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Dress code music venues in Prague

Hello, 4 of us will be in Prague for 4 nights in September, and would like to go to one of the professional concert halls for a performance. The Estates Theater, the National Theater and the Rudolfinium are all possibilities, but their websites suggest semi formal attire. The men were not planning on bringing anything more formal than dress shirts and casual jackets as opposed to suits. While I imagine we would not be turned away, how awkward would we feel in these venues attired this way? The women could get by more easily with packable long skirts.
Thanks for your help.
Linda

Posted by
162 posts

I went to the National Theater for a matinee performance of The Nutcracker and while the kids were in their best Christmas outfits, the adults were dressed a bit more casually. Men should be alright with dress shirts and casual jackets. Just skip the jeans, t shirts and sneakers and you'll be fine

Posted by
101 posts

linda, two years ago we attended an opera and another music performance, and we and just about everyone else was dressed very casual. absolutely no suits and ties. nick

Posted by
2483 posts

I have been to a few concerts and operas in Prague and as a male I usually wear dress trouser smart shirt and casual jacket but have seen everyone wear attire from full evening dress to shorts and T-shirts, Certainly I would fell very underdressed in shorts and t's but dressed as I was I felt I fitted in very well. I think the men will be fine with what they have.
The Estates tends to be the more casual of these places and Rudolfinium the more formal. The Municiple house also does quite a few tourist concerts as well as more high brow stuff this is were you see the biggest difference in attire,

Posted by
2135 posts

I attended an opera at the Estates in May and there was a mix of locals and tourists, in everything from slacks and dress shirts to suits for men, and women in cocktail dresses to casual and plenty of dressy jeans/pants outfits (that was me). I felt perfectly comfortable. I had an excellent box seat in the first tier for about $60 US, the same location at the SF opera would easily be $300, and the performance of the Marriage of Figaro was wonderful.

Posted by
11759 posts

HEAVLY EDITED

but their websites suggest semi formal attire

My personal standard when a guest in someone's home is to make every effort to meet or exceed the host's expectations of behavior. I would take their suggestion to heart. I will offer this. "semi formal attire" I believe is a term lost in time and lost in translation in this instance. I am certain that they mean ties and sports coats for the gentlemen at a minimum. Generally speaking those who purchase more expensive seats dress better than those in the balcony cheap seats.

how awkward would we feel in these venues attired this way?

If you mean that you are afraid of feeling awkward because you are negatively impacting the expectations and enjoyment of others; particularly the locals, then I agree that it is a concern. My experience in Prague theaters is limited to a couple of venues over a couple of years but my impression was that the locals were better dressed on average than the tourists; but that the tourist made up a fairly significant part of the audience.

People generally want to believe what they want to believe and this is a subject argued often. So I think the best advice is to google photos of theaters in the region and look at how the patrons are dressed and do what you believe to be most appropriate while maintaining the standards suggested or recommended by the theater. There are a couple of links below for a start as well as a link to a similar discussion on the forum.

My apologies if the previous post offended

You might also be interested inhttps://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/austria/proper-attire-for-opera-35ac258a-acfa-47bd-8ba6-34ddd2b596c1

https://cindyknoke.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/dsc06471.jpg
http://www.rentalpro.eu/galerie/81_2_big.jpg
https://bucketfullofwords.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/dsc_0250.jpg

Posted by
27 posts

I find James' remarks unnecessarily caustic. The fact we are thinking about proper attire 2 months in advance should indicate our wish to be culturally appropriate. I would remind James that good manners are about much more than clothes.

Posted by
11759 posts

Linda, you are correct about my tone. Unnecessary. My apologies and I will correct the post accordingly

Posted by
27 posts

To James. Accepted. Thank you for your newer post. And thanks to all who responded to us about their experiences in Prague theaters.
Linda

Posted by
358 posts

I so appreciate the honest and heartfelt responses to this question. On our recent trip (first time on a tour and so it was an unexpected offer) we declined the offer of ballet because we had not packed appropriate clothes. We did so out of respect to the audience as well as the performers. On the other hand, respectful behavior is about much more than what you are wearing. I have been seated next to smartly dressed people who texted during a symphony which to me was WAY more inappropriate than wearing the best clothes you happen to have packed. I think the larger point is that when traveling you need to plan ahead to the activities you have scheduled , and then throw in one additional outfit that falls into the "just in case" category. That could be a tie, or it could be a swimsuit. :)

Posted by
2135 posts

Another thought--I regularly attend the SF opera--in a dress!--and behave with the utmost courtesy, as does everyone else, whether I sit in a nose-bleed seat or splurge for something much closer; that means no rustling of papers or programs, no phones in sight, heaven forbid no talking, back in my seat and settled early. The Estates was my one theatre/opera experience thus far in my travels and I noticed many tourists that seemed to be there on a lark, and behaved like they were in their own living room. They got stern looks from me and my box-mates at first, then a fierce "SHHHHHHHHH!" finally settled them down.

Posted by
11759 posts

The Estates was my one theatre/opera experience thus far in my travels
and I noticed many tourists that seemed to be there on a lark, and
behaved like they were in their own living room.

Its a shame isn't it. My few experiences in Prague have sort led me to be prepared for a similar experience. Vienna isn't much different. Its a lot less prevalent in Budapest; but I suppose that will change in time. I think all that is holding it back is that the classics are still part of Hungarian culture so the Hungarian people grab up the majority of the seats before the tourists can get them. When Budapest changes I will head further east.