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Every cobblestone street in Prague is deeply rooted in the past and filled with architectural marvels that will mesmerize any traveler. The lure of the Bohemian countryside, a quintessential blend of medieval splendor, poignant WWII remnants, and regal castles is irresistible. We’ve laid out a guide to the best day trips from Prague that will enrich your travel experience with memories that will outlast any souvenir.
The capital city of the Czech Republic awaits. But don’t just visit Prague. Explore the spellbinding places around it that aren’t flooded with tourists. Let’s embark on these captivating day trips from Prague.
Day Trips from Prague, Czech Republic
1. Kutná Hora: Silver Lining in the Historical Trail
Once the powerhouse of the world’s largest silver mine, Kutná Hora is now a medieval jewel hidden away in the heart of the Czech Republic. This historic city is a testament to its past glory with the grandeur of two peculiar churches bedecking the landscape and is easily one of the best places to visit.
The Cathedral of St. Barbara, an opulent testament of faith, was financed by the rich vein of silver running beneath the city at the Italian Court, where you can see how minting coins worked within the palace. Equally astonishing, albeit dreadful, is the Sedlec Ossuary, a chapel adorned with human bones.
See Related: Prague vs Budapest: What is Best to Visit?
2. The Terezín Memorial: A Pause of Reflection
Terezín tells tales from a sobering past but remains an essential historical memorial monument. A former concentration camp for Jews during World War II and a fortress to the feared Gestapo, it is now a poignant reminder of humanity’s darker chapters.
While the Terezín Memorial takes you back through grim corridors of human history, it also instills deep introspection. Walking through this former concentration camp is an experience that underscores humanity’s unfathomable cruelty and unyielding hope.
Every corner reveals a tale of survival against all odds, while the overall mood of the memorial is somber, paying respect to those who lost their lives.
Just a stone’s throw away, the small town of Litomerice offers a gentle counterpoint with its tranquil charm. This harmonious retreat is the perfect place to pause, reflect, and digest the day’s experiences.
The visit provides invaluable lessons often missed in typical travelogues from Prague. A journey here isn’t merely about exploring —it’s about encountering history in its rawest form amidst the serenity of the Czech countryside.
3. Konopiště: Discover the Aristocratic Charm
Just an hour’s drive from the bustling city of Prague lies the splendid Konopiště Castle, brimming with historic grandeur. Though its exterior might appear simple, the castle’s charm lies in its lived-in ambiance that takes you back in time. It exudes a warmth that is often missing from many historical sites.
Konopiště was once home to Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his Czech queen, making it an important part of Europe’s royal history. Today, it offers travelers a captivating glimpse into their lives through an engaging tour that showcases their quarters and valuable possessions.
The beautiful castle also holds historical anecdotes waiting to be uncovered. Each room tells a story – from extravagant banquets to secret meetings, Konopiště Castle has witnessed them all.
Its proximity to Prague makes it an ideal day-trip destination for those looking to escape the city. The journey itself is picturesque, winding through quaint villages and rolling landscapes. Certainly, Konopiště Castle is a testament to the lavish lifestyles of yesteryears’ royalty and a great treat for modern travelers.
See Related: Real, Magical Castles in Fairytales to Visit
4. Karlštejn: Spectacular Vision of Charles IV
Karlštejn Castle, built just outside Prague by Charles IV, is a breathtaking example of Gothic architecture, with its dramatic exterior accented by fanciful turrets.
Perched atop rolling hills in a verdant landscape, the Karlštejn Castle captivates onlookers with its romantic, trapezoidal roofs and stair-step ramparts. The steep hike might seem taxing, but the panoramic views make it worthwhile.
The Chapel of the Holy Cross at Karlštejn Castle is a treasure trove of artistry, certain to awe you with its magnificence. Remember to reserve your castle tour well beforehand, as this Castle is increasingly earning a spot on travelers’ bucket lists, and you won’t want to miss your chance to enjoy its mystique.
5. The Underrated Charm of Křivoklát
Křivoklát, tucked away in the tranquil, forested landscapes of the Czech Republic, is an ideal day trip from Prague. This lesser-known site exudes a unique charm that transports you back to medieval times. Its enchanting setting offers a refreshing break from city life and immerses you in nature’s blissful tranquility.
Křivoklát Castle is one of the country’s oldest and most significant castles. It’s not just impressive; it’s a fascinating journey through history with its interior that boasts amazing collections of hunting weapons, Gothic paintings, and rare books.
