A weekend in Prague with kids: places to visit in Prague in 2 days
A weekend in Prague isn’t really enough. However, most people allow only two or three days to visit Prague, so I’ve written this guide to help you find the best places to visit in Prague in 2 days. We visited Prague with kids and found more things to do with young children than we expected to.
This guide to Prague will give you a suggested itinerary for covering the main sights, and a few quirky attractions too that kids will love. As we travel as a family, we didn’t manage some things that Prague is renowned for, like beer tasting; nor did we sample the nightlife. I’ve also included alternative ideas for things to do in Prague, and a few more attractions you can visit if you have longer to spend in this beautiful city. At the end of the post you’ll find tips for getting around Prague and ideas for where to stay.
Covering everything in this itinerary took us three days but you can probably do it all in two (very busy) days. Our kids are small and the weather was so hot when we visited Prague that we got around much slower than usual. We also re-traced our steps several times so we weren’t the most efficient tourists ever!
So read on to find out how to make the most of two or three days in Prague with kids.
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Day 1 in Prague with kids
Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and has to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It’s full of stunning architecture from nearly every period imaginable, from Renaissance to Baroque and Art Nouveau, and more. Spires, statues, cupolas, ornate cornicing and pastel colours are the trademarks of Prague’s buildings. There are plenty of things in Prague for kids to admire too – quirky art, castles, marionnettes and fabulous gardens.
On your first day in Prague get up super early, grab breakfast on the go from one of the many coffee shops, and head straight for Prague’s fabulous castle. In the afternoon explore the lovely Mala Strana district at the foot of the castle.
Prague’s Castle is the jewel in this city and no visit to Prague would be complete without seeing it. In our opinion it’s one of the top things to do in Prague!
The grounds of Prague Castle open early and are free to walk around. We’d advise arriving as early as you can, perhaps about 8am, to wander around in relative peace before the hordes of other tourists arrive (and they will). Allow at least half a day to see the castle; we didn’t manage much else on our Prague Castle day.
You’ll need a ticket if you want to see inside the palace, Golden Lane and the museums. You can buy tickets for Prague Castle when you arrive or in advance. We bought our tickets when we arrived, and the queue at 9am wasn’t too bad. Be aware that your tickets don’t cover everything there is to see at Prague Castle and for some exhibits you’ll need to pay extra. Click here to buy your ticket for Prague Castle.
Alternatively, you can take a tour if you want to make the most of your time. Click here to find out more.
Once you’ve got your tickets I’d advise heading straight to the far end of the castle complex to see the medieval Golden Lane before it fills up with people. Golden Lane is full of tiny, pastel-hued houses once lived in by goldsmiths and other craftspeople. The homes are now museums and shops, and this little street was by far the best part of our visit to Prague Castle for the kids. This is perhaps the first time they’ve really paid attention in a museum – finally we’ll be able to visit some!
Elsewhere in the castle complex there are more museums, churches and exhibits – we didn’t get around all of them as there is also the immense St Vitus’ Cathedral which can’t be missed. I would recommend climbing the cathedral tower for far-reaching views over Prague, although there were too many stairs for the kids. This was one attraction I didn’t mind paying extra for!
I’ll have more details about Prague Castle in an upcoming post.
Mala Strana district
After your visit to Prague Castle you can walk down the hill through the Mala Strana district which is one of the oldest parts of Prague. Mala Strana is one of the most picturesque areas of Prague and is well worth taking time to explore. You could easily spend a whole day just wandering aimlessly through the streets, and it wouldn’t be a wasted one!
You’ll probably walk down Neurodova, a street lined with former palaces which connects Prague Castle to the central square of Mala Strana. As you walk down the street you’ll pause plenty of times to take in the view over Charles Bridge and the Old Town beyond. Take a look in all the craft shops as you pass – our kids were particularly interested in the traditional wooden puppets, while I was tempted by some beautiful glasswork.
