Considered as the most well-known and biggest fair in Prague, St. Matthew’s Fair, or Matějská Pouť , is an annual event that takes place every spring. It’s a historical festival that has been observed for over 400 years. While the festival today is extremely different from how it was celebrated centuries ago, it’s still a deeply honored Czech tradition.
A Brief History of the Matějská Pouť
The Matějská Pouť has a long history. It’s a celebration of the feast of St. Matthew, which takes place on February 24.
The earliest record of the celebration goes as far back as 1595, and it’s for this reason that the St. Matthew’s Fair is considered as the first spring fair, not only in Prague but also in Europe. When it first began, the Fair was celebrated in different parts of the city because of pilgrimages to churches. It wasn’t until 1963 that it was moved to its present location, which is at the Výstaviště Praha.
What to Expect During St. Matthew’s Fair
Every year, there’s always something to look forward to, whether you’re a local or a tourist. Keep in mind that the opening date for the Fair will vary each year, but it usually starts in February and ends in March.
During St. Matthew’s Fair, you can find over 100 domestic and foreign attractions at the Lunapark. These popular attractions, including roller coasters, bumper cars, carousels, and a Ferris Wheel, to name a few, would appeal to both children and adults. Note that some rides have age restrictions.
You can also enjoy snacks from a number of fast food stalls that offer a wide array of treats, such as traditional Czech gingerbread, Turkish honey, shaved ice, cotton candy, and even Czech beer. There are also stalls that sell souvenir items and trinkets, so you’d have something to remember your St. Matthew’s Fair experience by.
The Matějská Pouť is held at the Výstaviště Praha, or the Prague Exhibition Grounds. Within the Exhibition Grounds, you’ll also find a number of exciting attractions and amenities, such as the Křižík Fountain, which showcases waterworks accompanied by lighting and musical effects, a parkour playground, a rope playground, and a children’s bike park.
How to Get There
You’ll find that the St. Matthew’s Fair is easily accessible, even if you’re taking public transportation. To get to the fair, which is located within the Výstaviště Praha, you need to take the Metro C (red line) to get to Nadrazi Holesovice. From there, take a tram (choose from tram nos. 5, 12, 14, 15, or 17) and stop at Výstaviště.
If you’re going to the Exhibition Grounds by car, there are several parking facilities within the grounds. Parking is free for the first 45 minutes. After which, you’ll be charged a fee depending on the size and type of your vehicle. You can check the parking facility locations here and the parking fees here.
Note that you’ll have to pay a general admission fee and that each attraction charges a separate fee. The fair is open from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on weekdays and from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. during the weekends.