Featuring about one hundred exhibition halls and galleries and over twenty museums, the city of Prague contains many rare and unexpected surprises. Theological artefacts from the Middle Ages compete with the more current splendour of Art Nouveau and the modern art giants. Numerous galleries have appeared following the Velvet Revolution of 1989 featuring lots of temporary displays. Some museums are dedicated to the state’s history, Prague city and its’ population. Lots of these museums are present within buildings which are historical landmarks and art works themselves.
The National Museum
Even if you’re not normally a museum visitor, or if you’re on a short holiday in Prague and don’t have time for a long museum visit, catch a quick glance into Prague’s National Museum and behold the picturesque Ceremonial Hall. Permanent exhibitions: Primeval history of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, Mineralogical and petrological collections, zoological collection, palaeontological collection, anthropological collection.
Location: Prague 1, Václavské náměstí 68, www.nm.cz
Opening hours: daily 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (May – September), daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (October – April). Closed every first Tuesday of the month. Admission free every first Monday of the month.
Bedřich Smetana’s Museum
Permanent exhibition offers an introduction into the life and works of Bedřich Smetana (1824 – 1884) – the world famous Czech composer and conductor.
Location: Prague 1, Novotného lávka 1, www.nm.cz
Opening hours: daily except Tuesdays 10 a.m. — 12 noon and 12.30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Antonín Dvořák’s Museum
Location: Prague 2, Ke Karlovu 20, www.nm.cz
Opening hours: daily except Mon. 10 a.m. – 1.30 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5.30 p.m. (April – September), daily except Mon. 9.30 a.m. -1.30 p.m. and 2 p.m. — 5 p.m. (October – March). America Garden daily except Mon 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Prague City Museum
Location: Prague 8, Na Poříčí 52, www.muzeumprahy.cz
Opening hours: daily except Mon. 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., every first Thursday of the month 9 a.m. — 8 p.m. Permanent exhibition: Indian cultures of North and South America. Cultures of Australia and Oceania. Opening hours: daily except Monday 10 a.m. -6p.m.
Museum of Communism
Permanent exhibition: Dreams, Reality and Nightmares – depicts the communist regime in Czechoslovakia.
Location: Prague 1, Na Příkopě 10, Savarin Palace, www.muzeumkomunismu.cz
Opening hours: daily 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
The Museum of Lego
The Lego Museum in Prague claims to be Europe’s largest, and it is undoubtedly a great way of spending an afternoon inside. With over 2000 models displayed and twenty themed exhibits, this museum is a real homage to these timeless building blocks. Also, there is a play area where children can make their own Lego exhibits. Address: Národní 31, New Town. Open all year, each day 10:00 to 20:00. Admission: 130 CZK children, 200 CZK adults, www.muzeumlega.cz
Alphones Mucha Museum
Permanent exhibition: Works of Alphonse Mucha (1860 – 1939), the acclaimed founder of the Art-Nouveau style.
Location: Prague 1, Panská 7, www.mucha.cz
Opening hours: Mon. – Fri. 11 p.m. – 5 p.m., Sat. + Sun. 11 p.m. – 6 p.m. (January, February), daily 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (March – December).
Franz Kafka’s Museum
Permanent exhibition: Franz Kafka and Prague – the life and work of Kafka through documents (photographs, manuscripts, diaries, correspondence, first editions of his works, audio-visual works, music).
Location: Prague 1, Cihelná 2b, www.kafkamuseum.cz
Opening hours: daily 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
National Technical Museum
Permanent exhibitions: Transport (road, air railway and shipping traffic). Astronomy. The measurement of time. Intercamera (history of photographic and film technology) Metallurgy. Acoustics and noise ecology. Mining (ore and coal mines) Evolution of telecommunications technology.
Location: Prague 7, Kostelní 42, www.ntm.cz
Permanent exhibition: Czech and international famous personalities from the area of culture, politics and sports.
Location: Prague 1, Celetná 6, www.waxmuseumprague.cz
Opening hours: daily 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
U Fleků Brewery Museum
Permanent exhibition: The history of beer making.
Location: Prague 1, Křemencova 11, www.ufleku.cz
Opening hours: Mon. — Fri. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sat. + Sun. and holidays only groups of min. 10 people after previous reservation.
Prague Castle Picture Gallery
As you would expect from the name of the museum, the contents here focuses on the important paintings found in Prague Castle. The museum can trace its history all the way back to the 16th century, as Emperor Rudolph II had a massive collection of art in his possession, although only a few pieces still remain in the museum. The collection holds works by famous German, Flemish, Italian and Dutch artists, as well as a number of paintings by Czech artists which were added in the 1930s. www.kulturanahrade.cz
This fantastic building has recently undergone a major renovation and houses an excellent exhibition of some of the best examples of Baroque and craftsmanship, acquired from the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague. Such renowned experts in the field as Ferdinand Maxmilian Brokoff and Matthias Bernard Braun have their works exhibited here. There are also a number of different Baroque period paintings from the 18th century and examples from the Mannerism period of the 16th and 17th centuries, as well as works from the Classicism period. www.ngprague.cz
Trade Fair Palace, National Gallery’s Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art
This museum is solely dedicated to works from the 20th and 21st centuries and is spread over three floors, such is the extent of the number of exhibits. As well as Czech art, it also exhibits art from all over the world – in fact, there are over 2,000 different exhibits in total. www.ngprague.cz
Jaroslav Fragner Gallery
This museum is wholly dedicated to architecture, and in particular the architects and their creations that have worked in the development of this practice within the Czech Republic. www.gjf.cz
Langhans Gallery Prague
This is a museum with a vast collection of artistic photography, with exhibits spanning the history of this art form. New forms of media are also included here as the world of photography moves into the 21st century. www.langhansgalerie.cz
The Palace Of Sternberg
The assortment of art from Europe here is phenomenal, depicted in works like ‘The Feast of the Rosary’ by the artist Albrecht Durer. www.ngprague.cz
The Convent Of St Agnes Of Bohemia
The art collection here features the fourteenth century Christ Resurrection by the Třeboň Altar’s Master. www.ngprague.cz
Manes Exhibition Hall
The building itself is considered to be a fine example of Functionalist architecture and the building is therefore just as impressive as the avant-garde art that is exhibited inside the building. One of the most striking features of the building is the placement of old and new architecture found in the building, with a 15th century water tower standing next to the 1930s exhibition hall.