Prague’s history is rich and varied. This translates into a city that has a lot to offer from a cultural standpoint, with several unique and outstanding museums scattered all over Prague.
Let’s discover some together!
National Museum – Národní Muzeum
Founded in 1818, the National Museum is the oldest museum in the Czech Republic. It houses important collections representing a variety of fields such as mineralogy, zoology, anthropology and archaeology. The entomology collection alone numbers more than 5 million specimens!
The historical building of the National Museum was declared a national cultural monument in 1962 and now offers a stunning architectural contrast with the new building, which presents a unique modern look thanks to the addition, in the 1960s, of a superstructure to its mainframe (originally built in 1938).
Its wide breadth of permanent and temporary exhibitions, united with its rich history, make the National Museum a definite must-visit in Prague.
Address: National Museum, Václavské náměstí 68, 115 79 Praha 1- Nové Město
Franz Kafka Museum – Muzeum Franze Kafky
Opened in 2005 in the Lesser-Town bank of the Vltava River, it provides a full immersion into the world of Czech writer Franz Kafka. Kafka was born in Prague in 1883 and lived a very lonely life before his death in 1924, due to tuberculosis, in Austria. His life turmoils were expressed through his novels, which explored themes such as existential anxiety, guilt, absurdity and alienation.
Few of his works were published during his lifetime, however, he is today best known for the novels “Die Verwandlung” (“The Metamorphosis”), Der Process (The Trial), and Das Schloss (The Castle).
The museum to him dedicated is divided into two parts. The first illustrates how the city or Prague impacted the author via his diaries and his correspondence with family and friends, while the second one focuses on Kafka’s use of imaginary topography in his works and how this has been applied to the city of Prague itself.
This exhibition also showcases many unique pieces, such as most of the first editions of Kafka’s works as well as 3D installations and audiovisual pieces specially created for the exhibition.
Address: Franz Kafka Museum, Cihelná 2b, 118 00 Praha 1- Malá Strana
The Museum of Decorative Arts – Uměleckoprůmyslové Muzeum v Praze (UPM)
The Museum of Decorative Arts was first opened in the late 1800s in an effort to preserve art and hand-made objects after the advent of industrialization. The building today hosts a variety of exhibitions, from goldsmithing and lace manufacturing to bell-founding. It also administers collections of fashion and design, furniture, toys as well as written and picture documentation.
Especially remarkable is the glass collection, which is one of the most extensive in the world. This is thanks to one of the museum’s benefactors, knight Vojtěch Lanna, who donated half of his own private glass collection to the museum.
Address: Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague (Uměleckoprůmyslové museum), 17. listopadu 2, 110 00 Praha 1- Staré Město
Museum of Public Transport – Muzeum Městské Hromadné Dopravy
Located in the Střešovice tram depot, this museum tells history from a unique perspective: that of public transport. Opened in 1993 by the DPP (Prague’s Public Transport Company) it includes a permanent collection of 40 historical vehicles as well as models, maps, photographs and tickets.
The depot itself is a historical monument, as it dates back to 1909 and represents what a typical depot building of the time would look like. As a number of historical vehicles are fully operational, they are often used for special private and public tours around the city. In the summer, it is possible on weekends and holidays to ride on the historic tram line 41. A true immersion in the past!
Address: Public Transport Museum – Střešovice Depot (Muzeum městské hromadné dopravy), Patočkova 4, 160 00 Praha 6- Střešovice
Staropramen Center – Návštěvnické Centrum Staropramen
Beer is an important part of Czech culture. With Czech people drinking an average of 160 liters of beer per person each year, over 1000 years in brewing history and 400 active breweries in the country, this fact is not surprising. Therefore, visiting a Czech Brewery is a must for anyone interested in learning more about Czech culture and traditions.
On this note, we have to talk about the Staropramen Center. The second-largest beer producer in the Czech Republic, Staropramen has opened its Center to guide visitors through the history of beer brewing since its founding in 1869 till today.
The interactive tour also includes a beer tasting in beer glasses crafted by Czech Glassmakers.
Located in its original Brewery in Smíchov, the Staropramen Center is a definite “must-visit” location in Prague.
Address: Staropramen Brewery, Nádražní 84, 150 00 Praha 5- Smíchov
Strahov Monastery – Strahovský Klášter
Strahov Monastery is a Premonstratensian monastery that was founded in 1140. ⠀
It includes numerous attractions, among which the church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the rare Strahov Library with a collection of medieval manuscripts, maps and globes. This library contains over 200,000 books and it was chosen as one of the 8 most beautiful libraries in the world.
The complex also includes the Strahov Gallery, one of the most significant Central European collections of Gothic paintings, Rudolfian art, Baroque and Rococo paintings. ⠀
Address: Strahov Monastery (Strahovský klášter), Strahovské nádvoří 1/132, 118 00 Praha 1- Hradčany
National Technical Museum – Národní Technické Muzeum
Established in 1908 in a functionalist building located near Letná Park, this museum features a unique collection consisting of 14 permanent exhibitions and several temporary ones.
Its permanent exhibitions cover a wide range of topics, from Architecture to Printing, from Transportation to Gaming Technologies. This museum also contains a section on the Measuring of Time and it showcases the developments of chronometry as well as that of local watchmaking, which became prominent during the reign of the Luxembourgs in the country.
The National Technical Museum is truly a place where wonder and technology walk hand in hand.
Address: National Technical Museum (Národní technické muzeum), Kostelní 42, 170 00 Praha 7- Holešovice
If you enjoyed these museums, you would probably also love Prague Museum Night, a great event that allows for one night to visit selected museums for free! It is usually a very popular event, which takes place on the second Saturday of June every year,
Unfortunately, for 2021, this event has been canceled due to COVID. However, we encourage you to visit their website and hope to have it back next year!