Top 14 things to do in Prague with kids
“Cities arenʼt for kids,” you might say, “they need open space to move around.” Well, I have some good news for you – Prague will soon do away with this conviction as your kids fall in love with the city forever. Donʼt believe me? Check my list below and see for yourself. (And start looking for air tickets because your next family vacation is going to be in Prague.)
Czechs are very family-oriented people and the happiness of their children is the one thing they will never compromise. That is why there is a playground at every turn and plenty of parks to run around throughout the city. Also, more and more restaurants are building play areas within their spaces and incorporating childrenʼs portions on their menu. There is really no reason to feel insecure about bringing your little ones for a trip to the heart of Europe.
Although a capital, Prague is, in fact, no immense city. The historic centre is very walkable and safe; longer distances can easily be covered by public transport. Children under six years of age travel for free, but it is always good to carry proof of their age for potential inspection.
When looking for accommodation, I would recommend choosing a place outside the city centre, as it might be a bit noisy at night. Residential areas around the centre have all the necessary amenities for kids while providing a safe distance from the rush of the city.
Most museums, theatres, cinemas, and other indoor spaces offer child discounts on admission fees. The maximum age for these varies, but children under six often get in for free. In case you would like to escape from your precious ones for a little bit, some hotels offer a babysitting service. If you are not that lucky, hlidacky.cz is a trusted online portal, operating in English as well as Czech, that will find the right sitter for you at any time.
1. Prague ZOO
Prague ZOO is among the top attractions in the city not only for kids. Be sure to reserve enough time for that, there is plenty of things to explore. Apart from the rich variety of exotic animals, you will find a chairlift with an amazing view over the whole complex and a cool-design playground called the Bororo reserve. Even getting to and from the ZOO is an adventure – how about a trip on board of a steamboat?
Finding a playground in Prague is hardly a task for a detective. As I have already mentioned, they are everywhere. If you donʼt stumble upon one after a 5-minute search, I suggest you consult this interactive map. Be warned – you probably wonʼt be able to choose.
To help you with the decision, I would definitely recommend Franciscan Garden, which is right in the city centre and yet quite unknown. My second favourite is the so-called Childrenʼs island situated on Kampa Island. Apart from the spacious playground, Kampa offers a pleasant walk along the river, an art gallery, and some curiosities on top, such as these giant sculptures of babies made by the controversial Czech artist David Černý:
Who says Prague is not good for swimming? It might not be one of the top destinations for a summer holiday by the sea, and yet it has plenty of cool swim spots to offer. If you are staying in the city in its warmest season, you will want to visit either of our numerous outdoor swimming pools and not just for the sake of your kids.
Podolí is definitely the best one, although it tends to be quite crowded on hot summer days. I suggest you go there early in the morning or late in the afternoon. You will find two outdoor pools there – a large one for swimming and a smaller, heated one.
Other swimming pools worth visiting are Petynka, Pražačka, Divoká Šárka or Slavia. For the more adventurous there is the Aquapalace Čestlice – a huge water complex that includes several pools, wild streams, water slides, and a jungle full of fun.
But maybe you are more of a beach type? Yes, even that can be accommodated here. Visit Žuté Lázně on the eastern bank of the Vltava river. There is plenty of things to do besides swimming.
4. Paddle boats
Another great way of exploring the river, which you will appreciate especially in the summer, are paddle boats. Walking along the Vltava, you will come across numerous docks offering not only pedalos of various shapes and sizes (the most common ones are in the shape of a swan or a car) but also rowing boats or paddle boards. To me, pedalo seems to be the most family-friendly vehicle. Just let the kids do the hard work and enjoy the view. Just kidding…
Staying close to the river will not only refresh you but also allow for a new perspective on the city. Since the Vltava goes right through the city centre, there is plenty of amazing sites along.
5. Žižkov TV Tower
Want to see Prague from a different perspective? There are many viewpoints overlooking the city, but the best one of them is definitely the Žižkov Television Tower. You can go for lunch (rather a pricey one) in a restaurant at a height of 66 metres or enter a 360° observatory at 93 metres. There are several telescopes in the observatory, some interactive games, a screening of a short documentary about the history of the building, and a chill out area. The tower is worth visiting even after sunset as it is illuminated by the Czech national colours.
6. Ice skating
Winter in Prague has its charms, too. If you are lucky, you will get to witness the city covered by snow. But even if that is not the case, you might still try one of our true passions – ice skating. There are several outdoor skating rinks throughout Prague where you can rent all the necessary equipment for a reasonable price and enjoy the sport with the whole family.