St Nicholas’ Church
You’ll end up in Malostranske Namesti eventually, which is the main square in Mala Strana district. You can stop around here to grab something for lunch in one of the many restaurants before visiting the fantastic St Nicholas’ Church, which is the huge church right on the main square. You won’t miss its enormous green copper dome and the bell tower next to it.
Kids and churches don’t often mix, but this church has such incredible golden artwork and expressive statues that even our small kids behaved in here. There was some reconstruction work going on so we couldn’t really see the back of the church but the dome, statues and altar were spectacular enough. You can climb the tower if you’ve got enough energy! We just went up to the mezzanine level where there are some more paintings and a good view over the interior.
Vojanovy Sady Park
The kids are going to be in desperate need of a rest now so take them down towards the river and visit Vojanovy Sady gardens. There’s a little playground and plenty of room to run around under the fruit trees so it’s the perfect place for the kids to let their hair down for a few minutes. Keep an eye (and an ear) out for the resident peacocks. An alternative is Kampa Island (see below).
Lennon Wall and Kampa Island
Head back towards Charles Bridge and take a brief detour to the Lennon Wall on the other side of the bridge. This is one of Prague’s quirky sights that kids will love. The wall is covered in graffiti which is constantly being repainted so it changes all the time. A mural of Lennon was originally painted by an art student and it’s since become a place of pilgrimage for the John Lennon Peace Club, and more recently, devotees of the church of Instagram.
Cross the little bridge on the right hand side of the Lennon Wall to walk on to Kampa Island. Kampa Island barely looks like an island but it is separated from Mala Strana by a narrow canal. There is a large park on Kampa Island which could make an alternative to Vojanovy Sady gardens if you don’t want to walk as far.
Just over the little bridge from the Lennon Wall there’s a waterwheel and a pretty little cafe called Velkopřevorský Mlýn where we rested our aching feet, and the kids danced under the cooling water sprays. We loved the home made lemonades here. From this cafe you can walk around the corner and up on to the Charles Bridge.
You will easily find your way to the Charles Bridge from the Mala Strana district – all roads seem to converge here! The Charles Bridge is world-famous for its religious statues which line both sides. The bridge is over 600 years old, but all of the statues are replicas, with the originals being kept safely elsewhere in Prague. You can climb the Old Town Tower at the end of the bridge for some close up aerial views of those terracotta rooftops.
If you’re an early bird then the best time to visit the Charles Bridge is at dawn if you want to stand a chance of getting a photo without many people in, like the one above. (Or at 3am, but as a family traveller, let’s leave that to the blissfully child-free).
Visiting in the middle of the day means seeing the Charles Bridge crawling with tourists. But that’s not always a bad thing. Our girl is a real extrovert (not sure how that happened; both the husband and I are true introverts) and she was energised by the busy thoroughfare. She loved listening to the much-maligned buskers and dancing to their music. The statues were a hit too – look out for the statue of St John of Nepomuk. Touching the brass engraving with your left hand is supposed to bring good luck.
After you’ve visited the Charles Bridge, take a stop for dinner before collapsing into bed – tomorrow’s going to be just as busy! We ate in a Vietnamese restaurant just along the street to the left of the Charles Bridge. You could keep walking straight ahead for another 10 minutes or so to reach the Old Town Square where there are plenty of eateries.
You’ll also find recommendations for where to eat in Prague at the end of the post.
Day 2 in Prague with kids:
Spend the morning of your second day exploring Prague’s Old Town, then take a break from the crowded city in the quiet green expanse of Petrin Hill’s gardens. In the evening head to Wenceslas Square and the New Town.
Staromestske namesti (Old Town Square)
Prague’s main square is a short stroll from the Charles Bridge, through winding medieval streets lined with souvenir and jewellery shops hoping to tempt the hordes of tourists. Despite the crowds it can be fun meandering through these streets, window shopping and trying to drag the kids away from all the ice cream and sweet shops. You can start your second day in Prague here if you didn’t visit it yesterday evening.
