When planning a vacation in the Czech Republic and Prague, you may or may not want to include public holidays. If you vacation during the peak season, you are sure to see higher prices and more other tourists. On the other hand you will find longer opening hours of museums and other sights. Flights and accommodation during public holidays are more expensive. Hotels often set low, mid and high season for the following dates:
- Low Season – 3 January to 29 March and 4 November to 27 December
- Mid Season – 29 March – 4 November
- High Season – 27 December to 3 January
Prague can be hot and stuffy in July and August. The best months for a visit are May, June and September. But if you like snow, freezing temperatures and Christmas markets, December is your month.
Banks, offices and small shops outside the historic center are closed on public holidays. Most shopping malls are open every day, but are closed on Easter Monday and Christmas Eve. Most museums are closed on Monday. Banks that have branches in main railway stations and airports are open during bank holidays. Public transport runs less frequent than during the week.
Many shops outside Prague and in rural areas are closed on every Saturday afternoon, Sunday and all public holidays. Most restaurants and pubs are open as are the top attractions like zoos and museums.
Public Holidays in Prague and the Czech Republic in 2018
1 January: New Year’s Day and Czech Independence Day. On 1 January 1993, the independent Czech Republic was created and Czechoslovakia ceased to exist
24 and 25 April: Easter Sunday and Easter Monday
1 May: May Day, marks the beginning of spring. Opening of Prague’s parks and the beginning of the summer concerts.
8 May: Liberation Day commemorates the liberation from Germany in 1945, wreaths are laid on the graves of soldiers at Olsany cemeteries.
5 July: St Cyril and Methodius Day. These two missionaries Cyril and Methodius are associated with the introduction of Christianity in the ninth century
6 July: Jan Hus Day commemorates the burning of Jan Hus at the stake in 1415 as a heretic. Jan Hus was a religious leader and the dean of Charles University.
28 September: Day of Czech Statehood. This was the day in 935 when the Czech Prince Wenceslas was murdered by his own brother. Soon after his death he was beatified and became the country’s patron saint.
28 October: Independence Day marks the creation Czechoslovakia 1918. Every year Smetana’s opera Libuše is performed in the National Theater in Prague. The opera tells the mythical story of the Czech princess Libuše who prophesied glory for the Czech nation.
17 November: Democracy Day commemorates the resistance against Nazi occupation in 1939 and the Velvet Revolution of 1989. Commemorations take place at Wenceslas Square.
24 December: Christmas Eve
25 December: Christmas Day
26 December: St. Stephen’s Day
The Czechs grab each opportunity to participate in one of the many events that feature on the calendar – leaving work early, going to the pub, drinking beer and celebrating someone’s name day – ambling along the stalls of the Christmas markets or watching ice-hockey, the country’s national sport. Public holidays are an excellent time for a trip to Prague. Mix with the locals, see Prague’s most important sights and spend some time sampling famous Czech beer.