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Beer and Christmas Cheer

Cristmas Markets & Nearby Pubs in Prague

 
 
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Christmas Tree Prague Old Town
Christmas Tree Prague Old Town

So the holiday season is now upon us and the Christmas markets are running in full gear. Old Town Square offers the biggest and, some say, best Christmas market in the city. The tree is stunning and the views of Tyn church and the Old Town Hall peeking out from behind it offer Instagram-worthy photos.

Stalls selling hot wine, trdelník and tourist tat abound but you can still find some hidden jewels that make great Christmas presents…...if you can fight your way through the tourists. Namesti Miru market is much smaller but with greater variety of stands. You can buy anything from handmade soap to stationery and it seems like this market is a great choice for people trying to find some last minute gift ideas.The lines for the trdelník stands are very long but the hot wine flows freely and the more local, community feel really helps get you into the holiday spirit.

Although the Christmas markets are a great way to spend a few hours, it is easy to overdose on holiday cheer and start feeling more like Scrooge than Santa. Thankfully, no matter if you had a bit too much hot wine or simply that your chestnuts are feeling a little cold and you need a place to warm up, there are some great microbreweries and pubs nearby that can offer some sanctuary. Based on their locations, they are a little more expensive than in other parts of the city but it is a small price to pay for a chance to sit down, warm up and have a much needed bathroom break.

Lokal is always a dependable option with decent prices and good quality Czech food and beer. This spacious place, only a few minutes walk from Old Town Square, looks more like a German beer hall than a cozy, traditional Czech pub. However, the Pilsner is fantastic and you can usually snag a table during off-peak hours without a reservation if you ask nicely and agree to be out before the dinner rush starts. Clientele is mixed with families, tourists and locals. The only downside is the “traditional Czech service”. Vegetarians beware: the vegetarian menu includes fresh trout and chicken so the only real dining options are chopped salad with feta, the ubiquitous fried cheese and mushroom stew. If you are looking for something a bit heavier, it may be best to fill yourself up with lángos and trdelníks beforehand.

Pivovar U Tří Růží is another solid choice less than a 5 minute walk from the Old Town Hall. They offer six different types of beer which are brewed onsite and although you may have to try ordering your beer a few times, it does eventually find its way to your table. The beers available range from light, amber and dark lagers as well as seasonal ales. The semi-dark monastic beer is delicious and despite weighing in at a lofty 7.1% alcohol, it still has a light taste and is very drinkable. The dark lager is a nice way to warm up after a day spent outside in the cold and also a very good choice. The place is a little tourist-heavy but based on the quality of the food and beer, it really deserves its popularity and is a treat for tourists and locals alike. The setting is warm and cozy and you can even watch the beer being made in the big metal tanks behind the bar.

If you are heading to Náměstí Míru, make sure to make a pit stop at 20 PIP Craft Pub Bar across the street from the main square. As the name suggests, the bar offers 20 craft beers on tap which range from lagers to IPAs to ales. A good choice to get yourself back into the holiday mood is the Christmas Ale, which although a bit on the bitter side, is a great way to wake up your taste buds after having too much hot wine. The space is open and lofty so it may get a little loud when it is crowded but it was the perfect spot to relax during the day with plenty of seating and a nice smoke-free atmosphere. The pub welcomes guests of all ages and had a good mix of friends and families enjoying a day out.

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