Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Dalene & Pete Heck
Welcome to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, and city in central Europe known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and fascinating culture. But, did you know that Prague is also home to a plethora of peculiar and unconventional attractions and unusual things that captivate tourists from around the world?
These unusual things evoke a sense of intrigue and meaning, offering a unique perspective on the city’s character and charm. Prague’s eclectic array of weird and wonderful attractions has become a major draw for curious travellers seeking experiences beyond the ordinary.
From quirky giant baby sculptures and installations, such as urinating men, to bizarre museums and unconventional landmarks like the Lennon Wall, Prague offers a delightful journey into the realm of the extraordinary.
What sets Prague apart from other cities when it comes to public art is the city’s embrace of the unconventional. The streets are teeming with the most unusual things that seamlessly blend with the historical backdrop.
It is a testament to Prague’s open-mindedness and its celebration of creativity, allowing artists to push boundaries and transform the urban landscape into an artistic playground.
So, if you find yourself in Prague, take a detour (and perhaps a guided tour) from the conventional tourist attractions and venture into the world of the weird and wonderful.
It didn’t take long for either of us to feel smitten with Prague, and for a reason neither of us expected. Prague is off-the-wall, in a very good way, provocatively testing limits of what may even be publicly acceptable. So often Pete and I turned to each other and said: I can’t imagine this ever being possible in North America.
And resident bad boy David Černý leads the way, shocking and mocking with sculptures placed at home and abroad. Some of his sculptural work on display in Prague was commissioned, other pieces have been unveiled amid secrecy and caused significant uproar.
Some, like a giant purple hand giving the finger to government, floating on a pontoon in the Vltava River facing the Prague Palace, didn’t last long. However one thing is true of them all: every piece has ignited conversation.
Most often in opposition of the country’s communist past, many say Černý’s work is shaping Prague’s personality by provoking politicians and the national psyche.
Discover the hidden gems that evoke meaning, challenge perceptions, and leave a lasting impression of these strangely memorable things.
Prague’s unconventional sights and unusual things promise an unforgettable journey into a world where art, history, and imagination collide with these popular attractions.
The John Lennon Wall
Velkoprevorske namesti Mala Strana, Prague 11800
One fascinating spot is the John Lennon Wall, not far from Charles Bridge and the Vltava River, a vibrant and ever-changing graffiti-covered wall that pays homage to the late musician and peace activist.
The John Lennon Wall symbolizes freedom of expression, and visitors are encouraged to contribute their own artwork and messages, creating a constantly evolving mural of hope, love, and inspiration.
Get up close for a look at all the unusual things that have been left over time.
Saint Wenceslas on His Horse
Vodickova 704/36 Lucerna Palace Gallery – Palác Lucerna, Prague 11602
Why yes, that is a man riding a dead horse upside down. King Wenceslas, the subject of a popular legend that tells of his coming to life to slay all enemies of the Czech Republic, is depicted in another large and typical hero-on-horse statue over in Wenceslas Square.
Could this one, in its inverse position, be representative of a modern society that no longer needs legends or fairy tales? Like most Černý works, it is entirely up for debate. While Černý’s is a hidden treasure worth seeking out, it’s also worth heading over to Wenceslas Square to view the “original”.
Jiráskovo náměstí 6, Prague 12000
The Prague Dancing House is an iconic architectural gem in new town Prague. Designed by Vlado Milunić and Frank Gehry, this unconventional building resembles a pair of dancers in motion. Its unique design stands out from the city’s traditional architecture.
The building features one glass tower and rock tower, one leaning against the other, creating a dynamic and fluid appearance. The Prague Dancing House houses a fine-dining restaurant, an art gallery, and a rooftop terrace offering stunning views.
The Dancing House represents the city’s embrace of contemporary architecture and is a must-see attraction for visitors.
Babes in a Park, on a Tower
Mahlerovy sady 2669/1, Prague 13000 & U Sovovych Mlynu 2, Prague 118 00
The Zizkov TV Tower, voted one of the ugliest buildings in the world, needed some work. Enter Černý, who placed grotesque infants climbing up the side.
They may not actually beautify the tower, but they definitely do make it an attraction.
Oh, and there are more babies at the Museum Kampa entrance. In case you didn’t notice it on the tower, you can clearly see that their faces are creepily replaced with slots.
The Kafka Museum
Cihelna 2B Mala Strana, Prague 118 00
The Kafka Museum, dedicated to the renowned Czech writer Franz Kafka, is certainly an intriguing destination full of unusual things. This museum is a testament to his literary genius, providing insight into his complex mind and the themes that permeate his works.
