58 Best Performing Arts Venues in Prague, Czech Republic

Divadlo Archa

Nové Mesto Fodor's choice

Funky, contemporary, and underground, Archa is the main venue for modern theater, dance, and avant-garde music. Some visiting troupes perform in English, and other shows are designated as English-friendly in the program. The centrally located theater opened in 1994, and is often referred to as the Alternative National Theater.

Kostel sv. Mikuláše

Fodor's choice

Ballroom scenes in the movie Van Helsing used the interior of this beautiful baroque church, probably the most famous of its kind in Prague. The building's dome was one of the last works finished by architect Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer before his death in 1751, and a memorial service to Mozart was held here after his death. Local ensembles play concerts of popular classics here throughout the year.


Nové Mesto Fodor's choice

Easily the city's handsomest old movie palace, this art nouveau venue was designed by former President Václav Havel's grandfather and built in 1916. It's a great place to recapture the romance and glamour of film. Grab a drink at the bar, where there is sometimes a live piano player, even if the interior could do with a little more love. Watch out for the upside-down horse sculpture, plus rider, in the passage outside—it's a sly echo of one on the square, which has the Czech Republic's patron saint, St. Wenceslas, the right way up.

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Národní divadlo

Fodor's choice

This is the main stage in the Czech Republic for drama, dance, and opera. The interior, with its ornate and etched ceilings, is worth the visit alone. Most of the theater performances are in Czech, but some operas have English supertitles, and ballet is an international language—right? Book the opera online ahead of time for fantastic discounts; you'll get to see top-quality performances in sumptuous surroundings at a snip of the price you could pay in other European capitals. The New Stage, next door, as well as the Estates Theater and Prague State Opera are all part of the National Theater system.

Nová Scená

Fodor's choice

The cool glass-block façade of the New Stage, which opened in 1983, stands out among the ornate 19th-century buildings in the area. Black-light theater company Laterna Magika (which takes its name from the original black-light presentation at Expo '58) performs here, and the rest of the program schedule is handled through the National Theater. Contemporary dance pieces and other language-free performances dominate the calendar.

Prague Symphony Orchestra

Fodor's choice

The group's nickname, FOK, stands for Film-Opera-Koncert. They started in 1934, but it wasn't until 1952 that they became the official city orchestra. In the 1930s they did music for many Czech films, although they don't do much opera and film anymore. The ensemble tours extensively and has a large back catalog of recordings. Programs tend to be quite diverse, from Beethoven to Bruckner. 


Fodor's choice

Austrian Crown Prince Rudolf lent his name to this neo-Renaissance concert space and exhibition gallery built in 1884; it's only been open to the public since 1992. The impressive building has an interesting history: after 1918 it was converted into the parliament of the newly independent Czechoslovakia, until German invaders reinstated it as a space for music in 1939. The large concert hall, named for Antonín Dvořák, who conducted here, hosts concerts with the Czech Philharmonic. The smaller Josef Suk Hall, on the opposite side of the building, is used for chamber concerts. Rival theaters may have richer interiors, but the acoustics here are excellent (and the exterior is also pretty fancy, with some of the cleanest, brightest stonework in the city). Tours are available, but hearing live music here is what it is all about.

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Stavovské divadlo

Fodor's choice

Built in the 1780s in the classical style, this opulent, green palais hosted the world premiere of Mozart's opera Don Giovanni in October 1787 with the composer himself conducting. Savvy Prague audiences were quick to acknowledge Mozart's genius: the opera was an instant hit here, though it flopped nearly everywhere else in Europe. Mozart wrote some of the opera's second act in Prague at the Villa Bertramka (in Smíchov), where he was a frequent guest. The program these days is mixed, incorporating demanding Czech drama alongside opera, ballet, and musical performances. You must attend a performance to see inside, although the interior, the history, and the quality of the shows here combined make it absolutely worth it; buy tickets via the National Theater.

Stavovské divadlo

Nové Mesto Fodor's choice

It's impossible to visit Prague without knowing that Mozart conducted the world premiere of Don Giovanni on this stage way back in 1787. Fittingly, the interior was used for scenes in Miloš Forman's movie Amadeus. It's stylish and refined without being distracting. This is a branch of the National Theater, and high-quality productions of Mozart are usually in the repertoire together with other classic operas, plays, and the occasional smaller ballet.

4+4 Days in Motion

One of the more creative festivals on the Prague circuit, the 4+4 Days in Motion festival offers art projects, installations, performances, and discussions in venues across the city. The venues are half the fun—think reclaimed, little-used palaces surrounding Staré Mĕsto. The festival is themed around contemporary dance and usually takes place in the fall.



Film junkies make the trek to this out-of-the-way gem of a theater knowing it's worth the trip. The tiny cinema is hidden in the middle of a residential block, and keeps an ambitious schedule of two or three different films a day: festivals, retrospectives, oldies but goodies (think Scarface and The Big Lebowski) plus feature films with English subtitles. Czech translations are done through headphones. Visiting guests have included Terry Gilliam, Godfrey Reggio, and Paul Morrisey. The theater also has an outdoor beer garden in the summer months and a lively indoor bar year-round.

Bazilika sv. Jakuba

This is an excellent venue for organ concerts thanks to the church's organ itself, which was finished in 1709 and restored in the early 1980s to its original tone structure. All those years later, it's still one of the best in town.

