Steeped in history, the cobbled streets of Prague’s Old Town are marvelous to wander around, as fine buildings, lovely architecture and lofty spires look down upon you. Interspersed amongst all of this are some fantastic museums which are sure to delight visitors to the city. For instance, the KGB, Communism and Jewish museums are all great for exploring the history of the country and Prague itself, while the Karel Zeman and Franz Kafka museums allow you to get to know some of the Czech Republic’s most famous former residents.
Littered with weird and wacky museums that are featured alongside more serious and refined art collections, Prague certainly has something for everyone to enjoy.
In a country that is renowned for its beer, it is only fitting that you stop by the Czech Beer Museum when in Prague. Wandering around the delightful 13th century cellars is a wonderful experience; the exhibitions and guided tour will teach you about the culture and history behind beer in Bohemia. Of course, no trip to the museum would be complete without sampling some of the Czech Republic’s many fine beers; with over thirty on tap, you’re sure to have a good time!
Dedicated to the life and works of the famous film director Karel Zeman, this lovely museum is a fun place to visit for the whole family; the majority of his seminal works were animated pieces or involved puppets. An influential artist who revolutionized how special effects were used, short clips, artifacts and memorabilia highlight the innovative and creative tricks he used to bring his films to life. With lots of interactive installations dotted about the museum, you can take some trick photos and operate machines to better understand how his art worked in practice. A fun day out, the Karel Zeman Museum is well worth checking out. Even though you may not recognize his name, the odds are you’ll have seen some of his films before.
Located in the center of the city, the Museum of Communism is a well-presented and well thought-out place which remarkably manages to be as entertaining as it is informative and educational. With the walls coated in propaganda posters, wandering around the exhibit is a fascinating affair and the statues, uniforms, and memorabilia really do manage to highlight what life would have been like in Prague under communist rule. There are a plethora of interesting items to check out, and the short clips, audios and display panels really help to put the objects into their historical context. With an interrogation room for you to visit, as well as an exhibition on life in Prague’s factories and school rooms, the Museum of Communism will teach and entertain you in equal measure.
With the largest private collection of Apple products in the world, this museum offers an interesting look into the life of Apple’s founder Steve Jobs and how the company came to be one of the most valuable on Earth. Taking you through the history of the company and its products, visitors can clearly see its extraordinary impact on technology and how it has impacted the world of today. A must-see for Apple lovers and technology aficionados, perusing Apple’s influential inventions and creations is a fascinating experience.
Located in a delightful Baroque palace in the New Town, the Mucha Museum is dedicated to the life and works of this amazing and influential artist. With over a hundred exhibits on show, the museum takes you on a journey through the Czech artist’s personal life, with old photos and memorabilia telling the story of how he came up with the distinctive style that found its way into his impressive art. With loads of his Art Nouveau paintings and decorative panels on display, visitors will love perusing all that the galleries have to offer; the distinctive flourishes and style of his artworks will live long in the memory. On top of the posters, drawings and oil paintings that are also exhibited, visitors can enjoy a documentary on the life and times of the famous artist.
Much like Madame Tussauds, the Grevin Museum in Prague exhibits amazing waxwork figures which are uncannily lifelike to behold. Wandering around the museum, you pass over eighty people from different walks of life. Each of the sets remains faithful to the period of history in which they lived. Franz Kafka, for example, is depicted in the old streets of Prague, while more recent sporting legends and celebrities have their own particular themes. A fun museum to visit, you can create your own waxwork figures through a 3D programme and you can even play a game against some of the athletes on show.
Just one of Prague’s many weird and wacky museums, the Speculum Alchemiae Museum looks at the history of alchemy and how for so many centuries, alchemists strove to turn lead into gold. Located in one of the oldest buildings in Prague, skulls, potions, pots and more are scattered around this fun exhibition; visiting the ancient laboratory is a magical experience – you really do feel as if you have stepped back in time. Whether it is tasting the ‘eternal youth elixir’ or wandering around the old workshops and ogling at the bizarre items on show, this museum will definitely entertain you!
With one of the most extensive collections of Judaic artifacts in the world, the Jewish Museum in Prague is well worth visiting for the massive range of items and objects on show, encompassing everything from old manuscripts and clothes to Torahs and photos. While its exhibitions are fascinating to walk around, the museum is perhaps best known for its sobering look at the Holocaust, its victims, and survivors. Short clips and display panels, as well as artifacts and photos, take you through the tragic history of Prague’s Jewish population, looking at what life was like under Nazi occupation. Opened in 1906, the museum itself highlights the persecution of the city’s Jewish community as it was closed numerous times under both Nazi and communist rule. Nowadays, the Jewish Museum is a living and breathing institution, with numerous concerts and events hosted here throughout the year.
Located in numerous buildings that are scattered about the city, the National Gallery in Prague hosts a wonderful collection of artworks and is one of the largest museums in Central Europe. Covering a huge range of different art movements, epochs, and artists, the extensive galleries are delightful to explore, and the ever-changing temporary exhibitions keep the museum fresh and fun to visit. One of the many highlights on show is ‘The Slav Epic’ by Alphonse Mucha, which looks at influential and important moments in Slavic history. Featuring paintings by such renowned artists as Picasso, Monet, and van Gogh, the National Gallery is a must-see when in Prague, as it has so many amazing artworks on show.
Full of old cars, airplanes, motorbikes and more, the National Technical Museum is perfect for anyone interested in mechanics and how things work. While there are loads of old vehicles on show, printing presses, old cameras, and cinematic equipment are also on display for visitors to enjoy. Dating from the 19th to 21st centuries, the museum is jam-packed with interesting items that are fascinating to peruse; the old car collection is undoubtedly one of its highlights, with Bugattis and Mercedes lining the halls. The lovely old museum is the perfect excursion for both children and adults alike.
One of the city’s most famous former residents, Franz Kafka was born in Prague and went on to become one of the most renowned authors of the 20th century. Nowadays in Prague, you are never far from an exhibition or monument dedicated to the great man who so influenced Existentialism and Modernism. Devoted to the exploration of his life and works, this lovely little museum features manuscripts, photos, diaries and more from his life; it is a fascinating affair getting to see his belongings up close. After enjoying all that the Franz Kafka Museum has to offer, be sure to check out the famous ‘Piss’ sculpture that lies in front of it. Created by David Cerny, the sculpture depicts two men urinating into a pond which is in the shape of the Czech Republic.
Full of interesting items and artifacts from when Prague was ruled by the Soviet Union, the KGB Museum is a delight to visit. The extensive collection was remarkably assembled by one enthusiastic collector, who is more than happy to explain anything you wish to know about the items on display. Propaganda posters are plastered about the place and one of the most interesting features is the photo collection that was taken by a KGB officer in 1968. With secret spy cameras and concealed pistols on show, as well as a Vladimir Lenin death mask and equipment from KGB laboratories, this jam-packed museum is certainly captivating to explore.