Checking Out Czech Markets

Whether you like to shop or not, a walk through one of Prague’s many markets is sure to reveal something you suddenly gotta have but didn’t know you needed. Our markets include outdoor markets with mixed offerings of prepared food, drink, and handmade crafts. There are Farmer’s Markets selling produce, dairy, and a bounty of smoked and other meats, fish, flowers, the list goes on and on.

There are a few permanent markets one can always count on, but there are also several “pop-up” markets that often show up at random times, although you can count on them popping up for pretty much any holiday, especially Christmas and Easter. And, let’s not forget the standard street vendor pushing sausages, fried cheese and the like, or the arts and crafts kiosks lining Charles Bridge and other waterfront areas.

Permanent Markets

Havelské tržiště, photo: Barbora Kmentová

Havelské tržiště, photo: bkm / prague.tips

Nestled within the main walking route between Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square on Havelska Street in Prague 1, you’ll come across one of Prague’s oldest markets, Havelské tržiště (Havel’s Market). You don’t really need to look for the street name, if you’re traversing from either square to the other along the main walking route, you’ll automatically run into it. But, if you’re not already in town and just want to make your way to the market, hop on either Metro line A or B and get off at Mustek then navigate your way to the street.

This quaint market is frequented by locals as well as tourists. You’ll find fresh produce, flowers, leather goods, arts and crafts, wooden toys, puppets, and ceramics – perfect for one-stop shopping for yourself or gift hunting. Dig through all the typical tourist souvenirs and you may find something slightly more unique than those you’ll find in many of the surrounding tourist shops. The market is open daily, year-round, 09:00-18:00.

If you’re hanging out at the beer garden in Letná park in Prague 7, there’s no need to cross the river. Here you’ll find Pražská tržnice (Prague market) on Bubenské nábřeží. Purported to be Prague’s largest outdoor market, it’s a bit run down and the main target is geared toward locals, but that in itself may make it more of an authentic and interesting experience. Among the menagerie of small kiosks you’ll find inexpensive consumer goods, electronics, clothing, fruit and vegetables, arts and crafts, and the like. Find it from the Vltavská stop of Metro C, or trams: 1, 3, 14, and 25 (always check for updated schedule). The market is open daily, year-round, 07:00-18:00.

Farmers Markets

Farmers Markets reappeared in the city in 2010 with the opening of Jiřák, Náplavka, and Kubáň, thanks to the efforts of the Archetyp Company to bring them back to serve the people and help the farmers. Many of the independent farmers appear at multiple markets so if you miss them on one day at one market, try a different market with different operating days. You can often find schedules online for which farmers and what products appear at each market. If you’re not really looking for anything specific, then of course it’s more fun just to show up and be surprised by what’s on offer any given day.

Photo: Christophe Libert, Stock.xchng

Photo: Christophe Libert, Stock.xchng

Náplavka and Jiřák: Náplavka may be the most interesting market as it literally sits on the banks of the Vltava (Rašínovo nábřeží) in Prague 2. It’s easily accessible by tram (Palackého náměstí or Výtoň) or Metro (Karlovo náměstí station, exit the Palackého náměstí side and turn left toward the river bank). The excellent locale allows you to bookend your shopping with a walk and a beer along the river, or at any of the many restaurants and cafés up on street level. Or, walk up to the mythical birthplace of Prague – Vyšehrad – and tour the cemetery where many famous figures are buried, or just enjoy resting on the lush green lawns. It’s quite easy (and fun) to turn a visit into a full-day event. Náplavka is only open on Saturdays, from 08:00 to 14:00.

Across town in a less-bustling neighborhood of Prague 3, is Jiřák. If you have trouble finding it, it should probably be pointed out that “Jiřák” is the nickname for the market at náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad. Catch a tram or the Metro to the Jiřího z Poděbrad stop (commonly called JZP). During regular season you’ll find the usual fare including a palačinka (pancake) stand, quesadilla stand, fresh fish, honey and jam, pastry, flowers, dairy, veggies, and so on. As with many of the markets, it changes to a Christmas market when the holiday season approaches and reopens the following March. Jiřák is open Wednesdays & Fridays from 08.00 to 18.00, and Saturdays from 08:00 to 14:00

Other Markets

There really are too many markets to name and as previously mentioned, many of them will just pop-up unexpectedly. One thing is certain, however, no matter what part of Prague you find yourself in, if there’s a city square, there’s bound to be some sort of market nearby. Here are a few other popular markets to check out:

• Anděl, Prague 5

• I.P. Pavlova, Prague 2

• Kubánské náměstí , Prague 10

• Náměstí Míru, Prague 2

• Náměstí Republiky, Prague 1

• Old Town Square, Prague 1

• Wenceslas Square, Prague 1

Happy hunting!

Author: Sharise Cunningham

I'm a freelance writer, editor, content strategist, and occasional English teacher with a love for travel, adventure, and nearly anything involving dogs. Which thanks to life in Prague, means doing just about everything!

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