New Year’s Eve in Prague can be fraught with uncertainty. Even if you’re immune to the pressure of finding the ‘best’ party of the year, just walking the streets at midnight feels like a gamble, with sekt bottles underfoot and bottle rockets in flight. If drunken DIY fireworks displays aren’t your thing but you still want to go out and celebrate, here are 10 ways avoid the crowds and get straight to the heart of the party.
If you’ve kept any of last year’s resolutions, you deserve to make your final night of 2014 a little risqué. That’s the name of the game at Theatre Royal, where you’ll find Prague’s best burlesque group putting on a special New Year’s Eve show from 10pm. Expect live music, gorgeous burlesque dancers from the Czech Republic, and a special guest performer from Japan. There will also be a buffet, Prosecco, an after-party DJ, and a midnight surprise. Tickets start at 990 CZK, and can be purchased through the website.
The State Opera is hosting a gala evening of elegant high culture, with music, dining, and dancing. The event kicks off with a welcome cocktail at 7pm, followed by a performance of Strauss’ comedic operetta Die Fledermaus in German with Czech and English surtitles. There will be a Gold Buffet Dinner of sumptuous cuisine, from oysters to duck liver paté. The event also includes an open bar, a midnight toast, and dancing on the stage until 3am. You’ve never had this much fun at the theater. Tickets start at 4,500 CZK, and can be purchased on the National Theatre website.
Wine Food Market is celebrating the last night of the year the only way they know how: with great food, excellent wine and bubbly. The main shop in Smíchov will stay open until 11pm, if you’re looking to stock up on delicious snacks for the morning after. The food market and bar will be open until 1:30am, with a live pianist, pasta, seafood, and grilled meats served until 11pm. The grill will have a special culinary program, with prior reservation. Reservations are recommended, and can be made through the website.
Looking for a dance floor where you can strut your stuff without getting trampled? This is the party for you. At Dancer’s Club in Žižkov you’ll find three dance floors, featuring Tango, Latino and Street Dance. The party starts at 9pm, and includes a DJ, a buffet and light refreshments. A glass of champagne for the midnight toast on the terrace is included in the ticket price, and there will be a cash bar. Tickets are 450 CZK, and can be purchased in advance at the club.
If swing’s your thing, you’ll definitely want to check out the Swing Party at Nudný Otec, hosted by Prague Swingmasters, a collective of classic swing and electro-swing DJs. This group is at the epicenter of the Prague swing scene (yes, you read that correctly), and they’re throwing a special year-end party at this cool Letná Café. Expect bobby soxers, zoot suiters, great DJs and of course plenty of dancing, from 9pm. Reserve your ticket by calling 223 017 571.
A Quieter Way to Watch the ‘Works
The midnight fireworks are always impressive. If you really want to watch them in peace, you’d do well to find a balcony or quiet terrace. Even parks like Riegrovy Sady can feel a little dangerous when the clock strikes midnight and the sparklers and firecrackers start igniting too close for comfort. Try something a little out of the way, like the riverbank by Palacký Bridge, where you’ll have a great view of the city and the fireworks on the river, without all the crowds.
At Vinohradský Pivovar you can ring in 2015 with hearty Czech food, and plenty of good beer. They’ve prepared a special four-course menu of classic Czech dishes, like grilled duck breast. And while you’re there, why not host a personal beer tasting, sampling the wide assortment of heady brews on tap? This is definitely not your average evening at the pub. The menu costs 495 CZK, and reservations are being taken through the website until January 29.
New Year’s Eve in a movie theater might not sound very exciting, but Lucerna isn’t your average movie theater. It has a timeless vibe that always feels appropriate for special occasions. Here you can watch a festive concert projected live on the big screen: The Berlin Philharmonic led by the iconic Sir Simon Rattle. The show starts at 5:30pm and will last about 90 minutes. Then you can post up at one of the marble-topped tables and start in on the bubbly, if the feeling strikes you. Tickets are 300 CZK, and can be purchased on the website.
For a fun, low-key evening of younger energy, head over to Café Neustadt, where you can release your inner hipster, starting at 9pm. The evening will feature happening DJs including André Allin, Geers, and Milan Kroutil, along with tasty food. You’ll find welcoming vibes, festive decorations, and maybe a few surprises. Tickets are 300 CZK, and can be purchased at the café.
For a truly alternative New Year’s Eve, the Pioneer Sport Ball at Café v Lese is sure to be a fun all-night party. Following on the success of last year’s event, this straight-friendly club night includes a dress code of wrestling outfits, rugby attire, sexy sport outfits, and cheerleader uniforms. The DJ and dancing start at 11pm, and might just last all year. Tickets are 200 CZK if reserved in advance on the Facebook page, and 250 CZK at the door.