Candles and flowers for Karel Gott in front of his home. via Raymond Johnston

Prague traffic to spike this weekend as four major events will flood the city’s streets

Services for Karel Gott and climate protests are added to previously planned cultural and sports events

Prague will be especially busy on Friday and Saturday, October 11–12, due the convergence of several events.

The memorial services for pop star Karel Gott, a high-profile England–Czech Republic football match, climate protests, and the annual Signal Festival are all taking place.



About 300,000 people, many coming from Germany, are expected to line up to say goodbye to Karel Gott, who passed away October 1. The public can pay their respects to Žofín Palace starting from 8 am to 10 pm on Friday. People are expected to start lining up much earlier, though. Masarykovo nábřeží will be closed to traffic from 1 am on Friday. Tram line 17 will be diverted. Tram lines 2, 9, 17, 18, 22 and 23 should experience delays in the vicinity of the National Theatre. Traffic on most Legií (Legion Bridge) will be limited.

The line of people heading to Žofín will start at Janáčkovo nábřeží in Smíchov and go across most Legií and down Masarykovo nábřeží to Slovanský ostrov, where Žofín Palace is located. People are advised to use the Metro B to reach the Anděl stop and then walk or take a tram to reach Janáčkovo nábřeží. People leaving Žofín will be sent in the direction of Manes toward the Karlovo náměstí metro stop.

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karel gott
Karel Gott in 2015. via Raymond Johnston

People coming to Prague from outside the city are asked to consider rail or bus transport, as car parking in the city center will be virtually nonexistent. Czech Railways and private rail companies will be increasing capacity.

“The City of Prague has taken all measures for the public to say goodbye to Mr. Karel Gott. In cooperation with the Czech Police, we have made transport restrictions in the vicinity of Žofín. The Red Cross, ambulances, and sanitary facilities will be in place. I believe that any traffic complications that result from the closure of Masarykovo nábřeží will be accepted by everyone with understanding,” Prague Deputy Mayor Petr Hlubuček (United Force for Prague) said.

Map showing where to line up for Karel Gott’s memorial. via Praha.EU

On Saturday in St. Vitus’ Cathedral, there will be a Requiem Mass starting at 11.00 am for invited participants. The public will be able to watch the mass on a large screen on the third courtyard and on two large screens at Hradčanské náměstí. Prague Castle can be reached on foot or by public transport.

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The Friday and Saturday ceremonies will be broadcast live by Czech Television.

The Czech police have also taken measures to ensure that Friday’s football match does not disrupt other events. These measures will last for the entire stay of English fans until Monday.

On Friday evening, a Euro 2020 qualifying football match between the Czech Republic and England will take place in Prague’s Sinobo Stadium (formerly Eden). Only 3,731 visiting fans will have tickets but the English Football Association estimates that up to twice as many English supporters will be in Prague due to cheap alcohol and nightlife.

Specially trained UK police officers will arrive in Prague, who alongside their Czech counterparts, will try to prevent conflict situations. English fans are known to be rowdier on Friday nights than normal.

Climate protest sign in Prague. via Raymond Johnston

Climate activists from the Extinction Rebellion movement are preparing to block streets on Friday for a campaign called Stop Prague! 1.0.

“In the morning and then again in the evening, we’ll block a few roads across Prague for seven short minutes to share the message: Stop business as usual. We would rather not disrupt lives of ordinary people in vain but for the past 30 years, no one’s been listening to the scientists or climate movements around the world. And so we need to take our message into the streets,” Extinction Rebellion Česká republika said on Facebook.

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They also plan a Big Rebellion for Life event on Wenceslas Square on Saturday from 11:15 am to 4 pm.

In addition, the seventh Signal Festival of Light will have its second and third nights on Friday and Saturday. This even in the past has drawn hundreds of thousands of people to walk across the city on foot from one light art installation to another. There are three main routes: Malá Strana, Old Town, and Karlín.

signal festival
And what if it was true by Eva Jiřičná. via Signal

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