Gay Vacations in Prague
|Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic (courtesy, Czech Tourism)|
- Watch exchange rates. The Czech Republic won't be adopting the euro currency until 2010, so the volatile fluctuations of the local koruna (or crown) can affect your vacation costs.
- There is no low season. With Prague's popularity and the onset of low-cost airlines flying into the city, there is barely a low winter season any more, so book your hotel early. In fact, the occasional snows and moody winter weather play perfectly into Prague's occult past.
Never bombed or destroyed through the ages, Prague is celebrated as a glorious time warp, where 14th- to 18th-century architecture is perfectly intact in a whimsical, visually stunning city. Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance buildings tower over the Vlatava River and jut everywhere into the sky, earning Prague the moniker "The City of a Thousand Spires." The city was the capital of the kingdom of Bohemia, making it a historic center for artists and intellectuals. It has always been pretty gay-friendly, even in the dark days of communism (it is, after all, the birthplace of Martina Navratilova). Nowadays, there's even legal same-sex marriage in the Czech Republic.
Prague is one city that offers a thriving lesbian scene that could rival its gay male scene. Focused on artsy, political cafes and venues built on the old pre-revolutionary underground, it's a boon to women travelers who are often alone in their travels in other parts of Europe. Since Prague is also a center for commercial sex and pornography, the gay male scene is fairly explicit and in your face, but friendly nonetheless. Prague doesn't have one defined gayborhood, but there is an LGBT infrastructure in the districts of Prague 1 (Old & New Town), 2/10 (Vinohrady), 3 (Zizkov), and Prague 5. Oddly enough, there's no pride celebration in Prague, but November's Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, "Mezipatra," is well attended. Another event worth traveling for is May's world-class Prague Spring Classical Music Festival.
Prague has an excess of tourist attractions, from the residences of princes to a church presenting the little Jesus of Prague to shopping for the famous Bohemia crystal. Check out the mammoth wooden Estates Theater (also called the Tyl Theater), where Mozart's opera "Don Giovanni" premiered in 1787, or head over to posh Bertramka, the Mozart museum housed in the manor house where he often stayed. Or simply soak up the gorgeous views of the city at the 17th-century Vysehrad Castle.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication