Czech Republic may be a relatively new European country formed in 1993, but its culture, parks, structures, and centuries old architecture speak volumes of its rich and colorful past. Its capital city of Prague is home to Prague Castle, considered the world’s largest castle complex.
Prague is easily one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, if not the entire world! From its ancient, medieval castles to its winding little cobble streets and spacious squares, there is always something for tourists to do or see in this magical city. Many architectural structures date back to even as far as the Middle Ages. In the last couple of years, the tourism industry in Prague has genuinely taken off, as people seek low prices, and want to visit such a visually appealing city.
Despite the fact that over the last couple of years, residents have become more international with their range of cuisine and culture, the rich history and cultural element of the city still lives on. It can be firmly grasped by all visitors, who will fall in love with the rich history and impressive features of this astonishing city. This, among other reasons, is why Prague is a favored European city among traveling families who want to expose their kids to culture and a fun adventure.
Where is Prague Czech Republic
Prague is the largest and capital city of the Czech Republic. Prague is situated on the Vltava river, which flows through the town making for some gorgeous photography snaps. Prague is the most Central European city, and although not the largest, it is often referred to as the mother of all other European cities.
How Big is Prague
Prague’s population count currently stands at 1.2 million, making it considerably smaller than Rome, let alone the other giant European cities like Paris or London. This, however, generally comes at a surprise to tourists when they visit the town, who would often claim that the city itself feels slightly smaller. They would point out that it only takes 25 minutes via taxi to reach the city center from the *fairly rural* airport. And if you were to look at the map of Prague or map of Czech Republic, you’ll see just how small Prague is!
How to Get to Prague
The largest airport in Prague is Václav Havel airport, situated just West of the city. It is the Czech Republic’s main international gateway, home to its leading airline, Czech Airlines. There are many flights from all around the world available, including North America, the Middle East, and Asia. The airport itself is split into two terminals, Terminal 1, for non -Schengen countries (including UK, Ireland, and all other destinations outside of Europe). Terminal 2 is for additional flights to and from Schengen countries, such as Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, and all other EU countries. The arrival terminals have accommodation agencies, ATMs, and public transport information desks for you.
How to Get Around Prague
The quickest way to reach the city center from the airport is by public transport. There are stops outside both terminals every 10 minutes, which will arrive at the metro line A, where passengers can take a metro line into the city. To get to the city’s central station, the airport express bus stops at both terminals and runs every half hour, with a trip lasting no longer than 35 minutes.
When is The Best Time To Visit Prague
There is never a bad time to visit Prague, and it all depends on what you want to get out of the vacation. It also depends on the weather in Prague. Most people with children visit during the summer months of June, July, August, and sometimes early September. This is a perfect time as the weather in Prague can be pleasant then. But it’s also the busiest tourist time of the year, so you’ll find a lot of tourist attractions crowded. Flights and hotels can also be more expensive at this time. The next best time that most people visit is when the weather is much colder, which also coincides with Christmas and the winter months of November, December, January and February. Some families prefer the shoulder months of March, April, and May, which even though is still a bit cold, is also less crowded. October in Prague is also something to consider as most of the summer crowd would have dissipated, the weather would still be pleasant enough to visit famous attractions in Prague, and hotels and flights are reasonably priced.
Is Prague Safe
Prague is widely considered one of the safest places in Europe. Not just in terms of crime, but for all types of visitors, including older adults, young couples, and members of the LGBT community. Generally, Prague is very safe, but like any other city, it does require visitors to exercise some caution, particularly in highly populated places. Violent crimes are sporadic, and you should be more concerned about your goods than worry about being a victim of such a crime. However, as long as you follow some necessary precautions and take care, you should not see any problems with your visit to Prague.
What Language is Spoken in Prague
As Prague is the capital city of the Czech Republic, the official language of the town is, therefore, Czech. It is a West Slavic language and is notoriously difficult to learn for English speakers. It is heavily influenced by Latin and German and is not officially used in any other country in the world. However, this shouldn’t deter you from learning a few essential words and phrases to help you if you get stuck on your trip.
