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What we got up to in Prague!
So for anyone late to the party (actually I don't think I even mentioned it on my blog...) well last week Reuben & I spent a few nights in Prague with Jet2CityBreaks. It was one of my goals to do loads of travelling this year and I think we've definitely succeeded, but this trip topped the year off nicely! We were lucky enough to get to work with Jet2 and experience one of their amazing Jet2CityBreaks packages, and we ventured to the Czech Republic to explore the Christmas Markets for the week. I had the choice of three different locations and I picked Prague as it looked and sounded so dreamy. I definitely made the right choice. If you hadn't already guessed, we had the best time ever! I've never been away on a Christmas market break before and it was honestly so good that I now want to do it all over again next year.
Everything down to the very last detail was incredible. I was so anxious as this was my first trip with Reuben abroad and I rely on my car so much when we're in the UK so to be taking him on a plane and having to venture everywhere on foot was a bit daunting to say the least. I can't even stress how much my panicking was for nothing, as it was so much easier than I ever imagined it to be. Particularly thankful for how fab the Jet2 and hotel staff were!
Our Jet2CityBreaks package included flights from Leeds Bradford to Prague and Ru was absolutely amazing on the flights both there and back. I've used Jet2 for years and never had a single issue when flying with them, and it was just the same this time round! I've never been on a plane with a little one before but it was so much easier than I thought it would be, particularly with the help of the lovely Jet2 staff. When we first got to the airport and were at the Jet2 desk checking in our case, I was chatting to the lady and laughing about my battery life and having so stream Paw Patrol to keep Reuben entertained whilst we waited for the flight and she actually printed my boarding passes off for me just incase my phone died. How lovely! One of the flight attendants on the plane also sat with Ru so I could quickly nip to the toilet without leaving him unsupervised. It's daunting travelling with a little one on your own, but it's little touches like these that really make you value an airline.
The Jet2CityBreaks had a couple of options for the hotel choice, but I opted for the Hotel Century Old Town Prague MGallery. It looked absolutely gorgeous and I can confirm - it was just as gorgeous in person. Jet2 City Breaks don't come with transfers but it was so easy to book some in. I simply dropped the hotel a quick email with my flight & arrival time and they sorted out one of their drivers to be there as I came through the airport. The driver was right there with a sign waiting for me and he then helped me with my luggage, took us to the car (which even had a child car seat already in for us) and then we went straight to the hotel! The journey took around 20-30 mins so it's not super close by but definitely worth using their transfers for, particularly with little ones as it takes so much stress away. Check-in was a breeze, and there was two lifts in the lobby area so it was no issue with the suitcase or pushchair. One of the receptionists even brought my suitcase up for me as I had Reuben in his buggy and she said the corridors were quite long so insisted she bring it up which was lovely.
The hotel is a bed & breakfast so we were able to get breakfast each morning and there was plenty of juices, toasts, fruits, hot cooked food & even cakes. We actually had dinner too the first night that we got there as we didn't get to the hotel until around 7pm and neither of us had eaten. They brought some toys into the restaurant area for Ru to play with which was really cute and allowed me to have something which wasn't on the evening menu as I was hungry but not massively hungry. Really good service all in all! Our room was so lovely too, fairly small but the perfect size just for two for sleeping and showering. Nobody spends all day in their hotel when they go to a city as beautiful as Prague so it was just right. The bed was SO comfy too, literally had the best nights sleep whilst I was there. They came and made the bed and the room up each day too, and stocked up the bathroom with shower bits. The little bottles they left in the bathroom were all the white company and smelt amazing.
A Little Photoshoot
The first day we got there, we actually got up super early, went down for a quick breakfast and then headed to the square for 9am! I booked a photographer for whilst we were there and it was the only date & time she had available as the whole trip was booked quite last minute due to it being Christmas. I didn't mind though as it got us up and out of bed giving us the whole day to get out and explore Prague. We just had an hour shoot which at first I wasn't sure was long enough with a toddler, but turns out it's plenty as he got bored & tired halfway through and started asking to go back to the hotel to get his blanket. I gave him his dummy and we were able to grab a few last snaps but then we cut it short 15 mins early. I actually got so many gorgeous photos from that 45 minute shoot, and so many natural ones of me making Ru laugh and I will honestly treasure them forever. This was our first trip abroad together and I wanted some special memories to look back on and I got exactly that!
After the shoot we went back to the hotel, got the buggy and then went straight back out the door to explore Prague. The hotel is right in the centre of Prague, has a supermarket round the corner and it's 3 minutes away from a big shopping centre too. It was about a 10 minute walk from the old town square where all the Christmas markets are so really not too far from anything at all and easy to bob back and forth which is very handy with a toddler! We walked around the streets of Prague dipping in and out of the markets on the first day, every street is so dreamy, and the old town square is just like a fairytale honestly. All of the buildings are so whimsical!
