can find a detailed list of events here.
There are other markets throughout the city as well. We recommend getting to Vinohrady for the markets Náměstí Míru or Jiřího z Poděbrad. Both are in Prague 2, with metro station of the same name on the A line.
You know you need a break from shopping.
So, treat yourself and do something different - something Christmas-y.
We are probably like you. We would love to experience a white Christmas in Prague, every year.
But, sadly, a snowy Christmas is rare.
The weather in December is usually cold. And, sometimes we do get a little snow this month (temperature averages: 2/-2 C -- 36/27 F). But, we just don't get enough snow regularly.
So chances of a white Christmas are pretty low.
Of course, you can always go to higher elevations for a taste of snow. There are national parks and quite a few ski options about 2 hours from Prague.
Bring warm clothes to enjoy a cold Christmas.
Gloves, hat, scarf... all those things. And, be sure to bring warm shoes and socks. You won't enjoy the attractions with cold toes!
Christmas in Prague is celebrated on the 24th of December. And of all the Czech holidays, this one brings out the most traditions.
• Cookie time. Many families start baking Christmas cookies far in advance. You can find them in shops as well. Other baked items include Christmas bread (vánočka) and gingerbread items (perníčky).
• Christmas carp. Fried carp is the traditional Christmas meal. They are sold live in the streets.
• Czechs don't follow the Santa Claus method - here it's all about Baby Jesus (Ježíšek). He arrives in a separate room from where dinner is eaten. A ring of a bell notes his arrival and children rush to the room to find presents, etc. Baby Jesus also brings a decorated Christmas tree. Most trees are kept hidden until this moment.
Christmas trees are decorated with a variety of things. Our home uses items like sliced dried oranges, straw ornaments, lights and even chocolate.
• Other traditional items include: advent wreaths, lots of Christmas carols and as always, chocolate for kids.
More Czech Christmas traditions here.