Litomysl is a small city in the Pardubice Region full of attractions and fantastic spots for kids. It’s often skipped and put on hold for a better occasion, but it certainly should not be!! We spent 3 days in Litomysl and it was worth it.
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL
This time I truly believe it is the summer season that’s the best to travel with kids, mainly because all the attractions and programs are available for kids during summer school break. We’ve been in the middle of August, and I cannot say it was crowded.
Maybe not luxurious, but definitely a unique one Hotel and Hostel Pivovar Litomysl is situated in the heart of the city, in the castle’s courtyard. It’s a stylishly renovated building of the former castle brewery, registered on the UNESCO list. It’s actually where Bedrich Smetana, a famous Czech musician, was born. The building was renovated according to the project of architect Josef Pleskot. The rooms are simple with lots of wooden features. Rooms in the hostel are moderately cheap: 50 Eur for a night. The entrance is through Information Center. But this is not the only accommodation available in Litomysl. There are 4-star hotels or cheaper rooms for rent.
WHAT’S THERE TO DO AND SEE WITH KIDS
Our usual when we first visit a completely new place is to visit Tourist Information Center and this time it happen to be on our way to the hotel. Kids got the wander cards for their travel journeys and some small souvenirs, while I took all the possible brochures and asked for any alternative trips nearby.
Smetanovo Square is the historic square of the city, it’s also the main shopping street in the city. It has an elongated shape, reminiscing the shape of a Loucna river. Its total length is 493 meters, making it the third longest square in the Czech Republic. We enjoyed strolling and window shopping. It’s also a place where you can choose one of many cafes or bistros and enjoy your coffee while glamping at the passersby.
UNESCO CASTLE LITOMYSL
Litomyšl Castle was built within 20 years, between 1660 to 1680 by Vratislav of Pernštejn as a gift for his wife Maria Manrique de Lara. It’s a unique example of the Italian Renaissance. The castle was extended in the 17th and 18th centuries with Baroque alterations. It has an extraordinary feature, a family theatre from 1797, which can bring you in time and feel the atmosphere of it.
In 1999 the castle was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
KIDS ON THE CASTLE
The castle is a part of a culture program: castles for kids. In July and August, there’s a special, shorter guide tour, which takes 30 minutes and goes through prominent places in the castle. Unfortunately, the theatre tour is not included. In addition, there’s an interactive exhibition in a place called konirna – outside in the courtyard. It’s a game to find hidden letters and play with a theatre. It was pretty amazing for kids. Castle also prepared several stations with toys, costumes, and informative boards in its courtyard. The stations are open only during the opening hours of the castle. It’s a fun place to spend some time with kids.
Right in front of the Litomysl castle, you will find the monastery garden, with the softest grass I ever stomp on. This is a place, where you can also buy yourself a glass of wine or ice-creams and enjoy the quiet spot. Kids can use the “singing fountain” during hot summer days as the kids’ pool. Imagine, whenever you get into the pool soft music plays on. Screaming kids will probably outshout the music, but maybe you’ll get lucky to hear it.
Except for having the exhibition called “Come in“ with miniature square houses telling a story about the city, its history, and people crafted especially for kids, the Regional Museum also has the most beautiful playroom I’ve ever seen in a museum. Kids were also surprised to see the changing room in the ethnography cabinet, where they could dress up in pretty dresses from a different era. And well, I forgot my phone to document it. So, you’ll have to believe me, when I tell you it’s really worth a visit with kids. If you have a few spare hours, don’t hesitate and go there. Or in case of bad weather. The entrance fee is super low, compared to the quality time you can spend there.
CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS
Straight from the Regional museum, you can go to the Church of Holy Cross. They prepared an exhibition “Angels on the hill” which is a part of the family program Litomysleni. The exhibition in an interactive and fun way shows the history and church liturgy. We spent there more than one hour trying everything. It’s freely accessible.
A cafe on Smetanovo Square 117 since 2008, where hand-made chocolate pralines, desserts, and hot or ice chocolate are sold. We bought a few pieces to try out different kinds. it’s a pity we didn’t buy more because they were delicious.
Right between the main square and the Loučná river, the city built a unique children’s playground with no traditional play elements for all age categories. Free access to the river and kids can jump across the river on large stones. There’s another cafe: Bobo Cafe, which is conveniently situated next to the playground, so you can observe your kids and enjoy your coffee.
DAY 1: start around 1 pm TIC – Smetanovo Square – Lunch – Check in at the Hostel – Castle Garden and the attractions at courtyard – Klasterni garden – Guided Tour Castle – Evening walk around the city
DAY 2: Regional Museum – Lunch – Playground – Choco Caffe
DAY 3: Church of Holy Cross – Portmoneum – End of the trip at around 12 pm
Without a doubt, I can say that Litomysl was by far no mean the best city to travel to with kids. Museums, a UNESCO castle, playgrounds, and many more are at your fingertips.