Visiting local markets is one of my favorite things to do when I'm travelling. If you've visited this blog before than you might have stumbled across some of my posts on markets in Barcelona, Venice, and London. I visited not one, but two farmer's markets, or farmářské trhy, during my trip to Prague. The first, and my favorite, was the market in the lovely Vinohrady neighborhood.
Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad, or Jiřák, is the one. The market was bustling when I visited on Halloween Eve last fall. Full of moms with toddlers, housewives shopping for their evening meal, and backpackers looking for a cheap, good lunch. And bonus - lots and lots of puppies! Though the market site is compact, the stalls are comprehensive. Beautiful bread and produce and meat and pickles! Plus plenty of ready to eat options.
The market had a distinct family friendly vibe. Early in the day there was a booth where kids could create Halloween themed crafts like bags for trick or treating. When I swung back in the late afternoon most of the market stalls were gone but there was live music and tons of people strolling around after work.
It seemed like everyone at the market was eating a cup of vibrantly orange pumpkin soup. I figured they must be in the know and joined the longest queue for some of my own. It was good stuff. Smooth with enough body to fill you up, topped with a spoonful of crunchy seeds for texture. I bought a cup of hot pear cider to drink and now consider it the most perfect fall beverage in existence. Why don't we drink this in the US? Or do we, just not around my Midwest home base? For dessert, a slice of poppyseed cheesecake so dense with seeds that it was more crunch than cream. The dark, nutty taste of the poppyseed was fantastically unique but a bit intense. I saved half for an after dinner treat.
The market is super simple to find in Prague 3. It's walkable, but you can easily take the metro or tram. I took the tram over then, after a trip up the Žižkov Television Tower, walked leisurely back to my hotel in the city center. Overall, I found Prague's public transportation very simple to navigate (just remember to validate your ticket when you enter.) Vinohrady is a really beautiful area with tons to see, nice architecture, shopping, and restaurants to explore. If you have more than a few days in Prague I would highly recommend venturing out from Old Town Square and spending some time in the neighborhood. The market is open on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m through mid afternoon.