Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is a beautiful and historic city in the centre of Europe. When thinking of where to bring in the new year 2020 Prague should definitely be on your radar. Prague’s New Years celebrations are impressive and last right through New Years Day. Bring your warm clothes and plenty of stamina and you will be in for a New Years celebration to remember.
Getting to Prague
Prague is well connected internationally. If you live in Europe you will be able to pick up a cheap flight from a budget airline. For return flights from the UK to Prague expect to pay in the region of £60. Even if you fly out on the 30th or 31st December your flight should still be reasonable.
Prague has one airport and it’s a short distance from the city centre. You can use Uber to get into the city but you will need to walk to the edge of the airport limits to meet your driver. It’s not a huge airport so this will only take you a couple of minutes but will save some of your spending money by not paying for an expensive taxi from the arrivals doorway.
Where to stay
We can thoroughly recommend Hotel Bishops House just 50 yards from the Charles Bridge. This hotels location puts you right in the thick of things for New Years celebrations in Prague. You won’t need to worry about expensive transport on New Years Eve as you will be able to walk back to Hotel Bishops House.
Hotel Bishops House is described as a ‘design hotel’. We have stayed in a few hotels that claim this label and their styles vary. However they all tend to be clean, modern and recently updated and the Hotel Bishops House definitely ticked all these boxes. It is a hotel for those on a mid-range budget rather than a tight budget but is well worth the price. They even include a decent breakfast with the room rate.
Note: if you are a light sleeper you will struggle during New Years Eve in Prague. There are so many fireworks going off throughout the night it will be very noisy well past the early hours.
If there’s one thing you will not miss when spending New Years Eve in Prague it’s fireworks. The Czech people love fireworks. You will see and hear them going off all night on New Years Eve and New Years day.
You need to keep your whits about you as soon as it starts getting dark. The reason for this is that fireworks can be let off anywhere. Walking through the historic winding streets of Prague people will be letting off rockets from bottles and even right from their hands. It’s all in good fun and in celebration but the beer is flowing. It’s worth keeping an eye on where people are letting of fireworks as accidents can happen.
As well as these unofficial fireworks there are of course some spectacular official fireworks displays in Prague. On New Years Eve in Prague fireworks will be launched at 23:59 and typically last for 10 minutes. You will get a great view of the fireworks from the Charles Bridge and the atmosphere is electric. You won’t want to hang around here all evening though as unofficial hand held fireworks are also likely to be in the vicinity.
The main fireworks display is actually on the 1st January at 18:00 which is typically launched from Letna Park. For the best views of this display you want to be near the Čechův most bridge but on the opposite side of the river to Letna Park. You will also get a good view from the Charles Bridge.
Should you join a tour?
There are many New Years Eve activities offered in Prague from party boat cruises to bar crawls to New Years set menus with entertainment at a restaurant.
We wouldn’t recommend any of these unless it’s something you feel you really want to do. It’s not necessary to pay for a boat cruise to get a good view of the fireworks – Prague is famous for its bridges which will give you the same views as the boats. There are plenty of bars, large and small, all across the city that you will find somewhere to get out of the cold, no need to tie yourself into one bar for the night.
We found that most of the ticketed entertainment offerings were very expensive for what was on offer. If you have the money then it might be worth a go. For us the atmosphere on the street and the epic fireworks displays was enough. That combined with trying out a few of the bars throughout the day made for an unforgettable New Years eve in Prague.
For the best views of the fireworks you want to be outside. However, before you head out to see the fireworks, or once you have had your fill on new years day, there are two bars in particular which we would recommend you visit while in Prague.
Prague Beer Museum
Prague Beer Museum has probably the largest selection of Czech craft beer on tap. They have 30 beers in all and you can work your way through them all by buying tasting flights. This place is easy to get to, right in the city centre, and is reasonably priced too. If it is cold outside or your just determined to try all 30 beers we can say that the food at the Prague Beer Museum is pretty good too so make yourself comfortable.
Klasterni pivovar Strahov
The Strahov Monastic Brewery or Klasterni pivovar Strahov will give you an altogether different experience – but still with great beer. Located on Petřín Hill overlooking the city the Strahov Monastic Brewery brews its own beer. Typically they will have a selection of their own beer on tap as well as an occasional guest beer. A brewery was first recorded at this site in the early 14th Century so there has been beer in production here for a long time. Get your history fix as well as tasting great Czech beer at the same location by visiting the Strahov Monastic Brewery.
Got more time?
If you have more time and are thinking of adding another destination to your trip then consider Dresden just across the border in Germany. We’ve got a 3 day guide for Dresden to tempt you, check it out here.