On International Museum Day, visit nearly 50 museums in Czechia and Germany for free

A joint initiative between the two countries will see dozens of museums in Northern Bohemia and Saxony offer free admission.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 10.05.2022 14:45:00 (updated on 10.05.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

There are a couple of ways to celebrate International Museum Day this year: a joint Czech and German initiative will see museums open for free along the Labe river on Sunday, May 15, while several venues in Prague will have a free or reduced entry on Wednesday, May 18.

For people who fancy a road trip, the International Museum Day of the Labe/Elbe Euroregion will bring together 49 venues in Nothern Bohemia along the Labe river into Germany’s Saxony region. The German side boasts 29 venues, while the Czech side has 20.

The Municipal Museum of Ústí nad Labem and Dresden's Office of Culture and Monument Preservation worked together on the project. A map lets visitors filter the venues by subject matter and location.

Highlights on the Czech side include the Terezín Memorial, the Water Castle in Budyně nad Ohri, the North Bohemian Gallery of Fine Arts in Litomerice, and the Museum of the City of Usti nad Labem. There's also an museum of Easter eggs in Libotenice.

Organizers hope visitors will discover the rich heritage of not only aristocrats but also artists, craftsmen, and astronomers. The museum collections and oftentimes the venues themselves are witnesses to the cultural, spiritual, and economic history of the region.

In Saxony, you can find 22 venues in Dresden alone, including a botanical garden, art museums, the Great Hall of the Dresden Armory, plus specialized museums or locations dedicated to military history, coins, copper engraving, trains, and various famous people.

Where to celebrate in Prague

International Museum Day celebrations take place in Prague on May 18. The National Museum, select exhibits at the National Gallery, and the National Museum of Agriculture will offer free admission. The National Technical Museum will offer reduced admission.

The National Museum is more than just the Historical Building and New Building, which sit side by side on Wenceslas Square and are guaranteed to have long lines. (For those who brave the free-admission lines, a new English-friendly app creates a virtual reality experience for visitors to the Historical Building).

Other venues tend to be less crowded, and cover themes ranging from Czechoslovak folk customs to the lives of classical composers Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák. Recent political history can be seen at the National Memorial on Vítkov Hill, which has a good view from the rooftop.

The National Gallery will have free entry to Old Masters I in the Schwartzenberg Palace, Old Masters II in the Sternberg Palace, Medieval Art in Bohemia and Central Europe in the Convent of St. Agnes, and Art of the Long Century and Art of the First Republic, both at Veletržní palác.

The National Museum of Agriculture is one of the city’s overlooked venues. People can see historical farming techniques and implements, and visit a rooftop garden.

It'll reduce admission to CZK 80, but this does not include the mine tour, which is at its regular price.

International Museum Day is held every year around May 18 and is a project of the International Council of Museums (ICOM). The theme changes every year; for 2022 it's “the power of museums.” The day was established in 1977 to increase public awareness of the role of museums in the development of society.

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