Along with the bright holiday decorations, crowded outdoor markets and festive music in the air, Prague offers a great variety of cultural events and special dining and shopping opportunities in December. It is time to check out our list of the best activities happening this month:

Christmas Fair “Stříbrné vánoční dny 2016” (Dec. 8-11): The Letňany exhibition center hosts a Christmas Fair “Stříbrné vánoční dny” (Christmas Days in parentheses). The exhibition area of more than 8 000 square meters is filled with foreign vendors offering original products: cosmetics from Israel, the natural oils from Morocco and Chinese silk. Czech craftsmen with handmade products, fashion designers of clothes and accessories, and plenty of festive and colorful toys allow you to buy whatever you want! By the way, after you’ve worked up a good appetite shopping, you can enjoy traditional Christmas dishes such as sausages, pickles, cheeses, pastries and alcoholic beverages.

“Hamlet” (Dec. 19, 20, 29): Benedict Cumberbatch stars in the British Barbican Theater’s production of Shakespeare’s classical tragedy, premiered in London on Aug. 5, 2015. Ticket demand was so great that the premiere sold out a year in advance. But thanks to the National Theater Live initiative, theater fans in Prague can see a recorded version of the production. Three cinemas invite you to visit and enjoy the classic sessions played by great actors. You can see this incredible performance on Dec. 19 at Bio Oko, Dec. 20 at Aero and Dec. 22 at Svetozor.

“Romeo and Juliet” (Dec. 13): The Royal Russian Ballet is coming to Prague again, this time with the classic production of Sergei Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet.” “We want to do justice to the Russian ballet school and it costs something. All dancers from the Royal Russian Ballet are aware of this fact and work really hard on themselves,” says Anatoly Kazatskij, the artistic director of the  Royal Russian Ballet.  Furthermore, in Prague the ballet will be held with the accompaniment of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.

Marissa Nadler + Mary Lattimore at Meet Factory (Dec. 14): American singer Marissa Nadler will present her latest album Strangers, a mixture of folk-rock and American gothic music. Together with her 5-member band, Nadler will perform at MeetFactory on December 14. American harpist Mary Lattimore will open the evening with her new album inspired by the Phillipe Garrel’s experimental movie “Le Révélateur.”

Christmas snails in Hoffmeister Hotel (Dec. 24): Hotel Hoffmeister arranges exquisite gastronomic event on Christmas Eve. A lunch with specialties of French cuisine will be available from 12.00 pm till 3.30 pm, where you can order such dishes as garlic soup, snails, truffles and “chestnut creme brulee.” Unforgettable luxury lunch of three courses will cost you approximately 550 CZK.

Photo courtesy of Around Prague