In the last few years Prague has been making headlines as a top travel destination for good reason. This city’s beauty rivals more familiar travel hot spots, and Prague has a life of its own. While the city has plenty of beautiful sites to visit, it also hosts an abundance of exciting and interesting events showcasing local artists as well as international names. 2018 also marks a number of events commemorating red letter dates in Czech history. Here’s a selection of some of the exhibitions, festivals, concerts, and opera happening in Prague this summer and fall.
Alfons Mucha: The Slav Epic at the Municipal House (Obecní dům), July 17 – October 31, 2018.
The Slav Epic hardly needs an introduction. The Czech Art Nouveau legend Alfons Mucha’s self-proclaimed masterwork will finally settle in its native land for some quality time. This monumental collection of massive 8-meter canvasses depicting the history of the Slavs, will be displayed at one of Prague’s opulent Art Nouveau buildings, the Municipal house, to which Mucha also lent his hand.
The ever-touring Slav Epic was the third most popular art exhibition in the world in 2017, with more than 650 million visitors viewing the exhibition in Tokyo alone. The work is being presented as a commemoration of 100 years of the declaration of Czechoslovakia, which happened on October 28th,1918, in this very building.
Festival m3 / Art in Space – June 8 – September 30, 2018, multiple locations
This year’s open-air art exhibition features dozens of young artists, whose works will appear all over Prague’s public spaces—and in some hidden corners. The topics: inclusion, exclusion, gentrification, visual smog, and tourism.
Cecil Beaton – June 12 – October 7, 2018, Museum Kampa
Photographer of Queens Sir Cecil Beaton documented the British Royal Family and famous political figures from the 1930’s to the 1970’s. He received three Oscars for his film fashion and set design. This legendary Brit was also a political cartoonist, war photographer, and spy for the British Ministry of War.
Designblok – October 25 – 29, 2018, Výstaviště Praha Holešovice
The Prague International Design Festival ‘Designblok’ showcases a selection of works from European designers and manufacturers. Creators of fashion, industrial and interior design, lighting and jewelry come together in one place to bring you the largest selection of contemporary designers in Central Europe.
David Černy – permanent sculpture exhibition, multiple locations
Regardless of the time of year you visit Prague, you can always get an eyeful of the odd, twisted, and provocative sculptures of Prague artist and enfant terrible David Černy. You’ll find his most famous and infamous works standing on a riverside pier, crawling up a TV tower, or hanging overhead. Take a look at the St. Vaclav equestrian statue by the museum in Wenceslas Square. Then visit Černy’s upside-down, expired horse statue-with-rider sculpture, which hangs over your head as you pass through the hallowed halls of Palac Lucerna. If you happen to approach the front of the Franz Kafka Museum, bad boy Černy turns on the waterworks in a most unusual way.
Don Giovanni – August 9 – 12, 16 -19, 23 – 26, 29 – 31, Estates Theater
The Estates Theater is a very special setting for Mozart’s opera; what better place to enjoy Don Giovanni than at the home of the opera’s world premiere in 1787? The opulent splendor of the theater’s classical architecture adds a marvelous aspect to this legendary production, this year directed by Václav Kašlík.
Dvořák’s Prague International Music Festival – September 2 – 21, 2018
Some of the country’s, and the world’s, most beloved musicians will come together in Prague to promote Czech culture through Dvořák’s music in all of its rich intensity. The orchestras, chamber ensembles, soloists and conductors will take us through his masterful works, as well as works of his contemporaries and pupils. September 15th showcases Dvořák’s St. Ludmila as a celebration of 100 years of Czechoslovak statehood, other highlights include solo performances by Krystian Zimerman, Jevgenij Kissin and Valentina Lisitsa, as well as performances by Sharon Kam.
Prague: 1848 – 1918 – June 13, 2018 – February 24, 2019, City of Prague Museum
History buffs and those curious about culture will enjoy this exhibition of the most important dates representing major changes for the Czechoslovak state over the past century. A collection of historical items combined with modern audio-visual presentations illustrate this important epoch of Prague.
Castle-Château Night – August 25, 2018, multiple venues
For one night only every August, most Czech castles and châteaux host open up to visitors for a special night of performances tours. Explore the hidden corners of spaces not usually open to the public.
Foodparade – September 1 – 2, 2018
Set among the perfectly landscaped gardens of one of Prague’s most beautiful châteaux, just in front of the old vineyards and next to the botanical garden, is foodparade. Add to that a fun and open atmosphere featuring a wide range of chefs, restaurants (both pop-up and classic), a grill zone, cooking shows and workshops. Far from your standard Czech fare, this festival packs a serious culinary punch in just two days.
Marking the Czechoslovak centennial, the Czech Symphony Orchestra will hold a gala concert, featuring two of the country’s best productions: the Overture to the ‘Bartered Bride’ opera by Bedřich Smetana and the renowned ‘New World Symphony’ by Antonín Dvořák.
The Czech Philharmonic and the Prague Philharmonic Choir will perform Mahler’s Symphony No.2: “Resurrection” together, starting off the 123rd season of the Philharmonic
Czechoslovak Festival: 100 Years – September 8 – 9, 2018, Old Town Square
2018 marks the 100 year anniversary of Czechoslovakia, and Prague is throwing a party in grand style in the gorgeous Old Town Square. Stages will be stomping with the lively feet of traditional Czech and Slovak dance performances and folk music, while the square bustles with kiosks selling specialties of Czech cuisine from the past and present.
Signal Festival – October 11 – 14, 2018
The capital’s largest cultural event, the SIGNAL Festival of Lights, will temporarily transform the city and its streets. The festival integrates art and city space, using light design to ‘repaint’ the face of our historical city with gripping and mesmerizing art installations.