If you are around the city center, look for the skating rink in Ovocný Trh or Na Františku. Both of them are located within the Old Town, so you might take your kids there once they get tired of sightseeing. Another possibility is Tower Ice Park under the TV Tower in Žižkov or Letná Field. You will even come across skating rinks in shopping malls such as Galerie Harfa, Arkády Pankrác or Černý most. There are also indoor ice skating stadiums, but these seem to lack the proper atmosphere.
7. Prague Castle
Although the castle might seem an adult attraction, there are some fun things to do and see for children as well. One of these in the changing of the guards – an official ceremony that takes place every day at 12:00 in the first courtyard. The formal handover is accompanied by a fanfare and a banner exchange.
Another thing kids might enjoy around the castle is the royal gardens. They offer a beautiful view over the city but are only open from April to October. You should also look for the authentic neighbourhood called Nový Svět (New World). While relatively unknown to tourists, this area offers an oasis of calm in the vicinity of the castle and a pleasant walk through the characteristic cobblestone streets. Kids might also appreciate the delicious hot chocolate found in Kavárna Nový Svět.
A stoneʼs throw from the Prague Castle is a large green area called Petřín. Among the locals, this park is considered a romantic place, but there are many attractions for those not yet concerned with such matters.
One of these attractions is the funicular that goes from the bottom of the hilly park to the very top. If you are not afraid of heights, you can venture even further – to the top of the Petřín lookout tower that looks like a little version of the Eifel Tower. Right next to it is a Mirror Maze and a bit further also the Štefánik Observatory, which is a must for every young scientist.
Speaking of science, you should pay a visit to Planetarium in the Stromovka park. On the largest projection screen in the country, you can observe stars no matter the time of the day. They also have educational shows in English – check their program before going to be sure not to miss anything.
10. Sea world
Not far from Planetarium is the mysterious home of various aquatic animals – Sea World Prague. Hidden within the Holešovice Exhibition Grounds, this dark alcove hosts a large display of underwater life. Ever since its foundation in 2002, the Sea World has significantly grown in size and the variety of species on display. The biggest reservoir is inhabited by sharks and if you are lucky, you will get to witness their feeding.
11. Lennon Wall
Maybe you have a growing artist in your family? In that case, you need to take them to the John Lennon Wall in Malá Strana. Inspired by the famous singer, the wall is filled with peace-related graffiti and words from the Beatlesʼ songs. This idea originated in 1980, following Lennonʼs assassination, and it remained a living idea until today. If you are in an artistic mood, you may add your own piece. Be sure to bring some markers along, kids enjoy drawing on the wall.
TIP: The Lennon wall is one of the stops on our Made In Prague Tour. This tour explores traditional Czech products and souvenirs and it is perfect for kids as it features our unique wooden toys and puppets.
12. Puppet Theatre
Did someone say puppets? Yes, puppets are a big thing in the Czech Republic. Every family has at least one and you will see many shops in the city centre selling them as souvenirs. For this purpose, I would recommend a shop called Marionety Truhlář, where you will find beautiful hand-carved marionettes and other small wooden objects. Apart from selling their products, they also run a puppet theatre.
Marionette theatre has a long history in this country as it used to occupy a prominent segment of popular entertainment. Visit the National Marionette Theatre and see for yourself; they are currently staging Mozartʼs Don Giovanni. Apart from performances, the theatre also offers tours through the building and their puppet workshop, both in English.
In case of bad weather, donʼt hesitate to spend a day in a museum. Many of Prague museums are designed specifically for children, such as the LEGO museum aptly called Czech Repubrick or the Kingdom of Railways.
The National Technical Museum is a must not only for lovers of technology. You will find there exhibits from various fields of study, from astronomy through mining to chemistry. But the favorite is definitely their collection of cars, steam engines, and airplanes, which fascinates the visitors of all generations.
Another option is the National Museum of Agriculture, which is very popular among child visitors especially due to its numerous interactive activities. The same goes for Karel Zeman Museum, which explores the works of its namesake, the Czech film-maker Karel Zeman.
For something more art-oriented, we have the Art Gallery for Children, Artpark Rudolfinum or the Center for Contemporary Art DOX, that is especially attractive for its built-in model of an early-twentieth-century model of an airship.
14. Convent of Saint Agnes
In the heart of Prague, there is a magical spot not many people know about. It is the convent of Saint Agnes and you absolutely need to visit it, especially if you are interested in art and history. The convent offers not only an easy way of escaping the crowds but also a perfect place for kids to learn in a playful way. Inside, you will find interactive games engaging all of the senses, workshops, and various other activities.
The admission for children under 18 is free of charge and you might depend on spending there the whole afternoon. We visit the convent on our NYT Tour – Story of Prague, where we also discuss the architecture of the place.
January 14, 2019