The Old Town Square is a vast space, and thronged with visitors at any time of day. Surrounded by pastel coloured townhouses and palaces, the square itself is mainly empty, except for the enormous monument to Jan Hus, who was burned at the stake in 1415 for suggesting radical church reform.
Looming over the square is the imposing gothic edifice of The Church of Our Lady Before Tyn. Inside the surrounding buildings you will find cafes, shops, restaurants, galleries and churches. Look in as many or as few as you like!
But the star attraction is the Old Town Hall and its magnificent astronomical clock. Not only does this clock tell the time, it also shows where the sun, moon and planets are. Every hour the astronomical clock puts on a show which will delight the kids, if they can see above the crowds. You can also visit inside the Town Hall itself and climb the tower.
Unfortunately we timed our visit to Prague badly, and the clock and Town Hall were under renovation when we visited. So I’ll have to share a photo I took on my first visit to Prague, 10 years ago. The clock should be viewable again by October 2018.
Learn about Jewish history in the Josefov quarter
Perhaps more suited to older children than our little ones, the Jewish quarter in Prague is nevertheless a fascinating stop. The Jewish quarter isn’t far from the Old Town Square and you can spend several hours looking in the museums and synagogues. There are different ticket combinations depending on what you’d like to see, and you can buy tickets when you arrive. You can also take tours through the Jewish quarter if you’re pressed for time – find out more here.
TIP: If the ticket queue at the Pinkas Synagogue is too long then walk around the corner and you’ll find an information centre which also sells tickets. It will have a much shorter queue.
We looked in the Pinkas Synagogue which has a memorial to the Holocaust, and tells the story of Jews from Prague and the Czech Republic who were murdered in concentration camps during World War II. The whole place is incredibly moving. The names of every Jew from the Czech Republic who died during the war is carved into the walls, grouped by area and family. There are around 80,000 names.
Upstairs is an exhibit showing children’s pictures and writings that were done in the Terezin camp, which was where the children were held before being taken to Auschwitz. Outside is a harrowing series of information boards detailing the segregation and transport of the Jews to concentration camps. Our kids were too young to understand much about the history of this museum but if your kids are older and have been studying WW2 at school then it’s an educational and worthwhile place to visit.
From the Pinkas Synagogue you can walk out through the Jewish cemetery. After the Jews arrived in Prague, they were restricted to the Josefov quarter and had very limited space to bury their dead. So the graves built up on top of one another in layers. This took place over 350 years or so, with the last known stone dating from 1787, and in that time it’s thought that 200,000 people were buried here. It’s another very moving sight.
Once you’ve exited the Jewish cemetery, you can look around some of the other synagogues in the area; the Old-New Synagogue and the Spanish Synagogue (pictured) are especially interesting. However, if you’re with kids then they might need a change of scene, and there’s no better place than Petrin Hill.
Petrin Hill is the perfect antidote to the busy city streets. Up here you can get some fresh air and there’s plenty of space for the kids to tear about.
If you’re tired from walking around Prague and can’t face climbing the hill then take the funicular up to the summit. The funicular is right by the tram stop Ujezd and you can use your normal travel ticket on it. There can be a large queue in peak seasons though so be prepared to wait at least half an hour. But it’s something that the kids will love!
Once you get to the top of Petrin Hill then you can choose to just wander through the wooded paths or take a look at some of the attractions. The main thing to do here is climb Petrin Tower for more great views over Prague, and small kids will love the mirror maze right next to it. There’s also a pretty rose garden and Prague’s observatory here too – the observatory has two telescopes which you can look through.
You can head back down the funicular if you like, or walk towards Mala Strana and the Strahov Monastery. At Strahov Monastery you can look inside the incredible libraries which hold the Czech Republic’s oldest books, and try some of the beer brewed by the monks who still live here. I’d try to make a brief stop at Strahov Monastery if you possibly can.
You’ll be able to read more about Petrin Hill in an upcoming post.
Wenceslas Square is in the New Town part of Prague. Unfortunately we didn’t have much time to spare to explore this part of the city, but we did spend an evening here, after we ate at the railway restaurant Vytopna (more details below).
