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christmas market in prague, czech republic

I Visited Prague During the Holiday Season 🎁 🎄

Prague has long been on my bucket list and I couldn't help but want to visit during the holiday season. From pictures and videos alone, it looked like such a magical time to spend in the city, with its festive decor and snow blanketing the roofs of historical buildings. Below, I want to share my experience in the Czech capital. From things to know before you visit, to landmarks and the best food spots in the city.

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I visited the beautiful Czech capital during the holidays TWICE. The city was lit up with twinkling lights, garlands were hung on everything, and Christmas trees were plenty.

Both visits I stayed in Nove Mesto (New Town) which was a ten minute walk to Old Town Square and was next to the Palladium (a large and busy shopping center). Prague is a very affordable city to visit. Even during the busy holiday period, if you book far enough in advance you can find nice 4-star hotels for around $50 a night.

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Helpful Notes Before You Visit Prague

The Currency

  • Though the Czech Republic is part of the European Union, they don't carry the Euro. Instead their currency is Czech Korunas or CZK. $1 USD is roughly 23 CZK. *at the time of publishing subject to change.

  • We recommend always having a currency exchange app ready to convert the amount to USD, as the currency can a bit confusing. However, just divide everything by roughly a quarter and that should help you break down the dollar amount.

  • One thing to note, is that many establishments around the city accept card, however, acceptance of cards like American Express is very limited. So we recommend carrying a Mastercard or Visa card to be safe.

Getting Around the City

  • The city is very walkable. Most things in Old and New Town you can get to within 10 to 20 minutes walking. *Please note that in the winter time, Prague gets snow and sometimes the snow can make the walkways around the city quite slick. So make sure to pack your winter boots with good grips.

  • Uber is very affordable and is a recommended way to get around the city. You are bound to be overcharged with taxis. The average cost per uber ride was around 100 CZK to 200 CZK or roughly $4 USD to $10 USD depending on distance and time of day.

  • Public transport is also a good route to go. Trams, buses, and underground trains will get you from point A to point B. A 24 hour ticket will cost you roughly $6.

The Language

There was a great mix of Czech, German, and English spoken. So knowing one of these will be helpful to get you around the city.

Some key Czech phrases that would be helpful to know are;

  • Ahoj (Ah-Hoy) - Hello and Bye

  • Dobrý Den (Do-Brah Den) - Good Day

  • Děkuju (Day-Koo-Yay) - Thank You

  • Or Deeky (Dee-Key) - Thanks

  • Prosím (Pro-Seem) - Please

  • Ano (Ah-No) - Yes

  • Neh (N-eh) - No

Top Places to Visit

  • Old Town Square Is where the biggest Christmas Market in the city is held. It's also home to the famous Astronomical Clock and the Iconic Old Town Hall Building.

  • The Paternoster or often referred to as the 'Elevator of Death' is an old styled elavator that has no doors and is on a constant loop where people can jump on one side that is heading up and down and step off when they arrive at their desired floor. This particular one, was located in Prague's New Town Hall.

  • Charles Bridge: A trip to Prague would not be complete without a walk along Charles Bridge. A medieval stone bridge that was constructed in 1357 by King Charles IV and has withstood wars and various natural disasters. Journey across the bridge to get to other parts of Old Town or Prague Castle.

  • Located on U Lužického semináře, you'll find the tiniest street in Prague. Which can fit only one person at a time. There's a traffic light system that visitors are advised to follow, so they don't end up wedged in.

  • The Infinity Tower of Books at the Municipal Libary: Not too far from Old Town Square (roughly a five minute walk) you'll find Prague's Municipal Library, where inside there's an impressive stack of books that visitors can peer inside of.

  • The John Lennon Freedom Wall: Filled with art that has spoken about global issues since the 1980s.

  • The Astronomical Clock: Shows the position fo the moon, sun, and constellations. On every hour mark the clock in the middle of Old Town Square offers a performance with rotating figurines.

  • The Dancing House: A unique architectural designed building set on a historic part of Prague.

Great Restaurants in the City

One thing to note about eating out in Prague, is that most restaurants require a reservation or have long waiting period if reservations are not made in advance. So it's always best to plan ahead on where you'd like to sit down and eat.

  • Check Out Výtopna Railway Restaurant. Where guests are served their food and drinks by model trains that move around tracks wrapping around the entire restaurant.

  • Teresa U Prince houses the most incredible views you can grab in Prague. Overlooking the Old Town Square. To eat, you must make a reservation. However, you can always just walk up to the rooftop and grab a coffee if you just want a brief glimpse of the view.

  • For great traditional Czech food, we recommend Lokál or U Pinkasů. Pictured below is a braised beef dish with bread dumplings from Lokál.

Other Cool Things to See & Do in the City

  • Climb through a Narnia wardrobe and be transported to a cozy winter wonderland-themed movie theater with bean bags to sit in and enjoy a film at Sunset Cinema in Prague. We saw 'The Holiday' on our visit. Make sure the movie you select is in English.

  • Soak in a Beer Spa. We booked an amazing and relaxing experience at Spa Beerland (5/5 on Tripadvisor). It was roughly 1800 CZK or around $75 for an hour soak. You also got unlimited beer on tap and yummy beer bread to enjoy.

  • Take a river cruise down the Vitava River and get another fantastic view of Prague Castle and Charles Bridge.

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