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A Czech Guide to Romance


a group of people sitting in a garden


As the season of love approaches, hearts around the world beat in anticipation of Valentine’s Day. But what about the Czechs? Do they partake in this celebration of love, or do they have their own unique ways of expressing affection? Let’s explore the romantic side of Prague and delve into Czech traditions of love.


Romance in Prague: A Match Made in Heaven

Allow me to make a bold claim: Czechs are inherently romantic people, and Prague stands as one of the most enchanting cities for lovebirds. What better place to seek love than in the heart of Europe itself? Prague’s allure lies in its cobblestone streets, red rooftops, and bohemian ambiance—a perfect backdrop for romance. Celebrating Valentine’s Day here means immersing yourself in the city’s serene charm, away from the hustle and bustle of tourist crowds.


a young couple in love sitting on a bench on the Vltava River bank with a view of the Prague Castle in the background


Valentine’s Day vs. May 1st: Czech Traditions

In the past, Valentine’s Day was a foreign concept in the Czech Republic, overshadowed by the local tradition of celebrating love on May 1st, coinciding with Labour Day. Inspired by Karel Hynek Mácha’s renowned poem “Máj” (May), couples would gather in Petřín Park under blooming orchards, sharing kisses beneath cherry or apple trees—a tradition still cherished today.

However, with the influence of Western culture, Valentine’s Day has found its place in Czech society, albeit in a more subdued manner. While some embrace it as an opportunity for a romantic outing, others prefer the simplicity of celebrating May 1st. And then there are those who joyously partake in both—after all, any reason to celebrate love is a good reason.


blooming apple trees in the Petrin Park orchard in Prague during spring


Expressions of Love: Czech Style

In Czech, the phrase “I love you” translates into two forms: “mám tě rád” (I like you) and “miluji tě” (I love you). The latter is reserved for more serious declarations and is not to be taken lightly. Confusion may arise between “zamilovat se” (to fall in love) and “milovat” (to love), with the former sometimes mistaken for physical affection.


Dating Traditions: Old Customs in Modern Times

Traditional gestures, like bringing odd-numbered flowers on a first date, still hold romantic allure. While the significance of flowers may have diminished, the sentiment remains. First dates often unfold in cozy restaurants, cafes, or picturesque parks, where couples can converse and connect. And while chivalry isn’t a necessity, small acts of courtesy are always appreciated.


Engagement and Wedding: Modern Love Stories

Gone are the days of arranged marriages and parental consent. Today, proposals are more personal, often preceded by subtle hints from the bride-to-be. Weddings range from traditional to secular ceremonies, with couples opting for diverse venues—from castles to vineyards. And while marriage remains a cherished institution, the average age of newlyweds is on the rise, reflecting shifting societal norms.


a couple getting married in the Czech Republic


Superstitions: Love and Fortune

In a country with waning religious affiliation, superstitions thrive. Many seek guidance from fortune tellers, eager to uncover insights into their love lives. From fortune tellers to daisy petal divination, Czechs are not averse to seeking answers from the mystical.


Romantic Prague: Where Love Blossoms

Exploring Prague’s romantic side entails leisurely strolls through Petřín Park or intimate discoveries in Nový Svět (New World). For breathtaking views, ascend Vyšehrad’s gardens or brave the heights of the Žižkov TV tower observatory. And for a touch of whimsy, indulge in a river cruise or glide across the ice at one of Prague’s outdoor skating rinks.

With so many romantic experiences awaiting, Prague beckons lovers to create unforgettable moments together.


a couple holding hands walking in front of the building of the Charles University in Prague


February 13, 2024