I always know that spring has finally come when Prague’s red historical trams start rattling through the streets again. It’s a beautiful sight and sound and on all weekends from April to November, for only 35 CZK (20 CZK for children), you can hop-on or hop-off this Nostalgic Tram Line No. 91 at dozens of stops throughout the city.
You can also combine your Nostalgic Tram Line ride with a visit to the Prague Public Transport Museum (Muzeum MHD). It is located on the premises of the former tram depot of Stresovice in Prague 6. It houses a unique collection of period public transportation vehicles going as far back as 1875, the year in which the first ever tramway, pulled by horses, started to operate in the streets of the then Royal Capital City of Prague.
Also on display are different types of buses, electric motor cars, passenger trailers, freight cars, trolley buses and a road assembly tower unit. This collection of vehicles is supplemented by other interesting exhibits such as old maps, models, plans, historical documents, old photographs, tickets etc, which together, illustrate the entire history of Prague’s public transportation development. My boys love coming here and if a seasonal entry ticket were on offer, I think that we would be the first to want to get one!
Walking into the large depot, one immediately feels like having entered into a different era. The vehicles are all neatly lined up into several rows, which makes the whole room seem like a mini-maze of busses and trains, especially inviting for little children to go and touch and explore. The only ‘small’ problem is that most of the exhibits are closed off, and climbing onto the majority of the carriages is not permitted. This rule is quite strictly enforced by the staff that ‘patrol’ the area. Maybe the fact that back in 1998, the vehicles were declared a cultural monument has something to do with this.
Despite the no climbing/limited touching rule, my boys always manage to get chided for their rowdiness in the museum. Luckily there are one or two exhibits that are actually open up for this purpose, and I always try to spend as much time as possible around this area. One of Albie’s favourite pastimes is touching and pretending to be fiixing up all of the cars’ black and oily wheels. I must say that after a while the staff usually accept the fact that some boys just find public transportation vehicles absolutely irresistible, and leave us alone.
The museum also houses a small gift store selling mainly books on public transportation in Prague, maps and collectos’ models of trams and busses. The much more affordable hand-made wooden versions of these make a great gift. If you get a bit peckish, the small restaurant adjacent to the depot, serves up some basic dishes such as Czech dumplings and fried cheese with fries. On a hot summer’s day, nothing beats having an ice cream or a cold drink at one of the outdoor tables here.
What makes the trip to the Prague Public Transport Museum most fun is that once finished with exploring the museum, you can directly board one of two Nostalgic Historical Trams (No. 91) running every hour from 12 noon until 5pm. One tram always leaves on the hour from the main gate of the Museum while another tram leaves simultaneously from the Vystaviste (Exhibition Grounds at Stromovka Park). The 30-45 minute ride will take you through some of Prague’s most recognizable sights - so leaving from the Museum you will go around the back of the castle, to Malostranske namesti, Ujzed, the National Theatre, Wenceslas Square, Namesti Republicky and along the banks of the Vltava river to Strossmayerovo Square before the tram terminates at the Vystaviste. You can find a complete timetable and route information for No. 91 here.
The seats in the carriages are all wooden and tickets on the tram are sold by a traditionally dressed conductor, who stays on board for the duration of each trip. Passengers are allowed to get on and off at which ever of the stops along the way that they choose, but once one leaves the tram, the ticket loses its validity. Alighting at Vystaviste would allow one to pay a visit to the nearby Stromovka Park, planetarium or Morsky Svet – the largest indoor aquarium in the Czech Republic.
Special Historical Tram Tours or sightseeing trams are available for group hire (birthdays, meetings and conferences etc). This service can be booked all year round. Even the space in the tram museum itself can be hired and catering and music arrangements made to measure. More detailed information including a price list can be found here.
OPEN: Last week before Easter until the second week of November from 0900 to 1700pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays only.
PRICE: Entry to museum: CZK 35 per adult and CZK 20 per child aged 6 years and over. Same pricing applies for the tram ride.
ADDRESS: Patockova 4, Stresovice, Prague 6
DIRECTIONS: By Tram: Take No: 1, 18 or 36 to Vozovna Stresovice tram stop. By Metro: Take the green line A to Hradcanska metro stop. Transfer to tram 1 for one stop to Vozovna Stresovice tram stop. By Car: There is limited (free) parking available on the street that runs along the right-hand side of the museum (na Orechovce Street).
FURTHER INFORMATION: http://www.dpp.cz/en/urban-mass-transit-museum/