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Prague: ARTĚL Style

Expert recommendations and insider tips for first-time visitors and locals alike from ARTĚL’s founder, Karen Feldman, who has lived in Prague since 1994. Click on the links below for detailed reviews – from Feldman’s own unique perspective – of all the best that Prague has to offer...

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How to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Prague

Published on December 31th, 2015 in Entertainment

  • New Year's advertisement, 1940 (photo courtesty of www.relax.lidovky.cz)

  • A pig for good luck! Wenceslas Square December 31, 1937 (photo courtesty of www.relax.lidovky.cz)

  • Prague Fireworks, 2014 (photo courtesy of www.blesk.cz/)

  • Prague Fireworks, 2014 (photos courtesy of www.blesk.cz/)

  • Prague Fireworks, 2014 (photo courtesy of www.blesk.cz/)

  • Prague Fireworks, 2012 (photo courtesy of www.blesk.cz/)

  • Prague Fireworks, 2012 (photo courtesy of www.blesk.cz/)

  • Toasting the New Year, c.1957 (photo courtesty of www.relax.lidovky.cz)

 

Czechs tend to celebrate the 31st of December by fleeing the city and cozying up in a mountain cabin for an evening of games, song, and binge drinking. See our post on the phenomenon here.

 

But those brave souls who don’t mind crowds, cold, and explosions – fireworks are an essential part of the traditional New Year’s Eve (silvestr) celebration – stick around Prague.

 

New Year’s Eve parties in the Czech capital can be lavish events, from themed costume parties and balls in luxury hotels to prix-fixe feasts in Prague’s finest restaurants.

 

A number of annual concerts take place as well, including the State Opera House’s gala evening. River cruises, too, are a popular ways to ring in the New Year and tend to be the best seat in the house for viewing the midnight fireworks.

 

The main stages at Wenceslas and Old Town Square squares have entertainment all day to midnight, though closer to 12 revelers tend to set off their own pyrotechnics so you may want to avoid (or embrace!) these areas, depending on your tolerance for intoxicated crowds.

 

A number of hotels, restaurants, and individual revelers put on their own fireworks displays at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve in Prague. But the official city-sanctioned light spectacular doesn’t actually happen until January 1, when from 5pm to 6pm fireworks are launched from Vitkov Hill. The best viewing locations are Petřín Hill and Letná and Riegrovy Sady parks.

 

 

 

Prague Fireworks, 2014 (photos courtesy of www.blesk.cz/

 

 

My own personal suggestions for a New Year’s Eve in downtown Prague? For a venue near the river that offers dinners, drinks, and a countdown, you simply can’t go wrong with The Four Seasons.

 

For drinks, Black Angel Bar, a 1930s-style speakeasy in the Hotel U Prince has fantastic cocktails.

 

For dinner, try an intimate venue like Grand Cru Restaurant and Wine Bar – their New Year’s Eve menu comes highly recommended.

 

For entertainment, the Royal, a First-Republic era cinema that was recently converted to a supper club, is hosting a burlesque evening; on the opposite side of the river Jazz Dock has live music, tapas, and a view.

 

For families, the annual winter new circus festival LeDní Letná has swing dancing and performances in a heated circus tent from 6:30pm (this event is in Prague’s Holešovice district).

 

Me, I will be celebrating at home, having dinner with friends and family. Followed by fireworks in the garden, of course.

 

 

 

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