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Prague Sightseeing


Signal Festival (12-15 October) turns many of Prague's most prominent monuments into large-scale light installations. This much-anticipated autumn festival uses intricate video mapping techniques and music to create magical optical illusions. The show gets underway at various spots throughout the city centre around 9pm. signalfestival.com

Dvorak Prague (3-23 September) celebrates the renowned Czech composer with a series of concerts performed by local and international symphony orchestras, soloists and quartets at various historic venues across the city, including the Rudolfinum (12 Alsovo nabrezi), St. Agnes Convent (17 U Milosrdnych) and St. Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle. dvorakovapraha.cz

Prague's Letna Park (Letenske sady) will be taken over by contemporary circus and theatre performers between 17 August and 3 September for a series of unique shows filled with dazzling acrobatics, humour and drama. Most Letni Letna performances are kid-friendly. Check programme for age restrictions. Reservations advisable. www.letniletna.cz

The Bohemia Jazz Festival kicks off on Prague's Old Town Square 10-11 July before moving on to a number of surrounding cities, including Pilsen (12 July), Tabor (16 July) and Brno (17-18 July). These free open-air concerts feature musicians from across Europe. In addition to jazz, the lineup also includes blues, funk and world music. bohemiajazzfest.cz

Now in its 13th season, Prague Proms (from 21 June) pulls together a string of foreign and domestic talent for a month-long tribute to jazz and classical music. This year's lineup includes Danny Elfman, Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, Denise Donatelli and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. pragueproms.cz

The Prague Spring international music festival (8 May-2 June) brings together top orchestras and soloists from around the world for a series of concerts at various historic venues around the capital. festival.cz

The delightful Blood, Love & Rhetoric improv troupe has become a fixture at Malostranska Beseda's Trick Bar in the Little Quarter (21 Malostranske namesti) since making its debut five years ago. Shows are staged each Thursday at 8pm, with a special experimental performance the first Sunday of every month. blrtheatre.com

Running from 6-15 March, the One World Film Festival will hold screenings at art house cinemas across the city. Considered one of the biggest cultural events of the year, this international human rights film festival features documentaries from around the world. Main events take place at Lucerna Cinema (61 Stepanska). oneworld.cz

Running throughout the month, the Grand Restaurant Festival gives you a chance to enjoy a night out at more than three dozen of the city's most exclusive dining establishments for a special low price. Tasting menus ranges from €9/CZK250 for one course to €22/CZK600 for a three-course meal. Reservations are required. grandrestaurantfestival.cz

The 12th annual Prague Short Film Festival, running 19-22 January at Kino Svetozor (41 Vodickova) just off Wenceslas Square, pays tribute to bite-sized cinematic tales from local and international filmmakers. Submissions run from 30 to 45 minutes, and the audience is encouraged to cast a vote for their favourite film. pragueshorts.com

Douanier Rousseau: Painter's Paradise Lost, French painter Henri Rousseau's Czech debut, is on display at the National Gallery's Kinsky Palace (12 Staromestske namesti) through 15 January. The exhibition features a range of work from still-lifes and landscapes to Rousseau's colourful jungle paintings, which he completed despite never having left France.

The Imaginarium of Prague (3 Na Mustku) is essentially one huge fun house. Located at the base of Wenceslas Square in the city centre, this kid-friendly attraction features a disorienting labyrinth, comprised of 80 mirrors, as well as a kaleidoscopic cinema, which gives visitors the illusion that they are watching a film of gigantic proportions.

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Now in its 21st season, Strings of Autumn (20 October-9 November) celebrates music talents from around the world. This year's 10-concert lineup, taking places at various venues across the city, includes famed pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, bassist Gavin Bryars and guitarist Ralph Towner. strunypodzimu.cz

It's wine season! The botanical gardens (134 Nadvorni) will host tastings and live music, while the Festival of the Grape will take place at Prague Castle on 16-17 September.

The seventh annual Prague Pride takes place 7-13 August. The programme includes numerous concerts, exhibitions, debates and parties at different venues around the city. Considered the biggest in Eastern Europe, the festival culminates with a parade through the city centre, followed by a concert at Letna Park on 12 August. www.praguepride.cz

A summer must is the promenade that runs between Palackeho namesti and the Vyton tram stop in New Town, known as 'Naplavka.' Many of the docked boats offer food and drinks, which you can enjoy sitting along the riverbank. The stretch also doubles as a lively farmer's market on Saturday mornings. farmarsketrziste.cz

Many of Prague's museums and galleries will be staying open late and waiving their entrance fees on 10 June. The city's popular museum night, running from 7pm to 1am, always attracts a big crowd. Highlights include the National Technical Museum and the Jewish Museum. prazskamuzejninoc.cz

Considered the Czech version of Oktoberfest, the Prague Beer Festival (11-27 May) will have more than 150 different kinds of lagers and ales on tap from the country's top breweries. The event will take place on the Lenta plain in the city's seventh district, a popular spot for sunbathers, cyclists and skateboarders. ceskypivnifestival.cz

Prague's Easter markets are open for business from 1-23 April. Little wooden hut villages, selling intricately hand-painted eggs and other colourful knickknacks as well as sweet seasonal treats are set up across the city, including prime central locations on Old Town Square, Namesti Miru and Wenceslas Square.

The Czech version of carnival, Masopust (aka 'farewell to meat'), is a welcome respite from the winter gloom. One of the biggest parties in Prague takes place at Namesti Jiriho z Podebrad starting 25 February with lots of food, beer and activities for kids and culminating with a parade through the neighbourhood streets on 28 February.

Get your holiday shopping done at Prague's famous outdoor Christmas markets, which are scattered throughout the city, including the biggies on Wenceslas and Old Town squares, where vendors hawk handmade jewellery, wooden toys and hand-painted tree ornaments. Mulled wine and traditional Czech pastries are also on hand. Running through 4 January.

Inspired by similar Bomhemian-style events in London and Bangkok, MINT: Weekend Market pulls together local artists and retailers who will be selling their one-of-a-kind wares in Halls 13 and 14 at the Prague Market (Prazska trznice) every Saturday through the end of the year, presenting a good opportunity to cross some presents off your holiday shopping list. mintmarket.cz

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