Prague is a city filled with adventurous activities to embark on. Venture on walking or river tours – where you can truly explore Prague’s idyllic surroundings, starting at the historic area of Malá Strana, before discovering the colourful Vrtba Garden. There is also a host of events held throughout the year to attend, including St. Matthew’s Fair, as well as exciting activity spots like the Lego Museum and the National Technical Museum, both of which the whole family can enjoy.
Aquapalace Praha is the biggest water and sauna park in the Czech Republic, just 30-minutes from the thriving centre of Prague. With an area of 9,150 square metres, this spacious water park offers something for everyone.
Hours of fun can be had across the 12 water slides available here, including the longest slide in the whole of the Czech Republic. A 450-metre-long river with artificial waves also features here, as well as a space bowl and a laser show. For the younger children, there is an exciting submarine world, shipwrecks, pirates, sea aquariums amongst the gentle pool waves and swaying palm trees.
For those looking for a more relaxing experience, why not visit Sauna World – with its 14 different types of sauna cabins: traditional Finnish saunas, Roman baths and an outdoor section? Not forgetting the pampering plunge pools, whirlpools and a designated relaxation zone with deckchairs provided. The Spa and wellness centre also offer a multitude of skin treatments and massages.
Other facilities include a fitness centre, equipped with all the latest equipment and a variety of bars and restaurants.
Cycling is extremely popular in Prague, and there are a whole host of bike tours on offer to join, see and learn about Prague’s intriguing architecture, culture and history.
A popular excursion with visitors is the 2.5-hour, guided City Classic Bike Tour, starting near the Old Town Square. Your friendly, expert guide will take you through the Old and New Town, the Jewish Quarter and you will even venture to the iconic John Lennon Wall. Travellers will make several stops as you cycle around, so the tour guide can tell you all about the sights and answer any questions you have, before visiting the historic National Theatre and contemporary “Dancing House”.
If you prefer to get away from the town, jump on a bike tour which takes you along the Vltava River, passing Letna Park, Prague Metronome (the former location of the statue of Stalin), Prague Castle, Petrin Park and Kampa Park. A relaxing ride away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
Or, for something a little different, why not try a guided, electrical bike ride through the cobbled streets and then along the river? This provides a much quicker way of seeing the sights, all while admiring the wondrous surrounding scenery this beautiful city has to offer.
Exploring Prague’s Old Town, with its narrow cobbled streets, attractive buildings and historic sights is an interesting and enjoyable way to spend your day. The 65-metre-high Powder Tower marks the eastern entrance to the Old Town, and the Staroměstské Náměstí (Old Town Square) has served as Prague’s main market place for over a thousand years.
Surrounding the square are some wonderful historic buildings, including the Old Town City Hall and its medieval Astronomical Clock. Crowds gather here at the start of every hour to see the 12 apostles, rotating inside the clock. Another place not to be missed is the gothic Tyn Cathedral, with its 80-metre-high towers, each topped by four small spires. The interior of the cathedral (especially the altar), is said to be one of the most elaborate and ornate in the Czech Republic.
There’s also a historical Jewish quarter called Josefov – which has six synagogues, including Maisel Synagogue and the Spanish Synagogue. The Jewish Ceremonial Hall can be found here, too, as well as the Old Jewish Cemetery and the remains of the old Jewish ghetto. The whole area of the Old Town is steeped in history, making it well worth a visit.
The iPILOT in Prague offers travellers the chance to experience what it is like to pilot a commercial jet – providing fun for all of the family. The Boeing 737 simulator offers a life-size replica cockpit, with a fully functional overhead control panel – pretty exciting, right?
The video screens recreate the spectacular airborne views of real flight paths from airports around the world. Qualified instructors will run through what flying a plane actually entails, before guiding you through the entire flight from take-off, to landing.
Visitors can choose from a 30, 60 or 90-minute experience, and if you’re looking to make your flight experience more authentic, opt for an additional range of ‘challenges’, including engine problems or bad weather. You can even have your photo taken here, or purchase a DVD of your experience. The simulator is suitable for anyone, from aviation enthusiasts to those who want to try something different and new. A visit to iPilot is a great way to spend an hour or two.
Letna Park (Letenské Sady) is situated on Letna hill, and was built on a flat plateau overlooking the beautiful Vltava River. This idyllic park has green open spaces and a long avenue lined with magnificent pine trees, as well as mature trees, colourful plants and luscious bushes growing up the hillside. There are also biking paths, spaces for in-line skating, skateboarding areas, pétanque pitches and a children’s playground.
