Prague Signal Festival 2019 – How to Enjoy it Like a Local
Autumn is the best time to visit Prague: the temperature is just perfect and the city is much less crowded. But what makes autumn in Prague even more special is the Prague Signal Festival, the city’s largest and most spectacular cultural event of the year that will take place 10- 13 October this year. The Signal Festival is the ultimate proof that modern technology and modern art can work wonders together. During the four day festival the city’s historical landmarks become the canvas on which renowned artists from the Czech Republic and the rest of the world use light installations, video-mapping and other techniques to transform the city into a magnificent work of art.
The Signal Festival is unique because it brings high-brow art from the modern galleries to the streets and turns it into a spectacle that caters to everyone’s taste. So, no matter whether you are art aficionados or just looking for a good time, the Signal Festival is the place to be! In fact, it is so good that the Guardian has placed it on the list of the top ten best light art festivals in the world! In case you need more proof, here is a sneak peek into the highlights of last year’s event.
The idea for the festival was born after the success of the video-mapping event at Prague’s Astronomical Clock that took place to celebrate its 600 anniversary in 2010. This idea officially came into existence in 2013, and since then there have been more than 2 million festival visitors. Now, the Signal Festival is definitely a must, as the number of visitors clearly shows. But, because of its popularity you can easily get overwhelmed by the crowds and find yourself not being able to fully enjoy the event. That’s why we have put together a list of a few tips and tricks to help you enjoy Signal Festival like a local!
First of all, it’s all about the logistics! Even though the festival is mostly located in the centre of Prague, there are always some designated routes you should follow that make it easier for you to orientate yourself and get the most of it. Usually, there are three main routes: one is located around the historical centre, one in the hip area of Karlín, and the third in the beautiful district of Vinohrady. We highly recommend buying the special festival map that is sold at all info points. It is also possible to download the Signal Festival application, which will be available shortly before the beginning of the festival. Whatever you choose, you will not be sorry, because both the map and the app are not only useful, but also full of interesting information about the locations, the artworks and the artists. For more information about this, consult the Signal Festival website.
What to see?
The Signal Festival team has recently begun revealing this year’s locations. From what we know so far, it will be a real spectacle of dressing well known landmarks in brand new light and a journey of discovery of the less well known nooks and crannies of Prague. For example, like in the previous years, the centre of the event in the vibrant district Karlín will be the magnificent Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius. However, the Karlín route will also take you to three old factories hidden somewhere in the heart of the district! To get more ideas about the programme, please follow Signal Festival’s Instagram page, you will not be sorry!
The Signal festival takes place outside, so it’s a great opportunity to enjoy world-renowned art completely free of charge! However, there will be a few special installations in the Gallery Zone for which you will need to buy a ticket. If you want to visit them, get yourself a Signal Pass and you will be able to see all six installations and a 3D mapping. If you want to buy tickets on the spot, be sure to have some cash on you.
During the festival the city gets really crowded, so if you want to go by car, we highly recommend parking it further from the city centre. The best way to enjoy and fully experience the festival is on foot anyway! However, you might want to use Prague’ public transport to get from one route to another. The public transport in Prague is one of the best and most reliable in Europe. It’s quick and punctual, and during the festival the trams and the metro will go at shorter intervals. Also, there will be signs at the stops to lead you to the light installation.
What to wear
The weather in October is mild, with an average temperature of about 15 degrees Celsius. However, it can get colder during the evening, so be sure to bring a warm autumn sweater with you! Another important item on the list are comfortable shoes. The routes are about 5 to 6 km long, so a good comfy pair of shoes is a must if you want to enjoy Prague’s pebbled streets without any worries!
Where to eat
All that walking is bound to make you hungry and thirsty, but do not worry, there will be plenty of chances to charge your batteries! Signal festival turns public spaces into art; it literally brings art to the streets, so it’s the best time to taste Prague street food. During the event, there are always many food stands close to the main installations. Besides the traditional Czech klobása (sausage), you will be able to try street food from all over the world. Of course, it goes without saying that a pint of delicious Czech beer is a must on your route! Now, if you get tired and want to sit down, you can always visit some of the local pubs. Our personal favourite is Lokál, which you can find on several locations around Prague. Unsurprisingly, it’s both locals’ and tourists’ favourite as they serve the freshest beer and the best of Czech cuisine, all of that in a warm and pleasant atmosphere. If you want to find out more about Czech beer tradition, check out our Beer and Tapas Tour!
September 9, 2019.