This year, more streets will be festively decorated in Prague. The municipality is investing almost four million CZK in the lighting, and in the past years, it spent around two million CZK on decorations. Residents of Prague 9 will also see Christmas decorations in some of their streets this year.
The capital will have Christmas trees in Na Příkopě Street, and a small park in the Old Town Square, as well as lighting on them, told Prague City Council spokesman Vit Hofman. “Starting this year, the lighting of the city will be much more extensive, in more streets,” he added.
The municipality will provide Christmas decorations in the city center, for example on Mariánské náměstí, Old Town and Wenceslas Square, Smetana, and Dvořák Embankments, Evropská and Na Příkopě streets.
Unlike in previous years, Christmas decorations will also sparkle Prague 9 this year. “You will see lights in Vysočany, Sokolovská Street, from Balabenka to UN Square and Freyova Street,” said City Hall spokeswoman Marie Kurková. Some streets in Prosek will also be decorated, where there will be a Christmas tree in the Friendship Park (Park Přátelství).
According to Jana Hamrníka, the City Hall of Prague 10 will pay 917,000 CZK for Christmas decorations this year. In addition to the main Christmas tree on Kubánské Square, there will be 33 small trees for kindergartens and elementary schools, and another eight trees will be decorated within the areas of the city district.
This year’s Prague 5 decoration will cost 1.5 million CZK, said Jitka Drmolová on behalf of the city district, stating that it is preparing a new illuminated LED decors. The Modřany Town Hall will pay almost 300,000 CZK for Christmas decorations.
The streets of Prague will start lighting next week, and on the weekend of November 30 and December 1, the festive lighting of Christmas trees will take place. The decoration in the city will remain mostly until January 6.
Christmas markets (Vánoční trhy) are a key ingredient of the festive magic in the Czech Republic, and the Prague markets are the most impressive in the country. They light up the city, bringing locals and tourists together in a true ‘winter wonderland’ setting.
The Namesti Miru Christmas market officially opens today, November 20th and is the first Christmas market of the season. It features more handmade goods than the touristy products that the Old Town Square market sells.
You can find goods such as handmade soaps and lotions, jewelry, wooden toys, ceramic decorations, crystals, scarves and so on. The imposing neo-Gothic Church of St. Ludmila overlooks the wintery Christmas market, complete with a massive Christmas tree and Nativity scene.
Food stands are offering grilled meat or sausages; please your sweet tooth with apple strudel, gingerbread, cookies, waffles, roasted almonds, cotton candy.
If you want to opt for a hot drink, choose among honey wine (Medovina); mulled wine (svařák); hot chocolate (horká čokoláda); or grog, a mixture of rum, water, lemon, and sugar.
This year, this Prague Christmas market will open on November 20 and shut down on December 24 and will be open from 10:00 am until 7:00 pm each day.
This year’s Christmas tree for Prague will come from the village of Semily (Liberec Region) in the north of the Czech Republic. The 24-meter spruce was selected by experts from some forty-two trees, suggested by the public.
The market organizing firm Taiko looks for trees that are in danger of being cut down in the near future. This way, the impact of cutting down the tree is minimal as it was already destined to come down. The tree is also disposed of in an ecological way after the holiday season is over, usually by being turned into mulch and reused.
“It is beautiful spruce that has grown in height in a private garden, so it has wonderful branches and is even,” said Petr Hozák of Taiko.
A poor quality tree fell in Old Town Square in 2003, leading to the serious injury of a British tourist. A different firm ran the holiday market at the time. The risk of a similar incident makes it important that experts agree on the health and stability of the tree.
The Prague Christmas markets are open every day from 30th November 2019 to 06th January 2020, including on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
The 2019/2020 Prague Christmas markets will take place in the following places:
- Old Town Square: from 30 November 2019 to 5 January 2020
- Wenceslas Square: dates to be confirmed
- Náměstí Míru: dates to be confirmed
- Tylovo Square: dates to be confirmed
- Náměstí Republiky: dates to be confirmed
The Christmas markets are generally open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Náměstí Míru, Tylovo Square and Náměstí Republiky, and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square.