5+1 Tips for Autumn Events in the Czech Republic

5+1 Tips for Autumn Events in the Czech Republic

Great music, thrilling horse races, the enchanting art of light or a battle re-enactment? Autumn in the Czech Republic offers something for everyone. All you have to do is choose.

Autumn is one of the most beautiful seasons to spend in the Czech Republic. As well as the colourful countryside, which is literally alive with every colour, it is also the main season for various festivals, annual activities and sports events. Choose from a selection of top events which Bohemia and Moravia have to offer at this time of year.

Karlštejn Vintage (30 Sept. – 1 Oct.)

If wine is your tipple of choice, then do not miss the 21st Karlštejn vintage at the turn of September and October beneath gothic pride and joy Karlštejn Castle, which is located less than a 45-minute drive to the south-west of Prague. The historical wine festival offers a rich medieval programme, wine tastings and culinary specialities, a knights’ tournament and magicians’ performances. Enjoy a Gothic fashion show, learn historical dances and have fun watching fire eaters, fakirs, magicians and more. And of course, Holy Roman Emperor and Czech King Charles IV and his court will also make an appearance.

Great Pardubice Steeplechase (8 Oct.)

The Great Pardubice Steeplechase horse race is one of the sports events of the year in the Czech Republic. As the name suggests, the race is held in Pardubice (about 80 minutes east of Prague along the D11 motorway) and boasts one of the longest sporting traditions in the country – this year will see the 127th race! Horses tackle a 6,900-metre long track and must overcome 31 obstacles. Although the main race takes a mere 10 minutes, the atmosphere at the venue is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Annual attendances of 30,000 at the Pardubice race track also make it a major social event.

Signal Festival (12–15 Oct.)

Signal is a festival of lights and video mapping, and one of the largest cultural events in the Czech Republic. This year, Canadian travel server Flightnetwork.com, Singaporean newspaper The Straits Times, and travel server Orbitz.com have listed it among the most prestigious events in the four corners of the world. The festival will light up Prague for the fifth time, having attracted over 1.5 million spectators to the backdrops of evening and night-time Prague over the last four years. For four nights, Prague’s streets and public spaces, its most important historical monuments, and its lesser-known recesses will be transformed by Czech and world-renowned personalities of light design in artistic installations. You can look forward to twenty installations which, this year, will be located along two official festival routes for the very first time – the Centre and Vinohrady routes.

Designblok (26–30 Oct.)

If you love design and everything that goes with it, then do not miss Designblok at the end of October. Designblok is the largest design and fashion show in central Europe. This year, as always, it will draw attention to the creations of designers and manufacturers from across Europe, new prestigious brands and prototypes of young designers and design studios. Over four days, design will simply dominate Prague. Besides the central area, a range of galleries, showrooms and pop-up shops throughout Prague, which are preparing a special programme for visitors, will be opening their doors during Designblok.

Strings of Autumn (20 Oct. – 9 Nov.)

After a year’s break, the popular Strings of Autumn festival is coming back to Prague. As in previous years, it will offer a mix of jazz and classical, traditional and experimental music, but this time, it will be slightly spiced up with such genres as hip hop, Irish folk and Moravian folklore. The 21st year boasts ten concerts, with performers including legendary composer and pianist Herbie Hancock, cult ensemble Bang on a Can, multi-genre Irish-American band The Gloaming, hip hop duo Shabazz Palaces and jazz pianist Jason Moran.

Extra tip as winter approaches – 212th anniversary of the Battle of Austerlitz (1–3 Dec.)

In early December, fans of French commander Napoleon Bonaparte will gather near the Moravian city of Brno, where a major event which would influence developments in Europe for years to come will be commemorated in Slavkov u Brna. The main item on the programme is Saturday’s battle re-enactment below Santon Hill near the village of Tvarožná. Even if European history is not your passion, the two-hour drive from Prague to Slavkov will certainly be worthwhile, as the battle re-enactment will be grandiose – around 1000 soldiers in period uniforms will take part with 60 horses and 15 canons.