When it comes to culture, Prague outranks London and Vienna

The Czech capital has been named Europe’s most cultural city, so what’s the reason for its international significance?

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 14.03.2022 14:49:00 (updated on 14.03.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

A new ranking has confirmed Prague’s position at the pinnacle of European culture. Uswitch named the Czech capital Europe’s most cultural city, with a higher concentration of cultural attractions per 100,000 inhabitants than any other European metropolis.

Uswitch compiled the ranking based on European cities’ number of theaters, museums, landmarks and cultural tours. Prague scored much higher than other cities typically thought of as European culture capitals, including London and Berlin, which shared eighth place with a score of 8.38, and Paris, which finished in fifteenth with a surprisingly lowly score of 7.53.

Prague scored 9.85 out of 10, putting it top of the ranking. The city has almost 15 cultural attractions per 100,000 people, as well as three options for "cultural tours" per 100,000 inhabitants.

Prague’s concentration of cultural attractions is 129 percent greater than that of nearby Vienna, a city seen as another hub of culture in Central Europe. Prague meanwhile has 29 percent more theaters per capita than London.

Infographic by Uswitch
Infographic by Uswitch

Prague has become a European culture capital thanks to its rich history of external cultural influences mingling with local traditions. Its status as a leading city in the Austro-Hungarian empire drew the most famous figures from the worlds of theater and classical music, while a revival of Czech culture and language in the 19th century made culture a significant marker of Czech identity and national pride.

Culture continued to play a powerful role in Czech life even under the strictures imposed by Communism in the second half of the twentieth century. Opposition to the Communist regime was led by figures involved in arts and culture, including playwright Václav Havel, who would later become the first Czech President of the post-Communist era.

Nowadays, much of Prague’s richness as a cultural center comes from the combination of imported global elements with preserved local ones.

In this context, Prague’s particularly high score for theaters is no surprise. Other cities in the Uswitch ranking beat the Czech capital in other categories: Amsterdam, which came second, scored highest for its number of museums per 100,000 people.

Third-placed Dublin earned its highest score for the number of landmarks per inhabitants, including churches and historical buildings, while winning praise for its vibrant nightlife and live music scene.

Prague’s cultural competitors in Central and Eastern Europe finished with lower scores. Budapest came in seventh place with a total of 8.49 out of 10. Vienna ranked eleventh, with a score of 8.05 out of 10. And Warsaw came fourteenth, with a score of 7.54 out of 10.

Prague is no stranger to taking top spot in international city rankings. Last week, it was named Europe’s most child-friendly tourist destination thanks to an abundance of museums, water parks and other child-friendly attractions.

And last year, the Czech capital was named the most beautiful city in the world in a comprehensive global survey conducted by Time Out magazine.

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