Museum fans are in luck, as Prague has more than 60 to choose from. Older kids will get a lot out of a visit to the Jewish Museum in Prague (adults £11.50, children £7.60, under 6s free, family ticket from £30), while younger kids will enjoy the city’s smaller, hands-on offerings. A trip to the Karel Zeman Museum (adults £8.60, under 15s £5.50, family £17), close to the Charles Bridge, is a good choice because it showcases the work of the pioneering Czech film director with plenty of interactive elements. Visitors can explore the strange science-fiction worlds inside the museum and then track down the equally surprising artworks on nearby Kampa Island, some by celebrated Czech artist David Černý.
Karel Zeman Museum. Photograph: Libor Svacek
Prague’s handsome suburbs have several child-friendly museums. There’s plenty of interactive fun at the newly renovated National Agricultural Museum (adults £3.80, under 18s free) with its ride-on tractors, play kitchens and computer games. It’s next door to the National Technical Museum (£7.60, under 6s free, family £14.50), which is a feast for the eyes with an impressive collection of vintage trains, cars and aeroplanes. Both are in the Letná district.
Another button-filled option is Kingdom of Railways (adults £9, under 15s £5.50, family £21), in the Anděl district. My kids, aged two and six, love spotting the little trains that loop around miniature replicas of Czech towns and cities. And, of course, driving the bus and tram simulators.
Mini-transport enthusiasts will also enjoy riding the funicular railway from Újezd up to Petřín Hill. Once at the top, there are pretty gardens, a playground, the chance to snap some pictures from the Petřín Lookout Tower (adults £5.20, family £12), and a 19th-century mirror maze (adults £3, family £8.60). We usually head to the maze. Small inside, the real draw is the Hall of Smiles with its warped, fairground mirrors. It is possible to walk for 20 minutes to Prague Castle from here.
Petřín Lookout Tower. Photograph: Alamy
Getting around Prague is easy: much of the centre is walkable, while the metro is affordable and efficient. The city has an extensive tram network, too. The 1970s trams look like retro heaven, but their steps mean they are not pushchair-friendly. To help plan journeys, including barrier-free routes, DPP (Prague’s public transport operator) has a useful English language app.
Where are all the other kids?
On a fine day one of Prague’s many parks is a good bet. Large, handsome Stromovka, with its duck ponds, planetarium, small fairground and restaurant, Vozovna Stromovka (which overlooks one of the many playgrounds) is worth the short tram ride out of the city (trams 6, 12, 17 stop Vystaviste Holesovice).
Letná park. Photograph: Amos Chapple/Getty Images
Across the river from Prague’s Old Town, Letná park is popular with local families who come for its long shady paths, city views and playgrounds flanked by beer gardens and food kiosks. Once home to a colossal statue of Stalin, it is now a giant red metronome that stands at the park’s heart, beating out time for the skateboarders who practise their tricks at its base.
During summer, grab towels and head for the riverside sports and leisure complex, Žluté Lázně (entry £2.80, £1.80 for children under 150cm, children under 100cm free), in the south of the city. Here it’s possible to practise table tennis and beach volleyball skills, speed around a 15km track on inline skates and bikes and head out onto the Vltava river using paddleboards or pedal boats (equipment hire prices at zlutelazne.cz). Kids will also love the chance to play at the sandy manmade beach and paddling pool complex.
Trdelník, a traditional Czech delicacy. Photograph: Getty Images
Indulge in a trdelník (around £2), a chimney-shaped cake, made on a spit and coated in nuts, sugar and cinnamon. It’s found at stalls across the city. If you want to see where the locals stock up on their calories though, head to one of the branches of Ovocný Světozor for a banana and strawberry soft-serve ice-cream (£1). We always order ours at the shop in the elegant passageway off Vodičkova Street, around the corner from Wenceslas Square, before guzzling our treats by the playground in the charming Franciscan Gardens.
Play area at the restaurant in the Vinohradský parliament
On a Saturday morning, a trip to the farmer’s market at Náplavka embankment, in the New Town district, will allow visitors to try wild garlic pesto on bread (£1.40) and organic hotdogs (£3.50) while admiring the swans on the river. Most weeks the Take Eat EZ Food Truck is here and it’s worth queueing for one of its grilled cheese and pulled pork sandwiches (£5.15). If you’re after local cuisine, take a trip to Vinohradský parliament in the fashionable district of Vinohrady. This lively restaurant has a decent play area, which it shares with the Belgian restaurant Bruxx next door. It serves modern takes on Czech classics, such as breaded wild boar with potato salad (£8.50), along with Staropramen beer on tap (£1.50 for 0.5l). The children’s menu features dishes such as meatballs in tomato sauce with rice (£1.80).
MOOo apartments in central Prague.
Escape to Prague has a range of unfussy choices in the centre of the city, all with dishwashers and washing machines. It can provide airport transfers (free for stays of three nights or more) with car seats, as well as high-chairs and cots. One-bedroom apartments are available from £70 a night, whereas its four-bedroom Old Town Square apartment, which sleeps 10 and comes with a large terrace costs from £149 a night. Alternatively, MOOo’s downtown apartments (from £62 a night) are a five-minute walk from Slovanský ostrov, a picturesque island on the Vltava with a playground, children’s train ride and pedalo hire (£6.90 an hour). If you prefer a hotel, NYX Prague is stylish and features rooms that can sleep four people (from £106 a night B&B).
Jenny Elliott writes about family travel and life in Prague at The Little Adventurer