Christmas market tips for UNYP students

The Prague Christmas Markets are a fantastic place for UNYP students to celebrate the end of the exams and the beginning of the winter break, not to mention an excellent spot for last-minute gift shopping for your friends and family. If you embraced the minimalist lifestyle during your semester abroad but still want to surprise your loved ones with an authentic Czech treat, you could consider a box of traditional Christmas cookies (Vánoční cukroví) from any of the Prague Christmas markets. Every local baker’s goal is to make these elaborately-decorated Christmas cookies as tiny and delicate as possible, and a typical platter of cookies consists of twelve different kinds to represent the months of the year. 

Wrap up your semester at UNYP with a tour of Prague’s best Christmas markets! 

The coziest markets can be found a stone’s throw from the UNYP campus. Although the farmer’s markets at Tylovo Náměstí and Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad are open all year round, they become extra-special at Christmas, opening into the evening so you can enjoy sweet trdelník treats, warming svařak, hot smoked sausage and baked Hermelín cheese. 

If you are not a street food fan and would prefer to combine your Christmas Market experience with a proper dinner, head to one of the Manifesto Markets situated at Florenc and Smichov. Both locations are decorated for the holidays, and if you plan to visit with friends, we suggest booking one of the heated transparent “igloos” which can fit up to 6 people.  The Manifesto Markets are famous for becoming Prague’s first cashless space, but don’t forget that you will need cash at all the other markets. 

If you go to the smaller markets such as the one at Náměstí Míru (in front of St. Ludmila’s Church, and very close to UNYP) you are more likely to find traditional items by local artisans. If you want a lovely backdrop for your social media photos and stories, don’t miss the tiny but beautifully-decorated Christmas market at Náměstí u Sv. Jiří, behind the St. Vitus Cathedral in the Prague Castle complex. 

The two most popular and busiest Christmas markets are at Staroměstské náměstí and Václavské náměstí, and these will be open until Monday the 6th January. Together with the Náměstí Republiky market in front of the Palladium mall, these locations are the most popular with tourists, so beware of pickpockets. 

Although the winters here in Prague are getting warmer due to climate change, you still can get cold after a few hours of hanging out at the markets  Don't forget to wear warm socks and thick-soled shoes or sneakers. After all, nobody wants to get sick before traveling home for the break. 

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