Bazilika sv. Jiří

Listen to small ensembles playing well-known Vivaldi and other classical "greatest hits" in this spectacular Romanesque setting, dating back to the 11th century.

Bio Oko


Bargain ticket prices, live music before the films, and a schedule that offers greater variety and more "big name" films are just a few reasons to check out this theater outside the city center. New international releases as well as Czech films (sometimes with subtitles) and festival series give Oko a varied lineup. There's a refurbished bar and café here outfitted with Wi-Fi, and it even offers a video streaming service.

Česká filharmonie

The big daddy in town: Antonín Dvořák conducted the orchestra's first performance back in 1896, and guest conductors have included Gustav Mahler and Leonard Bernstein. Performances are of a consistently high quality, and most programs include some works by Czech composers. They also offer public dress rehearsals for a mere 160 Kč (book early though, because they are an understandably popular bargain).

Cinema City Nový Smíchov


Cinema City Nový Smíchov feels like your usual multiplex until you try the "4DX" experience, which involves moving seats and special effects in your seat like fog and lightning. Located in the Nový Smíchov shopping center, the cinema is an experience for all five senses.

Cinema City Palác Flóra


This venue has "Oskar-IMAX," a large-format theater that shows many short films in 3-D and the occasional feature on a very large screen. Most IMAX presentations are dubbed; other screens offer the standard multiplex experience.

Cinema City Slovanský dům

Nové Mesto

This is pretty much the only multiplex in the center of town that runs about 10 movies at once, mostly the latest Hollywood films in English (with Czech subtitles). It occasionally runs Czech films with English subtitles.

Collegium Marianum

One of the most well-respected ensembles in town, Collegium Marianum is your best bet if you are looking to explore baroque music. They often revive seldom-heard works from archives and perform them on period instruments. Performances are usually organized around a historical or geographical theme.

Czech National Symphony Orchestra

This major full-size orchestra plays most often at the Rudolfinum. The orchestra has attracted some well-known guest conductors, and performs classical, jazz, and some film scores.

Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra


As the name implies, this group started playing live on the radio in 1927. Since the 1960s it hasn't been directly associated with the national radio system, and has fewer concerts than its main rivals. You can usually see them perform at the Rudolfinum. Besides Czech composers, the orchestra excels in Brahms and Mahler. You can buy tickets at the shop in Vinohrady, online, and at some venues.

Days of European Film

Fans of foreign films have a chance to catch up on recent English-subtitled efforts in Days of European Film, which happens every April. Two weeks of films play across three beautiful and historic Prague cinemas—Lucerna, Světozor, and Pilotů—as well as other locations around the Czech Republic. There are also some panel discussions and seminars. Tickets for all screenings and events are a very good value.

Divadlo Alfred ve dvoře

Most of the programming for this small, out-of-the-way theater is physical, nonverbal theater and dance, along with some music. It's a great place to see cutting-edge, unconventional productions; each year has a different theme. It's also home to Motus, a not-for-profit organization, set up by young local artists, producers, and presenters to promote and produce interesting and inventive new art.

Divadlo Ponec


A former cylinder factory, then a movie theater, this neoclassical building was renovated into a modern dance venue in 2001. The house presents a lot of premieres, and is the main "dance" theater in town. Several dance festivals are based here.

Divadlo Ta Fantastika

Black-light theater—shows using black backgrounds, UV-light and fluorescent paints to create visual spectacles via the acrobatic arts of the performers—has found something of a home in Prague, although its simplistic style isn't for everyone. If it appeals, this venue is probably the best place to see some, namely in a show called Aspects of Alice, based loosely on Alice in Wonderland, that has run here almost daily for more than 2,000 performances. The theater was established in Florida in 1981, and moved to Prague after the Velvet Revolution. It's been running at its current address, a minor baroque palace, since 1993.

If you are more interested in the world-leading multimedia theater pioneered by Laterna Magika back in 1958, which does include some black-light elements, check out the National Theater's New Stage instead.

Ensemble Martinů

Domestic and international radio performances and film scores have kept this piano quartet in the spotlight. Formed in 1978 and re-formed in 1993, the group majors in music by the Czech composer Martinů, but also has a wide repertoire of other composers. This ensemble is an excellent choice for classical music lovers.

Forum Karlín

This 3,000-seater events space plays host to several touring live music acts. Recent years have seen performances from the likes of Thom Yorke, Bullet for My Valentine, Yes, and Simply Red.

Hudební divadlo Karlín

This beautiful, baroque-revival building plays host to all manner of song-and-dance performances, from high-art operas to cheesy musicals. Shows are usually performed in Czech but with a screen showing English subtitles.

Institut Français de Prague

Nové Mesto

Bonjour! What do we have here? A little bit of Paris in Prague, that's what. Hidden in the basement of the French Institute is a full-size movie theater; most of the programming consists of recent French films as well as classics, also in French. Some of the films have English subtitles, and the admission fee is usually nominal (80 Kč). They also host an annual French Film Festival in November. No food or drinks allowed (but on the ground floor there's an excellent café). "Serious" film watching only.

International Organ Festival

Staré Mesto

The lovely organ in Bazilika sv. Jakuba (St. James Basilica) attracts world-famous musicians for the annual International Organ Festival, which includes weekly concerts during August and September. The festival will celebrate its 25th edition in 2021.