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Prague, a City I Will Never Forget (Europe 2016 Part I)

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Taken outside of Prague Castle, looking down over the city

If European cities were a necklace, Prague would be a diamond among the pearls. – anonymous

I had always wanted to go to Prague. It was mysterious to me. Different from the other European countries that I have been to so many times. But when we decided to make a business trip into a dual purpose trip, I immediately said I wanted to include Prague on the itinerary.  My husband didn’t take much convening. In terms of getting there, please see my post about the FAA and getting to Europe. Here I give advice on how to plan for your flight when your little one gets her or his own seat.  Otherwise, Prague was our time to be a family sans business partners and workers.

Packing

Before I dive into the trip details, I think it may be helpful for you to know what I packed. So instead of digging below, I’ve summarized the essentials, here. Note, I have a good packing list on my post about the FAA and Getting to Europe, that you may want to reference as well.

  1. Ergo 360 carrier
  2. Baby monitor
  3. About enough diapers for 10-12 changes per day (diapers can be expensive outside the US, so I opted to bring my own.)
  4. About 1 pack of wipes for every 3-5 days (used for more than diaper changes)
  5. 2 outfits a day for Charlie
  6. Some additional snack favorites (Charlie loved Gerber Yogurt Melts and a variety of pouches)
  7. Comfortable walking shoes (2 pair to alternate days)
  8. Chicco Caddy Hook on Chair (This little baby came in handy so many times throughout the trip; however, I don’t go into detail on this post.)
  9. UPPAbaby CRUZ

Day One

Upon arriving to our hotel, Hotel Yasmin, we realized our first mistake. We booked a standard room! I’m not trying to sound elitist here, but one of the problems we have in traveling with a one-year old is accommodating his earlier bed time. Charlie goes down at 7:00 pm. If we were to book a standard room without a separate space for him, were we just going to go to bed with him…at 7:00 pm?!?! By no means was this the kind of evening we were looking for. So we asked for an upgrade to one of hotel apartments which provided  a separate bedroom and separate bathroom. Glorious!  But as this may not always be the most affordable option, I still highly recommend accommodations with separate sleeping spaces. Even if your kiddos go to bed later, it’s still good to have a place where they can nap. To round out this point, we found that bringing our baby monitor was nice to have around. That way we could watch him for when he woke up in case he didn’t make a lot of noise.

Since we had arrived earlier in the day, we had plenty of time before check-in to get familiar with our neighborhood. Couple that with sitting on a plane for 14 hours (two flights), we embarked on a self-guided walking tour of the city. Prague is VERY walking friendly. We made our way over to Wenceslas Square where we stopped for a bite to eat at a local pub. The food there was quite touristy and wasn’t my favorite but we were starving. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the restaurant, but it was much better suited for people watching. After a rib-sticking lunch we may our way through the square where we saw some creative artists crowd sourcing painters to help make a peace wall. We obliged of course, because…when in Prague?

Charlie and I showing off our creative talents in front of the peace wall.

We also made our way to the astronomical clock, dating back to 1410 and is the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world. It happens to be the oldest operating astronomical clock.

In front of the world’s oldest operating astronomical clock in the Old Town Square.

Day Two

The day we went to Prague Castle, may have been my favorite. As I mentioned in my Italian Holiday post, booking a private tour is a good idea for families traveling with small children. I did some research on TripAdvisor and found a company called Discover Prague Tours that provided us with a very informative tour of the castle grounds. We picked their Prague Castle and Castle District Walking Tour which started from the Old Town Square (near the astronomical clock) and then proceeded to taking the tram to famous UNESCO World Heritage site. The price came in at around $150 for our family of three (two adults and one baby). If you join the public tour, the price is somewhere between $13 and $14. So going private is a quite a bit more expensive. That said, our tour guide accommodated us, nicely. When we needed to stop and feed Charlie or anything else, our guide would help us find a suitable place to stop while we took care of personal matters. We did opt to take our UPPAbaby stroller, which was the right decision for this outing. However, we did find ourselves feeling crammed on the tram and in St. Vitus Cathedral.

Charlie is clearly done with St. Vitus.
St. Vitus Cathedral

As we wrapped up the day, we made our way to a great little boat/restaurant and sat down to some amazing Italian food. Our guide recommended this place to us and it definitely hit the spot. The only downside was the enormous thunderstorm. We were not allowed to leave the boat for safety reason for about 45 minutes after we finished our lunch.

Fun little Italian restaurant/boat.

Last Day

On our final full day before heading to Germany, we spend the day taking the advice of our tour guide and again, making our way through the city. We stopped by a John Lennon wall, the Jewish Quarter which had this fascinating cemetery and over the Charles Bridge. If I have one regret, it was missing out on a tour of the cemetery which dates back to the mid 15th century. It’s incredible. Essentially it’s graves built on braves built on graves. It is very different and somewhat creepy to see. But just a lot of history in the Jewish Quarter. Here are some pictures from that day:

Gama and Charlie alongside the Vltava River (Charles Bridge in the background.)
Charlie and I in front of the John Lennon Wall.
A view into the Old Jewish Cemetery.

Parks

Prague is full of fun and amazing parks. And while we didn’t take full advantage of this, I think this post warrants a nod to these great spaces and getting some energy out. At the time, Charlie was only one and not quite walking, so parks weren’t really on the agenda.

  1. Charles Bridge Playground in the Lesser Town. It’s visible from the bridge, on the right, once you go over the bridge.
  2. Franciscan Garden and Children’s Playground, near Wenceslas Square. Originally a part of the private garden of the Church of Our Lady of the Snows.
  3. Children’s Playground at Petrin in the New Town on Slavonic Island.

You can find out more about this on the Prague Experience website.

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