May 1 and 8 in Czechia: What's open and what activities can you look forward to?

The international day to celebrate labor is also a holiday for love and politics in Czechia, with events planned across the city. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 28.04.2023 14:00:00 (updated on 28.04.2023) Reading time: 4 minutes

People in Czechia this year are lucky, with two three-day weekends in a row. May 1 is Labor Day and May 8 is Liberation from Fascism, commemorating the end of World War II in Europe.

Unlike in some other countries, Czechia does not move weekend holidays to the closest Monday. Last year, for example, people lost both of these national holidays, which were on Sundays. Banks, government offices, and similar institutions are closed on May 1 and most people will have the day off.

The big question, though is whether large stores will be open, as there is little logic to the law that was passed in 2016. The answer is mixed, with stores open on May 1 but closed on May 8. See below for more details.

Labor Day, also called May Day, is a celebration of workers and also love. The tradition says that couples are supposed to kiss under a blossoming tree.

Statue of Karel Hynek Mácha. Photo: Raymond Johnston
Statue of Karel Hynek Mácha. Photo: Raymond Johnston

Prague’s Petřín hill is a popular spot, but sometimes there are lines of people waiting to get a selfie under particularly attractive trees. People also drop off flowers in front of the statue of poet Karel Hynek Mácha, who wrote the classic Czech poem “Máj” (May).

Other parks and city squares are also filled with groups having rallies or collecting signatures on petitions. This is not an election year, though, so the campaigning should be minimal.

The Social Democrats (ČSSD), Communists (KSČM), and some other smaller parties will be at Střelecký ostrov. Some right-wing parties will be at the Metronome in Letná. Several political groups will have protest parades in the city center. Police will be present to prevent clashes. Students will also have a parade starting from Kampa.

Open house at Hrzánský palác

The government will open Hrzánský palác, located near Prague Castle at Loretánská 9, to the public for free tours. The Baroque building is normally used for government meetings and has several rooms filled with art and artifacts. The first tour is at 9 a.m. and the last one starts at 4 p.m. The lines in the past have been long.

The Senate and the Chamber of Deputies are not opening to the public on May 1 but will have tours on May 8. Lichtenštejnský palác in Kampa will be open on May 8 as well. Prague City Hall is closed on both days.

Prague Castle will have its normal opening hours and admission fees.

Big event in Grébovka

The TV station Prima and cosmetics firm Dermacol are sponsoring a big outdoor event in Grébovka (also called Havlíčkovy sady) in Vinohrady. The fifth edition of Dermacol Love Day will feature TV personalities and musical acts such as  Xindl X, Holki, Olga Lounová, and Vašek Noid Bárta on two stages.

The entire park will be filled with family-oriented events, but there will be an emphasis on makeup and fashion. Admission is free.

Stop for a bite or a drink

Several food festivals will take place. An open-air vegan food festival called Veggie Náplavka will be at Rašínovo nábřeží starting at 10 a.m.  The 16th edition of the event is meant to promote ethical eating.

Beer fans can come to the eighth edition of První Pivní Máj, a festival of small breweries at Břevnovský klášter. Some 20 breweries will be present with 80 types of beer on tap. Music and children's entertainment is also planned. Admission is free.

Rosé wine will take the stage at Villa Richter for the Svátek růžových vín. About 20 Bohemian and Moravian vintners plus a few international ones will be represented. Admission is CZK 400. 

Some museums are open

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, including the Fata Morgana greenhouse. All will charge normal admission fees.

Rules for store closures on select holidays

Most stores over 200 square meters close on some holidays, including May 8 (but not May 1). There are exceptions. 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 normal. However, personal-shopper services that rely on sourcing items from supermarkets will be faced with limited suppliers.


  • New Year's Day
  • Easter Monday
  • May 8: Liberation from Fascism
  • Sept. 28: Czech Statehood Day (St. Wenceslas)
  • Oct. 28: Establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic
  • Dec. 24: Christmas Eve (after noon)
  • Dec. 25: Christmas
  • Dec. 26: Christmas


  • Good Friday
  • May 1: Labor Day
  • July 5: Cyril and Methodius Day
  • July 6: Jan Hus Day
  • Nov. 17: Day of the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy
  • Dec. 24: Christmas Day (until noon)
Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more