The Czech Republic is rapidly evolving into a more family-friendly destination than it has been in the past as the country experiences a mini baby-boom and more sights and attraction open up to cater to the needs of young families. The country still lags behind much of Western Europe, however, when it comes to family-friendly amenities like baby-change facilities, lifts on public transport, and smooth pavements for prams. Changing stations in public restrooms are still rare and far too many pavements are still too rough and narrow to easily accommodate a stroller.
On the positive side, it’s now relatively easy to find nappies and toddlers' needs in just about any pharmacy or drugstore. An increasing number of restaurants also now cater specifically for children, with play areas and so on, and many offer a dětský jídelníček (children’s menu) – usually a slice of ham or a chicken schnitzel, served with mashed potatoes. Many hotels, particularly pensions located outside of urban areas, are likely to have some kind of children’s play area. The more expensive places may be able to offer babysitting services.
Much of the country’s tourist infrastructure is centred on historical sights, and children of all ages will get a kick out of visiting high-top castles and medieval museums. But at some point, the endless stream of exhibitions and all of the walking is going to start to weigh on kids – particularly younger ones – and some child-specific attractions may need to be thrown into the itinerary.
Need to Know
- Admission costs The maximum age for child discounts on admission fees varies from 12 to 18; children under six often get in for free.
- Babysitting Most top-end hotels provide a babysitting service; otherwise, ask at the local tourist office.
- Transport Students and children often qualify for discounted prices on trains and buses. On public transport, children under six years of age normally ride free.
- Mořský Svět The country’s largest water tank, filled with lots of fish.
- National Technical Museum An oversized room stuffed with huge locomotives and old-fashioned cars.
- Prague Zoo Well-tended zoo, with a broad collection of exotic animals.
- Museum of Public Transport More interesting than it sounds, featuring lots of old-timer tram cars.
- Techmania Science Centre Modern, high-tech science centre will appeal to teenage geeks.
- DinoPark Who doesn’t love dinosaurs?
- City Zoological Garden Relaxing, bucolic setting and lots of interesting animals.
- Labyrinth under the Cabbage Market A stroll through the city’s medieval underground.
- Technical Museum Tons of old machines, historic vehicles and game rooms where kids can play ‘mad scientist’.
- Brno Observatory & Planetarium Great for stargazers, but sadly most of the commentary is in Czech.