Christmas markets (Vanocni 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.
Items on display include ceramics, jewelry, embroidered lace, wooden toys, scented candles, Christmas tree ornaments, hats and gloves, and puppets and dolls dressed in traditional costume. Visitors should find some nice souvenirs to take home to decorate their houses with or to use as gifts. There is all manner of local food and drink to sample too, much of it prepared at the stalls in front of you.
Popular food on offer includes: large hams roasted on spits (Pražská Šunka); terribly unhealthy but wonderfully tasty barbequed sausages (klobása); Hungarian flatbread topped with garlic, cheese and ketchup (langoš); pancakes (palačinky); and a variety of sweets and cakes, such as spicy gingerbread and 'Trdelník', a hot sugar-coated pastry. For drinks, try one of the famous Czech beers: Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen or Budvar. Or choose from a variety of hot drinks: honey wine (Medovina); mulled wine (svařák); hot chocolate (horká čokoláda); and grog, a mixture of rum, water, lemon, and sugar. Outdoor Christmas shopping is so much nicer with a cup of hot mulled wine in your hand!