How to Spend the Advent in Prague
Markets, nativity scenes, galleries. Mulled wine, cookies, roasted chestnuts. You can enjoy and taste all of that if you visit Prague before Christmas. And moreover – you will learn about a long-forgotten trade. Continue reading to find out more. Experience an unforgettable Advent in Prague!

Unusual Christmas Markets

Experience a different kind of the Christmas market! Enjoy the Christmas meeting at bonfires in the unique space of Manifesto Florenc. The famous street-food concept has prepared its own Advent version for winter. From 24 November to the end of the year, you can look forward to some good restaurants, design brands, heated igloos, heaters and bonfires, and the new holiday magic of a winter market. It is a new-style Christmas market in the centre of Prague that all design and craft lovers, as well as those who demand quality gastronomy will enjoy. The offer of the Angel Market under the Roof in Smíchov is even broader.

And if you are in Prague on the weekend of 4 and 5 December, come to the Prague market in Holešovice, to the Winter Lemarket – a market of fair brands in Hall 13. You can enjoy the Christmas atmosphere, buy gifts for your loved ones and personally meet Czech and Slovak fashion designers, manufacturers of natural cosmetics or chocolate. You can also buy many original gifts on the third Advent weekend (11 to 12/12/2021) at the largest open-air sales exhibition of author’s work. The Winter Dyzajn Market takes place at the square of the Prague Fairgrounds in Holešovice.

Advent in a Gallery

The National Gallery has prepared two interesting exhibitions for the Advent; they are not directly about Christmas but they are worth a visit. The first one is Forgeries? Forgeries! in the Sternberg Palace where you will see imitations of medieval paintings, sculptures and drawings. It will present forgeries executed in the style of the Dutch Old Masters of the 17th century, as well as fake works allegedly by prominent Czech painters of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The second exhibition is Buddha Up Close in the Waldstein Riding School. The history of Buddhist art since its beginnings will be presented for the first time in the Czech Republic in an exhibition organized by the Prague National Gallery Prague and the Rietberg Museum in Zurich. The exhibits created between the second and twentieth centuries are a selection of masterpieces in sculpture, painting and other woks of the Buddhist art from the collections of both institutions.

Discover the Tradition of Building Nativity Scenes

Nativity scenes are figurative examples of the birth of Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem. Their history is long, the first scenes were built in the Middle Ages to tell people the story of Christmas. Today, nativity scenes are built in churches or homes on Christmas Eve. You can see them, for example, in the St. Vitus Cathedral or in the Church of Our Lady before Týn at the Old Town Square. However, if you want to see one historical and unique nativity scene, you should go to the Church of Our Lady of Victories (Bílá Hora)‎ at the Hvězda game preserve or to the Church of St. Matthew in Dejvice.

To see an exhibition of nativity scenes (27/11/2021 to 02/02/2022), visit the Charles Bridge Museum. You will see some unique nativity scenes there, such as a life-size straw nativity scene, the Vltava fish nativity scene recorded in the Czech Book of Records, or a nativity scene made of dry corn husks.

The Bethlehem Chapel in Prague Old Town traditionally organises an Advent exhibition (27/11/2021 to 03/01/2022), this year entitled How Things Used to Be Done. You will see Czech folk crafts there with live demonstrations of craftsmen in stylised workshops, as well as traditional Christmas decorations and nativity scenes.

Do You Know Who a Lamp Lighter Is?

As in the previous years, you have the opportunity to meet a lamp lighter at the Charles Bridge until 23 December. It is a person that lights the gas lamps using a long pole. You can see the old Prague lamp lighter in a historical uniform during the Advent manually lighting 46 gas lamps along the Charles Bridge and at the Křížovnické Square. He starts in the Old Town around 4 p.m., so do not miss him!

Where to Go for Ice-Skating

Winter months in Prague are made for renting ice-skates and getting some exercise at the ice rink. Where to go? There are several options. The largest ice rink can be found in Letná. You can also skate near Vltava, in an area known as Na Františku. The ice-rink is near the Saint Agnes Convent. And the most popular place is the Fruit Market. It is open behind the Estates Theatre all December and January, waiting for you and your athletic performance.