The unexpected move to close Christmas markets just as most were about to open has sparked a very negative reaction.
However, there are still places around the city where you can, not only have legally a mulled wine or grog, but also enjoy an authentic Christmas atmosphere.
For example, markets are still operating on Wenceslas Square under the horse. The Prague 1 office authorized them as a “cultural event”, said Petr Bidlo, a spokesman for the city district, adding that “according to the organizers, all necessary anti-epidemic measures are observed”.
Being a cultural event is not covered by government regulations.
The Manifesto Market at Prague’s Anděl is shrouded in light and welcomes visitors with open arms.
“We officially operate as a restaurant with a bar, we are covered, so we are not a market, but a restaurant,” project manager Lisa Ljubčič told a local Czech source, adding that the staff wears respirators and on every corner disinfection is available.
“We tried to re-create a Christmas atmosphere here, the decoration were made by our architect Sara Gómez. We sell Christmas trees, excellent mulled wine and other cocktails,” adds the manager.
Another beautiful place is Lucerna’s rooftop at Wenceslas Square. You not only have a wonderful view of Prague Castle, but you will also find a small forest and a live nativity scene.
“Here you find yourself in a completely different world, in a kind of forest. We have an aquarium with carp, a live nativity scene with sheep, piglets, rabbits and figures from Bethlehem,” says the organizer Ondřej Kobza, adding that he wanted people to feel like they are in an imaginary world.
On the roof, there are a hundred small trees and Christmas decorations. According to Kobza, the roof is not a market, but rather a… ruin. Moreover, a maximum of fifty people are allowed at one time. Here you can also have a mulled wine or grog.