Overtourism in Prague leads to hunger strike, proposed ban on stag-party costumes

A Prague councilor has proposed that ridiculous costumes must go; meanwhile a local has stopped eating in protest of noise on Dlouhá Street.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 23.04.2024 10:45:00 (updated on 23.04.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

The municipal council of Prague 1 wants to ban outrageous costumes often worn by tourist bachelor or bachelorette (also known as stag or hen) parties to reduce noise pollution in the area. Meanwhile, a Prague resident has started a hunger strike in protest against excess noise on Dlouhá Street, home to several bars and nightclubs.

Councilors divided on the ban

Prague 1 councilor Bronislava Sitár Baboráková, who suggested the ban, commented last week on the inappropriateness of the attire, especially full-body inflatable costumes. She said the costumes “exceed generally acceptable social conventions.” The resolution is still in its discussion phases.

The bill sparked controversy, with some city officials, including Prague councilor Adam Zábranský, arguing that banning such behavior through a decree is not appropriate. He stated: "I understand the effort made to solve the problem of pub crawls, I also perceive them as very annoying for people living in the center of Prague. But I don't think we should solve it by banning the childish behavior of bachelor party participants who dress up in costumes." He also questioned whether such a ban was even legal.

Politicians from opposition parties in the Prague 1 district accuse incumbent councilors of “not doing enough” to curb night noise. A few years ago, the Prague 1 management considered limiting the opening hours of businesses in the busiest areas of the center but didn’t reach an agreement.

Do you think Prague 1 should ban stag party costumes?

Yes 41 %
No 46 %
The city should ban stag parties in general 13 %
492 readers voted on this poll. Voting is open

One resident has had enough

Prague resident Štěpán Kuchta told Czech media outlet Novinky.cz this week that he has taken it into his own hands to protest excess noise pollution in the city center by going on a 10-day hunger strike.

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"My health is already ruined by chronic noise,” he commented. He also spoke about the "genocide of ordinary resident life in the center of Prague" and the “extermination” of local residents. 

Kuchta, who lives on Dlouhá Street, points out that pub crawls, late-night clubs and bars, and outdoor restaurant gardens (or tables in courtyards) contribute to the noise. He blamed authorities for failing to fix the issue and making excuses for one another. 

Opposition councilor in Prague 1 Petr Kučera said he sympathized with Kuchta, commenting that "entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry practically always have the upper hand over the interests of citizens."

Last year, the city district launched a temporary night-time traffic ban in the Old Town area around Dlouhá Street. Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda criticized the move and invalidated it a few days after its introduction. The city district is considering reintroducing the measure in the near future.

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