Explore The Czech Republic

Czech Republic – Family holiday guide

Visit in spring for historic cities and dramatic national parks. Winter’s good for uncrowded, inexpensive and snow-sure ski resorts or cute Christmas Markets and quaint traditions. Choose summer to cycle in Moravia, have a Bohemian spa break or adventure round the Krknoše Mountains. And Prague’s perfect any time – even just for a weekend.


Why go on holiday in the Czech Republic

  • Cheap, direct flights from the UK to Prague take less than two hours.

     

  • The Czech Republic has four national parks including Krkonoše one of the country’s top winter sports’ areas.

     

  • There are 12 Czech UNESCO World Heritage sites including the entire historic centre of Prague.

     

  • Weather’s warm and sunny in spring and summer with temperatures between 19 and 25˚ from May to September.

     

  • The medieval heart of Prague is one of the prettiest square’s in Europe and famous for traditional Christmas markets.

     

  • A compact country to explore easily with kids; the UK is three times bigger than the Czech Republic.

     

  • One of the better value European countries, London restaurants are roughly 70% more expensive than the equivalent in Prague.



Where to go

Prague

Prague’s an enchanting fairy tale of a city at heart. The Baroque left bank, with its towering castle, cobbled streets and graceful, red-roofed buildings, regularly city-doubles for ‘18th century Paris’ in movie-land. And, Staroměstské náměstí (Old Town Square), hasn’t really changed since the middle ages: it’s still under the watchful gaze of Our Lady Before Týn and time’s kept by a medieval astronomical clock where Death commands the twelve apostles to dance every hour, on the hour. This is a city for wandering, exploring slowly, eating, drinking, crossing bridges, climbing hills and discovering for yourself. Too humid and crowded in summer, it’s wonderful in autumn and magically pretty in winter.

  • Visit in late spring for warm, sunny weather and fewer crowds. The old town’s brilliantly haunting round about Halloween and Christmas in Prague is crisp, snowy, traditional and fun for kids.
  • Don’t miss: the Old Town Square; church of Our Lady Before Týn; Charles Bridge; the Old Jewish Cemetery; Prague Castle; Mucha Museum; the Apple Museum; Petřín park; Prague City Museum.
  • The astounding Sedlec Ossuary is just over an hour east of Prague and World Heritage Český Krumlov is two hours’ drive south – both best in spring or autumn.

Brno

Brno’s the city in the south east often forgotten in the rush to (undeniably) grander Prague. But, for a relaxed holiday with older kids and teens, the ancient capital of Moravia’s lively, interesting and considerably less expensive than its more famous northern counterpart.

  • A lot goes on underground in Brno: the Capuchin Crypt, Cabbage Market Labyrinth and the Mintmaster’s Cellar are the tours to take.
  • Don’t miss: the Moravian Museum; incredibly creepy Špilberk Castle; the charming historic quarter and ancient market square; the Old Town Hall; House of the Lords of Lipá; Brno City Zoo; the Technical Museum.
  • Visit in winter for Christmas markets in the Old Town or in spring for walking and cycling in scenic Moravian wine country.

Český Krumlov

World Heritage Český Krumlov’s one of the loveliest towns in Europe. It’s a little like Prague, but without any trace of development after the early 19th century, and designed on a much smaller scale. It’s another big box to tick on a Czech Republic tour so expect it to be packed with tourists in summer. Visit in December, avoid the crowds and see the town wreathed in snow instead.

  • Less than 40 minutes drive from Lipno, the Czech Republic’s top family ski resort.
  • Don’t miss: Náměstí Svornosti on the Old Town square; Český Krumlov State Castle; the Marionette Museum.

Lipno Nad Vitavou

The country’s top family ski-resort, Lipno is a good choice for a first time ski holiday with kids: inexpensive, good ski schools and majority of slopes are beginner and intermediate.

  • Purpose built modern resort with good value three and four-star hotels and self-catering apartments close to lifts.
  • Altitude of 900m, seven lifts and 64% beginner slopes, 34% intermediate.
  • Easy 40 minute drive from Český Krumlov and two hours, 30 minutes from Prague.

What to do

  • Prague Castle
    It’s not the prettiest building in Prague but it is the most imposing and since you can’t miss seeing it wherever you go, give in and take the excellent guided tour.
  • Prague City Museum
    This is one of the country’s finest museums and contains a medieval city experience designed for kids as well as a play area and regular multi-lingual events throughout the year.
  • Petřín Funicular, Prague
    Ride the funicular up to Petřín and spend an afternoon in Prague’s most famous park. It’s also one of the highest points in the city and the views are huge.
  • Telč, Moravia
    If Český Krumlov isn’t quite fairy tale enough, try Telč an hour’s drive west of Brno. Another World Heritage site but here, it’s the Italian Renaissance providing the architectural eccentricities and charm.
  • Český Krumlov Castle
    One of Europe’s most dramatic and legend laden castles, Český Krumlov has events all summer long.
  • Apple Museum, Prague
    The largest private collection of all things Apple from 1976 to the present day, with at least one example of everything every made.
  • Prague Zoo
    Visit during summer and you can sail down the Vitava River by steamboat to Prague’s famously pretty zoo.
  • Labyrinth Under the Cabbage Market, Brno
    The 40 minute guided tour of the tunnel maze under Brno’s 13th century market square is more about the ancient history of the city than vegetable storage.
  • Karlovy Vary
    This historic town is part of the West Bohemia Spa Triangle, very beautiful and as much about outdoor adventure as thermal pools for all.
  • Krknoše National Park
    Two hours drive north of Prague, the Krknoše Mountains are at the heart of this stunning national park: good for winter sports and summer outdoor activities.


Educational value for kids

  • Don’t dismiss the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague as too gloomy for kids. It’s fascinating and the museum tells the rich and moving story of the city’s Jewish community from the Golem of Prague to the present day.
  • Visit the Lennon Wall in Prague. Originally painted just after the death of John Lennon in 1979, it was a symbol of freedom of expression for young Czech’s during the communist era.
  • Ossuary, catacombs, cemeteries and venerated relics are part and parcel of the Czech Republic’s long and complex religious history. Astound morbid teenagers with a visit to Sedlec – the skeletal chandelier alone is spectacular.
  • Cycling routes in Moravia, the Elbe Valley, Wallachia and from Prague as far as Vienna, are adventurous alternatives to Czech cities in sunny summer months.
  • Puppets and puppetry are intrinsically woven into Czech culture and they’re not just for kids. Visit the Marionette Museum in Český Krumlov or Prague Puppet Museum.
  • World Heritage Zelená Hora, 30 minutes east of Brno, is one of the most unusual and dramatic churches in Europe – nice cycle from the city.
  • Find out about the Czech Republic’s recent history in Prague’s Museum of Communism.

 

Getting around with kids in the Czech Republic

Public transport in major cities and most larger towns is excellent and inexpensive. The national rail network covers the entire country but always check journey times – they can sometimes be twice as long as the same distance by car. If you’re travelling outside cities, good roads and charming towns and villages all over the country make driving around with kids easy and enjoyable.



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