What Currency is Used in Prague?
The official currency of Prague is the Czech Crown. It is, therefore, the best currency to use when paying. Unusually, although the Czech Republic is a part of the European Union, it does not use the Euro currency. The euro is not widely accepted in Prague, and while most restaurants may receive payments in euros, the exchange rate is unlikely to be favorable.
Best Things to do In Prague
1. Spend Time at the Old Town Square
With Prague’s eventful and historical past, highlighted by the events from the Middle Ages when the city was the toast center of central Europe and the center of the Holy Roman Empire, the city’s medieval old town square is one of the most beautiful squares in Europe.
Today, people flock to the square to take beautiful photos and create wonderful memories. The Old Town also is full of life in December, where kids are also drawn by the famous traditional Christmas markets.
2. Walk across the Charles Bridge
Though crowded most of the time, Charles Bridge is a favorite sightseeing option for travelers who want to see the Old Town and New Town. Locals use this pedestrian bridge to complete daily errands, while tourists cross this bridge to take in the fascinating river views and statues that adorn it. Except for the pack of people that cross this bridge, there will be no problem taking your children, or even your toddlers, for a leisurely walk on this cobblestone bridge.
3. Go to Grevin Praha Museum
Unlike the traditional museum that may not appeal to all ages, Grevin Praha lets the kids interact with famous people, or at least their wax figures. Kids can strike a pose and take photos with these famous people.
4. Visit the Jewish Cemetery
Prague has a colorful Jewish history, and the best place to learn about it is by visiting the Old Jewish Cemetery or Jewish Quarter. The place may be a little gloomy for toddlers or younger kids, but it should still be on the family’s Prague bucket list. Here, the family will learn about the lives and moving stories of the Jewish community from the past to the present day.
5. See John Lennon Wall
The famous John Lennon Wall was painted just right after the life and death of John Lennon in 1979.
Young Czechs artistically used the wall to express their frustrations and aspirations by painting graffiti during the time when Communism was still part of the city. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction in Prague.
6. Tour the Prague’s Museum of Communism
Speaking of Communism, the Museum of Communism is the best place to take the kids to learn the effects of Communism on Czechoslovakia and Prague altogether. If politics does not really appeal to your taste, this museum has extensive exhibits of Prague’s recent history, focusing on sports, education, art, music, media, and a lot more that you may find interesting.
7. Relax at Kampa Park
Adjacent to John Lennon Wall is the Kampa Park where you can stroll and walk by the river bank. Sculptures that are scattered around the park are also some of the main attractions you can enjoy watching.
Similar to the other love bridges around the world, Kampa Park also has a Lock Bridge where you can also add a padlock.
8. Visit and Tour Prague Castle
Prague is home to Europe’s biggest and largest castle complex. Therefore, this place is a must-visit for your family. Though it is so unlikely that you can tour all of the more than 700 rooms in the castle, your kids will be able to see some of them and witness the amazing display of artistry and rich culture. Touring around the castle will bring everyone back to history.
9. Explore Petrin Hill
The Petrin Hill and Observation Tower tour is something you also shouldn’t miss. Petrin Hill, being the largest park in Prague, offers several attractions that the young and old will definitely like. You can take the kids up through a funicular to the 19th century Petrin Tower, which resembles the Eiffel Tower in France. While on your way up, you can enjoy the fresh air and scenic view of the city.
Once on top of the hill, you will have a breathtaking panoramic view of Prague’s cityscape. The entire hill is mostly covered by parks and garden, so the family have plenty of room for a walk or even cycling. This place is also a go-to place to relax under the blooming cherry trees. Another attraction you can catch is the astronomy exhibit at the nearby Stefanik Observatory.
