Czech Christmas 2020

Czech Christmas 2020

The time of Christmas, peace and quiet is approaching. What will it be like this year?

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The time when families visit one another, exchange gifts, spend time together and rest is coming fast. The evenings are long, the sun sets early, and so there is a space to admire streets lit with Christmas decorations, time to enjoy peaceful strolls through the town and grab some mulled wine, or hot spiced pear cider. And just to enjoy the holiday ‘almost magical’ atmosphere that is all around. This year, however, everything will be different due to the epidemiological measures. We will show you how to enjoy a Czech Christmas this year as well during the pandemic.

Christmas markets during coronavirus

The Christmas markets are one of the most popular events throughout the country. They usually start on the first Advent Sunday and end either just before Christmas Eve, or after New Year’s Eve. Both Czechs and foreigners have the opportunity to enjoy the holiday atmosphere for several weeks. This year, things will be different. Some markets are cancelled due to the epidemiological measures, others are restricted or still under planning at the moment. Naturally, with adherence to all the safety measures. The Prague Christmas markets at St. Wenceslas Square and the Old Town Square have been cancelled this year. So, if you do go to Prague, you have the opportunity to enjoy the season when Prague is usually full of tourists in a slightly different way with some mulled wine, punch, grog or mulled cider from a stand or a restaurant or café take-out window. Not many tourists come to Prague with regard to the valid restrictions, and as such you have a unique opportunity to take an evening stroll through the lit centre without any crowds of tourists. Take it! You will definitely enjoy wandering through the romantic Malá Strana streets, Petřín Orchard or taking a few photos at Charles Bridge, where you will almost be alone! Unfortunately, the markets in Brno and Ostrava have also been cancelled. Popular, and also internationally praised, markets take place every year in Olomouc (30 November – 24 December) and in Český Krumlov (27 November – 6 January). These two cities have not as yet cancelled their markets. They have restricted the number of stands, and thus the number of visitors. At this time, the markets are planned to be open, but this will depend on the current situation and the instructions of the government and responsible authorities prior to their commencement. Public health is a priority.

Open-air sports fields

Outdoor sports fields are an inherent part of Christmas in the city. Particularly ice rinks, which are popular with both adults and children. Ice-skating is great fun and an excellent way to enjoy winter weather in the city. For example, in Prague you will find ice-rinks every year at the Fruit Market behind the Estates Theatre, under the TV tower at Žižkov, Na Františku at Saint Agnes Convent, at Letná or at shopping centres. Will the ice rinks open this year? That’s a good question. They might. The current epidemiological situation indicates that, however, it will be confirmed according to the situation at the given time. If you enjoy evening ice-skating in the city or a park, please, contact the nearest tourist information centre and ask whether or not the ice-rinks are open. They will be happy to assist you.
 

Virtual tours

The Czech landmarks are currently closed, or admissions are limited. Do you know how to get to the Czech museums and galleries in spite of that? Many of them are offering virtual tours including, for example, the Prague City Museum (http://en.muzeumprahy.cz/virtual-tours/). You have the opportunity to look inside the Old Town as well Malá Strana towers that are a part of the Charles Bridge. The National Gallery in Prague offers guided tours that they upload to YouTube, as well as classic virtual tours of their collections where you decide what the camera should point at (https://www.ngprague.cz/en/about/news/ngp-online). Naturally, it does not compare to the experience and joy of seeing your favourite artist with your own eyes, but it is good that we can at least keep culture in our lives thanks to technology.

How to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere?

This year, a lot of things are different to what we are used to. Coping with the events around us is a challenge for all of us, as well as adjusting to the situation. We have to look for new ways. If you decide to travel to the Czech Republic this year to enjoy Christmas, you will need to find new ways to enjoy the holiday season. Try to take the path of the essence of Christmas, follow its message. Use the time to renew the connection with your loved ones, to enjoy the free time and to consider how to help others. Because Christmas is not just about gifts and shopping, its essence lies in the time spent together. For example, during a romantic stroll through the lit town.