Autumn holidays: Time change, store closures, and school break

Tips for what to do with kids over holiday break and important reminders about the upcoming Oct. 28 national holiday. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 23.10.2023 16:03:00 (updated on 28.10.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

In the Czech Republic, the final full week of October heralds the unofficial beginning of autumn: hikers and foragers head out for the fruits of the season, clocks are turned back leading to shorter days, and the nation marks its independence with lantern parades, open days, and store closures.

Autumn school holidays

Autumn holidays (in Czech podzimní prázdniny) take place from Oct. 26-27 this year and are determined by the Ministry of Education at the outset of the year. This is the first significant holiday of the year and takes place during the second month of school.

School holidays in the Czech Republic have origins in the 18th century. An early decree from Maria Theresa set the first autumn break in 1776. Joseph II later moved the summer break so children could help with the harvesting. By the early 20th century, the long summer holiday taking place from June to August as we know it today was implemented.

TIPS: Visit the newly opened children's museum at the National Museum's New Building; enjoy reduced admission at all branches of the National Technical Museum for CZK 40 (children 15 and under) on Oct. 28 or enjoy Halloween at the public transport museum on Oct. 29. Further afoot, Fishing Day comes to the National Agriculture Museum's outpost at Ohrada Castle.

State holiday and store closures

Throughout the Czech Republic, stores over 200 square meters must close on Oct. 28, which is commemorated as the Independent Czechoslovak State Day and marks Czechoslovakia's independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

It is also worth keeping in mind that the closures do not apply to all stores. Pharmacies, gas stations, and shops at airports, railway stations (including Prague’s Hlavní nádraží), and hospitals are exempt. Small minimarkets and grocery stores can also remain open.

Open days

  • On Oct. 28, a series of fun runs will take place across the Czech Republic to commemorate the founding of Czechoslovakia. The largest race in Prague will cover 6.9 km through Petřín Hill. Register here.
  • The National Museum is open for free
  • The Straka Academy; the Senate of the Czech Parliament
  • The Czech Senate, the upper house of the Czech government, including Valdštejn Palace and Kolovrat Palace
  • The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Czech government
  • Open house days in Kramář's villa

Turn back the clocks

Winter time will start this year on Sunday, Oct. 29. The clocks will move back to 2 a.m. at 3 a.m., meaning your sleep is extended for an hour from Saturday to Sunday.

Winter time applies for the next five months, i.e. until the last Sunday in March (March 31, 2024). This means returning to Central European Time (CET) from Central European Summer Time (CEST). CET is often called Winter Time or standard time.

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