With the arrival of Advent, Prague dons its festive garb – one that truly suits her. Decorated Christmas trees in the squares, strings of lights adorn the city greenery, and a myriad of other decorations with Christmas and winter themes bring an atmosphere of peace and tranquility to the city. This year, this atmosphere will probably be more noticeable than ever. Prague therefore invites you to a quiet early evening walk with several short stops for light refreshments. Of course, we are talking about things like mulled wine, Christmas punch, hot chocolate, crepes, apple strudel, desserts, Christmas cookies, and all kinds of other delicacies that Prague confectioneries and some restaurants have prepared for you.
A walk through the city should start in its heart – on Old Town Square. Here the Christmas tree decked out in the colors of the national flag will delight the visitor’s eye. Among other things, the red, white, and blue “tricolor” commemorates the 100th anniversary of the creation of our official state symbols, including the flag itself. The 18-meter-tall spruce boasts six kilometers of light strings, several hundred red, white, and blue Christmas balls, and forty illuminated stars. The message of hope for this holiday time is symbolized by a three-meter spike at the top. This year, the people of Prague voted via social networks on how the tree should be decorated.
On and around Old Town Square there are many options for hot and cold snacks. Gather strength for your walk directly on the square. The culinary team of the restaurant Mincovna, for example, have put together a selection of excellent dishes. Around the corner, on U Radnice Street, you’ll find Brasileiro, part of the Ambiente restaurant group.
On Dlouhá Street, don’t miss Bistro Sisters, which is the right place for fans of traditional Czech open-faced sandwiches, called chlebičky. On the same street is Cukrář Skála, which offers original kremrole (literally “cream rolls”) in several flavors. On Celetná Street, be sure to stop at the House of the Black Madonna (Dům U Černé Matky Boží) for original desserts and hot drinks. An updated list of Prague restaurants that are still operating can be found on the Restu.cz gastronomy guide.
Our Advent walk continues from the Old Town Square through Mariánské náměstí, where there is a second, smaller, yet festively decorated Christmas tree in front of the Prague City Hall. Take the narrow lane along the Klementinum to reconnect with the Royal Route at Karlova Street, which will take you to Charles Bridge. The breathtaking views of Prague Castle need no explanations. With crowds at a minimum, a walk across Charles Bridge is a joyful experience. After exploring Charles Bridge, head back to the Old Town. From the Smetana Embankment, turn into Karolina Světlá Street and then Náprstková Street to Betlémské náměstí (Bethlehem Square). Here you can visit Bethlehem Chapel or the Naprstek Museum. Skořepka Street will take you to Uhelný trh Street, where you’ll find the renowned Café Platýz – their mulled wine with a drop of lavender syrup is worth a stop. A short distance away is the famous Wenceslas Square, where you’ll find Christmas markets at the top near the statue of St Wenceslas. Stalls offer crafts and refreshments, and non-profit organizations also have gifts on offer, sales of which benefit charities. For more tips on where you can immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere of Christmas, visit the official website of Prague City Tourism.