Taking Your Kids with Autism to Prague

Taking Your Kids with Autism to Prague pin

 

As is the case with many European capitals, Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, has a rich, multi-layered history. Any traveling family will want to bring the kids to Prague for the experience. As the list below indicates, there are many remarkable sites in Prague that are open year round.

Old-New Synagogue (Staronova Synagoga)

This place is one of the oldest functioning synagogues in Europe. One can find the building located beneath street level because the surrounding road was raised to help control flooding in the past. Items of interest here include the restored seventeenth-century scriptures on the walls and the old wrought iron grill near the pulpit area. In keeping with the tenants of the Jewish faith, men will need to wear a head covering of some sort if they plan on visiting the site. However, paper caps are provided for visitors.

Taking Your Kids with Autism to Prague hall

Tram 17 is the best way to get to the church using the public transportation.

Old Jewish Cemetery

As far as graveyards go, this one allows for little space. In fact, the deceased buried here could find themselves in graves up to ten people deep. The cemetery houses over 12,000 surviving tombstones that date from the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries. Unfortunately, these markers remain in varying states of disrepair. Although people have not been buried here for some time, the site is still historically significant as one of the world’s oldest Jewish burial grounds in existence today. This space is a good place for a stroll if the weather is nice.

Taking Your Kids with Autism to Prague graves

Tickets to the cemetery are included with the Jewish Museum pass, which also includes entry to several synagogues in town. A combined ticket that includes admission to the New-Old Synagogue is additionally available to help travelers save a little money on their visit.

Jerusalem Synagogue

This hundred-year-old building was constructed just in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the emperor’s reign and was subsequently nicknamed the Jubilee Synagogue. Regardless of what it is called, the building has been recently opened up for regular public viewings.

Taking Your Kids with Autism to Prague sky

The structure features brightly hued, decorative elements from both the Art Nouveau and Moorish styles of design. Exhibits on Jewish history and architecture can also be found inside the synagogue as well. It is also worth trying to catch the monthly organ concerts for those who happen to be in town at the time they play. The building is open from eleven am to five pm every day except Saturday.

Prague Castle

This edifice, the world’s largest castle, is home to the usual historical artifacts, artworks, and other items that city visitors are sure to find intriguing. All of the monarchs that ruled here added their touches, and the result is a charming mélange of styles.

Taking Your Kids with Autism to Prague glass

While entering the castle costs money, only visiting the grounds is free. The park area is open from very early in the morning to very late at night. However, the buildings can only be visited from 9 am to 5 pm, and they close an hour earlier from November to March. Prague Castle can be reached easily by public transportation. Travelers taking the metro will want to get off at the Malostranská stop, and those taking a tram should use number 22.

St. Vitus Cathedral

Although it contains several old elements, a large number of renovations were performed just in time for church’s 1929 consecration ceremony. Gothic architecture, ancient mosaics, and modern stain glass can all be found here, but the overall effect is quite pleasing to the eye. Meanwhile, the ever-popular Saint Vitus himself rests in the Wenceslas Chapel. He is the one devout Catholics call on for assistance if they wish to avoid dog bites, lightning, or the more common oversleeping. Fortune visitors may also get to see the Czech crown jewels, which are only placed on display once every eight years.

Taking Your Kids with Autism to Prague art

Admission to the site is included along with the Prague Castle tour. The church opens from nine am to four pm most days of the week and holds Mass daily at seven am.

Astronomical Clock

From nine am to nine pm, the world’s oldest working clock gives a short performance at the turn of the hour. This spectacle is much loved by city visitors and remains one of the most popular activities in Prague. First, a bell rings. Then, a spectral figure of death flips an hourglass and the twelve apostles saunter past. Finally, a rooster crows to bring an end to the event.

Taking Your Kids with Autism to Prague tower

Travelers who are waiting to watch the tableau should note the four representative statues that flank the clock. These individuals represent the problems of invasion, greed, death, and vanity, all which were of primary concern to Czech citizens during the Middle Ages.

