I interviewed Dana Geise about her favorite kid-friendly activities in Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic in Eastern Europe. Her mom, dad and sister lived in Prague for years and now she returns with her children, 8 and 10, for visits.
Prague makes adults and children feel like they are in a fairy tale. It is a magical city full of cobblestone streets, little cottages and a castle. Prague is small and walkable with a convenient metro and tram system so there is no need to rent a car if you plan to spend most of your time within the city. Be forewarned: the magical cobblestone streets are tough on little feet (and big ones too) – wear comfortable shoes.
is the most important national cultural monument in the Czech Republic and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is the largest castle complex in the world and includes several beautiful buildings and courtyards. The Czech president lives here and while you will most likely not see him, kids will like the changing of the guard and Czech crown jewels.
This is a large place so consider taking the tram up to the castle and if you’re not too tired, walk back down one of the most picturesque streets in Prague – the Golden Lane. Located near the Cathedral, the Golden Lane, was home to the castle servants and craftsman. The remaining 11 tiny, pastel colored cottages are straight off the pages of a fairy tale. They are now touristy shops but well worth a visit. The Prague Castle complex is a full day outing with many surrounding restaurants to feed the tired troops.
Old Town Square is in the heart of Prague’s historical district. The largehas an hourly display that includes the 12 apostles coming out of the clock and spinning. There is a fascinating story about the clockmaker which parents may want to edit depending on the ages of their children. Legend has it that the government did not want the clockmaker to ever be able to reproduce the clock so they blinded him and he lived in the clock until he died. There is a restaurant near the clock that is a relaxing spot to watch the action on the square as well as ice cream and snack shops (although it is expensive).
The, near Old Town, is a pedestrian-only bridge anchored by two towers on each end. Both towers are open for climbing however you’ll get the best views from the Old Town tower. Besides interesting gothic architecture, the construction of the bridge itself is unique – egg yolks were mixed into the mortar to strengthen it and it still stands strong today. This is definitely a great place for strolling with the family – during the day you’ll find art vendors lining the sides and at night you’ll be rewarded with wonderful views of the lit-up Castle.
, also located in Old Town, has been a fixture in Prague since the 14th century. See if older children notice that the spires are not identical — one is wider than the other. Inside the church you’ll find another unforgettable sight — a hand that was cut off from someone attempting to steal from the church is preserved and displayed for viewing! If the macabre is not on your sightseeing list, skip the hand but walk around inside because it is one of the most beautiful churches in Prague.
Swimming is not recommended, but ais a wonderful way to get a different perspective of the city and see the historical architecture blending with the modern. If you are destination minded, the boats can drop off and pick up at the Prague Zoo for a full day outing. Whether you choose to just relax or visit the zoo, a Prague river cruise transports you to another age – it is old world and magical.
After all of the sightseeing, Kmotr Pizza (Godmother’s pizza) may be the comfort food that your kids are craving. One of the oldest pizzerias in Prague, there are two Kmotr locations in the city. The original is not near any of the major sites but is a fun place, albeit a bit smoky. It’s deep down in a cellar and full of college students – a 10-minute metro ride plus 5-minute walk from Prague center. They also have home delivery and ice cream to die for.
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