Sport in Prague

If you’re travelling to Prague and are interested in football or ice hockey, then I definitely recommend that you take in a game if possible. Whilst both are extremely popular, ice hockey is definitely the firm favourite due to their rich history and the famous gold medal win at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano. Given their modest population of around ten million, the Czech’s have performed reasonably well in the world sport. Since the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, their football team have qualified for every European Championship and one World Cup Finals, and are currently 26th in the FIFA rankings. Consistent performances, in addition to a silver medal at Euro 96 and a semi-final appearance at Euro 2004, have seen many promising younger footballers earn moves to teams in the top European leagues. It’s fairly common to see them return home in the twilight of their careers. Similarly, a golden age in ice hockey starting in the mid 90’s saw the Czech’s win five gold medals in the space of six years, with many of their players currently playing in the NHL or KHL. They’re currently 6th in IIHF rankings.

Slavia v Sparta, Eden Arena

SK Slavia v AC Sparta, Eden Arena

The experience of watching club games in Czech Republic (and central Europe) is very different from that of the UK. As a general rule of thumb the sections behind the goals are home to the hardcore supporters and ‘ultras’ who generate a terrific atmosphere through their drums, chants, and the regular impressive choreographic displays used to promote their own club or mock their rivals. Occasionally pyrotechnics are used, although this tends to be more prominent with away fans. Attending games is generally safe and you’re unlikely to encounter any problems or issues. However, there can be rare incidents of isolated violence at some local derbies, whilst games involving FC Baník Ostrava tend to have a larger police presence. If in doubt, avoid club colours and the sections behind the goals. The catering stalls within the grounds are reasonably priced, and you’re allowed to take alcohol to your seat (unless it’s a UEFA competition); typical snacks include sausages and potato pancakes. Tickets are easy enough to come by. There are many tourist agencies that offer ticketing services, although this is an unnecessary waste of money given that many tickets can be purchased online and printed out at home. Furthermore, games very rarely sell out so you’ll be able to purchase tickets at the venue on the day.

Below are links to the options for watching either football or ice hockey in Prague.

Watching Football in Prague

Watching Ice Hockey in Prague