Those that want to watch the show should get off the metro at the Staroměstská stop.

St. Charles Bridge

With the destruction of the Judith Bridge by floods around the year 1342, the king commissioned a replacement known for years as the ‘stone bridge’ which now bears his name. At one time, cars could legally cross the structure, but that practice has since been banned. These days, St. Charles Bridge is filled with statues and street performers. Noteworthy views of the river can be found by climbing either one of the bridge towers.

Taking Your Kids with Autism to Prague market

Travelers will want to check out the Bearded Man, a carved stone head, which helped locals determine if the river was going to overrun its’ banks in the old days. One can find him in the downstream parapet on the Staré Město side of the river. A new flood gauge located nearby serves as a distinct contrast to this historical figure, showing the progression of technology since then.

Skoda Auto Museum and Factory Tour

Located in a village outside Prague (Mlada Boleslav), this small museum holds a lot of vintage automobiles made by the locally owned Skoda Company. The museum arranges the cars in chronological order from the earliest models to those released about twenty years ago. Guests should check out the depository section of the museum to see the less-than-pristine cars. International can read the displays in English, Czech, and German.

Taking Your Kids with Autism to Prague gate

Those wanting the tour need to book tickets weeks in advance to get a spot.

Cafe Imperial

This classy and affordable restaurant features elegant Art Nouveau-style decor. Many travelers comment on the beauty of the building as they dine here. Of course, the primary focus at any eating establishment is the food. The attentive wait staff serves up a variety of traditional Czech dishes for breakfast and lunch. Previous diners recommend the Café Imperial’s dill soup, veal cheeks, and Black Forrest cake.

Taking Your Kids with Autism to Prague small

Guests are welcome here every day of the week from seven am to eleven pm.

Kutna Hora

This former silver mining town is now a UNESCO World Heritage site that makes a perfect day trip from Prague. The journey takes a little over an hour each way. One of the local churches (Saint Barbra’s) dates back to 1388, created by the same person responsible for much of the work on St. Vitus Cathedral. However, most travelers come here for the unusual Sedlec Ossuary, located only a short walk from the center of town.

Taking Your Kids with Autism to Prague building

Sedlec Ossuary

Thanks to an enterprising abbot who obtained some dirt from Golgotha and sprinkled it around the adjacent abbey cemetery, Christians clamored to get buried here in the Middle Ages. Unfortunately, bodies started piling up due to some wars and plague epidemics in the area. In 1870, a creative woodcarver decided to transform the skeletons that remained into a decorative element for the local church. The result is nothing short of striking, albeit a trifle macabre. The bones of thousands now adorn the building’s walls and ceilings in various artistic patterns. Even the chandelier is made from the bits and pieces that people left behind when they departed for the afterlife.

Taking Your Kids with Autism to Prague tomb

One can usually visit the site between nine am and five pm, but it is open longer in the summer and closes earlier in the winter. Travelers to the village may also want to take advantage of a local bus that runs between the church, the ossuary, and the train station.

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Due to the city’s temperate climate, the weather is pleasant year-round. Even so, travelers that hate the heat might want to avoid visiting in the summer months. Those who dislike the cold should wait until spring or summer.
  • Travelers that come to Prague in December should be sure to stop by the city’s famous Christmas Market. Holiday items are the primary focus of this shopping extravaganza, but there are also plenty of traditional food and drink options on hand for those who prefer to browse through the offerings rather than purchase anything.
  • Visitors to the St Charles Bridge should keep a close eye on their belongings for pickpockets.

Family Stay at the Hilton Prague

The five star (TTG Travel Awards for six years running) Hilton property, is located at Pobrezni 1, boasts 791 rooms and has a casino n the basement floor.
We chose this hotel since it is only a quick taxi ride from the Old Town area but still somewhat away from the noisy ‘touristy’ areas.It is also centrally located a short walk away from public transportation and next to a mini-mall convenient for purchasing any items, one forgets to pack or needs last minute.
Fellow guests are mainly vacationing families and couples, but there are plenty of business travelers and traveling groups that opt to stay at the property because of its convenient location and multiple amenities.

