Arty weekends in Prague
Heading on a cultural city escape and looking to discover Prague’s museums, galleries and art spaces? Check out our round-up of the must-visit artistic hubs.
Heading for a weekend getaway to Prague? While there are plenty of experiences to enjoy in this fascinating city, Prague’s museums, galleries and art spaces are a must-visit on your travels.The Czech Republic’s mesmerising capital city is one of the most original and lively art scenes in Europe. Art is simply everywhere in Prague – from hidden cobblestone residential streets, to street walls, to galleries and museums.Prague’s art is just waiting to be discovered, so if you’re keen to explore the artsy side of Prague, then these are just a few of the city’s main attractions.National MuseumIf you’re only going to visit one museum while in Prague, then the National Museum is certainly your go to. The biggest museum complex in the Czech Republic, the National Museum features an enormous collection of 14 million artefacts and pieces of art. The impressive collection housed inside covers areas of botany, entomology, zoology, anthropology, archaeology, mycology, palaeontology, and mineralogy, offering an incredibly vast variety of items to explore.This gorgeous building is as beautiful as the artwork that it houses. Its spectacular interior features amazing staircases, gold and red décor, patterned marble floors, and stunning wall paintings of the Czech Republic.
The National Museum is not only a paradise for art aficionados but also for families, too. Enjoy exploring its treasure with the kids, who can encounter a gigantic Mammoth, anacondas and other magnificent predators from the realms of the land and sea, including the enormous skeleton of a whale. Music lovers will also adore the chamber music and choir concerts taking place in the museum’s spectacular entrance hall.There is also a café and souvenir shop in the museum if you fancy a bite to eat or a spot of shopping after a day of exploring. Schwarzenberg PalaceLocated inside the beautifully renovated Schwarzenberg Palace lies a true Renaissance gem; the permanent exhibition of late Renaissance and Baroque painting created in the lands of the Crown of Bohemia. The exhibition is spread across three floors of the palace, presenting approximately 160 sculptural exhibits and 280 pieces of art collections.The museum offers guided audio tours if you want to indulge in a truly educational experience. You can also grab a bite to eat at the museums courtyard café if you’re in need of a pit stop. National GalleryIf you’re looking for a must-see gallery in Prague, then make sure you visit the National Gallery – the country’s largest art gallery holding works from the past three centuries, including famous paintings and sculptures by artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, Miro and Renoir. Be sure to check out the Picasso room and discover his two self-portraits. The gallery’s art collection is worth a look for all visitors, even for those who aren’t the most passionate of art lovers.
Prague Jewish MuseumThe Prague Jewish Museum is a central memorial site that allows you to learn about the tragic history of the Jewish community, one of the main minorities of Bohemia before the Holocaust. The museum is home to one of the largest collections of Judaic artefacts in the world, including everything from textiles to manuscripts to old photographs. It is most famous for chronicling the history of victims and survivors of the Holocaust, with film showings, events and concerts taking place throughout the year. Museum of Decorative ArtsPrague’s Museum of Decorative Arts features rich collections including decorative and applied arts, and design work. The glass exhibition here is one of the most extensive in Europe and is reason enough to visit, but the Museum of Decorative Arts offers so much more: ceramics and porcelain, textiles and fashion, toys, jewellery, as well as graphics and photos. The museum café is ideal if you’re feeling peckish, or you can head to the relaxation garden and unwind after a day exploring Prague’s artistic beauty. Street ArtWhen it comes to street art, Prague is one of the most exciting and fascinating cities in Europe. When strolling around Prague, simply look up and you will see many works of art hanging from buildings, power lines and bridges. Part of Prague’s amazing street art, however, is thanks to the work of Czech sculptor David Černý. He is renowned for his giant brass statues of giant crawling babies located at the entrance of Museum Kampa in Kampa Park. These crawling tots also have a sister installation on the Zizkob TV tower, scaling the side of the tower 300 feet above the city.The Lennon Wall is another world-famous public landmark in Prague that art lovers will certainly appreciate. Located in the heart of the Old Town, just a few steps away from the Charles Bridge, you will find the incredibly colourful John Lennon-inspired graffiti wall filled with inspirational quotes, Beatles’ lyrics, personal notes, musings and paintings. The wall is like a vibrant rainbow in the city, attracting artists and tourists alike with its prismatic graffiti.
Museum KampaMuseum Kampa is a modern art gallery and one of the best museums in Prague, displaying Central European, and in particular Czech work. The artistic hub is located in Sova’s Mill in Lesser Town in the centre of Prague. The collection contains the largest collection of works by one of the founders of modern abstract painting, František Kupka, and works by other important artists of the 20th century. The museum also hosts a number of short-term exhibitions presenting Central European modern artists. Art & FoodThis exclusive restaurant is the perfect place for art lovers to head to, where you can experience an impressive mix of fine dining and art. Offering dishes based on traditional Czech recipes that are modernised to look like small pieces of art on the plate, Art & Food also houses an extensive collection of more than 200 contemporary paintings by leading Czech artists. The restaurant is a place where food, fine wine, art and music meet and is the perfect place to enjoy a unique gastronomical experience among world-class paintings. Mucha MuseumThe Mucha Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated to the life and work of world-acclaimed artist Alphonse Mucha. Although you can catch a glimpse of Mucha’s work when you visit the National Museum, you need to head to the Mucha Museum to truly experience his incredible art. The Czech painter is renowned for his paintings, posters, drawings and lithographs, but is probably best known for his decorative panels. The exhibition is completed by an interesting documentary on his life and work, and you can take a trip the museum’s gift shop to end your visit if you fancy buying some cultural souvenirs. Looking for a hotel during your stay? Check out Prague’s Occidental Praha, situated in a prime location near all the key tourist attractions.