Best Museums in Prague for Culture and History
Prague’s best museums are found in the cobbled streets near the Old Town Square, in castles, palaces, and medieval buildings. They include the National Museum Jewish Museum, Franz Kafka Museum, Mucha Museum, Strahov Library, City Museum of Prague, National Gallery, National Technical Museum, and the Museums of Beer and Communism.
Read on to discover how and when to visit the best 10 and make sure to fit them into your itinerary on your next trip to this cultural capital of central Europe.
Address: Václavské nám. 68, 110 00 Nové Město | Cost: Adults CZK 50-200 (depending on exhibit). Children under 15 free. Pensioners and students receive discounts | Opening Hours: Daily 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Housing over 14 million scientific and historical artifacts across a number of venues, Prague’s National Museum is the largest in the Czech Republic and one of the largest museums in central Europe.
Founded just after the French Revolution by a group of disgruntled noblemen, the museum has made it through a series of wars, uprisings, and metro redevelopments intact, much to the delight of tourists and locals alike.
The museum’s main historical collections are held in a beautiful Czech neo-renaissance building just off historic Wenceslas Square, with the far more modern but no less impressive New Building sitting right next door. Visits should make sure to check out the ethnographic exhibits (on permanent exhibition) which showcase the fascinating history and culture of medieval Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia as well as the always-changing temporary exhibitions.
Address: Staré školy 141/1, 110 00 Staré Město | Cost: Adults CZK 350. Children under 6 free. Children 6-15 and students under 26 CZK 250 | Opening Hours: every day except Saturday and on Jewish holidays. 9 am until 4.30 pm from November to March and 9 am to 6 pm April to October.
Comprising four historic synagogues, the Old Jewish Cemetery, a gallery, a ceremonial hall, a library, and an educational/cultural center, Prague’s Jewish Museum is one of the oldest and largest of its kind.
Established in 1906, it stands as a testament to the century of disruption, tragedy, and perseverance that the city’s Jewish community has borne. Today the Museum is a world center for Judaica, or Jewish ceremonial art, as well as an invaluable resource for Jewish family and community history.
Apart from the permanent exhibition that closely details the Jewish experience in Czechia, be sure to visit the beautiful synagogues that also form part of the museum. Dotted around the city, these include the Moorish Revival Spanish Synagogue, the picturesque neo-Gothic Maisel Synagogue, and the early Baroque Klausen Synagogue with its world-famous Old Jewish Cemetery.
Franz Kafka Museum
Address: Cihelná 635, 118 00 Malá Strana | Cost: Adult CZK 200. Students, seniors, and those with disabilities CZK 150 | Opening Hours: Open daily 10 am to 6 pm.
One of the most prominent figures in 20th Century Literature and a household name across the world, Prague-born Franz Kafka is probably best known for his surreal and unnerving novella The Metamorphosis.
It’s hardly a surprise then that Prague has its own museum dedicated to this most famous son. Situated in an old brickworks just off the Old Town square and only three minutes from Charles Bridge, the museum is dark, striking, and a little haunting.
Photos and documents from Kafka’s life are prominent as are audio-visual presentations, all part of a permanent exhibition designed to give visitors a comprehensive look at the author’s life.
If your appetite for the surreal hasn’t been fulfilled by the museum’s interior, outside stands the infamously odd Piss, a sculpture of two men urinating into a pool in the shape of the Czech Republic. Text a message to the phone number provided and these men will write a message for you on the face of Czechia.
If you’d like to learn more about the life of Kafka, check out this walking tour of Kafka’s haunts here
Address: Panská 7, 110 00 Nové Město | Cost: Adult CZK 260. Children, students, and seniors CZK 180 | Opening Hours: Open daily 10 am to 6 pm.
You might not know the name Alphonse Mucha, but it’s quite likely you’ve seen his stunning art. Born in 1860, this brilliant Czech illustrator and graphic artist is one of the biggest figures in the style of Art Nouveau. Mucha’s museum, which is unsurprisingly more a kind of gallery, features a comprehensive look at the artists body of work along with biographical artifacts and material detailing his life. Towards the end there’s a documentary on play that explores these themes more fully and of course a gift shop, so you can take a little bit of Mucha’s beautiful work back home with you.
Address: Strahovské nádvoří 132/1, 118 00 Praha 1-Hradčany | Cost: Adult CZK 150. Children over six and students under 27 CZK 80. Children under six and the disabled enter free. Gallery entrance and photo permissions entail extra charges. | Opening Hours: Daily (minus some public holidays) from 9 am to 5 pm (minus a lunch break from 12 to 1)m.
Considered the most beautiful library in the world, the Strahov Library, and its accompanying gallery, belongs to the Premonstratensian Order. It’s a Catholic religious order of Canons regular whose history stretches back to 1120.
The library itself is new by comparison, being constructed between the 17th and 18th centuries and featuring a wide collection of antique books in one of the best-preserved libraries in Europe.
The library’s ceiling is adorned with beautiful baroque frescoes and its halls scattered with strange and wonderful curiosities from across the world.
But apart from their dedication to learning and matters spiritual, Europe’s monks are also known for their beer-brewing. Once you’ve finished contemplating these ornate relics of the past you can pop over to Strahov’s Monastic Brewery and tuck into some hearty Czech cuisine all washed down with even heartier local beer.
