The Best Hot Air Balloon Ride Next to Prague

A ride in a hot air balloon is probably on everyone’s bucket list. But if I say “hot air balloon”, the first thing that probably pops into your mind is Cappadocia in Turkey or Bagan in Myanmar. But what about the Czech Republic? Surprisingly, the vicinity of Prague is full of history. The region offers incredible natural landscapes and historical places such as gorgeous castles that you can actually see from above!

When I came across the opportunity to go up in a hot air balloon around Prague, I just knew had to do it! This type of rides provides a unique bird’s eye perspective. Watching the sunrise over the hills, or the sun setting behind the Czech countryside is something magical. As I was lucky enough to go on this adventure, I wanted to share my experience with you and help you prepare should you decide on going on a hot air balloon ride next to Prague!

Disclaimer: I was invited by Balloon Adventures but all opinions about the company and the balloon ride are my own.

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Things to Know Before Going on a Hot Air Balloon Ride

➤ Flight times & options

Balloon Adventures offers two flight options; a sunrise and a sunset flight. Pick up times for sunrise flights are around 4:30 AM and sunset flights are around 6 PM because it takes approximately 40 minutes to drive to the take-off destination. Of course, those times will vary depending on the exact sunrise and sunset times. My balloon ride was scheduled for a sunrise or sunset flight on a Sunday.

The day before the flight, Balloon Adventures sent me a flight status update saying that the sunrise flight won’t be happening but that it was confirmed for sunset. I also got a final confirmation email on the day of the flight. Confirmation is given on the same day (or the evening before if it is a sunrise flight) to make sure the weather conditions are favorable.

Since ballooning is weather dependent, it is important to provide alternative dates and times to reschedule the flight in case of unfavorable weather conditions.

My and my boyfriend went on a group flight but you can always arrange a private flight if you prefer. They have wedding proposal options that look pretty cool. It is, of course, more expensive. If you are a solo or budget traveler, I recommend the group tour.

➤ What to wear on a hot air balloon ride

Ballooning is an outdoor activity so it is important to dress accordingly. No matter which time of year or day you go for a balloon ride, the temperature in the air is roughly the same as it is on the ground. Moreover, when the burner is turned on, it gets very hot in the basket so don’t be scared about freezing up in the air, it won’t happen! One other thing to bear in mind is that the balloon basket is pretty dirty so white clothing is not recommended since you need to climb in and out the basket.

  • Shoes: closed-toes shoes are recommended, such as boots and sneakers. High heels or flip-flops are definitely not a good idea. You need to be able to stand the entire time you are up in the air so wearing comfy shoes is important. Taking off and landing also happen in fields, so you need to have shoes that allow you to walk on the grass.
  • Bottoms: short skirts and flowy dresses are not the best for this type of activity. I would recommend wearing long pants that you can move in since you need to get in and out of the basket.
  • Top: any regular top will do but don’t forget to bring a light jacket or sweater especially if the ride is during sunset, the temperature can change within a few hours.

➤ What to bring aboard

You don’t have to bring a lot of things for the flight but if you do, put everything in a backpack or some sort of bag you can put in front of you in case of harsh landing to protect your belongings. But to be honest, nothing is risky so you can bring your camera and protective case, your phone, and even a selfie stick if you feel like it. A pair of sunglasses and a cap (that fits close to your head) are also possible to bring on board if you are sensitive to sunlight. BUT, do not bring a full bladder because you definitely won’t be able to go to the restrooms up in the air!

Setting-up the Hot Air Balloon

After the flight was fully confirmed at noon on Sunday, Balloon Adventures’ driver picked us up at 6 PM on the same day alongside another family who was joining us on the tour. On the 40-minute drive to the launch site, we started getting anxious that the flight might get canceled because it started to rain. The father of the family in the car with us said that it was their second time driving all the way to the landing site. The first time their flight got canceled last minute because of the weather – it is so unpredictable! Luckily for him (and for us!), the rain didn’t last. The crew started setting up the balloon and we were ready for our hot air balloon ride around Prague!

Our pilot gave us a safety briefing and started prepping the balloon with his team. I saw how a hot air balloon was inflated for the first time. It was super interesting! First of all, the balloon is placed flat on the ground with no air inside. The basket is put sideways with the burner pointing parallel to the ground. The balloon is then inflated with a high-powered fan. Once the balloon is full of cold air, the burner flame is turned on, heating the air and building pressure inside the balloon until it starts to lift off the ground. We were finally ready for takeoff!

The Hot Air Balloon Tour Next to Prague

While the balloon started to stand vertically, we were invited to come on board. Three people fit into each corner of the basket, which is way bigger than you might expect! The pilot is right in the middle where he operates the burner to get us up or down. Once you’re in the air the burners keep you warm and cozy. It can actually get super hot if you are standing right next under it. I really don’t know how the pilot does it!

Then, we were going where the wind was taking us (quite literally!). Most of the hot air balloon rides take place around the Konopiste Castle which is a gorgeous castle 45 minutes away from Prague. The flight lasted for about an hour but it felt like way less as time flew by. We took a countless number of pictures as the panoramic view up in the air was absolutely insane. We would fly above small villages and locals. Everyone, especially young kids would run out in their garden and wave at us yelling: “Ahoj!” (which means hello in Czech). We all had the biggest smile on our faces while we were waving back, floating over their houses.

Surprisingly enough (at least for me), a balloon ride is so peaceful and quiet. Ours was so much smoother than an airplane flight. It is such a special sensation, it feels like you are just floating around! Even the landing was peaceful.

Landing in a Hot Air Balloon

Since there is never a specific landing spot, our pilot was looking for a place to land the balloon. He decided to land on a field where the crops were already harvested. An accessible area is always chosen so the vehicle that is used to help pack the balloon can reach it.

Since we were given a brief before take off, we knew what to do and what to expect during landing. We put our back towards the landing direction and held onto the handles in case of a rough landing. Luckily, it was very smooth since the winds were calm. We slowly went down until we touched the ground. We barely felt the impact!  The balloon started deflating while we all climbed out of the basket.


At the end of the tour, we received our own personalized certificate of completion. We then celebrated our successful flight with a glass of prosecco. Touching down to a toast while the sun disappeared behind the hills was magical. During the celebration, the balloon and basket were packed up by the rest of the crew while our pilot told us the history of hot air ballooning.

The first hot air balloon flight was performed in 1783, in Paris, in a balloon created by the Montgolfier brothers. They ended up giving their name to the balloon since “Mongolfière” means hot air balloon in French! How cool!

We finally drove back to our original meeting location, pretty tired but full of sparkles in our eyes and wanderlust in our hearts. It was truly the experience of a lifetime! I will never forget this hot air balloon ride next to Prague.

Have you ever been on a hot air balloon ride? If not, would you like to do it? Let me know in the comments below!

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