A Christmas Walk Through the Centre
Christmas markets are not a unique thing in Europe, many places have them. Some Christmas markets (such as the one in Dresden, Germany) are very historic and known worldwide. While the Brno Christmas market can’t claim such grand status as some others, it is a worthwhile market to visit.
The market in Brno occupies three squares in the centre, as such, it allows one to not only enjoy the market, but also have a small tour of the centre. Starting at the Vegetable Market (Zelný Trh), one can walk along Radnicka street and make their way to Masaryk street and enter the largest section of the market on Freedom Square (Svobody Náměstí) Finally, a short walk along Rašínova street to the smallest section of the market on Moravian Square (Moravské Náměstí).
Each section has its own unique atmosphere. At the Vegetable Market, you’ll usually find much more traditional hand crafted products on offer while Freedom Square usually leans more toward food and drink. In contrast, Moravian Square typically has some food stands and a selection of small amusement park rides for kids. All three squares have stages for musical performances.
So, What’s on Offer?
For the first few years that I lived in Brno, its Christmas market didn’t seem to have a lot of clear direction or concrete atmosphere. Happily, in recent years, the event has taken a firm direction toward more traditional products and atmosphere. As a result, you can visit this market, buy something, and feel confident that it represents something authentic to the local culture.
Hot wine, particularly honey wine, is available in abundance at this event. I do recommend at least one glass of hot honey wine, Medovina, to get into the spirit of things. Be careful though, it can go to the head rather quickly.
Staying on the topic of bee products, honey is a big product in the Moravia region and so there is plenty of that, in several varieties, to be found as well as beeswax products of all sorts.
Among other traditional products; you can find ceramics and pottery, wood products, metalwork, handmade soap and toiletries, lavender products, leather work and much more.
What’s to Eat?
Of course, all that walking around will generate an appetite. Not to worry! There’s plenty of food to go around. Lots of freshly grilled meat and sausages, traditional potato pancakes, specialty Slovak cheeses, and many sweet things for desert.
There’s lots of food to take home too. Specialty sausages and cheeses, fresh herbs and spices, bottled Medovina…. You’ll not leave this event hungry!
Take Your Time
Remember, this is a market. There will likely be more than one vendor selling similar products so there’s no need to impulse buy at all.
Take a walk, one end to the other taking note of what you see and save your buying for the walk back.
The market usually gets busier at night, so if you want the possibility of a bit more elbow room and time to examine something a bit more closely, a daytime trip would serve that purpose much better. If you want to experience the more romantic lit up atmosphere of the market at night, you can always go back after your daytime buying is done.
The Brno Christmas market usually opens in the last week of November and stays open daily, usually 09:00 to 21:30, until December 23.