Wenceslas Square was once a medieval horse market, which perhaps explains its long, narrow shape. Today it’s full of gorgeous Art Nouveau buildings dating from the early 20th century. Their stark facades make a fabulous contrast to the more ornate architecture found in the rest of Prague, so it’s worth dropping by if you can, even if it’s just a fleeting visit.
If you visit in the day then the large building behind the kids in the above photo is the National Museum. This wasn’t on our itinerary as we felt it was more suitable for adults and older kids. Our two don’t last long in museums! Just in front of the museum you can see a statue of St Wenceslas, the murdered prince who has become the patron saint of Bohemia. The rest of Wenceslas Square is full of shops, restaurants and cafes, and the main shopping district is right here too.
Prague is also full of quirky modern sights as well as its more historical attractions, and there are a few in the New Town. Just a few streets away from Wenceslas Square is the Franz Kafka statue. This is an 11 metre tall, glittering, mirrored depiction of Kafka’s head, called Metalmorphosis. The head has been sliced into 42 segments which rotate around the core, sometimes briefly coming together to show a whole face, but mostly dancing around slowly, representing Kafka’s supposed inner turmoil. This was probably what the kids liked best in Prague – they loved it and we had to see it twice!
On the way to Kafka’s head, look out for Horse by the same artist, David Cerny. This sculpture shows Wenceslas sitting on a dead, inverted horse which hangs from the ceiling in the Lucerne passage; a mischievous parody of the Wenceslas statue outside in the square. You can also find more of Cerny’s work in Prague, including gigantic babies climbing up the Zizkov TV tower (which is the enormous tower that you can see on the horizon from Prague Castle).
The kids were also impressed with the skeletal hand that we found on the way to Kafka (sorry, I’m not sure who’s responsible for this). And finally, there’s the famous Fred and Ginger Dancing House, just on the riverside. They all got the thumbs up from our kids!
Well, that’s it for two days in Prague. You should be completely wiped out by now, but in a good way!
Keep reading for alternative ideas and for information on how to get around Prague, the best places to stay in Prague, and how to save money in Prague.
Bonus: Day 3 in Prague with kids; or alternative things to see in Prague
If you have small children, like us, you might find that the above sightseeing is enough for 3 days in Prague. We found that Prague Castle took up most of one day, and we visited the Jewish quarter and returned to Mala Strana to explore in more detail the next. Petrin Hill took up most of our last day as the heat was oppressive and getting around took much longer than usual.
However, if you get around quicker than we managed to or you’d like some alternative activities to the ones that we did above, then there are plenty more things to see in Prague.
Prague Zoo is a little way out of central Prague. We didn’t put it on our itinerary as we thought that a visit would probably take up a whole day and we had so much more that we wanted to see. Prague Zoo is supposed to be one of the best zoos in the world – but please be aware that this isn’t a personal recommendation from us and we can’t vouch for the conditions at the zoo.
The most direct way to get to Prague Zoo is to take a boat tour with included tickets. Click here for more information. If you don’t take a tour then you can reach the zoo using the metro and tram system, although it’s a little complicated. You need to take the metro to Nadrazi Holesovice on line C where you change for bus 112 to the zoo.
Take a boat trip on the river or hire a pedalo
This is one for the kids – you can hire pedalos and other types of boats (including swan boats!) from the island called Slovansky Ostrov which is overlooked by the Charles Bridge. Prices are about 200 crowns for an hour, but it depends what you choose to hire out. You can check opening times and prices here. There is also a playground for children on this island so it might be worth visiting even if you don’t hire the pedalos.
Alternatively you can take a cruise to admire Prague’s fine buildings from the relative calm of the river. There are numerous options; some are included on tours of the city, others have meals on board. This is a nice, short boat ride suitable for families.
Detsky ostrov, or Children’s Island is the smallest island on the Vltava river. On it you’ll find a large playground for kids to tear about in while you can take in the views of the city across the river.