A visit to the park allows you to enjoy some peace and quiet in beautiful, tranquil surroundings. At the base of the park, there is a large metronome (built on what was once the location for the biggest Stalin’s statue in Europe). To the right of the metronome is the Hanavsky Pavilion, a Baroque-style, cast iron structure built for the Centennial Exhibition during 1891. It consists of a magnificent staircase, a metal-plated balustrade and a magnificent oriel as well as an attractive balcony. Now, it is used as a restaurant and can be booked for weddings and business gatherings.
Letna Park also has a chateau, which houses four restaurants and a garden terrace overlooking the Old Town.
The fantastic Letnany Lagoon aqua centre originally opened in 1999, and since it has become a popular activity attraction amongst both locals and travellers alike. The centre has a large 25-metre covered swimming pool, an incredibly long spiral chute, water slides, two massage pools (with water heated to 31°C), water aerobics sessions, sunbeds and a paddling pool for children. So, there truly is something for every member of the family.
A fitness centre also features here, with state-of-the-art aerobic and fitness machines. Not forgetting the Nirvana Relaxation Centre, which houses a Finnish sauna, a steam cabin, a cooling plunge pool and a whirlpool – with 36°C salt water.
On the ground floor of the complex, there is a wonderful restaurant which is accessible from both the reception area and the main swimming pool hall. The restaurant serves a variety of snacks, meals and drinks at very reasonable prices.
Parking is also available at the front of the Letnany Lagoon and there is wheelchair access to the centre.
Various tour operators in Prague offer Little Venice Canal Cruises, providing a truly spectacular trip for every type of tourist. These historical boat tours allow visitors to view Prague from a whole different perspective, and the boats themselves are beautifully crafted from wood with attractive brass fittings (each one holding around 30 people).
The 45-minute cruise starts on the Vltava River in central Prague, then sets off to explore the waterways of Little Venice, including the Čertovka Canal (Devil’s Stream) and other small narrow canals.
As you cruise along past the Baroque houses, churches, monuments, medieval water mills, you can learn about the history and culture of this area through audio commentary (available in 16 different languages). So, have your camera ready to snap the sights as you explore out of the way places only accessible by boat.
The cruise also includes refreshments on board and a visit to the Charles Bridge Museum, all before coming to an end.
Malá Strana (also known as Lesser Town), can be found at the foot of Castle Hill and has wonderful views across the Vltava river to the old town. Many of its original buildings – which were once privately-owned homes, have now been turned into restaurants, cafes, hotels, shops and even embassies.
The sloping, picturesque, narrow streets and the attractively decorated facades of the buildings make this a delightfully peaceful area to stroll through without all the hustle and bustle of similar streets found in the Old Town.
Malá Strana really does has something of interest for every traveller. For fans of the Beatles, why not write a message on the John Lennon Wall? Alternatively, visit the Malá Strana Square (which used to be the district’s market), the Church of St. Nicholas and the Franz Kafka Museum – which houses a number of first edition books, original letters, diaries and drawings created by Kafka, Petrin Hill and its tall tower. Or, take a stroll around the 17th century Wallenstein Gardens – with its ornamental pools, baroque statues and beautiful peacocks roaming freely around the gardens.
Matthews Fair (Matejska pout), was opened in 2008 and is the most popular and the biggest fair in the whole of Prague. It is a fun park with around 130 attractions; choose from roller coasters, houses of horror, Ferris wheels, bumper cars, shooting galleries, merry-go-round, chain whirligig and a haunted house, to shooting ranges.
The most popular rides include the Ikarus – a whirligig which raises the riders 35-metres high and then nose-dives back to the ground. The Catapult shoots up into the air before being brought back down by the elastic, holding each side. As well as all the mind-blowing rides on offer, the park has refreshment stands for when you get hungry and thirsty. If you fancy a treat, why not try some traditional gingerbread in shapes of hearts, Turkish honey and cotton candy?
Remember, as this is a Spring Fair – this attraction may not be open all year-round, so it’s advisable to check before you visit.
The National Technical Museum (NTM) was built in 1908, and is located next to the idyllic Letna Park. Today, it houses 14 permanent exhibitions as well as various temporary displays. If you are interested in technology then this museum should definitely be on your list of places to visit when in Prague. In fact, the NTM has something for everyone- techno buff or not.
The permanent exhibitions include architecture, engineering, design and not forgetting, transportation – including air, road, sea and rail as well as fire equipment. Mining machinery and equipment also features here, including a mock 1950s mine, and a chemistry exhibition, presenting laboratory work methods from both past and present.
