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Prague, a children’s story

Reloj astronómico
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Týn
Interior del Castillo de Praga
Powder Tower
Petřín Hill funicular railway

Living in a fairy-tale setting, surrounded by castles, pointed towers and with puppets at every turn is every child’s dream; Prague will be unforgettable.
Compared with other European destinations, at first glance, Prague doesn’t really seem geared towards children. There are no sprawling amusement parks or activities exclusively for them. But, contrary to what many adults think, these are not the only things that amuse children… youngsters are also attracted to monuments, especially if they are as impressive as the ones in Prague.

No child could fail to be enthralled by the Astronomical Clock; at the stroke of the hour a spectacle begins that captivates the tourists gathered below the tower. For 45 seconds the apostles and various moving figures parade across the clock face. The figures represent the concerns of the people of Prague in the 15th century: vanity, represented by a man with a mirror; greed, a Jewish trader with a bag; lust, a Turkish prince with a mandolin; and death, a skeleton with an hourglass. A lift can take you up the tower where you’ll be fascinated with the views of the town from above.

Also in the Old Town Square is the large, Late Gothic Church of Our Lady before Týn. The construction touches the city sky with its famous 80-metre towers that end in sharp pinnacles, as if inspired by Walt Disney stories.

Prague Casle is an intense tour and can be tiring for very small children, but it can done at a leisurely pace, without haste, delighting in the imagery provided by St. Vitus Cathedral and the Old Royal Palace. They will love the Golden Lane with its brightly-coloured tiny houses, said to be inhabited by dwarfs in the 17th century, and one by Kafka and his sister. There’s also the basilica, the Convent of St. George and the four towers: the Daliborka, Black, White and Powder Towers. Prague is known as the city of 500 towers, but in reality it has many more.

Without leaving the centre, you can find some peace and quiet on the waters of the Vltava river, by taking one of the boats to recover from the exertion of climbing hills and stairs. You can lunch or dine on board while you sail down the longest river in the country. The city looks completely different from the water, both by day and night, and at the leisurely pace of a boat gliding across the surface.

Across Charles Bridge is Kampa Island, the liveliest park in the city. Surrounded by the Vltava and Certovka rivers that run in front of the houses, it is also known as the Venice of Prague. It’s a calm oasis with plenty of subjects to photograph: outstandingly beautiful houses, like the Gold Lion or the Gold Grape, the four remaining watermills, the Liechtenstein Palace, John Lennon Wall…and two very well-kept children’s playgrounds.

As well as the zoo and aquarium, two safe bets for entertaining children in Prague, we also recommend spending some time at Petřín. What child wouldn’t be thrilled at a ride on the steep funicular railway? Once at the top, the fun continues with a climb up the Petřín Lookout Tower, which is a small-scale Eiffel Tower, and then getting lost and seeing your deformed reflection in the Mirror Maze. And there’s still a visit to the Štefánik Observatory and the Kinský garden, with another fun children’s park.

And when night falls…theatre

Black theatre is a technique that the Czech people converted into the most typical show in Prague. The wordless show unfolds on a black stage, with light and shadow, phosphorescent costumes, lanterns… Performances can be seen in at least five theatres daily with shows like Aspects of Alice, based on Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol: Ta Fantastika, Karlova, 186/8; Animato Theatre, Na Příkopě, 10; Image Theatre, Betlémská, 5; Metro Theatre, Národní, 25; Blanik Theatre, Václavské náměstí, 56. The price, from 20 CZK.

Toy Museum at Prague Castle

Prague is the puppet capital. All over the city are shops with the most varied selection of wooden puppets. But the Toy Museum, inside Prague Castle, close to the Golden Lane, also has seven halls with exhibitions of toys from all over the world dating from the 19th century to the present day. Tin and wooden cars, motorcycles, planes and clockwork trains, and even a collection of Barbies.

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