A City Break in Prague – Christmas Markets and a Fabulous Food Tour

I’d always fancied a city break in Prague so I decided to go for a long weekend whilst the Christmas Markets were on – and it was a truly fabulous time to be there.

My flight out with Ryan Air was actually a lot of fun as I happened to be sitting next to a lovely guy called Louis who was one of about 30 workmates flying to Prague for their work Christmas weekend away (coincidentally one of them was another guy I went to school with – such a small world!). They were all very excitable and seemed to be on top form and insisted on being me drinks which was lovely. We had a really interesting chat, got deep and overall it made the flight go a lot quicker 🙂

A city break in Prague

Marilyn Manson in a Skoda

I got my usual feeling of excitement when landing in a new place – it was dark when I landed but my eyes were taking it all in. The first thing I noticed was just how many Skodas were on the roads – of course, this makes perfect sense with them being made here. My taxi driver had Marilyn Manson on top volume which added to my anticipation. Incidentally, my driver back to the airport also had Marilyn Manson on. He obviously has a big fan base in the Czech Republic. My driver also mentioned something about the car in front which had a number plate starting 1A5 and alluded to the fact that this means they’re a criminal. There was lots of hearty and slightly evil laughter after he presented this fact so I really didn’t know what to make of it…..

The next morning I woke up, excited to see the city in the light and in all it’s glory. I found it to be a wonderful, welcoming city with so many incredible buildings, ranging from gothic to cubist, both prominent styles and periods in Prague. Walking up Petrin Hill soon took me away from the crowds and the view of the city was stunning. The area at the base of the hill is also lovely to wander round – the cobbled, hilly streets are so peaceful and there are some great shops and quiet cafes.

A city break in Prague

Interesting Fact: Mick Jagger paid for Prague Castle to be lit up – he was doing a gig there once and thought it was a shame you couldn’t appreciate the castle after dark.

The Prague Food Tour

I’d booked the Prague food tour for my first night there – it had great reviews and I thought it would be a really good introduction to the city. George was fabulous, very enthusiastic and full of interesting facts and anecdotes about Prague and its residents. He told us the Czechs are well known for being quite stern and closed – a hangover from communist times which really wasn’t all that long ago. Funnily enough, a couple of expats I met told me I was like a breath of fresh air for being so open (a highly unusual thing for a British person to be told!).

The food tour took us to four different venues – Cafe Imperial, a stunning Art Nouveau cafe with beautiful ceramic friezes built in 1914 where we had traditional soup, meat and dumplings; Bar Lokal, a long, narrow 1970s style bar decked out in dark wood serving traditional Czech food with a contemporary twist; Bonvivant’s, a bar with many local spirits mixed into some of the most fabulous cocktails I’ve ever tasted; and Cafe Savoy, one of Prague’s oldest and grandest cafes where we had mouth-watering open sandwiches and dessert to finish.

A city break in Prague

George also pointed out lots of other restaurants, cafes and shops along the way that he thought would be of interest, many of which I went to over the next 3 days. I can highly recommend the tour as an excellent introduction to Prague’s food and culture.

The Christmas Markets

There is a reason why people say Prague’s Christmas markets are some of the best (and most original) in the world. I spent quite a bit of time wandering around them and sampling all the delights they had to offer. I was pleased to see that there were a lot of stalls selling genuine Czech products – handmade crafts or traditional food…..far less of the mass produced cheap rubbish you see a lot at the UK Christmas markets. Having said that, the touristy shops off the main squares answered for that.

The main markets tended to be very crowded, but as soon as you venture a bit further afield and away from the main tourist areas, you can find yourself at some of the smaller markets mixing with more of the locals. Arriving at one of the smaller ones, it then started to snow which really added to the magic!

A city break in Prague

Interesting Fact: It’s traditional for Czechs to buy a live carp, keep it in the bath for three days and then eat it on Christmas day.

The Sculptures of David Cerny

David Cerny is known for his thought-provoking and often controversial sculptures which can be seen throughout the city (some being a lot more obvious than others). The best-known are probably the giant space-age babies crawling up the Zizkhov TV tower. It was a freezing but bright, sunny day when I walked the route to the tower – which made the views from the top pretty spectacular. However, there were no giant babies to be seen and I made sure I walked round the tower twice. I can only presume they crawled away at some point.

Other notable sculptures of Cerny’s are the Hanging Man (supposedly Freud, nonchalantly hanging off a building in Prague’s centre), the babies with the barcode faces (it’s supposed to be good luck to kiss their bottoms) and the two men pissing on an outline of the Czech Republic.

A city break in Prague

Friends Reunited

One of my old friends from school, Joe, lives in Prague and not having seen each other for over 15 years, we thought it was time to meet up! It was great to see him and get the view on life in Prague from an expat. It certainly seems a great place to live and I was impressed by the Czech he’d learnt. Apparently it’s not too difficult a language to learn as you say things exactly as they’re written.

