Exploring Prague with baby in tow
Prague! After years of attempting to visit the Czech Republic, it finally happened. The Video Summit Leipzig was held only a few hours away from Prague and we figured that we might as well skip over while we had the chance. We grappled with whether we should take a train to the city or rent a car. In the end, we decided that it would be easier to travel with all the extra baby gear in a rental car.
We chose wisely. The drive was fast and easy and it ended up being more affordable than buying train tickets. Plus, we got to stop in adorable little German towns on our way to and from Prague.
Holden was only four months old while in Prague and at that age there’s only so much that will hold your little one’s attention. Luckily, he is soothed by loud noises and movement so he ended up sleeping through most of our outings. We found that walking around Prague was relatively easy. Our travel system handled the ubiquitous cobblestone like a champ and we bundled our boy in our puffy UNIQLO jackets to keep him warm.
Side note: Our UNIQLO travel jackets are amazing. They can squish down super small, are incredibly light, and very warm. We would highly recommend them and we’re not even getting paid to do so.
Exploring a destination with a local is our favorite way to discover a new place. Luckily, our friend Charlie (from our JayWay Travel Baltics trip) has lived in Prague for years and offered to take us on a culinary tour of the city. Spoiler alert: we were not disappointed.
We ate and drank our way around the city starting with soup at the regal Café Imperial, coffees (duh) at EMA espresso bar, followed by beer at Plzeňská restaurace (located in the basement of the Municipal House), a meal of epic proportions at Lokál Dlouhááá, and even more beer (and kofola, a traditional soda) at Pivovar Národní brewery. We completed our tour with a traditional venecky pastry at Myšák cafe.
My favorite stop on our Prague food tour was Lokál. This place is known for its fresh meat and it did not disappoint. I’m not really a fan of any raw animal but the steak tartare was to die for. It was incredibly flavorful and the bread and garlic that accompanied the tartare was perfection. Be warned, the longer we stayed, the smokier the restaurant got. Ask to be seated in a non-smoking section. We ended up leaving rather suddenly to avoid putting Holden in secondhand smoke.
Writing those last few paragraphs made me realize that I need to dedicate an entire post to our food tour of Prague. It was too good not to share.
We were determined to thoroughly explore as much of the city as we could during our brief three day stay. We walked off the majority of our food tour calories the following day. Chris’ birthday just happened to fall on one of the days we were in Prague. He spent the morning planning everything he wanted to do for his special day. He was excited to visit the Museum of Alchemists and Magicians of Old Prague, search out David Černý statues, locate the baroque church of St. James (with its reported dangling 400 year old mummified arm), and visit the city’s Sex Machines Museum. We managed to find the infamous peeing Černý statues outside the Kafka Museum, but aside from that, literally everything else was closed. I felt awful.
The Černý statues were pretty incredible. The bottom half of each statue rotates along with each, uhh, “member”. We were told that you can text a certain number with any word or phrase that you want written out in pee. Technology, I tell ya. Also, after checking out a few of Černý’s other statues, I would love to take a peek in his mind.
Chris did end up finding himself a nice little birthday present in the form of a drinking horn. We stumbled upon a blacksmith in the town square and quietly watched him work. I really like markets and there was a little one next to the blacksmith. There were stalls that were hawking roasted meats, trdelnik (that sugarcoated cone of delicious you’ve seen around the interwebs), and various handmade Christmas trinkets. Oh, and there was a busker that was making giant bubbles in the square. GIANT BUBBLES, people.
We ended up walking over the famous Charles bridge a few times. I’m a sucker for a good view and we found the western side to be slightly quieter. We also wandered into a nice restaurant for a comforting bread bowl of goulash and a stein of beer. As you can see, Holden was pretty impressed.
Our very last stop in Prague was at Henry’s Tower (officially called Jindřišská Tower). A little bit gothic, a little bit whimsical, the tower boasts something for everyone. In Chris’ case, it is the Whiskeria bar with a wide assortment of delicious whiskeys. I was more interested in the restaurant. We didn’t have time to stop in for a bite of traditional Czech fare but it sure smelled amazing. Baby Holden seemed to enjoy the floating cotton clouds hanging from the rafters of the bell tower itself.
Visitors to the bell tower can take an elevator to the top. Or at least near the top. You’ll have to hike your little one up one flight of stairs to reach the quaint observation deck but it’s an easy climb. We carried Holden in his car seat and left the stroller base on the floor below. We ended up arriving near the end of the day and we had the entire bell tower to ourselves. It was both awesome and creepy.
The oldest of the bells dates back to 1518 although the tower itself was constructed in the 1470s. The tower’s bells can ring in over 1,000 different melodies. We foolishly decided to pay a few cents to have the clocks ring. Holden was not amused.
Pro tip: Though it may be tempting, you might want to avoid slipping a coin into the device that will play the bells for you. The bells are right above you, extremely loud, and the song goes on for what seems like an eternity- especially if you have a startled, wailing baby.
Overall, I thought our three days spent in Prague were perfect. There are a ton of things to do in Prague and I think we hit all the big ones. Well, aside from everything Chris wanted to do on his birthday. A huge thanks to Charlie for showing us around. We might have left the city a few pounds heavier.
Do you have any questions for us? As we forge ahead into this new land of millennial family travel, we’re happy to answer any questions that arise.