Prague exploring stag party costume ban to tackle rowdy tourists

British groups flock to the Czech capital for the cheap pints and nightlife  (Getty Images)
British groups flock to the Czech capital for the cheap pints and nightlife (Getty Images)

A district council in Prague has proposed that outrageous costumes worn by stag and hen party groups be banned to tackle overtourism and reduce the toll of nightlife on locals in the city.

Officials from Prague 1 district council are discussing the potential to prohibit inappropriate fancy dress for tourists in the Czech capital in negotiations with the city municipality.

The suggested ‘silly costume’ ban intends to address noise pollution and unruly tourist behaviour in the area’s nightlife scene.

In the proposal, Prague 1 councillor Bronislava Sitár Baboráková, said the costumes “exceed generally acceptable social conventions” and negatively impact residents – particularly highlighting the effect on elderly people and children, according to Prague Morning.

Included in the Prague 1 area, most of which is a Unesco World Heritage site, are the medieval old town, Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge.

The pub crawls and beer tours, concentrated around the bars and nightclubs near Wenceslas Square, are particularly popular with British tourists celebrating stag and hen dos in variations of themed fancy dress and inflatable costumes.

According to StagWeb, a leading UK stag do firm, Prague is their 4th most popular European destination for 2024 behind Benidorm, Albufeira and Dublin.

Jon Stainer, StagWeb’s creative director, said: “We completely understand if places want to ban stags from wearing offensive or explicit costumes, but we’re not entirely sure how that will stop noise pollution.

“The majority of guys who dress up are very respectful and just having a bit of fun, so it seems like a strange measure if it’s a blanket ban.

“I get they’re trying to placate the locals whilst still benefiting from the thousands of stag parties that head there, but I don’t see the measure having any impact.”

The success of such a costume ban is also the subject of debate with city officials.

Adam Zábranský, the councillor for property, transparency and legislation, said that a ban will not solve the problem: “I understand the effort made to solve the problem of pub crawls, I also perceive them as very annoying for people living in the centre of Prague. But I don’t think we should solve it by banning the childish behaviour of bachelor party participants who dress up in costumes,” reports local media outlet Expats CZ.

Previous measures against overtourism including a nighttime ban on cars in the old town area and limited central business hours have been cancelled or were not approved by the city municipality.

One Prague resident has even started a 10-day hunger strike as a result of the noise in the old town.

Štěpán Kuchta, a resident of Dlouhá Street, told “My health is already ruined by chronic noise. A hunger strike is nothing against that.”

Kuchta added: “To date, Prague 1 and the municipality have not done anything at all regarding noise, vibrations and light smog to improve the situation of the remaining residents in the city center. Nothing at all, zero.”