Last December I was excited and anxious for the long-awaited winter trip. This time for the Christmas season, the choice fell on the beautiful Czech capital. Prague is considered one of the most charming European capitals in the world and is visited each year by thousands of visitors, who come here driven by its reputation as a city of art.
Even though the best time to visit Prague is the late spring and summer, you have to see it in winter that has a special charm, a city where the great ancient buildings tell the story, where the rooms are small and very intimate, where you can enter a cafe and sitting to warm up is exciting. In Prague, during Christmas period are also organized Christmas markets, where is sold handmade items of local tradition, lace, objects made of wood and embroidered decorations.
Prague is a city situated in the heart of the Czech Republic. The attractions of a place like Prague are manifold. Here you can admire ancient monuments, stroll the streets where astute alchemists study long spells, taste local delicacies and buy souvenirs. Prague is beautiful and not at all expensive, excluding the Castle area.
We are two families each with two children aged 3 and a half years and five years. We land in Prague around 4 pm and through a transfer booked earlier, we arrive at our hotel. The location was really convenient as it was just a 10-15 minute walk from Wenceslas Square, famous for its nightlife and a little more for the clock square and other attractions. Only for the castle we took the tram! This hotel was clean, spacious, equipped and comfortable. The owner was friendly. The breakfast was only packaged stuff and incidentally even good.
After keeping the luggage we take our 4 buggies, because there's so much to walk and move toward Wenceslas Square. The first place we visit is the Wenceslas Square, great esplanade that leads to the old town, and behind us is the natural history museum, Narodni Muzeum! With a modest expenditure we spend an hour through the halls to see minerals, skeletons and stuffed animals.
The buildings lining the Wenceslas Square give us some good memories like that of a building with an elevator, which is completely exposed with no doors, where there is a type of elevators for people in a continuous loop. It starts to get dark but fortunately was not too cold. We see the square and lit markets and then go to dinner in a restaurant nearby. We understand that Prague is another world compared to ours! Prague with children requires certain calm rhythms, and we decided to board the tram that takes us back to the hotel.
The next day we decide to go in the main square, the clock and see from there the entire central area. This square is stupendous and the Christmas markets even more! We turn around the stalls, and then we stroll around and go to Republic Square where the boys play with giant bubbles and you can imagine the little kids had real fun! We navigate then to the east to visit the Powder Gate and the nearby Municipal House, a building built in Art Nouveau style.
We eat in a little bistro and then we go to the Jewish quarter. We visit the synagogues and the Jewish cemetery. We have dinner and go back to the apartment, before going to the Charles Bridge, which was just beautiful in the lights but above all it allowed us to see the lighted castle! I recommend everyone a walk on the bridge at night, which is really romantic!
Next day we dedicate the day to visiting the castle and St Vitus Cathedral. The Hradcany district is the most picturesque area of the city, located on top of the hill overlooking the old town, where you can see a beautiful landscape. To visit are the gardens where you can relax and let the kids play in freedom in the Lobkowitz Palace, headquarters of the military museum, the Archbishop's Palace and the Šternberk Palace.
One of the most important sights of Prague, certainly the one most favored by tourists, is the so called Golden Lane, a narrow road made up of picturesque houses where it is said that once lived alchemists. Vicolo D'Oro is one of the most charming streets of Prague where picturesque houses give life to the very specific scenarios. Here you will also find the house, where lived Franz Kafka and a few steps ahead is the beautiful Prague Castle, adjoining the St. Vitus Cathedral.
The castle is not very close and is on a hill, so we take a tram at the nearest stop to our apartment that with about 1 euro each brings us straight to the castle. We turn the castle into a far and wide although there is plenty of air because it is very exposed and is not very pleasant to be around in the icy wind. Here we can see the famous changing of the guard at the gates of the presidential palace and a trio of Czech musicians to entice the tourists and the children are delighted!
We have lunch inside the castle with sandwiches, without understanding much of the strictly Czech menu. Right here we felt ripped off. My advice is to avoid lunch or dinner in this area. We return on foot so we can also visit the area of Prague over the Vltava. Along the Vltava we stop, when we spot the swans so the kids can have fun to feed them. Then past the Kafka museum, we encounter a particularly long fountain. The fun for the little ones is guaranteed!
The Toy Museum is also located in the Prague Castle area, where we see an exhibition of historical toys, dolls, the first toy cars, mechanical toys and those self-built. We still make a detour in the handicraft shops of the center. We go back to our district of Prague by walking the Charles Bridge crossing the district of Mala Strana and take a ride into the city at night. The Christmas atmosphere warms us even more! We have dinner and go back to the apartment.
Last day for us, and the temperature was always mild and in all 4 days the temperature never dropped below freezing point and during the day it was around 10 to 12 degrees, and we decide to go see the Dancing House on riverfront and we drink coffee in the cafe downstairs. The Danzante house is a house built according to modern criteria that become one of the modern symbols of the city with a dancing charm.
The Czech city has in fact dozens of attractions designed especially for toddlers. Crossing the nearby bridge, we go towards the cable car at the Újezd street to go to the last part of the city, or the Petrin hill. While adults can enjoy the stunning views of the city, here is a nice playground, where children can have fun climbing and jumping or astride a pony. Then there's a nice fake castle full of mirrors and maze.
If your kids love animals, Prague is certainly the right destination. Here it is indeed one of the most famous zoos in the world, offering easy access by subway or using one of the many Zoobus. Founded in the thirties as a zoo, the Prague Zoo covers over 45 hectares and is home to over 630 different species. Certainly worth a visit is also the DinoPark, a theme park dedicated entirely to the world of dinosaurs.
We have lunch in a small bar near the Church of the Infant Jesus of Prague and then we visit this beautiful church, where there is a hardback crib. Retracing the Charles Bridge, we go back to the other side of the Vltava to return for the last time in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square and then for a final farewell.
By now it's late and we have to retrieve your luggage and then go to the airport, where awaits the return flight. They were wonderful four days, and the kids were always curious and eager to see new places. Prague has left us a beautiful memory. The place is really fabulous and the desire to come back is strong. What is certain is that it was an unforgettable holiday. For the whole family.