This Saturday is one of the most highly anticipated and action-packed evenings of the year in Prague. The reason for this is that on Saturday June 10th, the 14th annual Prague Museum Night will be held in locations throughout the city.
What Exactly is Museum Night?
For those of you who don’t know, Prague Museum Night means that 79 museums and galleries all over Prague will be open for free from 7pm-1am. Alongside the current exhibits and collections, many places will also be putting on special events especially for Museum Night. These events will include: live music, talks, workshops, demonstrations, film screenings and readings. Certain locations will also be offering visitors refreshments.
How does it all Work?
Not only will there be free entry to the museums and galleries, but transport will also be provided free of charge. There will be 10 colour coded bus routes and all buses will depart from a central bus stop, which will be located temporarily outside the Rudolfinum.
An information tent will be set up from midday on June 9th at the top of Wenceslas Square. A second information tent will be set up on Palackeho Namesti (Jan Palach Square) from 10am on June 10th. Here you will be able to pick up a map, learn more about what will be happening at each location and find out which of the free buses will take you to where you need to go.
What’s the Downside?
First off, Museum Night is always massively popular, so be aware that places may get pretty crowded. There’s not much to be done about this, so the best thing you can do is be prepared.
The second issue is something we may be able to help you with. I have attended a few Museum Nights and personally, my biggest problem was always being totally overwhelmed by choice. How many places should I try to go to? Where should I go? Am I going to miss out on seeing something really awesome?
Regarding the first question, don’t set your sights too high. To visit for than 3-4 places would be an ambitious feat. Just plan ahead and make sure you choose the right places, even if it’s just 1 or 2.
Prague Museum Night has a great website, which is available in English and it gives information about what will be happening at all of the locations. If you don’t feel like making your way through the whole list, keep reading for our top 5 tips (in no particular order) for places that are worth a visit.
Vysehrad National Cultural Monument
This is actually the one place which isn’t free to enter but since admission will only be a symbolic 1,- CZK, it certainly shouldn’t be ruled out. Explore an underground tunnel complex which can be found under the famous Vysehrad Castle and dates back to the 17th century and includes the Gorlice Hall, which is home to 6 of the original statues from Charles Bridge. Of course, you can also take a look around inside the castle itself.
The Vysehrad National Cultural Monument can be found at V Pevnosti 159/5b, Praha 2
Centre of Administration and Operations of the Czech Academy of Sciences
It’s a bit of a mouthful and the name does make it sound like the most boring place in the world, but there’s going to be some interesting stuff going on here on Saturday. The current exhibition contains some amazing photos taken the observatory in Paranal, Chile. It will also be possible to observe the skies for yourself from the astronomical telescope located in the centre’s gardens. Finally, the centre offers visitors the chance to try and experience the world as if you were a plant. I’m not quite sure what that’s going to involve but it certainly intrigued me.
The Centre of Administration and Operations of the Czech Academy of Sciences can be found at Národní 1009/3, Prague 1
The Czech Museum of Music
Although the museum does have a couple of interesting looking permanent exhibitions, the main draw here will be the varied live music performances going on throughout the evening, which will include Jazz Improvisation from Frantisek Uhlir and band, a gospel choir and the Vinohrady Symphony Orchestra. For details of all the performances and the times for each, see the Prague Museum Night website.
The Czech Museum of Music can be found at Karmelitská 388/2, Prague 1
The National Technical Museum
This one had to make the list because there is just so much going on here. Entry is normally 460,- CZK, so Prague Museum Night is a great opportunity to see a lot of cool stuff free of charge. Even on a regular day, there is too here to see everything in one trip and in honour of Prague Museum Night, there will be many additional demonstrations, workshops and exhibitions.
The National Technical Museum can be found at Kostelní 1320/42, Prague 7
The Spanish Synagogue
There are some fairly interesting permanent exhibitions here, where you can learn about the history of Moravian and Bohemian Jews and see some of the most valuable silverware from these regions. However, the big draw here is the architectural beauty of the synagogue itself. It really is truly stunning and ordinarily visitors would have to pay a hefty fee to go inside this synagogue. Visitors should be aware that the Synagogue is open from 10.30pm.
The Spanish Synagogue can be found at Vězeňská 1, Prague 1
The Fata Morgana Tropical Greenhouse
The Fata Morgana Greenhouse is part of Prague’s Botanical Gardens, it covers 1750 square feet and is divided into 3 sections. Each section has its own temperature and humidity, so it is representative of its own separate ecosystem. Also part of the Botanical Gardens are the beautiful yet tiny St. Claire’s Chapel and the vineyard which is named after it. St. Claire’s Vineyard is actually protected as a national heritage site and produces some really top quality wines which can only be purchased from the vineyard’s shop. Normally it would cost 150CZK to enter the grounds of the greenhouse but of course for Prague Museum night it will be free of charge.
Prague’s Botanical Gardens can be found at Trojská 800/196, Prague 7
The Meet Factory
The Meet Factory is probably the coolest exhibition space for contemporary art in the city and they have so much going on for museum night. First off, there will be a chance to visit the studios of resident artists, ask them questions and see what they’re working on. There’s going to be some special installation art and a workshop on how to create electronic music. The theme of electronic music will continue as Apeiron Crew, Inga Maurer and KinA will be performing at the after party which will continue until 3am.
The Meet Factory can be found at Ke Sklárně 3213/15, Prague 5