10. Have fun at Mirror Maze
While you’re in Petrin Hill, visit Mirror Maze. The attraction that is located at in a miniature castle in the hill provides an excellent entertainment experience to the littles ones and even to the visiting adults. The distorting mirror of the labyrinth and the stone hallways make the visiting exciting.
11. Visit the Astronomical Clock
This impressive rater structure was first constructed in the 16th century and is one of the city’s most well-known attractions. At the top of every hour, people will gather together to watch the ceremony of the 12 apostles.
Now, it is not the most thrilling experience on offer in the city, but if you’re passing the square, you should come and have a look!
12. Spend time at Riegrovy Sady Beer Garden
If you ever find yourself without any plans for the afternoon in Prague, you should take a look at some of the city’s magnificent beer gardens. You could drink some cheap Czech beer, and have a great time. This garden generally attracts a more youthful crowd, and therefore often has live music.
13. Visit the Josefov
This small little Jewish Quarter right at the heart of the old town dates back to before the 11th century.
It was where Franz Kafka was born and is host to some of Prague’s less popular attractions, such as the Jewish Cemetery and 6 Jewish synagogues. You can purchase a ticket online for access to all six temples.
14. Take a boat trip on the Vltava River
The Vltava River is the river that streams through Prague City Centre. There are a variety of activities you can participate in on the river, such as paddleboat renting, taking a cruise, or perhaps going on a booze cruise at night.
15. Visit the Kutna Hora
Kutna Hora is often referred to as “The Bone Church” and is situated just a few miles outside of Prague. The Kutna Hora holds over 40,000 bones, which are arranged to decorate a Catholic Church.
There is a range of skulls and bones which hang from the ceiling, and an entire display case for showing heads with wounds that were inflicted by the use of medieval weapons.
16. Explore Vyšehrad
While the main Prague castle seems to receive most of the attention from tourists, Vyšehrad castle is a castle of one of the initial kings of Prague. Initially built around the 10th century, it holds Prague’s oldest surviving building. Like I mentioned before. However, this castle is not as famous as the others in the city, so you can have most of the views from the top to yourself, with beautiful views overlooking the river Vltava and the rest of the town to enjoy.
17. Take an Underground Tour of the City
Prague’s underground tours run an underground tourist system for discovering the medieval houses and architecture in the center of the city.
There are many Catacombs in Prague, and this relatively short tour provides an in-depth and detailed history of medieval Prague. It is widely regarded as perhaps the quickest and most convenient way to see all of the main sites in the city.
18. Go Rafting
There is a phenomenal white water rafting course situated just 20 minutes outside of the city and colloquially titled “Ultimate Hangover Blaster.” You can spend a day wrestling with the waves on the water, and enjoy a beautiful barbecue afterward, and finish it all off with a soak in a hot tub. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Prices usually start from around 1,600 CZK per person, but prices may also vary.
19. Visit the Franz Kafka Museum
This location is truly a no-brainer if you’re a fan of Kafka. If you aren’t familiar with his work? Then this stop is also a must-see.
He is widely regarded as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century and is undoubtedly the most famous in Czech history. Admission is 200 CZK for all adults and only 120 CZK for seniors and students.
20. Watch the Changing of Guards at Prague Castle
If you plan to be at Prague castle, arrive before midday so the kids can witness the changing of guards like you see in London and Stockholm and a few other places. The ceremony of the guard change is fun to watch, and this ceremony alone make a visit to the castle worth it. If you’re curious, the guards have to keep a straight face during the changing ceremony.
Night Life in Prague
Prague almost becomes an entirely different city when the sun goes down. With traditional beer halls with accordion players to sleek modern dancing clubs, the options for going out in Prague are truly endless. What is unique about the nightlife in Prague is the diversity of ages. Don’t be surprised if you wind up in a traditional beer hall drinking with Grandfather Czech either and eating delicious food stalls on the streets afterward. The nightlife in Prague is truly not to be missed.
This article is part of our popular series, Place To Go With Kids!