Visitors are immersed in a world of surrealism and existentialism, discovering the profound influence Kafka has had on modern literature.
Holečkova 789, 150 00 Prague
This one took a little more effort to find – we wound through quiet corridors of the Futura Gallery to discover the courtyard where two giant rear ends emerge from the outdoor wall.
Installed in the butt holes are TVs supposed to show a video of two politicians feeding each other soup to the tune of We are the Champions.
The TVs weren’t working when we peered inside.
Malá Strana, Cihelná in the courtyard of Hergetova cihelna, Prague 118 00
One of the more popular Černý structures in Prague is of two men waving their bronze penises over an enclosed puddle in the shape of the Czech Republic.
The water streams spell out quotes from legendary Prague residents, and it used to be possible to send a text message and have the penises wag whatever you tell them to. (We could not find the number to text, and others have told us that it was no longer working anyway.)
Man Hanging Out
Husova Intersection of Husova and Betlémské náměstí, Prague 110 00
Look up on Husova street to see Sigmund Freud, dangling high above. Some suggest that it perhaps depicts society’s eternal struggle with the feeling of hopelessness, or as a reminder of our capacity to make the choice to return inside.
It has certainly caused more than a few people to be concerned.
Galerie Golf Hostivař, U Golfu 565, Prague 10
Crafted from stainless steel, this mesmerizing artwork not only reflects its surroundings but also emphasizes the significance of its placement within the environment. Take a closer look and immerse yourself in the intriguing design of this thought-provoking sculpture.
Explore the captivating six-meter sculpture of a pregnant woman cradling her head, from the inside. You can actually crawl into of the statue to experience what it would be like to be in a womb. You know, in case you’ve forgotten. (We skipped that part.)
Anenské náměstí 209/5 Prague
“Is that a potato?” Pete said as we walked toward this piece stuck to the side of the Divadlo na Zabradli theater on a quiet square. Upon further inspection, when the throbbing red heart could be seen, we realized that it was a fetus stuck in a drain pipe.
It’s intent is to relay how difficult it is to create art in a narrow-minded world. (It says this much better than a potato ever could.) For the full experience, try to get a look at the sculpture at night.
Petrinske sady 633, Prague 118 00
No, not that Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower of the Czech Republic. Haven’t heard of it? Don’t worry. It’s actually called the Petrin Tower, but locals affectionately call it the Prague Eiffel Tower due to its resemblance to the oner in Paris.
Located on Petřín Hill, this tower offers panoramic views of Prague’s stunning cityscape. Petrin Tower is a popular attraction where visitors can climb to the top and enjoy breathtaking vistas of the city center, beautiful parks, Charles Bridge, and the Vltava River.
Sex Machines Museum
Melantrichova 476/18, Prague 110 00
The Sex Machines Museum in Prague is a unique establishment that explores the history and evolution of human sexuality through exhibits of antique sex toys, artwork, unusual things and interactive displays.
It offers a thought-provoking experience, challenging societal norms and promoting open conversations about sexuality.
Staroměstské náměstí 1/3 Prague 110 00
The Prague Astronomical Clock isn’t exactly weird, but it’s certainly interesting, and worth a visit while you’re in old town square. In the heart of Old Town, this intricate clock perches above everything, moving in conjunction with the sun and planets.
It is one of the top Prague attractions, as well as in all of the Czech Republic. A short walk from old town square is Charles Bridge, which spans over the Vltava River, making for wonderful views from the new city and old town alike.
(original location) Zitna 658/9, Prague 110 00
This is more of a weird activity to do, rather than see, but you can’t leave Prague without trying a beer bath at the beer spa. Beer baths are exactly what they sound like–a large wooden barrel tubs filled with Czech beers, that you sit in, and take a beer bath.
There are many options and hidden gems within old Prague, and the Czech Republic in general.
This is definitely one of the most fun things to do while visiting Prague, and is an interesting way dive in to Czech culture. Pun intended.
Fun fact: Using beer topically can decrease the appearance of wrinkles, release toxins in your body, moisturize your skin, and nourish your hair.
Other locations with their own quirks worth visiting:
- Charles Bridge and the golden rubbing dog
- The Black Light Theatre
- Letna Park and the Metronome
- Prague Castle (largest ancient castle in the world)
- The KGB Museum
This is not an exhaustive list, nor is Černý alone in bringing controversy to the streets of Prague – hunting for all of the unusual things across this city makes for an entertaining chase.
To really make the best of your time in the Czech capital, we recommend taking one of the many walking tours that are available from the city center, most beginning in old town square. It would be advisable to book online to plan ahead, so you can enjoy these fun and unusual things at your own pace.