Prague Attractions: What To See And Do In Autumn

Will Tizard, The Daily Telegraph, October 1, 2013

Why go?

Prague ’s gorgeous architecture is radiant in the soft light of autumn, and its streets, recently full of tourists, return to a gentler pace. Hotel prices and air fares fall, too, giving this already affordable city of Bohemia a value that is hard to resist.

Its virtuoso concert performers return to their craft with renewed energy and the city’s cultural life shows no signs of slowing.

Autumn foliage

The Petřín Hill Observation Tower is a great spot for viewing autumn leaves in the city. The lovely hill in the shadow of Prague Castle offers sweeping views of the city and an idyll among the former royal orchards. Kids and lovers are invariably drawn to the funicular - your tram ticket's all you need - the 299-step faux Eiffel Tower, mirror maze and Štefánik Observatory.

Other spots include Letna Park, overlooking eastern Prague and the Vltava River, and - farther afield - the Kunratice Forest.


National Gallery

Jan Křížek (1919-1985) and the Paris Arts Scene in the Fifties (until October 13)
A retrospective exhibition detailing the life and works of the Czech artist Jan Křížek who lived in France for the second half of the 20th century.

Paul Signace: Watercolours and ink drawings (until December 15)
A collection of drawings celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of the French painter.

Karel Prager: architect, builder, visionary (until January 5 2014)
A comprehensive showcase of works by one of the most prominent figures in Czech architecture, from the Fifties to the end of his life.

Expert hotel pick

The Savic Hotel is an affordable option in the city's Old Town, offering understated charm and characterful rooms.


National Gallery, Prague

Museum of Decorative Arts

František Drtikol (until November 24)
A selection of unique photographs from the artists’ archives, including images from his studio work that were not originally intended for public viewing.

Jaroslav Balzar (October 17 2013 - January 12 2014)
A photographic exhibition highlighting Balzar’s work in theatre and film, including his photographs of actors, actresses and other celebrities including the tennis player Karel Koželuh, boxer Franta Nekolný.

Jewish Museum

Truth and lies: filming in the Terezin Ghetto 1942-1945 (until February 23 2014)
A look at the history behind two propaganda films used by the Third Reich during the Second World War.

Expert hotel pick

The Hotel Josef in an Old Town offers is cheap and has great views.


Festivals and events

Autumn is also festival time in Prague with the classical Strings of Autumn( ) gala running until November 9, while the AghaRTA jazz festival ( ) runs until November 16, and regularly fills the lively Lucerna Music Bar on Wenceslas Square.

The Czech Philharmonic ( ) is back on stage with the opening concerts of the season in early October. Watch out also for performances by the Prague Symphony Orchestra ( ).

Expert hotel pick

The Icon is a cheap hotel option offering stylish rooms, all-day breakfasts and a hip cocktail bar.


48 Hour Film Project (October 4-6)
The world’s largest time filmmaking competition celebrates its 12th edition this year, where teams of filmmakers are challenged to create a four to seven minute film in two days’ time. The final screening of the short films, which are judged by members of the film industry and Czech celebrities, takes place on October 12.

Wenceslas Square

Next Wave (until October 6)
The alternative art festival presents the best of local independent arts, from theatre performances and concerts to exhibitions, video art and films.

International Acoustic Guitar Festival (October 12-December 1)
World famous guitarists play at venues across the capital highlighting various musical styles within the acoustic guitar genre.

Velká Pardubická horse racing (October 13)
The annual Velká PardubickáSteeplechase has been a famous cross-country race held in Pardubice, a historic Bohemian city 96 kilometres from Prague, since 1874. The 6,900 metre-race includes 31 hurdles and is among the toughest races in Europe.

Additional research by Soo Kim