Even photo-cinema artefacts are on display, presenting all the basic photochemical processes of colour photography, principles of digital photography, and the development of motion photography. The TV Studio exhibition is also a focal point for travellers – which is accessible only with a guide. Your guide will demonstrate how the studio equipment works, which is truly fascinating.
On the top of iconic Petrin Hill, lies a steel framework TV tower (looking very similar to Paris’s Eiffel Tower), which was built in 1891 for the Jubilee Exhibition – acting as a major sightseeing attraction. To reach the top of the hill, travellers can either walk up along a wooded path or take the funicular, operating daily and running every 10 to 15 minutes.
Landscaped garden surround Petrin Tower, including a beautiful and fragrant rose garden which you can peacefully stroll around, before choosing to either climb the 229 steps or take the lift to the top of the tower and its magical observation point.
Other attractions at the summit include a fascinating observatory with a telescope, a small museum, a mirror maze (providing great fun for the kids), a church, and a cosy café. Once you return back to the bottom of Petrin Hill, near the funicular terminal there is a well-equipped children’s playground and a café serving reasonably priced food and drinks, too.
The wondrous Prague Zoo was originally opened in 1931, located in the district of Troja (approximately four miles north of the Old Town). This zoo houses 681 different species including 293 birds, 167 mammals and 132 reptiles. Plus, the animals are spread out across 26 zones, depending on the type of terrain and climate they need.
The beautiful, rugged terrain has over 10 kilometres of walking trails, taking you through the Indonesian jungle – one of the largest animal enclosures in Europe, housing a host of exotic animals, including Komodo dragons, orangutans and the endangered binturong, with jungle birds and fruit bats flying above. You can also visit The Africa House, the Valley of the Elephants, the Gorilla Pavilion and an area reserved for Chinese giant salamanders.
A designated children’s zoo also features at Prague Zoo. The animals can be fed and stroked here, and there are various play areas to keep the kids entertained, alongside a mini-tram, pony rides, and an observation tower.
Away from the enclosures, you can follow the geo-trail, visit the exhibition gallery and the unique wooden houses built by Gocar, or simply take some refreshment at one of the cafes.
What better way to enjoy the sights of Prague than on a relaxing river cruise? The short, one-hour cruise along the Vltava River to see the Charles Bridge, Prague Castle and other historical sights is a particular favourite amongst families. Especially since there will be plenty of opportunities to take photographs and refreshments can be bought on the boat.
If you want a longer cruise, you can spend two hours sailing past Prague Castle, pass under the Charles Bridge, and then past the Rudolfinum – the National Theatre. Then, sail through the oldest locks in Smichov, see the Dancing House and the Podoli waterworks before returning, with the bar on the boat serving refreshments and drinks.
For something a little different, why not take a cruise on the Prague Jazz Boat? You will travel along the Vltava River, through the heart of the city and past all the riverside attractions, all while a jazz band entertains you. The music on the boat varies from traditional Jazz, Latin, Cuban and Brazilian, to Swing and Blues. So, sit back, relax and order a drink and the soulful sounds as you glide past amazing attractions.
The Vrtba Garden, designed by Frantisek Maximilian Kanka in 1720 is situated on the slope of the Petrin Hill, considered to be one of the most beautiful Baroque gardens in Central Europe.
This site underwent structural reconstruction between 1990 and 1998, and was then re-opened to the public on 3rd June 1998. The garden is situated on three terraced platforms, connected with staircases. The lowest floral terrace with a circular fountain in the centre is where you will find the beautifully preserved Sala Terrena, decorated with paintings on the vaults and statues of Bacchus and Cerere.
The elegant staircases between the terraces are decorated with vases and statues of ancient gods and on the top terrace there is the pavilion, from which there is a beautiful view of Prague Castle, the Cathedral of St. Nicholas and further on the Lesser Town and the Old and New Towns.
Today, the Vrtba Garden is a popular venue for weddings, too. This hidden garden is located off Karmelitska Street and is very easy to miss behind its unassuming gate, but is well worth seeking out.
Thrill Park Prague, located off the top of Wenceslas Square on Žitná street, is a very aptly named attraction, and definitely not for the fainthearted. The park’s biggest draw is the Dungeon of Horror – an underground haunted house experience, in which make-believe monsters chase visitors brave enough to travel through its intricately-designed maze.
Another attraction is the Mind Horror escape game, whereby visitors use clues to track down a mysterious villain and rescue a ‘missing child’. The game is intended for groups of two to six people, lasting for 50 minutes and providing a world of fun.
A virtual reality game, The Death Wish is also popular at Thrill park, where two to five people use VR headsets to experience and play a horror-themed game, shooting their way out of a zombie apocalypse.