Prague Christmas markets expected to attract thousands of tourists

More than 600,000 tourists are expected to visit Prague during December, many of them coming especially to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere in the city. Among the biggest highlights is the traditional Christmas market on Prague’s Old Town Square, which will open this Saturday with the lighting of Christmas tree. I asked Barbora Hrubá from Prague City Tourism to tell me more about what visitors to Prague can see and do during the festive season this year.

Christmas market on the Old Town Square, photo: Štěpánka BudkováChristmas market on the Old Town Square, photo: Štěpánka Budková “The Christmas market on Old Town Square has been voted several times by the foreign media as the best in the world, so it is definitely worth visiting.”

There are of course many other Christmas markets in the Czech capital. Can you mention at least some of them?

“There are markets basically on every bigger square in Prague and most of these markets already opened last weekend. But this year, especially if you are looking for something a little bit more special, I would definitely suggest visiting the Manifesto Christmas market.

“Manifesto is a pop-up container village near Florence and on Thursday they are opening a special, very unique Christmas market. You can buy gifts from Czech designers and there will also be small heated igloos. Manifesto market is completely cash-less and there is a selection of around 20 restaurants.”

Manifesto Christmas market, visualisation: archive of ManifestoManifesto Christmas market, visualisation: archive of Manifesto What else is there to see in Prague during the festive season, not only for tourists but also for the locals? Which events in particular does Prague City Tourism promote?

“For example every advent Sunday at 11 a.m. there is an advent concert in the National Theatre. They will be performing the Christmas Mass by Jakub Jan Ryba.

“If you want to experience the true Christmas spirit and the winter atmosphere, take a walk with the lamp-lighter on the Charles Bridge, starting Saturday, December 1.

“The lighter sets off at 4 p.m. near the Old Town Bridge tower, crosses Charles Bridge in the Lesser Town direction and returns back and lights the historical gas lamps on the bridge.”

Christmas traditionally attracts thousands of tourists. How many visitors do you expect this year?

“This year we are expecting that Prague will be visited by approximately 650,000 people during the whole month of December. For the Christmas and the New Year celebrations it will be approximately 280,000 in the total.

“We are also expecting around 80,000 domestic visitors who come to Prague just for one day to visit the Christmas market and do some shopping.”