advertisement

Prague has an active cultural calendar year-round.

Spring -- The Prague Spring Music Festival (www.festival.cz) held in late spring (late May, early June) is a world-famous, 3-week series of symphony, opera, and chamber performances. Prague Khamoro (www.khamoro.cz), usually held at the end of May, is a celebration of Roma (gypsy) culture. Febiofest (www.febiofest.cz), in March, is one of the largest noncompetitive film and video festivals in central Europe. Many of the films are shown in English or with English subtitles. The One World film festival (www.jedensvet.cz), also in March, brings together the best human rights and documentary films of the past year. Many of the screenings are in English. Late spring (late May to early June) brings the annual Prague Fringe Fest (www.praguefringe.com), a week of offbeat music, happenings, and theater at scattered venues around town.

Summer -- The summer kicks off with the Prague Writers' Festival (www.pwf.cz) in June. A handful of contemporary writers from around Europe and the United States, including usually a couple of big names, hold readings, book-signings, lectures, and happenings. Tanec Praha (Dance Prague; www.tanecpraha.cz) is an international dance festival in June that focuses on contemporary dance and movement theater. United Islands (www.unitedislands.cz) festival, usually a long weekend in June, is a carnival of jazz, rock, folk, and house music spread out over several islands in the Vltava River.

Fall -- The Prague Autumn Music Festival, in late September and early October, is similar to the spring festival but the focus is more on orchestral music, bringing some of Europe's best ensembles to play at Prague's Rudolfinum. The weeklong Prague International Jazz Festival (www.jazzfestivalpraha.cz), usually in November, attracts some big names in jazz. Performances are usually held in the Lucerna Music Hall and the city's oldest jazz venue, Reduta.

Winter -- The Christmas season begins on St. Nicholas Eve (Dec. 5), when children traditionally dress as St. Nicholas, the devil, or an angel. The annual Prague Christmas Market in Old Town Square gets going about then. Stalls hawk all manner of food, mulled wine, ornaments, and cheap gifts in a festive atmosphere that toes a fine line between traditional and tacky. New Year's Eve is literally a blowout, and the entire town comes out to light firecrackers on Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, and Charles Bridge. Watch your head, as every year hundreds of people are injured by errant bottle rockets.

For an exhaustive list of events beyond those listed here, check http://events.frommers.com, where you'll find a searchable, up-to-the-minute roster of what's happening in cities all over the world.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.