Prague is full of museums dedicated to the arts, history and architecture. These exhibition spaces are home to some unique exhibits you won’t come across anywhere else in the world. Here’s a look at the best to visit in the Czech Republic’s capital city.
The Czech Republic has seen the birth of many famous writers, but none is better known than Franz Kafka. Born and raised in Prague, Kafka left his mark everywhere in the city, and that’s particularly obvious at this small but awesome museum dedicated to his work. Before entering the building, pay attention to the famous sculpture titled Piss, by renowned Czech sculptor David Černý. Then step inside the museum to see Kafka’s original manuscripts, letters, photographs and diaries, along with some of the writer’s personal belongings.
Karel Zeman Museum
You might not know his name, but chances are you’ve seen some of his movies. Zeman revolutionised the world of special effects with his use of animations, visual tricks and miniature sets. The museum is just as playful as his movies were, so you’ll find lots of interactive features, chances to take trick photography (with you in it), machines and artifacts you can manipulate and much more. It’s meant to be a museum for adults, but kids are welcome as well.
Dating back to 1818 and with a massive collection of 14 million items, the National Museum is a must-see on your visit to Prague. The museum has six major departments, including the Department of Old Czech History (with artifacts dating back to the 10th century) and a very unique Department of Theater. (Please note, the 19th-century Main Building is currently under reconstruction, however the collections are currently being stored in the impressive New Building, which has a café and hosts a number of exhibitions. Additional buildings in the complex—including the fascinating collection of puppets at the Museum of Czech Puppets and Circus Acts, in Prachatice, South Bohemia—remain open, and are worth a visit.)
Museum of Communism
This small and almost informal museum houses a fun collection of items from the post World War II communist era. Aside from typical items (think statues of Lenin and communist propaganda posters), you’ll also find authentic photographs, a reproduction of an interrogation room and a school room, items to protect citizens against chemical warfare, and even a setup showing what life was like inside a factory. Don’t pass on the multimedia clips and audio programs.
Prague Jewish Museum
The Prague Jewish Museum has one of the largest collection of Judaic artifacts in the world. The museum’s collection includes everything from textiles to manuscripts to old photographs, but it’s perhaps most famous for chronicling the history of victims and survivors of the Holocaust. Film showings, events and concerts are also on throughout the year.
Sex Machines Museum
If you’re in the mood for something different, head to the only museum of sex machines in the world. There are lots of exhibits featuring mechanical erotic appliances, some even dating back to the 16th century. There are also chastity belts, royal thrones designed to facilitate intercourse, and even shoes worn by prostitutes in ancient Greece. Not a place for the faint of heart, but an experience you certainly won’t forget.
Museum of Public Transport
With over 40 carriages on display and an impressive collection of photographs, tickets, and plans, this is fun museum for all ages. There are early horse-drawn buses, dining train cars, and even the infamous “dark tram”, a specially designed tram used during WWII to avoid being easily spotted. Even better, the carriages and buses are actually open, so you can get on to take a closer look.