See a marionnette show
You and the kids will see traditional Czech marionettes in plenty of shops as you walk through Prague’s streets. The National Marionette Theatre puts on performances so the kids can see them in action. You can get more information on the website, here. There’s also a puppet museum which the kids might enjoy. Click here to book your tickets.
Take a day trip from Prague
We fully intended to spend two days in Prague and use our third to take a day trip. But after two days we hadn’t seen everything we wanted to, mainly because of the heat, and so the day trip had to be binned off.
If you’re able to take a day trip from Prague, then the spa town of Karlovy Vary was high on our list, as was the fairytale-esque Cesky Krumlov (pictured). You can reach both of these towns by train, although you will probably have to change for Cesky Krumlov. Alternatively you can book a day tour instead if you’d rather not go it alone. Click here to find out more.
Know before you go
Where is the best place to stay in Prague?
If your budget extends further than ours did then I think that the best place to stay in Prague would be Mala Strana, underneath the castle.
Here are a few ideas on where to stay in Prague:
Luxury hotels in Prague
A luxurious option is the 5* Alchymist Grand Hotel and Spa. This is a stunning hotel inside a UNESCO listed building. There are family suites available and the hotel is only a five minute walk from the Charles Bridge in Mala Strana. Perfect for getting up early to see Prague without the crowds. Click here to check availability and book.
Hotel Bishop’s House is a 4* modern hotel in an historic building. It’s also located right by the Charles Bridge and Prague Castle. They have family rooms or you can ask for an extra bed. Click here for more information.
At the Green Grape is a 4* hotel which boasts fabulous rooms with baroque ceilings. There’s a restaurant and bar on site and family rooms are available. It’s in a quiet street near Prague Castle. Click here to find out more.
Apartment hotels in Prague
Residence Charles Bridge is a series of beautiful apartments sleeping up to 6 people. Some apartments have balconies looking right onto the bridge. There’s a kitchen in some apartments but all come with tea and coffee making facilities and stoves. Click here for more information.
Lazenska N°4 is a condo hotel near the Lennon Wall. There’s a 24 hour reception and on site cafe for breakfast. The spacious rooms have flat-screen TVs and fully equipped kitchens. The apartments sleep up to 6 people so they’re ideal for larger families. Click here to book your stay.
We were on a tight budget and we ended up staying near Flora, in an apartment in a residential building. Flora is a large transport hub not far from the centre, but unfortunately it wasn’t a walkable distance. While it wasn’t a pretty area it also wasn’t too bad for getting around as plenty of trams stopped here and there was a metro station on our doorstep which took us straight to the centre of the Old Town. But if I had to pick again I’d choose somewhere more central.
Where to find the best food in Prague
We’re not really foodies – our kids are fussy eaters despite our best efforts, and really as long as everyone’s fed we’re happy. As a travel blogger I’m supposed to recommend somewhere with authentic Czech cuisine that nobody other than the locals knows about; but I’m not going to deny that we ate several times in touristy cafes smack bang in the middle of the beaten track, and we liked it.
I do have a couple of recommendations though. Kids will love Vytopna. The food here isn’t really anything to shout about (we had pizzas and chips) but the novelty of automated miniature railway trains bringing drinks to your table is worth it! The kids thought it was fantastic and it kept them happy, which meant the husband and I were happy. There are two Vytopna restaurants in Prague; one at Wenceslas Square (where we ate) and another at Palladium.
If you fancy something that’s not so carb heavy, then you’ll find Vietnamese cuisine all over the Czech Republic. We had a good Vietnamese meal in Muc Dong restaurant, right by the Starometska metro. They even had veggie options and the matcha ice cream was a hit with the kids (bodes well for our next trip to Japan!).
Prague restaurant recommendations from locals
My sister’s husband is half Czech and his family recommended these restaurants. Advance booking is advised as according to my brother-in-law’s family, Czechs like to eat out and the restaurants are busy.
