With the arrival of Saint Matthew’s fair and the Masopust carnival taking place this weekend, its a great time to be in Prague with your kids but there’s also a lot going on for the adults. Most notable in the “adults only” events category this weekend is Prague’s second annual “Gin Fest”, which is a must for connoisseurs of the juniper berry.
This weekend Prague will be hosting its second annual Gin Fest. This year it will be held at the trendy DUP36 community centre on February 25th. Visitors will have the opportunity to sample up to 35 different varieties of gin, including well known brands and also lesser known labels from all over Europe. For true gin enthusiasts, there will also be the chance to attend seminars at no extra cost to learn about the history and production of gin. In the spirit of the festival, many restaurants around the city will be serving special gin based cocktails from Feb 17th-25th, so keep an eye out gin lovers!
- Entry to the festival on the door costs 300CZK, but tickets can be bought in advance online for just 250CK. See their website for more details.
- Doors open at 11.30am and the final seminar of the day finishes at 19.50.
- DUP36 can be found at Charvátova 10, 110 00 Praha. It is close to Mustek Metro (Line B/A) or Narodni Trida Metro (Line B).
Thievery Corporation at ROXY
On Saturday, ROXY will play host to the legendary Thievery Corporation. After forming in 1995, American duo Thievery Corporation have built themselves a reputation for fearlessly blending genres such as dub, reggae, hip-hop, Indian classical, acid and electronica to create a unique and undoubtedly cool sound. ROXY is one of Prague’s oldest and best known nightclubs and it boasts a truly unique atmosphere with wide open spaces and a slightly dilapidated warehouse feel. This show will be something really special.
- Tickets for the show are available at the venue or via their website.
- ROXY can be found at Dlouhá 33, 110 00 Praha 1-Staré Město. It is close to tram stop Dlouha or Metro Namesti Republiky (B Line)
The grey clouds may be gathering over head, but this weekend Prague’s streets will be alive with sound and colour as the festival of Masopust hits the city. Masopust is a festival of colourful costumes, parades, music and most importantly, feasting. Masopust literally means “maso” (meat) and “pust” (fast) and was traditionally the time that people would feast on meat and other rich, delicious foods before fasting during the period of lent. These days the religious elements of this celebration aren’t widely observed but masopust is still an excuse for a good old party.
Probably the biggest celebration taking place in the city this weekend will be the Zizkovsky Masopust on Namesti Jiriho z Podebrad. The programme here is mostly aimed at kids and includes a funfair, a petting zoo and a child friendly shooting range amongst other things. For the adults, there will be a whole load of food stalls and no shortage of beer or wine. The sqaure also hosts a small farmers market, which is actually there all year round and well worth investigating for some of the best locally grown produce in the city.
For the less squeamish amongst you, there will be a traditional pig slaughtering followed by a feast at U Vystrelenyho Oka (the shot out eye) from 12am-5pm on Sunday. Pig slaughtering may sound brutal but it is always carried out humanely and hardly anything is wasted. The pig slaughtering or “Zabiacka” in Czech is a very important tradition in the country, particularly in more rural areas.
- Events on Namesti Jiriho z Podebrad will be going on from 14:00-17:30 on Saturday and 10:00-18:00 on Sunday. Just take the Metro (A Line) or trams 11 and 13 to Jiriho z Podebrad.
- U Vystrelenyho Oka can be found at U Božích bojovníků 606/3, 130 00, Žižkov, Praha 3
TRANZISTOR REVUE #1 at Café v Lese.
Hidden away from the crowds in the charming district of Vrsovice, Café v Lese (meaning café in the woods) is a big favourite with locals, expats and students. This café, bar, theatre and concert venue all rolled into one has a somewhat cosy and mismatched feel about it and is a great place to relax at any time of day. This Sunday from 19:00, Café v Lese will be hosting an event which promises “musicians performing in unusual combinations with unexpected guests”. It all sounds a little mysterious but is definitely worth checking out as it is completely free. Performers will include British Folk singer James Harries, Lithuanian duo Alaverdi and Czech songwriters Urbanek a Mourek amongst many others. An interesting fact about Cafe v Lese is that the building was home to the first brothel in Prague to have hot running water.
- For more information about performers, check out their website.
- Café v Lese can be found at Krymská 12, 101 00 Praha 10 and is close to the Krymska tram stop or a pleasant 15 minute stroll from Namest Miru Metro (Line A).
The Magic Flute at the Estates Theatre.
For a truly magical experience, visit one of Europe’s oldest theatres this Sunday evening to see Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Magic Flute. The Opera was first performed in this theatre in 1792 and the new production by renowned Czech director Vladimir Moravek promises to be just as spell-binding.
- Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office.
- For more information about tickets and the performance, see the National Theatre’s Website.
Antonin Dvorak’s Rusalka streamed live from the MET at the Kino Aero and Kino Svetozor.
The Metropolitain Opera House in New York City has won awards for live, high-definition broadcasts of its operas to movie theatres all over the world. This weekend, visitors to the Kino Aero in Zizkov and the Kino Svetozor just off Wenceslas Square will have the chance to be captivated by Antonin Dvorak’s fairy tale master piece, Rusalka.
A live performance with English subtitles will be screened simultaneously in both the Kino Aero and the Kino Svetozor at 18:45 on Saturday evening. Both cinemas are independent, equipped with bars and even allow you to takes drinks into the screening.
- Kino Svetozor can be found at Vodičkova 791/41, 110 00 Praha 1
- Kino Aero can be found at Biskupcova 1733/31, 130 00 Praha 3
Saint Matthew’s Fair (Matejska Pout)
The annual Saint Matthew’s Fair is the most visited fair in the Czech Republic and is over 410 years old. It opens its gates for the first time this year on Saturday February 25th. The fair is located at the Vystaviste Holesovice exhibition grounds. For the fearless, there are some attractions which will really get the adrenalin pumping, like the Rollover, the Catapult and the Booster. There are also tamer attractions, such as the traditional Bumper cars, Carrousels and Ferris wheels. Food stalls serve a range of tasty but not so healthy snacks, including traditional ginger bread, cotton candy, Czech sausages, smoked meats and Czech beer. The fair is much loved amongst locals both young and old and is a fun day out for thrill seekers. However, if the screaming all gets a bit much for you, the fair is located right next to Stromovka park. Stromovka is a woody paradise and Prague’s largest park, making it the perfect place to take a leisurely afternoon stroll.
- The fair is open Sat-Sun 10am-10pm and Tues-Fri 2pm-9pm. It is closed on Mondays.
- General admission is just 25CZK but be aware that you will have to pay separately for each ride. Prices for the rides range from about 20CZK up to 200CZK for the biggest and most popular rides.
- To get to the fair by public transport, just take tram 6 or 12 to the Vystaviste Holesovice tram stop.