Christmas is a magical time of year, the weather gets colder and snow falls. People are merry, decorations are hung all around the neighborhood with festive lights and Santa’s. Christmas is a feeling not just a day of the month. For years I have spent the holidays in the US and finally I was able to experience my favorite holiday abroad and in a truly magical place : Prague. One of the best highlights of spending Christmas abroad was the Christmas Markets. They are not only found in Prague, but in most European countries such as Hungary, Germany, England, Denmark, Austria and more.
Christmas Markets are a huge tradition in Europe and something you must at least see once!
Walking the streets of Prague the evidence of the many Christmas Markets was all around me. I was lucky enough to experience the markets on Christmas Eve, and hundreds of others came to witness the beauty that are the Christmas Markets. The smells of chestnuts roasting, chimney cakes or Kürtőskalács cooking, Christmas music playing was overwhelming to the senses, but in a good way. While roaming one Christmas Market near the Prague Castle I stumbled upon a toy cart. The local hand made and painted all the toys and they were truly amazing!
I saw amazingly decorated squares with Christmas Trees and gingerbread houses
The Best of the markets wasn’t the decorations or the toys it was something else entirely!
No trip is complete without trying the local food. One of the most common treats at most of the Christmas Markets are the Chimney Cakes or the Kürtőskalács. They originate from Romania and are spit cakes. They are made of sweet dough that rises and then is rolled out, its wrapped around a spit and then left to cook on a open fire. They are covered in cinnamon sugar and due to the type of yeast they are made of it forms a hard caramelized shell. They will then dust more sugar over it to finish it off. The are truly one of the best things I have had before, and some places even will serve it with a scoop of ice cream in the middle!
If sweet food isn’t your favorite thing they also have a different take on pizza. They use a light and flaky crust and then will cover it in a tomato paste similar to Ketchup and load it with mozzarella cheese. It sounds weird but trust me its amazing!
The Prague Christmas Markets should most definitely be on your list of must dos. Spending the holidays in Europe is always a treat but doing as the locals do and vising the markets will leave you speechless and craving more adventure.
Keep a wandering spirit my friends and thanks for following along!