Prague’s surprisingly strong ethnographic museum is run by the National Museum (Národní muzeum) and located in a vast and romantic palace known as Kinsky Folly; it was built in 1831 by architect Heinrich Koch and sits amid the glories of Kinský Gardens. The thoughtfully curated exhibitions give an insight into life in rural Czech communities over the last 300 years and cover folk culture and art, music and costume.
As part of the permanent exhibitions ranging from agricultural implements on an historic farm to intricately embroidered wedding dresses, the Musaion has a fascinating display showcasing the annual religious and spiritual rituals of rural Bohemia and Moravia, from Advent masks to shaggy Shrovetide costumes and handcrafted Nativity crèches. There are frequent workshops demonstrating artisan crafts such as pottery and woodcarving, and regular concerts of traditional folk music.
In the Kinský Gardens surrounding the museum are reconstructions of a pagoda-like ornate 17th-century timber church from Wallachia and a Baroque shrine from the nearby urban district of Žižkov.
After a visit to the Musaion, walk through the Kinský Gardens to Petřín Hill for gorgeous views over the city and the Vltava River before heading on to Prague Castle.
The Musaion is open Tue–Sun 10am–6pm. Admission for adults is CZK 70; children are CZK 40. Admission is also free with the Prague Welcome Card. To visit via public transportation, take tram 9, 12, 15 or 20 to Švandovo divadlo, bus 176 to Kobrova or the Petřín Hill funicular.