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Strahov Library is one of the most impressive museums in Prague.
Photograph: Flickr / James Whitesmith

The 10 very best museums in Prague

Immerse yourself completely in Czech culture, art and history through our list of the best museums in Prague

Huw Oliver
Written by
Huw Oliver
&
Auburn Scallon
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There are some seriously great museums in Prague. Don’t believe us? Well, that’s on you, but the spots listed below should be me than enough to whet your whistle ahead of a trip to the Czech capital. Prague is one of the great European cities of history, a long-influential town in the beating heart of Europe that saw everything the 20th century threw at the continent and came out the other side. It also gave the world some of its greatest painters and writers, and all of these subjects can be found in magical museums. There are so many great things to do in Prague that it can be difficult to keep track of them all (especially if you’re nursing a hangover from a great night out), but be sure to make time for its museums.

The best museums in Prague cover a lot of ground, both historically and ideologically, so don’t be surprised to embrace avant-garde art before nipping into the darker time of Czechoslovak communism. The Golden City is one heck of a place, and its museums are here to pay witness.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Prague

Best museums in Prague

Strahov Library

What is it? The striking Baroque Theological Hall, Classical Philosophical Hall and Cabinet of Curiosities inside the Strahov Monastery. This small display of beautiful things is conveniently near Prague Castle and the Strahov Monastery Brewery.

Why go? To photograph the two halls, which regularly make their way on to lists of the world’s most beautiful libraries.

What is it? An elegant display of historic 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 late 2017 expanded the space and polished the surroundings of this sprawling tribute to art and design.

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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 great stop for postcard-to-poster-sized souvenirs.

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 common 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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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.

  • Attractions
  • Religious buildings and sites
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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 recently caught Hollywood’s attention – watch the 2016 film ‘Anthropoid’ before visiting.

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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 foot 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.

Museum of Communism

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

Why go? A recent move to the Náměstí Republiky area means you can’t really 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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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.

Still need to tick off the sights?

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