Parties take over in Prague on Silvestr – the Czech Republic’s New Year’s Eve – when the city ramps up to celebrate with fireworks and fun for locals and thousands of hard-drinking Euro-revellers alike. Stores close in the early afternoon on New Year’s Eve but reopen on January 1; most of Prague’s street parties are accessible on foot in the pedestrianized center.
1. Street Parties
Prague’s most frenzied street party kicks off around beautiful baroque Old Town Square. Bars, restaurants, and clubs all overflow onto the streets. There’s music and dancing, with mulled wine sold on every corner, and the pop of firecrackers fill the streets in the run up to midnight.
2. Vltava Party Boats
Take a boat trip down the Vltava for dinner and a night cruise to see in the New Year; routes go past Prague Castle and the Baroque towers of the Mala Strana (Old Town). Choose from jazz bands or DJs playing 1980s pop music to bop along to. All boats stop by the Charles Bridge at midnight for views of the fireworks exploding over the river.
3. Classical Music
Prague’s churches and concert halls all host concerts on New Year’s Eve. Book well ahead for Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at the Klementium, Dvorak and Beethoven at the Municipal House, and The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky at the National Theatre. There’s chamber music at Prague Castle and an elegant black-tie gala at Prague State Opera.
The New Year is heralded in with several firework displays, with the best on the river bank near Charles Bridge (Karlův most). Watch from vantage points at Prague Castle or Petrin Hill.
Prague’s tradition of puppeteering is perfect for families on New Year’s Eve. Laterna Magika’s seasonal offering, Legends of Magical Prague, is aimed at kids, while the National Marionette Theatre presents Don Giovanni with puppets in 18th-century costume.
6. Recovery Tips
Catch some easy-listening Baroque music at the New Year’s Day concert at Prague Castle; the Prague Royal Orchestra performs familiar tunes by Mozart, Pachelbel, and Vivaldi.