Czech out the Christmas Markets!
Well, it's November and we can't help but think about the Christmas markets in Central Europe. Visiting Prague at Christmas is truly magical. Freebird host Katerina is here and will be delighted to give you the lowdown on where's best to experience the seasonal cheer, along with use of her sauna and maybe even her pool! Prague is a wonderfully romantic city with beautiful architecture, and very friendly people who will help to make your trip a memorable one. The city sparkles, especially if it's wrapped in a blanket of snow.
Spend a day amongst the many stalls selling toys, Christmas decorations (we Irish call them gewgaws) and wonderful chocolate treats and spiced cakes. Relax and have a mulled wine, pulled pork sandwich and roasted chestnuts in the open air (bring your woolly hat!). The food is superb. Sample the barbecued sausage, and the delicious sticky, sugar coated pastry called Trdelník. Wash it down with one of the many famous Czech beers. Visit Old Town and Squares for the buzz. There are lots of places to eat and lots of historic buildings to visit, including the Basilica of St George and Prague Castle. There are smaller markets like Havel's market on Kampa Island too. The markets run from November 26th to January 1st inclusive. Bring Christmas tree decorations back for a unique feel for your festive décor at home. It means the memory is ignited every year as you decorate your tree. Speaking of trees, the Christmas tree in Prague is spectacular. It makes for a wonderful sight shining brightly against the Prague skyline. Who wouldn’t be tempted to book a trip after reading this!
As nice as Prague is, there’s more to the beautiful Czech Republic than the popular capital. Check out our host Svatava's 19th Century home located in the wonderful city of Plzeň, or Pilsen, a jaunt west from Prague. Known as a royal city, Pilsen was a popular spot to stop on the way to Nurnberg, Germany, and you can see why. It has been a focal point in Central European history, culture, gastronomy and industry. The birthplace of Pilsner Urquell beer. There’s so much to do here, one thing on your list, aside from the market, should be to visit the Loos Interiors; beautiful apartments designed by one of the most influential modern architects known. Pilsen is easily navigable with a tram system, so good in fact that one line even goes to Germany! Be Bohemian and explore this wonderful part of the world.
Going east of Pilsen and Prague is another beautiful place, home to Freebird host Svetlana and her lovely stove fireplace. Svetlana lives in a village close to the ancient city of Olomouc on the beautiful Morava River. Olomouc is home to the Czech Republic’s second oldest University, established in 1573 in this architectural treasure trove! With styles varying from Romanesque to Baroque to Modern. Here you can experience the traditional Christmas market fare along with theatre, Advent traditions, a carved nativity scene and an outdoor ice rink. Olomouc is regarded as an ecclesiastical metropolis, a historical capital of the region, and a resting place for King Wencelas when en route to Poland some 800 years ago. You can visit the quiet of market runs from November 20th to December 23rd. You might decide to visit more than one city, and why not, when we have wonderful hosts in such fantastic places!
Be as free as a bird!
The Freebird Club Team
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