Although the holidays are over and the days are slowly getting shorter, there is something to look forward to. The last third of the summer in Prague is typically packed with events. So, where to?
One novel idea is the Prague Sounds open-air music festival, to mark the 25th anniversary of the ‘Strings of Autumn’ Festival. The main venue will be the floating stage on the Vltava river between 2-8 September, allowing the artistry to be watched from vessels, bridges, islands, and the Vltava waterfront, against Prague’s impressive historical backdrop.
Vinohrady vintage from 9 to 11 September will be bringing plenty to remind of the bygone Austro-Hungarian monarchy, with a wine tasting selection from all the countries that once made up this multinational grouping.
Wine-making has a long tradition in Prague’s Troja district. You get two excuses to visit. Firstly, on Saturday 11 September at the Troja Vintage and the following weekend, September 18-19 at the Harvest Celebration in the Prague Municipal Botanical Garden. You can sample the wine from the local St Clara vineyard, and also take your chance to visit the wine cellars.
The very popular Grébovka Vintage bamboozles every year by starting things at Náměstí Míru square, some distance away. In keeping with this paradoxical tradition, they’ll kick off in front of St Ludmila’s Church, where you’ll find stalls offering wine, burgers and all sorts of goodies on Friday, 17 September. The market stalls will relocate and resume on Saturday 18 September in beautiful Havlíčkovy sady park. The organizers are aiming for less music this year, but all the more delicious things to eat and drink.
One-day car-free zones in September have become a Prague tradition. The initiative called Zažít město jinak or ‘Take Back your Street’ is becoming increasingly popular; people wanting to use their streets not just for parking or to get around, but also for social life.
This event, quite exceptional in Czechia, shows what a street can become when it gets taken back by people full of imagination. On the third Saturday in September, the 18th, concerts, theatres, workshops, sports, games for children and local-recipe treats will take the place of parked cars.
The Žižkovské mezidvorky ‘Žižkov courtyards’ festival offers a neighborhood atmosphere in the very heart of Žižkov, on Saturday 11 September. Go get yourself some art and entertainment in the distinctive settings of backyards, inner courtyards and gardens.
For history lovers
A Knights’ camp in the Max van der Stoel Park in Prague 6 may well come as a surprise to a few passers-by. However, the Turnaj králů Royal Tournament is becoming a regular feature. This year’s 4th season is dedicated to King Wenceslas II. Knights on horseback will show off their skills in an equestrian tournament full of excitement, complemented by fencing displays, period music, a market and an educational trail for children. It’s all happening on the weekend of 4-5 September.
Conversely, the Battle of White Mountain re-enactment probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone these days. The annual re-enactment of the battle, which takes place in the grounds outside the Hvězda deer-park, marks a historical turning point for the Czech lands – Bílá hora 1620, with Czech troops on the one hand and the united army of the Catholic League and the Imperial Army on the other. So, if you visit the White Mountain on the weekend of September 18-19, you will see a fierce battle re-enacted by hundreds of performers from all over Europe, a period marketplace, demonstrations of swordsmanship, set-piece military training, and some jugglers, too.
Or why not take a steam-powered trip down memory lane, a sightseeing tour of the picturesque Prokopské valley and the ‘Prague Semmering’ with Párou Prahou. It’s not an open-air event as such, but you’ll get a blast from the past while riding a steam train, along a track that earned its epithet from the famous Austrian mountain railway, and enjoy the uncommon vistas of the surrounding natural scenery and two historic viaducts. The train leaves Smíchov Station on Sunday 29 August. Let’s stick with trains a little longer. Prague Railway Day falls on Saturday 11 September with historical trains and an accompanying programme, at Masarykovo nádraží station and partly at Dejvice station. The historical locomotives Šlechtična, Heligon, Brejlovec and Žabotlam will offer a ride around Prague and its surroundings.
And let’s not forget the European Heritage Days of September 11-19, during which you’ll be able to see a number of cultural and architectural monuments otherwise closed to the public.
Something just for the kids
Kids can also find theatre, workshops and concerts every year at the Kinský Garden. The Buchty a loutky troupe organizes a small festival here, known as the ‘Fairytale Kinský Garden’ or Buchty a loutky dětem. This year’s date is 18 September.
There’s a big open-air science lab at the Science Festival on Vítězné náměstí ‘square’ (which is a big circle, in truth). On 8 September the organizers will be bringing science to youngsters in a popular and interactive way.
There are countless opportunities to take a nibble at something sweet or savoury at around this time and where your fancy takes you is entirely down to your tastes and preferences.
At Landronka, F.O.O.D. piknik on 29 Sept. At Smíchov on the Hořejší nábřeží waterfront there’s Street food na Náplavce on 4 Sept. On the Rašínovo nábřeží waterfront, Veggie náplavka on 5 Sept. At the Villa Richter and adjacent gardens, Prosecco fest on 4-5 Sept.
In the Podviní Park, Barevná devítka on 28 Aug. Last but not least the beer-themed Festival malých pivovarů on 4 September at Vítězné náměstí and at the Pražská třžnice market in Holešovice the Nomad Beer Festival on 10-11 September.