The City of a Thousand Spires has always been famous for its architectural marvels and cultural gems. With its eclectic mix of Renaissance, Gothic, Baroque, and Art Nouveau styles, it presents visitors with a visual feast. It provides tourists a glimpse of the past as they stroll along cobblestone paths and discover medieval castles, ornate chapels, and mysterious cellars.
Aside from being an amazing holiday destination on its own, Prague also offers vast opportunities to explore other sites in the Czech Republic and in nearby countries such as Austria and Germany. If you’re planning a week-long holiday in Prague, here are some of the best day trips you should consider adding to your itinerary.
An Eerie Tour of Kutná Hora
Kutná Hora is a small town in the Central Bohemian Region about 80 kilometers from Prague. It’s best known for the Sedlec Ossuary, also known as the Chapel of Bones. The chapel features Baroque bone decorations using bones from abolished graves during the 15th and 16th centuries.
While you’re in Kutná Hora, visit other historic buildings, including the Hradek Castle and Sankturin House. The Gothic St. Barbara’s Church is also worth a visit with its medieval frescoes and flying buttresses.
Kutná Hora is one hour away from Prague by train. A train leaves Hlavní nádraží every two hours in the morning and early afternoon, so you can easily squeeze this day trip into your schedule. A one-way trip will cost you around 100CZK.
A Leisurely Day at Karlštejn
See one of Czech’s most beautiful castles by taking a 40-minute train ride from Prague Hlavní nádraží to Karlštejn. This will set you back around 60CZK but will give you a truly memorable experience.
Karlštejn is a small market town in the Beroun District west of Prague. It’s well-known for the Karlštejn Castle built in 1348. This castle was home to many influential kings and also served as a hideaway for royal treasures.
Aside from the renowned castle, you can also visit the Wax Museum and the Museum of Nativity Scenes to know more about the town’s history. You can then spend the rest of the day taking a leisurely hike along the many routes through the lush and dense forest surrounding Karlštejn.
The Fairytale Town of Český Krumlov
Český Krumlov is another place you shouldn’t miss visiting when you’re in the Czech Republic. This picturesque town along the Vltava River is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that transports you to the medieval past. Cobblestone streets take you to centuries-old structures well-preserved throughout the years. The Český Krumlov Castle stands tall among them and looks majestic with its immaculately kept garden.
Art lovers will enjoy museum-hopping in Český Krumlov. The Egon Schiele Art Centrum is a throve of classical and contemporary pieces. The Regional Museum showcases artifacts, ethnographic displays, and archaeological exhibits. Meanwhile, the Marionette Museum is home to a collection of 19th-century puppets and stages. These and several other museums make Český Krumlov a cultural haven.
Getting to Český Krumlov from Prague takes about 3 hours by train or by bus. Around eight buses run between Na Knizeci in Prague to Český Krumlov every day. A one-way trip costs around 200CZK.
A Taste of České Budějovice
The home of Budvar beer, České Budějovice is always included in brewery tours. You can sign up for a tour to learn how Budvar beer is brewed and get a taste of it straight from the tap. Have a meal at one of the local pubs and enjoy authentic Czech cuisine along with your Bud.
Although tourists are primarily attracted because of the brewery, České Budějovice has more to offer. Make sure to take some pics at the Přemysl Otakar II Square right in the town center. Marvel at the Baroque style of the town hall and the majestic Fountain of Samson. Climb the Black Tower for a view of the city and the Iron Maiden Tower to view the Malse river and the Vltava.
You’ll have no problem getting to České Budějovice from Prague as trains run every hour. The trip takes around 2.5 hours and costs about 200CZK. You can also take a bus from Na Knížecí.
Therapeutic Dip at Karlovy Vary
Karlovy Vary is a world-renowned spa town located in western Bohemia. It’s about 130 kilometers from Prague and can be reached by train or bus in about three hours. Fares vary from around 170CZK to 400CZK depending on which bus or train you take.
Tourists flock to Karlovy Vary all year round for its natural springs and thermal baths. The warm waters that flow from the Tepla River and small springs are believed to be curative and therapeutic. But before you spend the rest of the day relaxing in the springs, take a stroll around the town first to discover its rich Bohemian history and culture. 14th-century buildings dot the area, and there are a few museums worth visiting, including the Moser Glassworks Museum.
The Laidback Town of Poděbrady
If rest and relaxation are what you need, the famous spa town of Poděbrady is the place to go to. The vibe in this town is pretty laidback. It’s a great place not only for recharging but also for interacting with the locals and immersing yourself in their culture.