We went to Malesice microbrewery – I’m not usually a big beer drinker but I have to say, even though it’s a cliche, the beer here really is great! We also went to Parliament, a lovely restaurant serving Czech cuisine where I had the most delicious venison and dumplings – and then we finished the night in a cosy pub which felt like we were in someone’s front room – I loved it.

Interesting Fact: You should always tap glasses before the first sip of beer whilst looking directly in the other person’s eyes – or you will be cursed with bad sex for 7 years.

A city break in Prague

Prague really is an enchanting city and it’s easy to spend 3 or 4 days here, marvelling at the architecture and stunning views from various points across the city. It is relatively easy to get away from the crowds just by taking a slightly different route and getting lost on purpose. One of my favourite things to do anywhere 🙂

Useful Information

I picked up a brilliant map whilst I was there, full of useful information and highlights – you can print one  off here.

I did the ‘Delicious Food Tour’ which can be booked through Prague Food Tour’s website.

I love a good cafe and there were plenty to be found in Prague –  ones I went to that I haven’t already mentioned are listed here:

Cafe Lounge – great for coffee and pastries, very chilled out
Sisters – amazing open sandwiches and delicious homemade lemonade
Grand Cafe Orient – a cubist style cafe reconstructed from 1911 with a huge list of coffees and teas
Cafe Boheme – really cosy, beautiful interior, excellent coffee
Styl and Interior – set within a design shop, overlooking a courtyard. Lovely decor, great for brunch!


Did you enjoy this post? Pin It 🙂

A City Break in Prague


Enjoy this article? Please share 🙂

24 Replies to “A City Break in Prague – Christmas Markets and a Fabulous Food Tour”

  1. Wow, Louise! Thank you for a great article and tips!
    I once visited Prague, but it was a short visit for two days only. However, I remember it as one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. I would love to visit it again, and go to see the places you have recommended. Also would love to go for the good tour.
    Merry xmas, and happy new year!

  2. Prague is definitely on my bucket list of places to visit, and after reading about the fun you had I would love to get there more sooner than later. I am a foodie so the food tour sounds very enticing! The pictures of the sites look mesmerizing. I especially love the buildings. I do not know much Czech so would this be a problem for me if I decided to visit?

    1. Hi Josephine – I knew zero Czech before I went but being in the centre of the city, people are very used to tourists so it wasn’t really a problem. The food tour was fabulous, I can highly recommend it!


  3. Prague is the top city to visit on my “Bucket List”! From what I have read the history is amazing, and it has not been affected by war in over 400 years, keeping that history intact.
    You have peaked my interest with the Christmas Markets and a Fabulous Food Tour. I didn’t even know about the Christmas Markets.
    Did you book your travel on your own, or through a travel agency? Do you have any suggestions on travel arrangements to Prague?
    Thanks for a great article on a destination that I think is a must do!

    1. Hi Brendon,

      I can certainly recommend going when the christmas markets are on – they’re quite a big thing in Western and Central Europe. I booked it all myself but depending on where you are flying from, it may be better to book through an agent to get the best deal. Alternatively you could book a flight to London and book a flight on one of the budget airlines from there. I hope you get to go next year!


    1. Hi! My favourite thing was definitely the food tour! I also really liked going up Petrin Hill, the view from the top was pretty spectacular. I’d definitely return!

  4. I love Prague…I often go on weekend trips. It’s very charming and the food is awesome, and just going about the old town is always a pleasant thing to do, no matter what season…

  5. Wow this is all kinds of awesome. Although Prague would be just a dream to me at the moment, I would very much love to visit it someday. And it’s just right to go on a food tour, isn’t it?

  6. I would love to visit a traditional Christmas market. I grew up in Poland but somehow never did! Prague sounds like a great place to eat and visit the markets. And the views are amazing!

  7. Wonderful guide; I love all the little tips and anecdotes which you’ve included! Prague is definitely on my list for this year – what would you say is a good time of year to visit? I’ve always been worried that there’d be too many stag do parties there, but I’m told that it’s easy to avoid!

    1. Thanks Nicky! As soon as you get off the main drags, it’s easy to escape the crowds and stag dos! I’ve heard that summer is unbearably busy (and the majority of stag dos would be then too). The Christmas season was pretty busy too so if you’re looking for a quieter time I would say early spring or early autumn.

  8. The food tour sounds like so much fun! They’re a great way to see and experience a city! I’ve always wanted to go to Prague. That’s hilarious your cab drivers were blasting Marilyn Manson!

  9. I’m actually in Prague right now! It’s one of the best cities. Would love to visit when the Christmas Markets are open… sounds like you had a great time!

  10. Got to love a European Christmas Market – some countries just do them amazingly well! the Food tour sounds like a great addition to the trip, soups, meats and dumplings, are right up my alley. I’m a foodie myself 🙂

  11. HAHA. I had heard about the tapping glass & bad luck before but it was in a different place. Must be true if other cultures also believe in it, right? I have yet to get to Prague, but are HOPING to get there in 2019! I would love to go at Christmastime.

  12. I never explored the Christmas markets when I was there.I was only interested in the astronomical clock which I had in my bucket list.Good that you brought in this!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *