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Prague, Czech Republic

This September, we finally made it to Prague!! It was one of those places we were kind of embarrassed that we hadn't already been to because it seems like everyone who travels goes to Prague, lol!  I was SO looking forward to experiencing the culture and stunning architecture in this beautiful city!

Unfortunately, the night before we left, Matt and I woke up to the sounds of barking and wheezing... Dyan. Had. Croup. ☹  We were sooooo bummed, and of course, worried about him.  Should we cancel our trip or at least postpone our flight?  I read an article last year about a UK family flying with their baby who actually died from croup during their flight.  So, of course, that article was running through the back of our minds.  They say when your kid has croup to take them outside or stick their head in the freezer to help open the air passageways; run a humidifier when they are sleeping... but how can you do that on an airplane!?  Plus, croup gets worse at night and our flight (per usual) was a red eye, so what were we going to do if/when Dylan started barking and wheezing again on the plane?  What if Christopher caught it?  All we could do was pray.  Pray that God knew what he was doing and would protect our little family... as he ALWAYS does. ☺

The next morning, I ran Dylan to the doctors for the croup steroid and an antibiotic (we are so not the over-medicating type, but these circumstances were different).  The doctor assured me that if Dylan was his kid, he would still go on the trip.  So that was enough convincing for us that we should still go.  We can't live our lives in fear by the "what ifs", and Matt and I both felt a peace; so we went.

The Flight
Even with a sick toddler, the flight went great!  Except we left out of Toronto at 5pm and we normally leave later than that.  So by 8ish, the boys were sound asleep, but Matt and I were wide awake!  I had a really hard time falling asleep so early and by the time I FINALLY did, I only slept for an hour and they came through with "breakfast", which woke us all up.  We landed in Prague to their morning- 7am but it felt like 2am to us.  Generally Matt and I push hard through that first day and sight see because we find that it helps you adjust to the time change quicker, but we were soooo so tired; all I wanted to do was sleep.

The Hotel
From the airport, we took a bus to the subway which took us right to the the main town square (Staroměstské náměstí) where our hotel was located.  We got to our hotel, Ventana Hotel, and checked in even though it was super early in the morning.  We assumed they would just take our luggage and tell us to return at 2pm for check in, BUT they actually had a room ready and they EVEN let us eat at their buffet breakfast!!!  It was amazing: fresh fruit, yogurt, eggs, bacon, sausage, salmon, cheese board, pastries, and champagne to top it off!  We ate EVERYTHING, lol, it was wonderful, and we returned back to our room, bellies full, and ready to sleep.  My favorite thing about our hotel "room" was that it was split level.  We were on the top floor and there were about fifteen stairs between the living area and the bedroom.  So the boys were able to sleep downstairs and Matt and I could sleep upstairs and stay up at night with lights on after the boys went to sleep!  Score!  Anyway, Matt set the alarm for a two hour nap and by the time we got up and out the door, it was 2pm, so we felt like we didn't miss too much of the day.  When we came back for the night, they had a beautiful antique table set up with water, apple juice and champagne for guests to enjoy before returning to their rooms for the night!  Small touches like that go a long way, and I'd be lying if I said Matt and I didn't enjoy a little glass of champagne EVERY night we were there. lol!
The Sights
We were so lucky our hotel was right in the center of Staroměstské náměstí.  The boys LOVED walking right outside and seeing street performers, bubbles, and food vendors; we spent a lot of time in that square just playing with the bubbles, listening to the street performers, and watching the Prague Astronomical clock "clock show" that goes off every hour.  I love open pedestrian squares like that because the kids can run wild a little bit, we don't have to worry about cars, and there is entertainment all around us... it's like going to the circus, but for free! :)
The rest of the day we had a few "must sees" to knock off our list.  One of the most interesting places we wanted to see was the old Jewish cemetery.  Basically, years ago, the Jewish community was only allowed to bury on a small plot of land, so they just kept burying everyone on top of each other. The graves are 20 levels deep!  The place wasn't ideal for children (in fact, if our stroller was any wider, we wouldn't have fit in the walkway around the cemetery).  Also, you have to pay to get in, and we waited in line for about 20 minutes (not fun with little kids).  But we managed okay with the boys by not staying too long.  *Admission cost was around $15 per person (kids were free), but the price also included visiting other synagogues & galleries in  the area.  We probably could have gotten a cheaper price, but we didn't bother.
Next, we crossed the Charles bridge, which was probably one of my favorite memories from the whole trip!  It was just so breathtaking: the views of the city, the different music performers, so talented, playing along the way, the beautiful stonework of the bridge; I loved it all.  We spent a really long time walking along the bridge, stopping to listen to a performer or take a photo, and I could have spent all day there.  When we crossed to the other side, we walked up to the Prague Castle. We were surprised that you didn't have to pay to get inside, but we waited in a short line to get our bags checked before entering.  It was so beautiful, walking around the palace grounds, and we ended up spending a long time just sitting and playing in the open square in front of the church. 

The Food
So, as I've said in other posts, we hardly eat out with our boys because, it's pretty much impossible (and expensive) unless both boys are asleep in the stroller.  So normally we end up eating street food and buying fruit and veggies, cheese, crackers, etc at local grocery stores; which I love because it's always fun to see what they sell, and not be able to read the ingredients, haha!  However, Matt and I hit the jackpot one afternoon (when both boys were napping) and found the cutest little restaurant, Cafe Manes to sit and enjoy a meal!  The whole restaurant is outside along the water overlooking the Charles bridge!  Of course shortly after sitting, Christopher woke up.  But he's so easy and content sitting in our laps, and it was kind of nice having special "Christopher time", since normally his older brother hogs ALL our attention. ;-)
We also tried their Trdelník which was everywhere and everyone was eating it, so we HAD to try it ourselves.  It is basically fried dough that has been grilled while wrapped around a stick and then topped with sugar.  It was not necessarily my favorite plain; but then we found a place that made it in the shape of a cone and stuck ice cream inside and THAT was AMAZING!!
Overall, I would have to say, Prague did not disappoint!  It was definitely touristy, but of course it will be.. it's Prague!!!  We would recommend everyone to go there at least once in their lifetime! 😉
 Details:
Places: Prague, Czech Republic
When: September 2017
Duration: 3 nights- We took a day trip to Dresden, Germany in the middle... I think two days was enough time to see everything we wanted to see in Prague!
Weather: Cool, 50-60ish degrees Fahrenheit- It was supposed be warmer than this, I was suuuper disappointed it was so much colder. ☹
Transportation:
Bus- from airport to the metro... it was VERY easy and cheap (like $6 for the whole family)
Subway- we used this to get from the bus stop to the city center ($6 bus ticket included subway ride to city center!)
Accommodations:
Ventana Hotel  (Matt's review)
This hotel has a lot going for it. The location is great; it's right off the main square. It's right behind the Tyn church (the one with the two big spires)... we would often see the church from the distance and say "well, our hotel is right over there!". It's probably good that it's not right in the square either, for noise consideration.
The staff were all really nice and spoke good English. They even gave us our room early and allowed us to eat breakfast that day, which was a huge game changer after a long flight! 
The breakfast was a fantastic buffet, with lots of great options, including champagne! There was also champagne in the lobby. There was a coffee happy hour as well, so you could get a free espresso drink!
Our room was wonderful. It was loft style, so the downstairs had a fridge, a sink, couches and a TV and the bathroom and beds were upstairs. It was great with the kids, we had them sleep downstairs and could put them to bed without being in the same room!
The only negative I can think of was the view... our room in particular had only a couple small windows; you could actually see the top of the church, but through a skylight. I'm guessing some of the other rooms were a little more scenic though.
We looked forward to coming back at night, and so did the kids. I would highly recommend this hotel!
*Linked are our tripadvisor page!
Highlights:
Prague Astronomical clock: chimes every hour with a "clock show"
Jewish cemetery: about $15 per person
Charles Bridge
Prague Castle: free


Comments

  1. Super helpful info!! Loved getting to read matts review on the hotel you stayed in! I will definitely look into staying there if I ever make it back to Prauge!!

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    1. Yes! You would love it! Thank you!! <3

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