When is it open?
Buildings are open to the public during the entire weekend of August 7-8, 2021. Because the owners of the open buildings joined the festival voluntarily, they decide if their premises can be accessed on both days, or just for one day. Most buildings are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and tours take place continually all day. However, we recommend that you check the times in the description of each building, because there are some exceptions.
Is registration for the festival required?
Admission to all buildings is free, and you don’t need to register anywhere in advance. However, there will be some accompanying events, starting on August 2, which may be subject to a charge, and some which require a reservation. These events will be in the Events Calendar (Czech version of the website Kalendář akcí).
How should I plan my festival route?
At Open House Prague, you are your own guide, because you’re the one who knows best what kind of buildings you are interested in. There are 80 buildings which include historic palaces, modern office buildings and interiors, and technical monuments. There are also many buildings that have already been opened during the festival in the past, so if you previously haven’t managed to visit them, you can do so this year. The full program is available on our website, where you can filter the buildings according to different criteria. In the week before the festival, you can also plan your route using the My maps function on Mapy.cz (available in English and other languages), or in the app. Feel free to ask our volunteers in festival t-shirts any questions – they will gladly recommend what buildings you can visit nearby.
When is the information center open?
The information center of the festival will be open from August 2 (Malé nám. 4, Prague 1-Old Town). The opening hours are: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the weekend. There we will gladly answer any of your questions, and you can also support the festival by buying our festival guide or beautiful souvenirs.
Is the festival guide with the list of all buildings available again?
The festival guide is an essential material that makes it significantly easier for you to navigate through the extensive program. The guide includes complete information about all the open buildings, maps, tips on theme routes, and a special English section intended particularly for foreigners who live in Prague. You can now pre-order the printed version of the guide in our online shop. We will send the guides out on July 26 via Czech Post or Zásilkovna, and you can also pick up the guide in person in our information center between August 2 and August 8 (the address and opening hours can be found above). If you don’t want to wait for the printed version, you can buy the digital version (in pdf). The guide will also be available during the festival weekend in the following buildings: Hotel International Prague, Kovařovic Villa, Mama Shelter Prague, New Synagogue in Libeň, Quadrio, Garden of Arts, Vršovice Waterworks in Michle, and General Pension Institute – Radost House. By purchasing the guide, you support festival preparations for the next year.
How do tours take place?
Some of the buildings are freely accessible and you can walk through them at your own pace. In most buildings, however, tours take place in groups of different sizes; these tours run continually. The size of the groups depends on the building owners, so we ask that you please respect this constraint (also with regards to safety). Only then we can cooperate with the owners of the buildings again in the future.
If you’re accompanied by our volunteers in the buildings (and not by the owners, managers, or employees), they will provide you with information that they have learned during training or by their own preparation. Please be aware that our volunteers cannot provide professional commentary. Such commentary will be provided by the architects of the buildings whom we have asked to join the festival and offer guided tours as part of the accompanying program.
Are there any tours in English?
Some of the buildings offer tours in English (indicated by a special icon in the guide and on the website) while there are others which you can visit freely without a guide. Most of our volunteers speak English, so feel free to ask them for some basic information or for a fact sheet in English if available. If you want some recommendation what buildings to visit, read our article Tips for buildings to visit.
Can I join as a volunteer?
Open House Prague is not just about architecture; above all, it’s about people. Only thanks to our volunteers we can open buildings and provide you with a unique experience. We accept volunteer application forms all year long. If you are interested in the city, want to gain new experiences and meet new people, join us! More information and the registration form can be found HERE.
Is there a program for people with disabilities?
Our motto is Architecture for everyone. During this year’s festival, we will once again offer special tours for people with hearing or visual disabilities. The tours will include interpretation into Czech sign language, simultaneous transcription, tactile plans, and 3D models of the buildings and route descriptions. Each buildings also includes information about wheelchair accessibility.
Where to take children?
Children can attend special guided tours with worksheets for little architects in selected buildings. Like last year, there will be a Lego workroom, this time in CAMP. You and your children can also collect stickers from buildings that you visit and put them in your festival diary. If you stop by our information center, you can buy matching cards, t-shirts, colored pencils, and other souvenirs. Information on the program for children can be found HERE.
Where can I buy festival souvenirs?
All souvenirs will be available in the information center. There you can buy for example t-shirts, posters, stickers, colored pencils, bags, and other kinds of merchandise. By purchasing festival souvenirs, you can express your enjoyment of the festival. That way, you provide us with another kind of feedback that motivates us to organize the festival again.
Are there any safety precautions?
In each building you will be welcomed by our volunteers and co-operators who will take you through the open premises and answer your questions. Please follow their instructions and only move within the designated areas. We kindly ask you to behave as visitors and not to endanger your safety and the safety of others; otherwise, the organizers have the right to ask you to leave the building. Please note that the entry to roofs and other spaces that are usually inaccessible is at your own risk. There is also one building in the program where you are required to sign a safety form and attend the tour wearing a helmet and a vest (available on the spot). Please be considerate of people with reduced mobility or disabilities, elders, pregnant women, and mothers with strollers, and let them enter the building first. We also ask you to follow the current measures imposed by the Czech government to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Information will be continually updated on our website.
Are dogs allowed on tours?
We kindly ask you that you do not take your pets inside the buildings. This restriction does not apply to assistance dogs and guide dogs who accompany people with disabilities.
I’m not from Prague – can you recommend a place to stay?
This year’s program newly features several architecturally interesting hotels with impressive interiors. You can get a special discount on accommodation and dining at the following hotels: Mama Shelter Prague, Boutique Hotel Jalta, Vienna House Diplomat Prague, and Hotel International Prague. The offers can be found HERE.
How is the personal data protection handled?
During the festival and its accompanying events, we take photos and audiovisual recordings which we then use on our website, social media, and in the annual report of Open House Prague which serves to inform about events, to promote, and to give a report about our activity. If you don’t wish to be photographed, please inform our photographer during the festival (he wears a sticker that says “FOTOGRAF” – “photographer”), or reach out to us via e-mail (email@example.com). You can read more about personal data protection HERE.
Who is the organizer?
The festival is organized by Open House Praha, z. ú., a nonprofit organization which also focuses on various activities for the public throughout the year, including educational programs for children or people with disabilities. The concept of the festival was born in London in 1992 and led by the founder of the festival, Victoria Thornton. In 2015, the festival took place in the Czech Republic for the first time, and it has since become one of Prague’s biggest cultural events. Open House Prague is a proud member of Open House Worldwide, an international network which joins together more than 45 cities from 5 continents.
Why is the festival free for the public?
We are bound by a licensing agreement with Open City, the founding organization of the international network. All the participating cities share the same values and principles. The founding concept of Open House is to give all people an opportunity to explore their city and build a relationship with the city’s buildings and its open space. Architecture has an impact on the quality of our life, and by arousing people’s interest in the stories of buildings and architecture, Open House calls for a debate on topics related to city development. This is another reason why all Open House festivals around the world are free for the public.
How can I support the festival?
The festival could never take place without the support of a number of partners and the visitors themselves. The event requires a lot of preparations over the whole year. Help us make another Open House Prague happen by sending a symbolic admission fee of 200 CZK via the payment gateway Darujme.cz. Regular contributors and donors can become members of the Club of Architecture Lovers. You can also support us by buying the festival guide and other souvenirs in our information center or our online shop (with shipping only to CR). Your support makes us stronger and fuels us with energy for future festivals. If you like architecture, sign up for our newsletter which will inform you about our events throughout the year.
Thank you and enjoy your open weekend!
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