Visualization of Náplavka. via Prague City Hall

Prague aims to ban alcohol from riverside Náplavka embankments after midnight

The new amendment would help combat the disturbance of nighttime peace hours by crowds of people drinking outdoors

Along with increasing efforts to reduce so-called “alcotourism” in Prague, the city is currently drafting an amendment that would prohibit drinking alcohol along the city’s embankments between midnight and 8:00 a.m.

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According to councilor Jan Chabr, the new amendment would help combat the disturbance of nighttime peace hours by crowds of people who drink along the embankments until the wee hours of the morning. It would specifically target the Náplavka embankments at Rašínovo and Hořejší nábřeží.

Over the past few years, the Náplavka embankments have become one of Prague’s most popular summertime spots, with bars and cafes by the waterfront and aboard docked ships drawing large crowds nightly.

Local residents, however, have long complained of the noise generated by these crowds. By law, noise levels are to be kept to a minimum between 22:00 and 06:00; many bars and pubs in the city center close their outdoor areas during these times to keep disturbances down.

Along the spacious outdoor embankments, however, there are few indoor areas to corral the crowds. Despite recent renovations to Náplavka that have created some indoor areas inside the embankment, and a large decrease in tourists this year, noise levels have reportedly still been high at the location this summer.

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According to Chabr, Prague is working with venues that operate at Náplavka to reduce noise levels by keeping their patrons inside during the nighttime hours. But the city is currently unable to do anything about the people who bring their own alcohol to the area.

The new amendment would change that; it would not prohibit the sale of alcohol from Náplavka venues after midnight, but rather the consumption of alcohol outdoors during the night hours.

The amendment would update a list of outdoor areas in Prague at which drinking alcohol is prohibited, either in total or at certain times. The list was first published in 2008, then updated in 2013.

Last year, a new regulation prohibited outdoor music performances at Náplavka. The new amendment hopes to curb noise levels even further.

If approved, it may come into effect from October.

Speaking to journalists yesterday, Chabr was also asked about other projects planned for the Náplavka area, including a floating swimming pool on the Vltava river.

According to Chabr, these projects would likely be postponed by the city due to budget reasons. Instead, Prague might invest in other embankment areas of the city, including the nearby Dvořákovo nábřeží.

Not all of Prague’s efforts to combat “alcotourism” are going smoothly. Local courts recently overturned a ban on beer bikes instituted by the Czech capital; while Prague has already appealed the decision, the bikes may return to the city this weekend.

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