When are the buildings open?
The 9th Open House Prague takes place May 15–21, 2023. Because 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 during the entire week (starting May 15) and features guided walks, discussions, lectures, and more.
Is prior registration required?
Admission to all buildings is free and there is no need to register in advance, with one exception. The former Hotel Intercontinental is still under construction, which is why it is necessary that you register online to be able to attend the tour. Registrations (via GoOut.net) are now fully booked. 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 festivals 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 109 buildings, which include historical 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. Starting May 15, you can also plan your route using the function My maps at Mapy.cz (available in English and other languages), or in the Mapy.cz app. Just type open house prague in the search bar and the maps will show all the open buildings with details in English. On Friday, May 19, the festival chat room will become available on our homepage, which you can use to share your recommendations and thoughts with other visitors. During the festival, feel free to ask our volunteers in blue festival t-shirts any questions.
When is the information center open?
Starting May 15, you can visit us at our information center located at the New Stage of the National Theater (address: Národní 1393, Praha 1; entry from the small square by the building). From Monday to Friday, the information center is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on the weekend, it is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. We will gladly answer any of your questions, and you can also shop our merchandise there and support the festival.
Is the festival guide with the list of all buildings available again?
Yes – the festival guide is now available for pre-order in our online store. You can choose between a printed version and a digital version in pdf format. We will start sending out the orders on Tuesday, May 9. We do not ship internationally. You can have the guide delivered either via Česká pošta, or Zásilkovna; or you can pick it up in our information center, which opens on May 15. Aside from the information center, the guide will also be available for purchase in selected buildings during the weekend: Braník Brewery – Dance Art Center, Clubhouse of the Autoclub of the Czech Republic, Gráf Hotel – I. P. Pavlova 5, Laichter House, Libeň Chateau, Palace of Culture – Congress Center Prague, and Quadrio. The guide includes complete information about all the open buildings, maps, tips on theme routes, an interview, and an English section especially for foreigners who live in Prague. Only a limited amount of copies has been printed, so do not hesitate with your purchase. By purchasing a copy of the guide, you also support preparations of next year’s Open House Prague!
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 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. Unfortunately, all of these tours are in Czech only.
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. 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 (unless stated otherwise). 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 (in Czech only) with worksheets for little architects in selected buildings. As in previous years, there is an open workroom with LEGO bricks, this time located at the New Stage of the National Theater (open all weekend from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). 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 can be found in the section Program for children.
Where can I buy festival merchandise?
The festival merchandise will be available at 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 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 entering roofs and other areas 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.
Please note that there are security checks at government or state buildings such as ministries or airports. We therefore ask that you do not bring any sharp or other dangerous objects and large luggage with you on tours.
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 do you handle personal data protection?
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 (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 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 more than 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 of a number of partners and the visitors themselves. The event requires a lot of preparations over the entire year, and you can help us make another Open House Prague happen by sending a symbolic admission fee via the payment gateway Darujme.cz. Regular contributors and donors can become members of the Architecture Lovers Club. You can also support us by buying merchandise at our information center or our online store. In addition, you can support us by purchasing a ticket to one of the walking tours that we organize in various languages for expats living in Prague. All current tours can be found on our website in the Events Calendar. Your support makes us stronger and fuels us with energy for future festivals. If you like architecture, subscribe to our newsletter (in English) and stay informed about the next edition of the festival and other events.
Thank you and enjoy your open weekend!
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