For lovers of culture, Prague is a destination not to be missed: with an impressive number of public and private museums, this fascinating city offers countless opportunities to deepen one’s knowledge of art, literature, music and science, but also to unearth curiosities and oddities on the most diverse topics.
You can create your own itinerary in the footsteps of Kafka, explore Cubist or Art Nouveau Prague, learn about the dramatic history of Prague’s Jews, but also delight in antique toys, see where Napoleon took his ‘potties’, engage in alchemical speculation or bottle your own beer.
Prague’s museums are so many and varied that you won’t need a weekend to visit them all. We recommend here some of the most interesting ones.
Almost all museums in Prague have an entrance fee. If you plan to visit several museums in the course of your holiday, it is worth buying a city card, thanks to which you will have free (or in some cases discounted) entry to almost all Prague museums.
One of the most visited museums in Prague is the Jewish Museum, one of the oldest museums of Jewish culture in Europe, which has already celebrated its 100th anniversary since its foundation. Opened in 1906, it is now a modern and functional museum and allows you to take a real journey through the history, traditions and customs of the Jewish population of Bohemia and Moravia.
The collection includes Jewish artefacts from all over the world, with rich collections of silver and textiles, 40,000 collectors’ items and 100,000 books.
It is not a single building, but a museum complex spread over seven buildings: Robert Guttman Gallery, Maisel Synagogue, Klausen Synagogue, Ceremonial Hall, Spanish Synagogue and the splendid Old Jewish Cemetery.
A visit to the National Gallery could in itself consume all the time of your holiday in Prague. It is an immense collection of artwork exhibited in various locations around the city, divided according to period and artistic style:
In addition to the aforementioned permanent exhibitions, the venues of the National Gallery also host temporary exhibitions.Read more
The Franz Kafka Museum is a full immersion into the life of the famous Czech writer, who was born and died in Prague, and his deep connection with the city.
It is divided into two sections: the first, Existential Space, explores how the city influenced Kafka and his literary output and is a fascinating way of seeing the city through the eyes of the intellectual; the second, Topography of the Imaginary, explores how Kafka recreates the city within his works.
If you are still in the mood for art after visiting the National Gallery, we recommend two other interesting museums in Prague.
The Mucha Museum is dedicated to the works of Czech artist Alphonse Mucha, best known for his posters of fin de siècle Paris created for actress Sarah Bernhardt. Housed in the Kaunický Palace, a Baroque building in the heart of Prague, it exhibits over 100 paintings, photographs, illustrations and personal items by the artist.
Also worth a visit is the DOX – Centre for Contemporary Art (Centrum současného umění DOX), a multifunctional space created in a former factory in the Holešovice area. It organises exhibitions of contemporary Czech and international art, guided tours and courses.
In the Prague City Museum you can take a journey into the past, tracing the history of the Czech capital from prehistory to modern times. Thanks to the three-dimensional model of the city, created between 1826 and 1837 by the architect Langweil, you can see what the Old Town, Malá Strana and Prague Castle looked like before the restructuring of the city in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Dedicated to a more recent chapter in the history of the Czech Republic is the Museum of Communism: three rooms tell the Dream, Reality and Nightmare of a political system that, for better or worse, changed the course of history. Through the exhibits one can get a clear idea of what it was like to live under a communist regime, including all aspects of daily life, art, propaganda, secret police and persecution.
Prague is a city that loves music, just think that during his lifetime Wolfang Amadeus Mozart was more appreciated here than in Vienna. Some of the city’s museums testify to Prague’s strong connection to music.
Located on a beautiful building on the banks of the Vltava River in the Old Town, the Smetana Museum is dedicated to the famous Czech composer Bedřich Smetana, whose most famous work is dedicated to the river that flows through Prague. A museum has also been dedicated to the composer Antonin Dvořák, located in Villa Amerika, a richly frescoed building with a beautiful garden.
The Czech Music Museum, inside the former Baroque church of St. Mary Magdalene in the Lesser Town, exhibits a collection of over 400 musical instruments.
A monumental functionalist building houses the National Technical Museum, which in 14 permanent and temporary exhibitions documents the development of technical disciplines, natural sciences, exact sciences and industry.
The Prague Museum of Illusions is a popular attraction for all ages, an interactive museum offering a unique experience of fun and discovery.
With its extensive collection of optical illusions and magic games, it invites visitors to explore the scientific principles behind illusions and to test their perception and critical thinking skills.
Prague’s newest Museum of the Senses is an interactive museum that aims to stimulate visitors’ five senses with a series of interactive installations exploring sight, taste, smell, touch and hearing. On your own you can explore and interact with these installations to discover how the different senses work together to create our perception of the world.
In addition to the famous museums of culture, history and science, Prague offers a number of unusual, curious, bizarre museums.
One very special museum is Museum of Chamber Pots and Toilets11, a historical collection of… toilets! Perhaps you would like to miss the chance to admire where illustrious figures such as Napoleon Bonaparte, the Chinese Emperor Chi-Lung and the rich passengers of the Titanic rested their noble butts? Of course not.
Make your children happy and become children again with a visit to Toy Museum12. Located inside Prague Castle, it exhibits a collection of toys from ancient Greece to the present day: traditional Czech toys, the world’s most famous doll (Barbie, of course), Märklin model trains, an exhibition dedicated to the film director and cartoonist Ivan Steiger with wooden toys are some of the wonders that await you in this museum, which is a real gem.
Forbidden to children, on the other hand, is Museum of Sex Machines13, where the objects on display were used for erotic games, including sadomasochism and bondage. An ironic and intelligent itinerary that explores the human sexual sphere between curiosity, history and perversion. It also includes a cinema with screenings of erotic films from the early 20th century.
Discover the secrets of alchemy and magic in a house whose past is shrouded in legend, where Speculum Alchemiae Museum14 is now located.
A visit to Beer Museum15, where after the tour you will have the opportunity to bottle a beer and create your own personalised label, is a must on any Prague beer tour.
In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article
City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.