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Underrated Gem: Museum of Public Transport in Prague

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The National Museum gets a lot of attention and rightfully so, but did you know Prague has its own museum of public transport? This month the museum is celebrating 29 years since opening to the public.

The museum is located in a tram depot from 1909 which is on its own listed as a technical monument, making the entire visit even better. You can see a unique collection of historic trams, trolley buses, Tatra buses or wagons from the old metros. You can learn about how public transport technology has developed and changed over the years, and all around the museum there are panels mapping the evolution of public transport in Prague for the last 140 years. You can also get nice historical factoids. For instance, did you know that at the end of the 19th century, every tram driver who fell behind schedule would be fired?

You can also check out old photographs, copies of historic documents, posters, maps of the lines, old tickets, and how tram stops looked like a hundred years ago.

The oldest exhibit is a horse car from 1886, since the first electric trams came to Prague around 1893. Probably the most eye-catching tram is one from 1900 in secession style that was used during ceremonies for the mayor. This and other historic trams were designed by famous Czech architect Jan Kotěra who, for example, designed the Faculty of Law at Charles University in Prague. Displayed is also a tram from the Second World War equipped with tinted windows that prevented reflectiveness so they wouldn’t become targets of enemy aircraft. The destination signs on all the old trams were in Czech and German.

Some of the old historic trams still being used on the streets of Prague are also stored in the Museum, for example the ‘nostalgic line 41’ that you can still ride on weekends or public holidays. Tickets are 35 CZK and it goes from Prague-Střešovice through Prague castle, Malostranské square, National theatre, Wenceslas square to Holešovice.

The museum of public transport is open on the weekends and Wednesday afternoons. The entrance fee is 100 crowns.

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