Christmas in Prague 2009

Expats.cz

Merry-making for all across the city

The holidays are a time for celebration and getting together with family and friends. Prague does Christmas right with nearly every venue, no matter what its purpose, putting on some kind of event. We’ve gathered a variety of happenings here, but if you know of good party going on, please share. If you see something you’d like to do, make reservations now. Nearly everything gets booked around the holidays and it’s notoriously difficult to find a place to hold a small gathering, much less join in an organized event. Have a wonderful holiday!

Music

Prague is a musical city year round, but take advantage of some of the Christmassy culture things going on now.

6 December: Christmas Music by Stecker & Ryba, 2pm, National Theatre, www.narodni-divadlo.cz

8 December: Handel’s Messiah, Prague Symphony Orchestra, 7:30pm, Church of St. Simon & St. Jude, www.fok.cz

12, 22, 27 December: The Nutcracker – A Christmas Carol, Ballet, 6pm, National Theatre, www.narodni-divadlo.cz

14, 21 December: The Nutcracker – A Christmas Carol, Ballet, 7pm, National Theatre, www.narodni-divadlo.cz

13, 20 December: Advent Concert, 2pm, National Theatre, www.narodni-divadlo.cz

13 December: The Miracles of Mary by Martinec, 7pm, National Theatre, www.narodni-divadlo.cz

19, 20 December: Christmas Concert with Helena Vondrácková, 7pm, Lucerna, www.lucerna.cz

25 December: Christmas Music, State Opera, www.opera.cz

25 December: Christmas Concert with Prague Symphony Orchestra, 4pm, Church of St. Simon & St. Jude, www.fok.cz

26 December: Czech Christmas Mass with Audience Sing-a-long, 4pm, Church of St. Simon & St. Jude, www.fok.cz

Markets

A steaming mug of mulled wine or grog, the brightly lit Christmas tree, carolers singing in the background: nothing puts you in the Christmas mood like a trip to one of the markets. While the selection is improving, there still tends to be too many hat and scarf vendors, as well as those selling magnets and beer steins. Even if shopping isn’t on you list, it makes for a fun afternoon or evening off.

Old Town Square: Through January 1. The biggest and most picturesque.

Wenceslas Square at Mustek: Through January 1. New this year, organizers have planned carolers and other musical performances, similar to what’s done on Old Town Square.

Námestí Míru: Through December 24. Another pretty gem, smaller but with a couple unique vendors.

Jirího z Podebrad: Through December 24. A good chance to find some different items.

Palackého námestí: Through December 24. New this year, in the shadow of the covered Jan Hus. Teeny tiny, but we’ve heard positive reports on the svářak.

Meals

As always, lots of restaurants pull out the stops for a big holiday spread. Again, reserve now!

Banditos: 25 December from 1pm – 395 CZK for full meal (www.banditosrestaurant.cz)

Bellevue: From 21 December-3 January – variety of menus with or without wine: four course: 1,290 CZK/890 CZK without wine; three course: 1,090/790 CZK without wine; two course: 990 CZK/590 CZK without wine. They also offer a vegetarian menu with slightly cheaper prices. (wow.zatisigroup.cz)

Brasserie: 24 December from 6pm – 1,250 CZK, buffet (www.marriotthotels.com)
25 December from 11m-3pm, Christmas Brunch – 995 CZK, buffet (www.marriotthotels.com)

CzecHouse: 24 December from 6pm – 1,790 CZK for four-course meal (www.hiltonprague.cz)
25 December from 11am-3pm, Christmas Brunch – 990 CZK, buffet (www.hiltonprague.cz)

Essensia: 24 December – 2,290 CZK for five course meal (www.mandarinoriental.com)
25 December, lunch – 1,770 CZK for four course meal (www.mandarinoriental.com)

Jama: 24 December from 11am – 299 CZK, choice of two menus, fish or turkey (www.jamapub.cz)
25 & 26 December from noon – 249 CZK for three course meal (www.jamapub.cz)

La Rotonde: 24 & 25 December from 7pm – 1,190 CZK, buffet (www.alcron.cz)
25 December, 11am-3pm, Christmas Brunch – 1,290 CZK (www.alcron.cz)

Le Papillon: From 13-27 December – 650 CZK for three course Christmas or Czech Christmas menu or 1,350 CZK for five course Christmas or Czech Christmas menu (www.palaishotel.cz)

Mlýnec: 25 December, 12pm-3pm & 5:30pm-11pm – 1,790 CZK/990 CZK for wine for Christmas wine & menu degustation and 1,390 CZK for three course meal (www.zatisigroup.cz)

Pálffy Palác: 24 December – 1,090 CZK for three course meal (www.palffy.cz)

Siddharta Café: 490 CZK for two course or 650 CZK for three course meal (www.buddha-bar-hotel.cz)

U Malír: 24 December – 1,190 CZK for four course meal (www.umaliru.cz)

V Zátiší: 25 December, 12pm-3pm & 5:30pm-11pm – 1,170 CZK for Bohemian or Zátiší Christmas menu, plus 770 CZK for optional wine pairing (wow.zatisigroup.cz)

Vltava: 24 & 25 December – 850 CZK for three course meal (www.hotelpresident.cz)

Zinc: 24 December from 6pm – 1460 CZK for four course meal (www.zinc.cz)
25 December, lunch & dinner – 1130 CZK for three course meal (www.zinc.cz)

Zlatá Praha: 24 December from 6pm – a la carte Christmas menu (www.zlatapraharestaurant.cz)
25 & 26 December from 11am-3pm, Christmas Brunch – 990 CZK, buffet (www.zlatapraharestaurant.cz)

If you’d prefer to do some in-home hosting, there are lots of places that’ll help you out in the kitchen. Culinaria (www.culinaria.cz) offers a huge list of yummy food items for purchase, everything from appetizers (Parmesan Scones with Mascarpone and Basil Cranberry Relish) to side dishes (Green Beans/French Bean Trio) to soups (Fennel and Potato with Smoked Salmon) to main courses (Roast Turkey with Port Wine Gravy). If you prefer something easier, or have to do your office Christmas party, they also have a range of platters like an imported cheese platter or a poached jumbo shrimp platter. Fusion Catering (www.fusion-catering.cz) also has a great turkey deal, plus lots of sides. Pick and choose which items you’d like them to prepare for you, or go for broke and order the entire dinner. If you’ve got the pots and pans, check out Robertson’s (www.robertson.cz) for a range of turkeys and hams, plus all important help for sides like gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce plus mince pies. Tons of chocolate treats and Christmas crackers as well.

Extra Goodies
If you are looking for a super venue in which to hold your office party, consider Cloud 9 (www.cloud9.cz). Located atop the Hilton Prague Hotel, you’ll get super cocktails with a fabulous view. They have a special flat price package which includes food and drinks. The Diplomatic Spouses Association puts on a massive International Bazaar every year for charity. Gifts from around the world are gathered and all proceeds benefit a number of non-profits throughout the Czech Republic. Show up early for the good stuff: Sunday December 13, 10am-5pm, Prague Hilton (www.dsaprague.czweb.org.)