I’m a big fan of repurposed wares and spaces. So I was thrilled earlier this year when the carefully curated Manifesto Market opened up near Florenc, in an area that was previously a garbage-filled empty lot under a highway overpass. Manifesto Market consists of a series of shipping containers housing mini pop-up versions of some of Prague’s most delicious and diverse restaurants.
At Manifesto, you can get a poke bowl or a burger or a craft cocktail all in one place, making it the perfect place to go with friends who are all in the mood for something different. If you happen to live in Prague, it’s a good way to discover great restaurants that you may not have otherwise visited.
A big part of the Manifesto concept is that it’s all cashless, a rarity when it comes to street markets. You don’t have to fumble for coins in your bag, you just swipe or tap your card to shop. If you order a dish that might take a little while, you usually get a pager, allowing you to roam around the market and pick up drinks or do some shopping while you wait for your food.
Manifesto Market also has some small shops where you can buy anything from groceries to sunglasses or purses, all made by local artists, vendors, and designers. It’s like a much smaller version of Dyzajn Market, which sets up outside Narodni Divadlo about once a month. This is nice if you’re looking for something a little different like a unique wallet or lavender syrup – something you can’t get at H&M or from a local drugstore.
They occasionally have events, including live music and DJs. Visitors usually wander the space, picking at different kinds of food or sitting down at one of the big communal tables. In the summer, Manifesto Market is a great alternative to the crowded weekend markets on the river at Naplavka and Kampa.
Manifesto Market as an alternative to traditional Christmas markets
Though Prague’s Christmas markets are pretty legendary, they’re super crowded, and at the end of the day, if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. Mulled wine and ornaments are a mainstay, all sold out of traditional wooden cottages. But Manifesto Market has really updated the Christmas market concept with their own hipster holiday market. Just in time for the first snow of the season, they revamped the space and reopened as the Manifesto Winter Market.
Gone are their rose lemonades and Aperol spritzes of summer. Instead, for winter, they have spiked hot chocolates and hot gin and tonics. You can’t get that in Old Town Square. And trust me, you need that.
With the place all adorned with trees and lights and alive with Christmas music, they replaced large dining tables with decorated vendor tents where you can get clothes, essential oils, Christmas socks, and higher end versions of winter accessories than you’ll find in traditional markets. Some of the shops and eateries were removed in favor of more winter-appropriate food and goods. The fact that these kinds of things are updated throughout the year keeps the place fresh and new.
Maybe the best part about the Manifesto Winter Market is that they also installed a series of heated clear igloos where you can sit and comfortably enjoy a snack or a drink sheltered from the cold. How extra is that? The cozy igloos are technically free to enjoy but people who book them online in advance (for about $5) get priority. This is one of the only ways to enjoy the Christmas market atmosphere without having to fight for elbow room.
For visitors and locals alike, Manifesto Market is a fantastic hidden oasis next to the grimy bus station that’s not to be missed at any time of year.