Family photographer Antonina Mamzenko. shares her advice for travelling with children, and opening up her photograph album from a trip to Prague with her husband Serhiy and son Alexander, aged four. Over to Antonina…

“Prague (Praha) in the Czech Republic has been on my list of places to visit for a few years now. It’s one of the precious few old towns that didn’t suffer Nazi bombings during World War II, so there’s still a lot of really, really old buildings, narrow cobbled streets and wonderful architecture.

I’m not one for detailed travel plans; our best holidays are usually the ones where we just explore whatever comes our way or get tipped off by the locals, and this was no exception. We rode trams, walked the streets, climbed the hills, ate yummy food, and could not feel our feet at the end of the day.”

Getting Around

“This was not our first trip with our son (who is now four), but it was the first one where we didn’t drive to get there and didn’t hire a car when we got there, so I learned a lot about city exploration – without a pushchair. So, my tip number one for visiting Prague with under fives: beg, buy or borrow a buggy, a stoller – anything! There’s a lot of ground to cover in the old part of Prague – mainly via cobbled streets and a light foldable stroller would have been perfect.

Thankfully, the tram network is really convenient. You can get virtually anywhere in the city on a tram and do some sightseeing at the same time (tram 22 has a particularly scenic route), there was nothing better for my transport-obsessed child than to hop from one tram to another. Which is exactly what we did.

Public transport is not really crowded unless you’re travelling at rush hour, and you can buy a one day, three day, or a weekly pass which are valid on all forms of transport, including a funicular railway at Petrin Hill (the ‘special tram’ as my son called it – very exciting!). Don’t forget to validate the paper ticket at first entry, and then you don’t have to do anything unless there’s an inspection.”

Where To Stay And Eat

“I’m a big fan of Airbnb and we found a wonderful apartment just 10 minutes tram ride from the Old Town. Living just a few miles away from the centre enabled us to see things we would not have otherwise, and experience the city like the locals. Our host was wonderful and made some fantastic recommendations, including a walk across the Railway Bridge (it’s called just that – and our four year old was thrilled to see the trains up close) and a wonderful child-friendly organic restaurant Jelica that’s really off the beaten track.

Speaking of restaurants, the food was generally great everywhere we went. Because we were travelling with the little one, we opted for eating when and where we got hungry rather than planning to go to specific places, and we were never really disappointed by the hearty East European dishes we were served. There isn’t really such thing as a children’s menu or a children’s portion though, so plan to order something you can share with your little ones – or go for the soup which will often be small enough and has plenty of vermicelli in it :).”

What To See

“First of all, think off peak if you can. Touristy areas will be swarming with tourists come 11am, so it is really worth getting up early (or leaving it till the late afternoon) to visit some of the more popular spots, including The Charles Bridge, The Old Town and the Prague Castle. We visited during the Easter Holidays and there was an Easter market happening on every corner (with delicious food and beautiful souvenirs), but it did mean it was extra crowded.

In Prague Castle, a must-see when visiting with kids is the Toy Museum (my little one was excited to see all the old trains and the massive collection of Barbies they have). Another wonderful spot in the Castle is the Golden Lane (visit it in the evening for a space to breathe!) – an ancient street dating from 15th century with picture perfect small houses, although my son preferred the cannons next door which he could actually climb!

The cobbled streets of the Old Town are perfect for just wandering around, stopping here and there for a coffee or a Trdelnik (a rolled pasty doughnut – yummy!) and also shopping to your heart’s content. You’ll find both independent souvenir shops and the larger chains in the Old Town and nearby, and while you’re at it don’t miss the wonderful Krtek (the Little Mole) – a wonderful character created by the Czech animator Zdeněk Miler in the 1950s. Krtek is a hero of many cartoons and books (you’ll find plenty of them in English too) and is a kind fellow, always helping his friends and discovering the world while he’s at it. My son loves the Little Mole and his adventures!

Out of everything in Prague, our favourite place was Petrin Hill. As I mentioned, a funicular railway takes you up the hill, and then it’s a wonderful stroll around the park, visiting the Mirror Maze and climbing the Petrin Tower. Coming down the hill, we stumbled across the most beautiful apple orchard in full bloom, with views over the Old Town – I could honestly have stayed there for the rest of the day!”


“There are many wonderful modern playgrounds dotted around the centre of Town, including one at the bottom of Petrin Hill and also on the riverside overlooking Charles Bridge and the Old Town (Kampa). Grab a take away coffee, and let the kids run off their energy to keep everyone happy (it amazes me still how my little one’s achy feet disappear immediately a slide or climbing frame come into view 🙂

All in all, we really enjoyed our Easter weekend in Prague – despite the weather (apparently it was the wrong year to go to Prague in April – I’m told it’s usually very warm but this year we had to wear hats and run away from snow storms on several occasions!). Having virtually no plan really helped, we took it one day and one hour at a time and didn’t pressure ourselves into visiting all the must-see places – which I think is very important when having the unpredictability of kids to deal with. We’ll definitely be back – and hopefully next time it will be warmer!”

Tips For Travelling With Children

  • If travelling with a baby or a toddler, invest in a light, foldable pushchair. My personal favourite is Baby Jogger City Mini, as you can fold it with just one hand before boarding the plane – very useful of you are travelling on your own and need to hold the baby too.
  • For slightly older children, involve them in packing their bag; have a limit on how many toys they can take with them and then trust them to pick their favourites. I found that buying a new portable toy, like a small Lego Juniors set or a wooden puzzle – revealed at the critical point of boredom either on board of a plane or in the apartment/ hotel – went down a treat.
  • At the airport, arrive a little earlier and give them the opportunity to run, walk or crawl about and explore – the more they tire themselves out, the better chance you have for a peaceful flight.
  • If possible and appropriate to their age, involve your child in all aspects of security checks and passport control. Alexander loves handing his passport to the border officers and is usually very happy to wait in line as long as we keep talking through and explaining each step of the proceedings.
  • If it’s their first flight, use this opportunity to teach them about planes and flying. They will be asking questions anyway, and you can prepare by buying, or borrowing from the library, a few airplane-related books. Our favourites include Topsy and Tim: Go on an Aeroplane and Usborne Going on a Plane, as well as various plane-related sticker books.
  • Pack a few snacks. I found Ella’s Kitchen pouches were the easiest to carry when Alex was little. If you breastfeed or bottlefeed, you can feed your littles at take off and landing to help with achy ears. For older kids, don’t forget drinks and some sweets to suck during take off and landing.
  • Load a few new apps into your smartphone or iPad. For babies and toddlers Fisher Price has a bunch of great and colourful apps, and Toca Boca Band has been our favourite for a long time. For my four year old I like to include airplane themed ones too. Current favourites include Dr Panda’s Airport and Tiny Airport – they are not cheap but offer hours of education and entertainment. Most airlines now allow using phones during take off and landing but some still don’t so we still have a rule that Alexander can’t play with the phone or iPad while the seatbelt signs are on – and he is happy to follow it.
  • And finally – BREATHE. Kids are very good at picking up your stress and anxiety. If you are stressed about the trip, they will pick it up and make it very difficult for you. So try to chill out, allow plenty of extra time, and enjoy your holiday!

Thank you Antonina! How wonderful does Prague at Easter look? I’m loving the Easter bauble wreaths – so pretty! Anyone got a half term trip planned or an upcoming summer holiday? Tips for travelling with little ones? Do share below!