Culture tip: Several museums and galleries in Prague offer free admission

Cutting back on spending doesn't mean having to do without culture; several venues showcase art and objects for free. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 23.08.2022 16:43:00 (updated on 23.08.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

With prices rising, people have been looking for ways to cut back on nonessential spending. That doesn’t mean cutting out cultural activities. Multiple Prague museums and galleries have free admission year-round, while others are free for select exhibits or on specific dates.

A few large corporations use their art collections as a way of making contact with the public. Insurer Kooperativa and the bank Česká spořitelna both present highlights of their art holdings, usually organized around a theme. Among public institutions, the Senate palace opens it doors free to the public on Saturdays.

As with all museums, always check in advance before making a trip. Some of these lesser-known venues close in between exhibit openings. Others are open by appointment only.

Prague museums with free admission

Letecké muzeum Kbely: One of the city's big secrets is the aviation museum at Kbely. The complex, filled with hundreds of historical planes, is one of the largest of its type in Europe and is situated on a former military air base. It is open daily except Mondays from May to October.

National Memorial to the Heroes of the Heydrich Terror: The Czechoslovak paratroopers who assassinated Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich were tracked down and killed in the crypt of the Church of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, near Karlovo náměstí. A memorial museum in the crypt is open daily except Mondays all year round.

Infant of Prague Museum: One of the biggest attractions for religious tourists, especially from Spain and Latin America, is the Infant of Prague at the Church of Our Lady Victorious. While most people know admission to the church is free, they often miss out on the free museum that can be found on top of a winding staircase near the altar. It is open daily and has a large array of various costumes and other memorabilia.

Czech National Bank: The new visitor center to the Czech National Bank on Na Příkopě Street is open Tuesday through Saturday. Reservations are only needed for large groups. Exhibitions show the history of Czech and Czechoslovak money, and explain topics such as inflation and monetary policy. You can see historical vaults and a unique CZK 100 million gold coin.

Galerie Kooperativy: Art owned by insurance company Kooperativa is displayed on the third floor of the Kooperativa building at Pobřežní 21 in Karlín. The gallery holds two thematic exhibitions each year. The collection focuses on Czech artists. The next one starts Sept. 15 and runs to Jan. 29, 2023.

Galerie České Spořitelny: The bank Česká spořitelna counts a large art collection among its assets. They have turned part of the impressive Palác ČS on Rytířská Street into a gallery to showcase some of its holdings. There can be gaps between the shows, so check to make sure something is on.

Galerie České Spořitelny
Galerie České Spořitelny

Wallenstein Palace: The seat of the Czech Senate is open to the public every Saturday from April to October for free tours. The main hall features impressive ceiling murals and baroque decor. You can also access the courtyards and the Wallenstein Gardens.

Galerie UM: The exhibition space of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (UMPRUM) features works by young artists and sometimes by famous graduates from the past. The building on náměstí Jana Palacha is open Monday to Saturday,

Galerie Rudolfinum: While this large art gallery does charge admission, several recent shows have been free to the public thanks to generous grants from corporate sponsors. Check online to see if the current show falls into this category.

Prague museums with free admission by appointment

Gas Museum: You need to make an appointment to see the Gas Museum, located in the gasworks on U Plynárny Street in Prague 4. It covers both the history of gas in the Czech lands, and general topics related to technology and infrastructure. Tours in English are also available.

PRE Muzeum: Find out about the history of electricity in Bohemia at this small museum in a former substation at Vrbenského Street in Holešovice. Tours must be arranged in advance.

Petschek Palace Memorial: Arrangements must be made seven days in advance to see the rooms formerly used by the Gestapo in the basement of a building on Politických vězňů Street. The building is now used by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Tours are available from September to June, but only in Czech.

Museums with regular free admission days

The National Gallery in Prague: The venues of the National Gallery offer free admission to select exhibits on some holidays and other days throughout the year. A list can be found here.

The National Museum: The museum is more than just the main building. All of the venues are open for free on select national holidays, though lines can be long at the main locations. A list of the days is here.

Tip: The Jewish Museum, Lobkowicz Palace, the Charles Bridge Museum, and Prague City Gallery all offer discounted admission for holders of the Lítačka transport pass.

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