The hotel is decorated in rich jewel tones and lovely wood furnishings with a large central open atrium in its center.There are several stores and two main restaurants on the property one for light meals and a more elegant restaurant offering traditional Czech cuisine.

Family Stay at the Hilton Prague atrium

 

Our Room

Our family stayed in room 8053 a junior suite on the 8th floor. Our room had an excellent vantage point overlooking the outdoor pool, the train, and the nearby river. We had originally booked a  family room but were told they all faced the noisy central atrium, so the management decided to upgrade us the next day after we experienced a sleepless night.

Our king sized bed had red and white linens as well as numerous pillows. Directly beside the bed, on the wall, was a thermostat so that guests could control the temperature in their rooms. The adjacent room where the boys were sleeping had a single bed and a sofa that opened out into bed. It also had four chairs rather than just one and contained a much larger table than the one in our room.

Family Stay at the Hilton Prague room

The suite like the family room included; wood paneled closets.,hangers, iron, and an ironing board. Near the closet was a full-length mirror, which travelers are sure to find handy. The room also included a desk area complete with a phone, writing materials, a chair, and a lamp and a large flat screen 40′ television.There were several electronic outlets near the desk and another two in other portions of the room, which we found  incredibly helpful for juicing up our various devices.

The suite’s small sitting area contained a large white armchair and a circular, glass tea table. One either side of the bed there were nightstands. One held writing materials and a phone while the other contained a lamp and an alarm clock.
Family Stay at the Hilton Prague lounge

White and black seemed to be the defining bathroom colors. The bathroom had several built in shelves with towels and toiletries as well as the scale, slippers, and plush bathrobes.
Supplies for making coffee provided included bottled water, cups, a coffee pot, and another paraphernalia. There is also a well-stocked mini -bar in the rooms, but travelers should be aware that the items aren’t complimentary.
We loved the showers in both rooms enclosed with transparent Plexiglass, with a raised bottom level, so the water did not escape onto the floor. The kids’ bathroom also had a tub and a fluffy bath mat to go on the floor beside the tub.
An interesting feature was the half flush and flush buttons that operated the toilets at this location, which travelers could reduce their water consumption.

Breakfast

One of the hotel highlights is their plentiful breakfast buffet that can come included in the room package or purchased as an add-on.
The buffet includes a choice of cold cuts, salads, eggs cooked in several different ways and a generous offering of baked goods.
Another option is the executive lounge that boasts a hearty breakfast as well as a lunch snack and evening appetizers with alcoholic beverages.

Family Stay at the Hilton Prague dinner

We visited the property over New Year’s week and enjoyed viewing the city’s fireworks from the rooftop bar that had its ice bar with sculptures and seating.

The hotel also has an indoor pool so that guests who wish to swim during the colder months can easily do so. There is additionally an ATM on the premises, which makes withdrawing money a breeze. (but beware it does come with a hefty service charge)

This Hilton likewise has a state-of-the-art gym and an excellent spa. There is a rock climbing wall during the summer months.
Guests should note that the internet is not free at this location and make their plans accordingly.

Family Stay at the Hilton Prague breakfast

Autism Travel Tips

  • Even if your kid does have any noise sensitivities, you shouldn’t book the ‘family rooms’ facing the atrium since they tend to be on the noisy side.We got a giant whiff of it when we arrived on New Year’s Eve after 31 hours of flight and couldn’t sleep because of the noise. Do your family a favor and ask for a room away from the atrium!
  • The hotel has already provided anti-slip mats in the bathrooms.,so you don’t need to bring your own.
  • The tub has a hand-held shower head for parents and special needs travelers in addition to safety handles on the sides of the shower and near the toilet should travelers need them.

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