It’s usually dry during daytime through spring and summer but it’s always good to have a backup plan if it rains on your Prague vacation. Here are some ideas for some culturally enriching diversions.
There’s a wide range of galleries in Prague, many of them part of the National Gallery, from the massive Veletrzni Palace in Prague 7, to smaller private galleries in the centre, including the Mucha Museum, where you’ll see artefacts and drawings from the prominent Art Nouveau artist. If Art Nouveau is your thing, the Municipal House at Namesti Republiky is worth a visit too, the wedding-cake like exterior of this concert hall and gallery and exhibition space is matched by the beauty and detail of the interior. There’s a permanent exhibition running there featuring the crown of St Wenceslas too.
Get familiar with some Czech history
Prague has plenty of museums, some free, some paid, some state-run, some private, but there’s something for everyone. The National Museum’s main building at the top of Wenceslas Square is closing for almost four years from the 8th of July, so nip in before then if you want to see the before – a friend once described it to me as a museum museum – all dusty display cases, rocks and fossils. The National Museum organisation is also responsible for more than ten smaller museums in and outside of Prague too. The largest of these is the building to the left of the main building, which has in its lifetime been the site of the Prague Stock Exchange, then the parliament building, throughout Communist times and subsequently and symbolically the headquarters of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. This building is usually home to one or two temporary exhibitions. Music lovers will enjoy the Czech Museum of Music in Mala Strana as well as the Dvorak and Smetana museums. Military buffs will enjoy the Army Museum, a short walk from Florenc.
To the castle!
Prague Castle, the world’s largest ancient castle complex, is a great way to while away a rainy day. Or two – tickets are valid for the day of purchase and the day after. There is a choice of long and short tours, and various permanent and temporary exhibitions to see, so you definitely won’t be short of things to do.
Indulge your inner trainspotter
The Public Transport Museum at Stresovice’s collection of 50 vehicles takes you through the evolution of Prague’s public transport system, from horse-drawn carts, electrified trams, through trolleybuses and buses to the metro. The museum is open from the beginning of April to the middle of November every year. If it’s a weekend you can take the number 41 ‘nostalgic’ tram on a sightseeing tour of the city. Not enough machinery? The newly reopened and revamped National Technical Museum at Letna should satisfy.
On the outskirts of the city, at the Kbely military airfield, is the Aviation Museum, under the auspices of the Military Museum previously mentioned. To get there take the C Metro line (red) to Letnany station then it’s 10 minutes on one of the many buses to the Letecké museum stop.
Next week we’ll share some practical and relaxing ideas for rainy-day Prague.
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Charlie is head of marketing at JayWay Travel. A long-term Prague resident, his interests are cooking, eating out, cycling, skiing and of course, travel.