Having experienced the quaint and charming Christmas market of Prague Castle a day earlier, we readied ourselves for Prague’s largest Christmas Market in Old Town Square.
Being that it was opening day, and a Saturday no less, the crowds were strong and the atmosphere festive. A magnificent tree provided the centerpiece while choirs sang and cutely decorated booths provided all sorts of sweets, warm beverages, and seasonal goods.
The joy of the Christmas Markets cannot be contained to just one square. They spread throughout the surrounding streets and plazas of town. The trdelník chimney cakes with their fiery grills dominated the sweet scene. But they were not the only contenders. We enjoyed these traditional koláče, a type of cookie filled with apple, plum, or poppyseed jam or often cheese curd and raisins.
Gingerbread comes in different types and sizes, from the cake-like variety with chocolate to the more traditional iced cookie and even filled with jam.
There are also scrumptiously large donuts topped with pistachios or almonds, iced, or chocolate covered.
On the savory side, large hams spin on spits over open fires, spiraled potato chips come on skewers, and you might find a sausage or five, along with cheeses galore.
To wash it all down and stay warm, hot beverages abound – apple cider, hot chocolate, mead, honey wine, mulled wine, and traditional punch, to name a few.
Our favorite was the moravský punč, red or white wine slightly sweetened and spiked with a liqueur of choice and fruit or nuts such as oranges, strawberries, prunes, or pears.
As if the markets didn’t provide enough sustenance, we ventured into one of Prague’s top sandwich shops for a gourmet twist on a regional standard - Sisters. The open-faced sandwiches here are almost too pretty to eat. However, they are as tasty as they are elegantly composed.
These small bites on the go are perfect for a delightful day of walking. Hopefully, we saved room for dinner…