Turning the dream of visiting Prague into a reality, especially with children, works best with insider tips from a native who understands where the kids can play and experience activities in this grand Czech Republic city.
Things to Do in Prague
Prague is no longer a city for stag parties that go wild! The beauty of the city of a thousand spires in the heart of Europe can today be admired with your children.
Just slow down a bit and adjust the pace to what kids can manage.
Cafés, museums, galleries and bakeries, all of these can be found in well-known places. But I’ll reveal also the rather secret ones, which Czech parents seek out.
Secret Places in the Old Town
The first thing you’ll need to see in Prague is, without doubt, the Old Town. You can go have a look at the Astronomical Clock with your kids, ideally when the full hour strikes, at the time of the main show.
Walk around the Old Town Square, watch street performances and then wander off to the tiny streets around it. An ice cream cone or a cinnamon roll called ‘Trdlo’ or ‘Trdelnik’ can be found all over the place and will surely satisfy your kids’ appetite.
I have two tips for you how to let tired children take a break from walking and actively rest in the city centre:
Right by the Old Town Square, in the corner right next to the white Church of St. Nicholas, there is Gud Gallery. Why am I sending you to a gallery?
This one is special – touching exhibits in the Gud Gallery is not only permitted, it is more than welcomed! Kids can put the finishing touches on art pieces, build new ones or simply watch and play.
I see small children and preteens having fun. The Gallery is closed on Monday afternoons.
If you find yourself close to the Wenceslas Square, then Franciscan Garden (Františkánská zahrada) is definitely the most beautiful place to sit down and relax. It features a children-playing zone too, in case your kids need to reenergize by climbing and crawling.
Homemade Food and Gingerbread Baking in the Old Town
It‘s said that the best way to really experience the culture of a country is meeting the locals and eating their food. Get both by having lunch or dinner at home of a Czech woman named Bára.
Gastronomic experiences are always travel favorites, but it can be hard to find ones that are suitable for children. Bára herself is a mom as well as a former chef of two prestigious Prague restaurants, so she’s the ideal candidate for this family experience.
While Bára cooks with adults, she lets children make and decorate real Czech gingerbread.
Families also can visit the chef’s home and experience lighter Czech food. This activity can be booked with Travelove.
Where to Rest with Kids by the Charles Bridge
Charles Bridge is constantly crowded. It is possibly the most important sight in Prague and you will surely not want to miss it.
Once you and your kids have fought through the crowds, relax with them on Kampa, right under the bridge on the right side. You’ll find a park here, as well as monkey bars and a museum.
Paint Your Own Mug at Vinohrady
Let’s go a bit off the beaten track. You’ll stroll through the beautiful boulevards of Vinohrady and not only you, but also your kids shouldn’t stop looking up! Oftentimes the best architectural details are to be found on the top.
The district of Vinohrady is a very desirable place to live. Find the lovely Café Maluj here – a place with a great atmosphere where you can pick a piece of ceramics and bring it to life with paint.
No souvenir bought in a store could make your kids a memory equal to a hand-painted mug from Prague!
Regarding practicalities – allow for at least two days as your creations have to be fired in a kiln and you can pick them up only the next day. How much does it cost? Just around $14.
Once you‘re artistically drained and you‘ve let your legs rest, set off on another walk in the Vinohrady neighborhood.
Go through Svatopluk Čech Park and around Jiřího z Poděbrad Square to the TV Tower in Žižkov, the tallest building in Prague, which comes adorned with big black babies climbing skywards, a design of the quirky Czech artist David Černý.
Under the Žižkov Tower sits a playground, a restaurant, and in the winter an ice rink with skate rentals for children and adults. Of course, you can also enjoy the view from the observatory at the top.
Vinohrady is also full of charming cafes and restaurants where you and your children are welcome. For example, at the original Antonínovo Bakery your children can observe how an original Czech loaf of bread gets made and what it tastes like just out of the oven.
Prague’s Best Parks to Rest and Play
If you have an extra day or two in Prague and you’ve seen most of the sights, you can go laze the day away to one of Prague’s lovely parks and perhaps even mingle with local parents! These are the parks that I love most:
Grébovka: A big green park on the edge of Vinohrady district. There is a big child-playing area and even artificial rock formations. There’s a beautiful glass-walled café in the middle for a pretty good coffee.
Riegrovy Sady: This park gets crowded on the weekends, especially in summertime. Right in the middle of the park, you can let your kids play and climb on the numerous monkey bars. For parents, an authentic beer garden is right next door.
Vyšehrad: The breathtaking monastery and local old cemetery are easy to navigate with a stroller, as the cement paths are smooth. One part of the park features a playground for kids.
Experiencing Prague with your children works if you know when and where to look. Many websites for really interesting cafés, galleries, and places where Czech parents go with their children, are only written in Czech.
To stay in Prague or elsewhere without spending anything on accommodation, you can consider housesitting opportunities. Pets might come with it, but who wouldn’t enjoy lovely park strolls with a local pet?
If, for some reason, you don’t feel like visiting Prague just yet, check out at least the other top 10 cities to visit in 2015 according to Travel & Leisure magazine.
This guest post was written by Katka Mikulkova.She is an entrepreneur and founder of an experience-based travel startup mytravelove.com. She is a mother of two boys and lives with her family on the outskirts of Prague, Czech Republic. She frequently travels and has managed to perfect the art of travelling with children. On her family trips all over Europe, she tests what facilities and sights are children-friendly and how to make the best out of sightseeing with small kids in tow. Her articles focus on family travel in Europe.