Museum of Decorative Arts Prague
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The 9 very best museums in Prague

From Franz Kafka and a beautiful library to museums about communism and farming, Prague has it all

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If you’re in Prague, it’s likely you’ve got just the slightest interest in its culture. After all, Prague is famous for some of the biggest names in the business – Mozart (hello, Prague Symphony), Kafka, and even Einstein all lived in or have links to the city. Unsurprisingly, then, Prague is rich in culture. And one of its most glittering gems? Its museums, of course. 

These aren’t just any museums. We’re talking about libraries that stretch for miles, exhibits on communism, and museums dedicated entirely to Franz Kafka himself. We’re talking about Baroque architecture, interactive exhibits and cathedrals that’ll make you pause for a second (or an hour). Whatever your cultural interests, Prague has a museum for you. Here’s our pick of the best. 

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Planning your next trip? Check out our latest travel guides, written by local experts. 

Best Prague museums

1. Strahov Library

What is it? The library of the Premonstratensian monastery built from 1671 at Strahov, which contains around 200,000 books across its two halls (one theological, one classicist). It also has some seriously nice ceilings, designed by Anton Maulbertsch and Siard Nosecký. 

Why go? If you’ve ever thought libraries were boring, this will change your mind. The two halls at Strahov frequently appear on lists of the most beautiful libraries in the world, and for very good reason. 

2. Jewish Museum

What is it? An array of sights with bittersweet roots in Prague’s Jewish Quarter (Josefov). These long-established synagogues and cobblestoned streets were spared the destruction throughout Central Europe because the Nazis intended to preserve the area as a ‘museum of an extinguished race’.

Why go? To reflect on history. Wander among the 12,000 gravestones crammed into the Old Jewish Cemetery and spend a sombre afternoon observing the engraved names and children’s drawings of the Holocaust Memorial inside the Pinkas Synagogue.

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3. Franz Kafka Museum

What is it? A dark, brooding tribute to the famously eccentric Czech writer. The exhibits are divided into an ‘Existential Space’ on the author himself and an ‘Imaginary Topography’ that explores the possible locations of unnamed places in his works.

Why go? Even if you don’t step inside the museum, stop by the courtyard to see David Černy’s infamous sculpture of two men pissing into a pool shaped like the Czech Republic.

4. Museum of Communism

What is it? A collection of artefacts, propaganda and multimedia exhibits offering visitors a glimpse into Czechoslovak life under Communist rule from 1948 to 1989.

Why go? The move to the Náměstí Republiky area means you can’t joke about the museum’s location anymore – it used to be tucked between a casino and McDonald’s – but has also increased the size (and brilliance) of this virtual trip back in time.

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5. Mucha Museum

What is it? An overview of the life and work of Czech painter Alphonse Mucha. The collection includes theatrical posters that established his reputation in Paris alongside the more politically charged work that brought him back to (then) Czechoslovakia.

Why go? To admire this beloved Czech artist whose talent for curved lines and expressive women helped define the Art Nouveau movement. The gift shop is also a fabulous stop for postcard-to-poster-sized souvenirs.

6. The Museum of Decorative Arts

What is it? An elegant display of historical and contemporary crafts ranging from glass and porcelain to jewellery, clocks and toys. The permanent collection is often complemented by works from exhibiting partners like the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and Germany’s International Museum of Ceramics.

Why go? Renovations completed in 2017 expanded the space and polished the surroundings of this sprawling tribute to art and design.

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7. The Town Belfry by St. Nicholas Church

What is it? A multi-century survey of Czech life housed inside a Baroque bell tower. Exhibits span the daily life of an 18th-century tower warden, resistance during the Second World War, and a holographic re-enactment of spy activities that took place here during the Cold War.

Why go? The interactive history is good. But even better are the 360-degree views, both outdoors at the gallery level and from the top-floor spy windows.

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What is it? A memorial to the Czech soldiers who assassinated Reinhard Heydrich, one of Hitler’s right-hand men. Displays include profiles of the men involved, the church basement where they hid after the attack, and bullet holes from the final standoff.

Why go? This story of everyday heroes under an oppressive regime is inspirational and also caught Hollywood’s attention – watch the 2016 film ‘Anthropoid’ before visiting.

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9. National Museum of Agriculture

What is it? A modern look at farming, forestry, fishing, food and all things outdoors through a collection more than 100 years in the making – the museum celebrated its centennial anniversary in 2018.

Why go? Agriculture may not have the most exciting reputation, but the interactive, family-friendly exhibits here make this a great choice when travelling with children.

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