May 1 and May 8 public holidays: What's open and what's on in Prague?

Two public holidays in the space of a week bring with them shop closings, cultural open days, and a commemorative event marking 20 years in the EU. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 30.04.2024 17:26:00 (updated on 30.04.2024) Reading time: 3 minutes

May 1 and May 8 are both public holidays in Czechia. Most people will have the day off work, and most public administration buildings, schools, and universities will be closed.

Prague is also offering several cultural events to make the most of these two public holidays. Most notably, May 1 marks two decades since Czechia joined the EU; Prague has set up several events to commemorate the milestone.

May 1

Wednesday, May 1, is Labor Day (also called May Day) in Czechia and many other European countries. The day celebrates not only workers but also love; tradition says that couples are supposed to kiss under a blossoming cherry tree. In Prague couple traditional gather near the Karel Hynek Mácha statue at Prague's Petřín Hill. 

Shops over 200 square meters and department stores are allowed to stay open by law on May 1. Restaurants will also operate as usual.

Venues of the National Museum, Prague City Gallery, National Technical Museum, Kunsthalle, and Musoleum will be open, as will Prague Zoo and the Botanical Gardens. Prague Castle will also be open as usual.

The city will also open its doors to Kramář’s Villa, the official residence of Czech prime ministers, for guided free tours and entries. The buidling will be accessible from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Ministry of Regional Development in Prague 1 will also hold an open day for members of the public on Wednesday between 9: 30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Entry is free, just bring your ID beforehand.

Two decades in the EU

This year’s Labor Day will be exceptional – May 1, 2024, marks exactly 20 years since Czechia joined the EU. 

To celebrate the occasion, the City of Prague has opened a panel exhibition entitled “20 years in the EU” to show what has changed in Czechia since the country joined the bloc. It began Tuesday on Mariánské náměstí in front of the New Town Hall building and will run until May 31.

Starting approximately 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday are parades of 28 flag bearers accompanied by music in a procession that will cross through the center of Prague via Mariánské náměstí, Old Town Square, Karlova Street, Charles Bridge, Kampa Island. 

Some trams across Prague will also be decorated with flags, and the New Town Hall and Petřín Tower will be ceremonially lit, as well as the Straka Academy and other Czech buidlings.

May 8

May 8 is Liberation Day or Victory Day in Czechia – like on May 1, almost all banks, public administration institutions, universities, and schools will be shut.

Important to remember, though, is that shops over 200 square meters and department stores will need to close. Though some may decide to shut, restaurants and eateries can stay open by law.


Pharmacies, gas stations, and shops at airports, railway stations (including Prague’s Hlavní nádraží), and hospitals are exempt. Delivery services are not covered by the law and should operate as usual. 

All major museums and galleries will remain open, but will still charge regular entry fees.

Prague will open several significant historical, cultural, and political buildings on Liberation Day, offering free entry. Organized tours run between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m, which are also the opening times for visitors. The public is warned that the buildings may get busy due to the open days' popularity. The following are open:

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