Christmas in Czechia: Shop closures, transport changes, and fun things to do

An overview of opening hours as well as public transport changes this holiday season and tips for non-traditional ways to celebrate.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 22.12.2022 15:33:00 (updated on 22.12.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

Store closures

A law that passed in 2016 requires stores over 200 square meters size to close on some public holidays but not on others. Several of those days fall over the Christmas holidays. On Dec. 24 shops of this size can remain open until 12:00 but actual opening hours vary between specific shops.

For last-minute Christmas shoppers, some stores will have extended hours (to 11 p.m.) on Dec. 22-23. On Dec. 24, however, some shops close as early as 11:30 a.m., while others won't open at all on Dec. 24 including Penny Market and Billa.

Old fashioned sign in the window of a shop saying in Czech
Old fashioned sign in the window of a shop saying in Czech "Zavřeno", meaning in English "Closed" (photo iStock / Gwengoat)

You can see a list of opening hours and specific retail chain closures here.

Shops remain closed by law on Dec. 25 and 26. Closures don't apply to all stores. Pharmacies, gas stations, shops at airports, railway stations (including Prague’s Hlavní nádraží), and hospitals are exempt.

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Public transport

As previously reported, a holiday timetable for Prague's public transport will go into effect over the holiday season. This year the "half-holiday" timetable will run throughout the holidays, but the limited timetables will be in force until Feb. 12.

Christmas tram by Prague's National Theatre. Photo: Facebook /
Christmas tram by Prague's National Theatre. Photo: Facebook / Dopravní podnik hlavního města Prahy

On Christmas Day, the daily operation of city bus lines and trams will follow a Saturday timetable until 6 p.m., after which they will switch to night service. The metro will run until midnight, though after 6 p.m. it will operate at 20-minute intervals. 

On the first and second days of Christmas and on New Year's Day, Prague Integrated Transport services will operate according to Sunday timetables. From Dec. 27 to 30 and Jan. 2, public transport in Prague will run on a workday holiday schedule. 

On New Year's Eve, after a two-year hiatus, the metro will run again until approximately 2:30 a.m., and 45 selected daily bus lines will run until approx. 2:30 a.m. Trams will run a reinforced night service from 10:00 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. with an interval of 15 minutes, then at 20-minute intervals until 7:00 a.m.

A complete overview of holiday timetables can be found here.

What's open

If a walk around Prague has become part of your Christmas tradition you'll be pleased to know that a number of Prague monuments and other public spaces will remain open on Dec. 24.

An elephant enjoys a Christmas tree at the Prague Zoo. Photo
An elephant enjoys a Christmas tree at the Prague Zoo. Photo by Petr Hamerník, Zoo Praha.
  • On Dec. 24, the Prague Zoo will operate its guided feeding of the animals and, at 1:30 p.m., sea lion training. Children under the age of 15 have CZK-1 admission and are encouraged to bring apples and nuts to feed the animals.
  • Nearby Troja Botanical Garden is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors can tour evergreen perennials, conifers, and sip mulled wine and hot cider from the garden's St. Klára vineyard and wine shop.
  • The Bethlehem light will travel to Prague's Vyšehrad, where it will flicker in the Basilica of St. Peter and Paul, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Prague Castle Christmas markets will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 24
  • Monuments managed by Prague City Tourism will remain open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., including the interiors of the Old Town Hall, the Powder Tower, and the Old Town and Malá Strana Bridge towers. The Petrín tower and mirror maze will also remain open.
  • Museum Kampa is open on Christmas Day, which will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., as is the House at the Golden Ring, which is part of the Prague City Museum.
  • Several of the city's skating rinks remain open including Čapadlo ice rink on the Prague embankment, the rink at Vypich, and at the ice rink at Letná. Admission is free and skates can be rented for a fee.
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