Ambi is a chain of restaurants which mainly serve traditional Czech food, although there’s a pizzeria, a bakery and cafes in its portfolio. Take a look at the restaurants and menus here. From the selection of Ambi restaurants, the Lokal pubs serve the best beer, and La Degustation Boheme serves more refined Czech cuisine.
They also recommended some restaurants with their own breweries – try U Fleku in the centre, Klasterni Pivovar at the Strahov Monastery, and U Tri Rusi which has two restaurants, one in Mala Strana and one in the Old Town.
When is the best time to visit Prague?
Spring and autumn are the best times to visit Prague. The weather is likely to be fairly good and not too hot or cold. The city will also be less busy than in the peak summer season when Prague is absolutely rammed with tourists. In the winter Prague gets cold but the snow and fog can be very atmospheric and the Christmas markets are a big draw.
We visited during the summer heatwave of 2018. We had to take plenty of stops for drinks and to make sure the kids weren’t getting too hot. Temperatures were about 33 – 35C the whole time (hard going for us pasty Brits) and Prague is not built with these temperatures in mind. There wasn’t much air conditioning about in restaurants, buildings or transport, although the newer buses and trams and the metro were thankfully air conditioned.
Getting around Prague
How to reach Prague city centre from Prague airport
If you are arriving in Prague from the airport then you can get the Airport Express bus from directly outside the airport to Prague’s central train station, the hlavni nadrazi, or hl. n. The bus stop is at the far right of the airport bus station outside the terminals. Look for the AE sign. You can pay the 60 crown fare on the bus or buy a ticket from a machine. Our kids went free. (Same goes for getting back to the airport – just follow the signs in the train station and you’ll find the bus stop, opposite where you were dropped off).
Once you reach the train station there are plenty of options for getting to your accommodation. The train station is served by the metro and by bus and tram lines. Everything is signposted.
You can take a taxi from the airport but this will be a much more expensive option than the Airport Express bus.
Public transport or taxis?
At first glance the public transport in Prague can appear confusing. But it’s actually reliable, easy to use and best of all, it’s super cheap. Unlike the taxis – we were quoted €25 for a 5 minute journey from the main train station to our accommodation. We took the tram.
There are several different public transport ticketing options for travelling in Prague. Tickets are timed so you’ll need to have a rough idea of how long your journey will take. You can buy a short 30 minute ticket, a longer 90 minute ticket, a full day ticket or a 3 day ticket. Buy your tickets from the yellow machines you’ll see near major tram stops or in the metro stations. There are two different machines; one will take coins and cards, the other coins only, which is useful for using up shrapnel. These tickets are valid on the metro, trams and buses; you have to punch them in a small box on trams or before you take the escalator on the metro to validate your journey. We did see ticket inspectors and it’s so cheap it’s not worth fare skipping. Our kids travelled for free.
As with many major cities in Europe, Prague has bus tours aimed at tourists. We’ve done similar tours and they’re good for when the kids (or you) are tired, or if the weather isn’t great. Click here for more information.
Currency in the Czech Republic – watch out for scams
The Czech Republic doesn’t use the Euro – the currency is the Czech koruna.
We changed our money before we went, which I’d recommend doing as there are a ton of money-changing scams in Prague. You might get a terrible rate if you exchange money in a currency exchange shop and whatever you do, don’t get your koruna off a guy in the street – they’ll give you the wrong currency! It’s probably best to use a cash machine.
You should also watch out for pick-pockets – they are prolific and operate near the crowded tourist sights.
How to save money in Prague
If you think you will be setting a good pace in Prague and you’re trying to get around as many attractions as possible, then the Prague Card could be worth looking at. From the reviews it seems as though you have to see an awful lot to make it worthwhile, and though it’s included in the pass, public transport is super cheap anyway. Take a look at it here, and see if you think it’s worth it. Honestly, we didn’t bother with it; we couldn’t be doing with rushing around with the kids.
That’s a wrap for the best places to visit in Prague in 2 days (and more!). Have you been to Prague? Is there anything that we missed out on? Let us know in the comments!
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