When are the buildings open?
The eight Open House Prague takes place on May 16–22, 2022. The participating buildings are open only on the weekend of May 21 and 22, 2022. Becase the owners of the buildings have joined the festival voluntarily, they get to decide if they want to have their building open for one day only, or for both days. Most of the buildings are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and tours take place continually all day. However, there are some exceptions, so please make sure that you check the opening times in the description of each building. The accompanying program takes place for the entire week (starting May 16) and features guided walks, discussions, concerts, exhibitions, and much more. The full list of the accompanying events can be found in the Events Calendar.
Attention: The building of the Main Railway Station won’t be accessible during the festival.
Is registration for the festival required?
Admission to all buildings is free and there is no need to register in advance, with one exception.
For safety reasons, admission to tours of the Thun Palace is only available to visitors with prior registration. The tours are already FULLY BOOKED. Please note that anyone without a valid registration will not be allowed to enter the building. Prior to the tour, you will be asked to undergo a security check (metal detectors and bag searches). We kindly ask that you do not bring bags larger than 25×30 cm (e.g. backpacks or big purses). It will not be possible to store the bags at the embassy, and it is prohibited to bring large bags on the tour. For these reasons, anyone coming with a large bag will not be allowed to attend the tour. We would also like to inform parents that the embassy is not barrier-free, therefore, it is not possible to take a stroller inside. Strollers can be left outside in the courtyard during the tour (however, the courtyard will be accessed by visitors with valid tickets, so the strollers can be left there on your own risk).
Some of the accompanying events which take place during the week also require registration or purchase of tickets. The full list of these events will be published in the Events Calendar.
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 owners, so we ask that you please respect this restriction. Only then can we cooperate with the owners again in the future. Because nearly all buildings can be entered without a prior registration, we never how busy every building is going to be. Our volunteers in cooperation with the owners and managers of the buildings try their best to be as flexible as possible. The organization of tours and the sizes of tours often change during the weekend so that we are able to welcome as many visitors as we can. Some buildings can experience lines, but our volunteers should be able to give you information on the estimated waiting time. Lines are a natural part of all the Open House festival around the world as well, because the open buildings are usually in great demand. Our goal is to open the city for everybody, which is why we find prior registrations for tours as limititating and also discriminatory for some groups of citizens. Are you tired of waiting in line? The list of the open building is big enough for you to find another building where waiting won’t be necessary. Maybe you’ll be surprised to find where the festival takes you! If you decide to wait, you can share your recommendations and thoughts with other visitors, because that is another part of the festival – to meet other people and enjoy a unique celebration of architecture for one weekend in a year. Some of the buildings can also be visited as part of small walking tours which take place throughout the year.
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.
How can 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. You can choose from 101 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 by different criteria. In the week before the festival, you can also plan your route using the function My maps on Mapy.cz (available in English and other languages), or in the app. A chat room is also planned to be available on our homepage where you can share your recommendations and thoughts with other visitors. Feel free to ask our volunteers (dressed in blue festival t-shirts) any questions.
When is the information center open?
The information center of the festival is open from May 16 on Malé náměstí 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. We will gladly answer any of your questions, and you can also support the festival by purchasing our festival guide or beautiful souvenirs. We accept credit cards.
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, an interview, and a special English section especially for foreigners who live in Prague. The guide will become available for pre-order roughly two weeks before the festival in our online shop with the option of delivery. A digital version in pdf will also be available. Starting May 16, you can also purchase the guide in the information center and in selected buildings during the weekend (these buildings will be specified later). The guide will be available in a limited number of copies, so we suggest that you don’t hesitate with the purchase. By purchasing the guide, you also support preparations of the next festival!
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 can we open buildings and provide you with a unique experience. We accept volunteer application forms all year long and during the festival as well. 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 the festival, there are 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 building also includes information about wheelchair accessibility.
Are there any tours in English?
Because Open House Prague also attracts visitors from foreign countries and long-term residents of Prague, we have arranged a number of guided tours in English in selected buildings. These include the City Mayor’s Residency, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, the Church of St. Anne – Prague Crossroads, DISK Theater, Na Zábradlí Theater, the Ericsson Palace, the Štenc House. The availability of English tours is indicated in the description of each building on the festival’s website, and the tours take place continually during opening hours. As part of the accompanying program on the weekend, there are two special English tours in the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry on Saturday, May 21 (at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.). 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.
Where can I take children?
Children can attend special guided tours with worksheets for little architects in selected buildings. There is also a workroom with Lego bricks, this time in the UMPRUM Technology Center in Mikulandská Street. 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. More details on the program for children can be found here.
Where can I buy festival merchandise?
The festival merchandise will be available in the information center, where you can buy t-shirts, posters, colored pencils, bags, and other things (with the exception of stickers). The full range of products is also available in our online shop. Unfortunately, we do not ship to foreign countries. By purchasing festival souvenirs, you show us that you enjoy the festival, and 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 areas 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. 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.
Are dogs allowed on tours?
We kindly ask that you do not take your pets inside the buildings. This restriction does not apply to assistance dogs and guide dogs which accompany people with disabilities.
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 photographers during the festival (they wear a sticker that says “FOTOGRAF” – “photographer”), or reach out to us via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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 and 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 of 50 cities from 6 different 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 making people interest in the stories of buildings and architecture, Open House calls for a discussion 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 from a number of partners. 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 in our online shop (shipping available only to the Czech Republic). Your support gives us strength and energy for future festivals. If you love architecture, you can also 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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