Visit the Poděbrady Castle set right beside the river Labe. Enjoy a tour inside the Film Legends Museum, Polabske Museum, and the Galerie Ludvika Kuby. After strolling around the town, head to the Poděbrady spa and relax in the hot spring waters.
To go to Poděbrady, take a 50-minute train or bus ride from Prague. Trains and buses ply the route every hour.
Water Adventure at the Sázava River
Looking for more adventure? Take a day trip to the Sázava River for some outdoor fun. You can take leisurely hikes along trails or engage in challenging extreme sports.
Sázava is the fifth-longest river in the Czech Republic. It’s surrounded by dense forests, deep gorges, and magnificent rock formations. Take a canoeing tour and glide through the tranquil waters of the river. Or you can relax at the little cabins alongside the river built in the late 20th century. You can also rent a bike and ride through rough trails. Go kayaking, canyoning, or scuba diving. Whichever water activity you want to do, Sázava has a perfect spot for it.
The train from Prague to Sázava operates twice a week, so you must schedule your trip in advance. The train ride takes around one and a half hours and costs around 130CZK. Another option you can take is a two-hour-long bus ride from Prague to Sázava via Horčičkova.
Skiing Fun at Monínec
You don’t have to wait for the winter season to visit Monínec. This resort has year-round activities for its guests, even during summer. It has its own snow-making equipment using the latest technology, so it has ample snow for skiing throughout the year.
The little Alps in the heart of Bohemia offers spectacular scenery of the surrounding towns. It has a four-seater ski lift that takes visitors to the top of a 1.2-kilometer-long piste. Aside from skiing, the resort also offers other activities, including cycling, hiking, swimming, and golf.
The cheapest way to go to Monínec is to take a bus from Prague to Moninec via Sedlec-Prčice. The trip takes around three hours, with costs starting around 70CZK. If you want a faster trip, you can take a taxi, but it can cost you 2,500CZK.
Natural Attractions at Český ráj
A protected landscape region, Český ráj is ideal for nature lovers. This UNESCO nature park offers the best sceneries in the area. You can spend the entire day communing with nature as you walk along hiking trails or lounge beside rivers and ponds.
Trek through canyons and gorges to marvel at different rock formations. Enjoy the panoramic views on top of hills and cliffs. If you’re up for more adventure, you can hike through the more challenging trails or go rock climbing.
To get to Český ráj, you can take a bus from Cerny Most or take a train from Hlavní nádraží to Turnov. The entire trip takes approximately two hours and costs around 160CZK.
The Cozy Town of Olomouc
Do you enjoy Prague but not the crowd of tourists? Spend a cozy day at Olomouc. This small student town has the same charm as Prague without the hustle and bustle of city life. It’s perfect for a laidback day sipping tea or drinking beer amongst the locals.
You can also walk around the town to see historical monuments built centuries ago. Be impressed by the Holy Trinity Column in the town square. Compare the architecture of several churches scattered around the area. Climb the Church of Saint Maurice to catch panoramic views of the town.
It’s also pretty easy to get to Olomouc from Prague with trains running regularly every day. The trip takes only two and a half hours and costs just around 260CZK.
Breathtaking Views from the Bastei Bridge
Just a couple of hours away from Prague, Bastei Bridge is also a great day trip option for your Prague holiday. An imposing rock formation high above the River Elbe in Germany, the majestic bridge provides breathtaking views of the entire countryside. It has become one of the most popular spots in the Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland National Park.
A panoramic view restaurant near the bridge serves authentic Saxon food and drinks. You can also enjoy both German and Czech cuisine in the local pubs and restaurants at the national park’s borders.
The drive from Prague to Bastei Mountain takes about two hours. If a car isn’t available, you can take the train from Prague Hlavní nádraží to Bad Schandau, then transfer to another train to Kurort Rathen. The entire trip takes two and a half hours and costs approximately 550CZK.
Bask in the Culture and Art of Vienna
If you don’t mind a four-hour trip, schedule a day in your Prague holiday to visit Vienna. Fall in love with the pleasant sights and vast green spaces in the City of Dreams.
Vienna remains the hub of culture and arts in Europe. It’s host to countless cultural events and festivals that highlight its rich history. Visit imperial palaces, go shopping, relish different cuisines, and discover historic sites. Stroll along the streets or have coffee while listening to classical music. There are so many things to do in Vienna that let you experience the entirety of Europe in one small city.
The fastest way to get to Vienna from Prague is via the EuroCity train. The trip approximately takes 4 hours and a half, but you get to enjoy a picturesque landscape as you travel in comfort.