Museum of Communism
Address: V Celnici 1031/4, 118 00 Nové Město | Cost: Adults CZK 380. Children under 10 free. Students CZK 290. Seniors CZK 320. | Opening Hours: Open daily from 9 am to 8 pm (except for Christmas Eve).
Just two minutes’ walk from the ornate Municipal Hall is Prague’s Museum of Communism was built in 2001 and offers visitors a look at life in Soviet-dominated Czechoslovakia.
Running from 1948 to 1990, this contentious period of recent history is represented in the museum’s contemporary curatorial style. This is a spectacularly good museum and is quickly receiving global recognition. Don’t miss it when you’re in Prague!
Contrasting Soviet ideals with material scarcity and political repression, alongside the museum’s exhibits, are a schoolroom, a rather barren shop, and a mock interrogation room, bringing to life the harsh realities of the period.
Laid out in an expansive and highly modern fashion, the museum gives plenty of room for visitors to engage with daily life before the fall of the Iron Curtain, warts and all.
And if you’d like to take a two-hour tour of the communist past in Prague, and tour a nuclear bunker, see this great tour here
Museum of the City of Prague
Address: Na Poříčí 52/1554 180 00 Nové Město | .
“History, science, arts and crafts are the glory of our past” proclaims the City of Prague Museum, and a city like Prague certainly has a lot to boast about. Housed in a beautiful neo-Renaissance building, the museum is one of the oldest in the capital, first opening its doors in 1881.
With a range stretching way back into pre-history, the museum has a vast archaeological collection as well as a varied array of decorative art including guild monuments, wood carvings, and paintings from prominent local artists.
Be sure to take a look at the museum’s incredible model of 19th Century Prague which stretches over 20 square meters and depicts thousands of buildings down to the smallest of details.
Czech Beer Museum
Address: Husova 241/7, 110 00 Staré Město | Cost: CZK 280 or CZK 480 for the full experience (including bottling) | Opening Hours: Daily from 11 am to 8 pm
Czechia is famous for its beer, and if you’re avid brewer (or just an avid drinker) then Prague’s local Beer Museum is calling your name. Just a few minutes’ walk from the far more austere Clementinum, the Czech Beer Museum offers both a taste of the country’s brewing history and a taste of the country’s brewed product.
Learn about the process of Czech beer brewing and the historical context in which these fine beers developed before a tasting in one of the museum’s two showroom pubs: one representing the 19th Century and the other the mid-20th.
You can even pour and label a bottle of your very own beer to take home with you, either as a souvenir or to warm your cockles on the walk back to the hotel.
Address: Dukelských Hrdinů 47, 170 00 Praha 7-Holešovic (Trade Fair Palace) | Cost: Entry is free, but many exhibits require a ticket which varies in price | Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am till 6 pm or 8 pm on a Wednesday
With roots dating back in 1796, Prague’s National Gallery is home to the largest collection of artwork in the country interspersed across a number of buildings across the capital. The museum’s permanent exhibitions include showcases of medieval art (in the 13th Century Convent of St Agnes), a selection from the Old Masters (in Schwarzenberg and Sternberg Palaces) and more modern Czech pieces dating from national independence in 1918 (the main Trade Fair Palace building). With a selection of masterpieces both local and international, the National Gallery offers the best art on display in the Czech Republic.
National Technical Museum
Address: Dukelských Hrdinů 47, 170 00 Praha 7-Holešovic (Trade Fair Palace) | Cost: Entry is free, but many exhibits require a ticket which varies in price | Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 6 pmo 6 p
An expansive and comprehensive collection in an expansive functionalist building, Prague’s Technical Museum is dedicated to documenting and displaying Czechia’s technological history for the public.
Situated across the Vltava right next to famous Letná Park, the museum’s permanent exhibits feature everything from sugar production to astronomy.
The museum is also known for its collection of historic trains, automobiles, and aircraft. Its railway section features over 150 antique trains, while other attractions include key planes and motor vehicles from Czech history. These include the plane that undertook the first long haul flight in Czechia and a beautiful Tatra 80 belonging to the country’s beloved first president, Tomáš Masaryk.
Other Great Museums to Visit in Prague
- Museum of the Ghetto (Tour and Entrance ticket from Prague)
- Bone Church (Tour and Entrance ticket from Prague)
- Museum of the Senses (Entrance ticket here)
- Prague Gallery of Steel Figures (Entrance ticket here)
- Military Museum of Prague
- Museum of Toys (in Prague Castle)
- The Lapidarium (sculptures from the Middle Ages to 19th Century)
- Museum of Decorative Arts
- Sternberk Palace
- Veletrzní Palá (Klimt, Munch, and Picasso)
Where to Stay in Prague
Old town Prague is such a wonderful place to wander around. It’s best to stay close to the center. Here are six of the best historical and contemporary hotels with thousands of fantastic reviews.
Clicking on the image takes you to Agoda and clicking on the name of the hotel takes you to my favorite site, Hotels Combined.
Links and Further Information
- There are so many things to do in Prague. See all the best activities with Get Your Guide here
- Heading to Europe? See all the best European destinations for your next trip here
- If you love museums, check out the unique museums of Dubrovnik here
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