This post is about luxury hotels and Christmas markets in the Czech Republic, including a stay at the Four Seasons Prague, one of the best hotels in Prague.
Travelife Magazine in Prague
It was exactly zero degrees when we landed in Prague, on a short flight from Istanbul one early morning in December, but we were too excited to feel the cold. As far as we were concerned, there was no better place to be in the world to feel traditional holiday cheer than in Prague in the run-up to Christmas.
We certainly hit the ground running. From Prague airport, we drove straight to the perimeters of the Old Town and stopped for some hot chocolate at the elegant 100-year-old Café Louvre, where Franz Kafka and Albert Einstein used to have coffee, on our way to our hotel, the lovely Four Seasons Prague.
Then, as soon as we’d checked in, off we went in boots and fur hats to walk across the Charles Bridge towards the Lesser Town on the left banks of the Vitava River.
The banks of the Vitava River decorated with cute Christmas decor
Nice to see you again, Prague
The day was exceptionally fine for winter so my first glimpse of the 9th century Prague Castle from afar – it had been two years since my last visit to the Czech Republic – was breathtakingly beautiful, with the sun shining in all the right places.
“I can’t believe I’ve stayed away all this time,” I managed to say.
Two years is not very long and in the context of the history of Prague, it is practically just a millisecond; but now it seemed like ages.
Old Town Square of Prague
I’d fallen in love with Prague at first sight, you see, so this time, on my third visit, you might say it was a rekindling of an old romance with a city so wonderfully caught in a time warp.
Prague was full of Christmas cheer on that day so there was lightness in my step as we practically skipped along the cobblestone streets, going in and out of shops and cafes that struck our fancy, on our way to the Christmas market on top of Castle Hill.
In the distance lies Christmas market on top of Castle Hill,
a popular destination for tourists in the city during the holiday season
The best Christmas market in Prague
What I loved most about the Christmas markets in Prague, and about the Christmas markets in the Czech Republic in general, was that almost everything for sale was natural and homemade as Christmas once was everywhere else in the world before commercialism crept in.
Christmas market in Prague
Doorways in Prague were decorated with boughs and flowers that I’m sure were picked from gardens and riverbanks, colorful marionettes stood at attention, and handpainted ornaments and homemade gingerbread cookies were strung up in rows across windows.
Along the way we also saw vintage cars decked out with holly, decorated pine trees in neighborhood squares, and even a choir of schoolchildren singing Czech Christmas carols.
Prague in the holiday season
Sweet treats and eye candy
Meanwhile, at the Christmas market in Prague, we sampled a delicious local treat of bread and melted cheese called langoze, bought bags of chocolate candies from an old man who guaranteed that they were the best chocolates in Prague.
And then we watched a glass blower with the precision of a scientist make tiny angels with glittering wings. These were exactly the things that Christmas dreams were once made of.
Christmas decor at the Four Seasons Prague
Nevertheless, the perfect moment came several hours later, when were back on the Charles Bridge, returning to the Four Seasons Prague and simmering with happiness at having seen so much loveliness everywhere.
I was gazing at the river as we walked across it when the sound of trumpets playing a solemn Christmas carol made me look back.
Musicians’ performances of Christmas Carols add to Prague’s holiday cheer
Musicians in full regalia were now on top of the bridge tower, their golden trumpets raised high so that they stood out amidst the stone of the Gothic towers blackened through the ages, and their music wafted clearly for miles amidst the crisp winter air.
In an instant, I was back in time in the Medieval Ages, when brave kings and gallant knights roamed the assorted settlements that had cobbled themselves into a town called Prague, living a #Travelife.