If you are staying in Prague with your children and are not sure how to keep them
entertained, here are a few places that may do the trick:
Top of Petrín Hill: Mirror Maze, Observatory, Pony Rides
The mirror maze on the top of Petrín Hill - the one with the TV tower
on it that looks a bit like the Eiffel Tower - can be a fun diversion for kids
and adults alike. Pony rides are sometimes available for small children on Petrín,
while the observatory can be of interest to older kids. To get to the top of
the hill, take the funicular that starts on Újezd street (you can get
there by tram 12, 22, or 23 and get off at Újezd). The funicular operates
daily from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (April - October) or 9 a.m. to 10:20 p.m. (November
- March) and runs every 10 to 15 minutes. You will need a public transportation
ticket to use the funicular.
U Trojského zámku 3/120, Prague 7
The Prague Zoo is located near the Trója Chateau in Prague 7 and is open
year round. To get there, take bus 112 from Nádraí Holešovice
(Metro C) and get off at the last stop - Zoologická zahrada.
March: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
April, May, September, October: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
June - August: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
November - February: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Admission: adults 80 Kc, children/students/seniors 50 Kc, family 200 Kc
Prague Castle, Prague 1
The second largest exposition of toys in the world, from ancient Greece to the
present, collected from all over the world. Open daily, 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Most of the puppet/marionette shows in the Prague city center are targeted
at adults rather than children. There is a puppet theatre in the outskirts that
has daily shows for children but all performances are in Czech:
Loutkové divadlo Jiskra (Puppet Theatre Jiskra), Klapkova 26, Prague
8. Take tram number 10, 14, 17, 24, or 5 and get off at Ke Stírce.
Prague Parks and Gardens
Some of Prague's numerous parks can be just the right place to let your kids
run wild... Figuratively speaking.
According to a legend, Prague was founded in the middle of a forest where nature
grew spontaneously and was lush and abundant thanks to the Moldau River. Covering
an area of 550 square kilometers, Prague embraces a natural territory of valleys
and hills that even nowadays create a varied landscape. The locals have a deep
respect for nature and like to spend their spare time walking around parks and
This large park lies on a hill that faces the city center, which makes it a
nice place from where to see Prague from above. In the west part of the park,
there is an Art Deco pavilion from the Jubilee exhibition of 1891, now a restaurant.
In the northern part, there is a large clearing where one and half million people
gathered during the Velvet Revolution of 1989 to listen to a speech by Havel,
the future president, and Dubcek, the leader of the Prague Spring of 1968.
Petrín is a hill that was turned into a public park. During the reign
of Charles IV, in the second half of the 14th century, it was a vineyard as
were many other hills in town. Later on, in the 1600s, the bottom of the hill
became the private gardens of the palaces belonging to the noble families of
Malá Strana. Petrín has been a public park since 1800.
To get to the top, you can walk or take the funicular that has been in service
since 1891. Just for your information, the ticket is the same one that you would
use for trams and metro, for 12 crowns.
This park also boasts the statue of the most famous poet of Czech Romanticism,
Karel Hynek Mácha, author of a poem of love and tragedy called "May".
On May 1, lovers come to the statue to kiss and lay flowers to remember the
poet and bring good luck into their future relationship.
On the top of the hill, you can climb the Petrín Tower, a smaller copy
of the Eiffel Tower, built in 1891, and visit the rose garden, planetarium and
mirror maze. You can get a nice view of the city from the top.
Vodickova 41 (entrance from Jungmann Square or Svetozor passageway)
This garden is in a very unusual position, being just in the middle of the
city center, a few steps from Wenceslas Square. Its name comes from the Franciscan
monastery just in front of it. In the back, you can see the Church of the Virgin
Mary of the Snow built in 1348 and never completed. The whole nave is missing.
Locals come here during spring and summer for their lunch break.
Karmelitská 25, Malá Strana
These gardens are part of the baroque residence of the Vrtba family, built
in the 1600s. The gardens were added in the 1700s. They are made of terraces
built on the bottom of the Petrín hill in the Italian style. The gardens
are decorated with statues and paintings by famous local artists. From here
you can enjoy a nice view of the city. Open from April to October.
Brevnov, Prague 6
There used to be a large forest here that belonged to the Brevnov Monastery
nearby. This area was then bought by Ferdinand I of Habsburg who created a game-reserve
far from the Castle. His son, Archduke Ferdinand of Tyrol, built a star shaped
summer palace in 1556. "Hvezda" means "star" in Czech. The
palace is at the end of a nice boulevard in the park and is surrounded by a
Gardens below the Castle
Valdštejnská 8-14, Malá Strana
All the noble families that were friends with the Habsburgs chose this district
for their residences and built luxurious palaces most of which were surrounded
by nice gardens. Some of these gardens are now open from April to October. Along
Valdštejnská Street, the Ledebourský, large and small Pállfy,
Kolovrat and small Furstenberský gardens are all joined together to form
a park in the Italian style, with terraces dating back to the 1700s.
Ferdinand I of Habsburg created the Royal Gardens in 1534. They are separated
from the Castle by the deer moat that is spanned by the Powders Bridge. At the
beginning, the gardens were designed in the Renaissance style, then Baroque,
and later acquired an English style.
At the entrance on the left side, there is the Lion Court from the time of Rudolf
II. Wild animals were kept here during his reign. Rudolf II was an emperor with
many personal problems that caused him deep depression. A legend says that his
astrologer predicted that his destiny was deeply connected with the destiny
of his favorite lion, Mohammed. When the lion died, Rudolf II lived for only
three more days.
The gardens were destroyed at the beginning of the Thirty Years' War but were
saved during the Prussian invasion of 1741, supposedly because the gardener
donated three dozen pineapples to the Prussian general.