Prague offers free admission to attractions in lieu of New Year's Day fireworks

The Czech capital won't be hosting an official New Year's fireworks show once again this year, but a number of attractions will open for a symbolic fee.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 16.12.2023 10:01:00 (updated on 18.12.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The city of Prague has officially confirmed that it will not be hosting the traditional New Year's Day fireworks show to kick off 2024, citing environmental concerns and disturbances caused to local pets and wildlife. What was once an annual tradition last took place in 2019.

Additionally, the city will not be hosting a videomapping or replacement show instead of the fireworks, as it did in past years. Instead, Prague has announced a new approach for welcoming the year 2024.

On Jan. 1, residents of Prague will have the unique opportunity to explore a number of the city's cultural offerings for the symbolic cost of CZK 1, fostering a festive atmosphere without the disruptions caused by fireworks.

Tadeáš Provazník, a spokesperson for Prague City Hall, shared details of the New Year's Day offer for Prague residents with Czech News Agency. Prague Zoo, Prague Botanical Garden, Prague's Public Transport Museum, and seven towers managed by Prague City Tourism will each be open to Prague residents for a symbolic fee on CZK 1 on Jan. 1, 2024.

"Each Prague citizen will be able to choose how to spend this day on New Year's Day, but especially for families with children, it can be a welcome opportunity at a time of general price increases," Provazník stated.

The seven towers open for CZK 1 on Jan. 1 will include the Petřín Lookout Tower, St. Nicholas Bell Tower, the Clementinum Astronomical Tower, Powder Gate Tower, New Mill Water Tower, and towers on both sides of Charles Bridge.

Those keen on participating in this New Year's celebration must prove their Prague residency upon visiting the location. The preferred method for verification is presenting a Lítačka public transport card (or valid pass on the app) or another form of identification with a Prague address.

The decision to forgo fireworks and videomapping on New Year's Eve was motivated by concerns about the adverse effects on animals, an issue that became apparent after the 2019 celebration. Since then, the municipality has been exploring alternative ways to mark the occasion.

Prague has also reinforced regulations on private fireworks celebrations since 2020. A recent decree outlines restricted areas where individuals cannot set off fireworks, such as conservation areas, floodplains, parks, and near sensitive facilities like the zoo.

City police officers have been authorized to issue fines for violations, discouraging the use of fireworks in these prohibited zones, though their efforts proved ineffective last New Year's Eve as celebrants set off fireworks across the city.

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