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Why Prague is a good place to be in June

Do you really need another reason to visit the ever-beautiful Prague? If so, there's plenty going on there over the next few weekends:

You still have a couple more days to enjoy The Czech Beer Festival now taking place at the Exhibition Centre Prague Holesovice. Through June 2, work your way through 70 brands of Czech beer in a tent large enough to accommodate 10,000 revelers. Top chefs from the city’s best restaurants will see to it that you don’t leave hungry.

The city district known as Malá Strana is the site of the Fringe Festival, which runs June 1-9. With 240 theatrical, musical and dance performances by 100 artists, you’ll find a little bit of everything. To transcend language barriers, visual aspects of expression are emphasized. You will need tickets to catch the performances, which can be bought at the doors of hosting venues. You also could opt to buy a voucher worth the equivalent of 5 full-price tickets at a cost of 600 Czech koruna, or about $30. Be sure to show up on time, as vouchers must be exchanged for tickets at the door, and in no way guarantee entry to a sold-out show.

On June 2-3, check out the King’s Parade as it slowly wends its way from Prague to Karlštejn Castle. The parade starts at 9:30 a.m. Saturday from the Prague Castle and moves through various municipalities. Its final stop on Saturday night is Dobřichovice, where it picks up again Sunday. The entourage includes the Emperor, his wife Elisabeth of Bohemia, riders on horseback, and courtiers in carriages. They arrive at Karlštejn Castle around midday Sunday. Jesters, musicians, knights and magicians will get the crowds into the proper medieval spirit.

On June 9, explore some new sides of old Prague. Now in its ninth year, Prague’s Museum Night offers an after-hours glance at the city’s museums, galleries and other cultural landmarks. This year, 39 institutions offer special programs in about 70 buildings. Entry and use of public transportation is free on this night, which begins at 7 p.m. and runs until 1 a.m. Sunday. Your night could include listening to a chamber orchestra playing Beatles songs, trailing a wounded dinosaur through a fossilized forest, an ascent of the tower of the New Town Hall, or making candy violets.

Another option for that same evening would be to head to Wenceslas Square to hear the Czech National Symphony Orchestra perform Hollywood Night. Enjoy the sounds of the music you’ll instantly recognize from films such as Star Wars, Titanic, Rocky, The Godfather, and Mission: Impossible. The performance, part of Prague’s Open Air Prom series, gets underway at 8 p.m. Choose from 16 additional Prague Prom performances through July 21.

The United Islands music festival takes place June 21-23. Instead of the usual pop and rock bands that tour Europe throughout the summer, here you’ll find indie and cult bands, jazz, world music and more. Ten stages will host 200 musical projects from 21 countries. The festival takes place on the islands and surroundings of the Vltava River, and admission is absolutely free.

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About the Author

Karen Bradbury has lived and worked in Europe for more than fifteen years. She has called Moscow, Copenhagen, Rome and now a small wine-producing village along the Rhine in Germany home. When she's not working, whatever the season, she's probably traveling.

Email: bradburyk@estripes.osd.mil