The Christmas Markets
The main attraction at this time of year, is of course the Christmas markets. They were busy but nothing like the ones at home are. The spaces in Prague are so much bigger and more open than your usual UK Christmas markets so it's not impossible to walk around enjoying them like it is over here! I don't even attempt to visit the ones in York anymore as it's impossible to manoeuvre a buggy through those crowds. I'm so glad Reuben got to enjoy the ones in Prague as he was able to get out the buggy and walk around on his own without getting lost in crowds and crowds of people. I wish our markets were as good as these ones though, they were so dreamy.
The food, of course... what else do you go to a Christmas market for?! Everything was insane. Things were pretty cheap too, around 100 CZK for most things which is the equivalent to about £3.50. Reuben and I both had cups and cups of hot chocolate from different stalls as it all tasted so good, proper homemade kinda hot choc! Delish. We also had the famous Trdelnik sold everywhere, which is basically a cooked pastry with spices and you can get it on it's own or with nutella in. We had the nutella, obvs. Reuben didn't even want to share it with me because it was so good! There was other foods too, like different types of sausage for hotdogs but I never managed to try one out - although they smelt amazing. On our last day there, I also came across a little stall selling strawberries dipped in chocolate, you could get milk or white, and I went for the milk. I'm gutted I hadn't seen this stall earlier as it was SO good, the chocolate was insane. I would have had this 3x a day everyday whilst there if I had seen it earlier! If you make it to Prague, make sure you try...
Eating out was so cheap over there, I thought. I googled a nearby pizza place as it's always a winner with a toddler and I found a really cute one. I had a huge caeser salad with all the toppings, and Ru had what must have been a 12" margherita pizza. It was huge! He of course couldn't eat it all, so I helped out with that too. We had a drink each as well and the lot only came to £12. I really recommend getting a monzo card if you don't have one, as you can pay in shops & restaurants with them and it automatically converts it for you when you pay and tells you how much you've spent in pounds. I was always amazed at seeing how cheap things came to. We had a couple of supermarket trips as well, taking bits and bobs back to the hotel (always easier with a toddler) and each shop only came to around £7 even when I had a huge bag full of all sorts. It would be dead easy to eat for so little if you really wanted to.
Easy To Explore
If you stay in the centre of Prague, it's so easy to explore. We didn't stray too far from the centre as it was just easier with Ru in tow and how tired/bored he gets easily. I found myself able to spend hours just walking around the beautiful streets. Everything is so close together, the old town square where the best part of the Christmas markets is, is right around the corner from the highstreet where all the shops are, which was also only a 10 min walk from the hotel and supermarkets and shopping centres. Everything was in easy reach and there was hundreds of restaurants and cafes everywhere too, so you were never far away from something to eat! We ventured around the shops on our last day there, I hoped to find a new pair of docs as they're so much cheaper over there (I worked it out!) but sadly nowhere had my size. I also popped into Sephora, and they even had an M&S which was a winner as I was able to grab some food bits that we love from home. I heard a lot of people saying that you can do Prague in a day, which is probably true, but if you want to have a more chilled holiday (especially with children) then you can easily keep yourself entertained for a few days break with all the places there is to explore.
Things For Kids
A few people messaged me on Instagram to say that they would never have thought to visit Prague with children, but honestly there was so much more for kids than even I thought. We went to Hamleys and Sparkys, two toy shops right in the town centre and Ru was kept entertained in there for ages. In Hamleys they actually had a proper carousel inside the shop that you could go on! Ru didn't want a go, but could have if he had wanted to. There was also staff members showing how to use some of the toys like flying planes and things, so Ru loved watching that. And of course there's hundreds of toys to browse of course. Sparkys was just as cool as it had an indoor slide (which you can see in the pictures) and Ru loved it so much that he wouldn't come down to leave. I think the toy shops in the UK need to take notes as these were definitely the coolest toy shops we've ever been to.
Exploring On An Evening
We were only out for sunset one of the nights there, as it tends to get really bitter mid-afternoon. I found the cold honestly so bearable before that, we didn't even really notice it as we were so busy having fun. It was beautiful seeing everywhere lit up. Prague is so festive at this time of year, and there are just Christmas trees literally everywhere you go, but it's amazing seeing all the lights come on as soon as it starts to get dark.
We didn't do all that much sight-seeing as my personal focus was just staying near the hotel and exploring the Christmas markets, but we did venture up to Charles Bridge on our second day just to be able to say that we saw it! The views across the river were gorgeous but it was pretty hectic (even in winter!) and Ru didn't really like that there was just floods of people everywhere, so we just snapped a couple of cute photos and then left.
There's so much more to see & do in Prague than what we did. I felt like we got up to loads but there was definitely a whole lot more to do so I'll definitely be going back one day. I did pop into one of the sweet shops in town and grab myself a bag of goodies, I did the same in Krakow so that's becoming a bit of a city break tradition of mine!
Overall we just had such a blast in Prague with Jet2CityBreaks exploring the Christmas markets and I couldn't recommend it more if you're looking for a merry & magical place to visit this month. It really will give you all the Christmas feels as it's so pretty and festive everywhere. Don't forget to check out Jet2CityBreaks for all the best holiday deals and flights to Prague, it's so easy to book with them as it arranges both your flights and hotel in one. Definitely recommend it for the ease of booking a trip!
Disclaimer: This trip was a press trip with Jet2.