Yes! There WILL be Czech Christmas markets and outdoor festivities this year

While Prague's largest Christmas markets have been cancelled, smaller local markets and festivities in other cities may still take place.

Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas

Written by Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas
Published on 12.11.2020 11:30 (updated on 13.11.2020)

In October it was announced that the annual Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square Christmas markets would not take place due to coronavirus restrictions.

While the fate of other Prague markets, including the smaller local market at Prague's Náměstí Míru is still being discussed, several Czech cities have said they will be offering scaled back festivities minus live entertainment and traditional refreshments like mulled wine.

Brno, Olomouc, Plzeň, Zlín, Hradec Králové, and Ostrava are still preparing to set up a limited number of market stalls in 2020. České Budějovice has called off its advent market for this year. Here's what we know so far about Czech Christmas markets in 2020:

Brno

In Brno, Christmas festivities kick off on November 27. Trees will light up the city's main squares but there will be no public tree lighting or cultural program this year. Handicrafts and small gift items will, however, be sold at a handful of stalls. A sightseeing bike will pick up passengers at Moravské náměstí; but visitors looking forward to a sip of the famed Brno Turbomošt will be disappointed.

Hradec Králové

Hradec Králové officials say they expect to have scaled back markets this year. The lighting of the tree has been canceled and its New Year's Eve fireworks postponed. The city said in a press release it will wait until November 20 to decide on whether or not to host its market in 2020.

Olomouc

Organizers say that for now Olomouc will host a limited cultural program. Live concerts will be replaced by music from speakers. The city's traditional ice rink will likely be canceled but according to a city official, markets will still be held "in accordance with current epidemiological measures."

Ostrava

From November 27 to December 23, there will be 23 stalls with holiday-themed wares on Masaryk Square but no refreshment stands among them. Live entertainment will be replaced by music from speakers. Stands will open every day from 12 noon to 6 pm.

Pilsen

On Sunday, November 29, a Christmas tree will light up in Pilsen's Republic Square -- online. For the first time ever the city is inviting merrymakers to watch the lighting ceremony via the city's Facebook page. Pilsen officials are still deciding whether or not to allows market stalls and will decide according to the epidemiological outlook.

In Prague, organizers of the main market on Old Town Square said that if the epidemiological situation allows, some stalls may be set up. The tree will be erected in Old Town Square on November 23. Prague 2 is currently discussing the possibility of hosting its popular annual market on Náměstí Míru.

Český Krumlov

While neighboring České Budějovice has canceled its Christmas celebrations entirely, Český Krumlov will go ahead with its advent markets. There will be a Christmas tree in the square, but just 10 stalls. Social distancing measures will be required. The city says it will cancel live musical performances and its beloved Bear Christmas and live nativity scene at the castle, both of which will likely move online. The events are scheduled to take place from Nov. 27.

Vienna/Dresden

Vienna's Christmas markets are set to take place though masks will be required for visitors. While Austria is "red" on the European traffic light map, Czechs can travel there for a maximum of twelve hours without a test. Dresden's local government should decide this week whether it will open its annual advent markets. Czechs can travel to Saxony for 24 hours.