In the summer months, the castle grounds and courtyard are busy with workshops where you can experience traditional craftsmanship firsthand. Witness potters spinning their wheels to create beautiful ceramic pieces or blacksmiths skillfully shaping metal – it’s like stepping into another era.
On your return journey to Prague, stop by The Rucká Glassworks in Nizbor. Here, tradition meets art as glassblowers demonstrate their meticulous skills with intricate designs.
6. Bohemian Switzerland National Park
Bohemian Switzerland National Park, located in the northwestern part of the Czech Republic, is an enchanting destination known for its lush valleys, majestic rock formations, and verdant forests.
Although the name suggests a relation to Switzerland, it’s only a moniker. The park gets its name from the 18th-century Swiss painters charmed by the scene reminiscent of their homeland. This beautiful setting is a paradise for nature lovers.
It shares its splendor and terrain with the neighboring Saxon Switzerland National Park in Germany. Together, they form one of Europe’s most stunning landscapes.
Various tours offer several guided walks and hikes for visitors to experience the natural beauty of the Bohemian Switzerland National Park and its extraordinary rock formations. The park is just a two-hour train journey from Prague.
See Related: Best Places to Visit in the Czech Republic
7. Pilsner Urquell Brewery
The Pilsner Urquell Brewery is a must-visit for all beer lovers. Offering comprehensive guided walking tours, the experience delves deep into the rich heritage of the iconic brewery producing beer since 1842. The enchanting brewery produces the internationally renowned Pilsner Urquell beer, considered a gold standard by many.
Beer connoisseurs can indulge in the history behind the brewing process during the detailed and engaging guided tour. The tour moves through the brewing house to the packaging plant and finally into the historic cellars. It is ideal for those looking for a half-day or single-day trip.
The Pilsner Urquell & Brewery tour offers insight into the flavorful world of lager crafting and allows visitors to taste this authentic brew in its birthplace.
8. Relax at the hot springs of Karlovy Vary
Karlovy Vary, often called the jewel of Bohemia, offers the best hot springs in Europe. Just a short drive from Prague, spending a day in the therapeutic hot springs of Karlovy Vary is a refreshing experience.
The city is renowned across the globe as a famous spa destination, presenting a unique blend of natural hot springs with intricate Baroque and Neoclassical architecture.
Take a guided tour of the city’s hot springs to learn about their healing properties and historical significance. If your visit coincides with the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, be ready to witness this gorgeous spa town brimming with notable personalities.
It’s an opportunity to rejuvenate your senses while immersing yourself in Bohemian culture and film history. A day in Karlovy Vary promises a blend of relaxation, healing, culture, and glamor.
See Related: Best Tours in Prague: Exploring History and Culture
9. Explore Ceský Krumlov town and castle
Cesky Krumlov, a captivating medieval town in the South Bohemian region of the Czech Republic, is a perfect day trip destination from Prague. Just a scenic two to three-hour train ride from the capital, it feels like stepping back in time. As you set foot in Cesky Krumlov, you are greeted by the undeniable charm of its winding cobblestone streets and the picturesque views of the castle.
This sprawling complex is one of the best, second only to Prague Castle, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. A guided tour of the town and castle gives comprehensive insight into the history and lifestyle of the Bohemian nobility.
With its fascinating architecture, breathtaking vistas, and peaceful serenity, a trip to Cesky Krumlov is a memorable encounter with the heart of Bohemian culture and history.
10. Dresden, Germany
Dresden offers an enchanting mix of old-world charm and modern delights, making the trip unforgettable. Be prepared to be mesmerized by the Baroque-style Zwinger Palace, appreciate the magnificent Frauenkirche, and wander through the energetic Neustadt district.
The trip presents an exciting opportunity for tourists to experience UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Take a tour to experience this magnificent city.
See Related: Best Day Trips From Dresden, Germany
11. Wroclaw, Poland
Wroclaw, Poland, is one of the hidden gems of Europe, situated at the crossroads of Polish, German, and Czech cultures. Wroclaw is a fascinating historical city boasting glorious architecture and wonderful green spaces.
Despite being lesser-known than Warsaw, it boasts its own UNESCO World Heritage Site — the Centennial Hall, a masterpiece of early 20th-century architecture.
A bus or train ride from Prague to Wroclaw is one of the most convenient ways to travel, taking around four to five hours and offering a unique perspective on the beautiful Czech Republic and Poland countryside.
While you can do it in a day, adding an overnight in Wroclaw is best to make the most of it. With its mesmerizing array of landmarks and tranquil yet vibrant life, Wroclaw, Poland, is undoubtedly worth visiting.
See Related: Warsaw vs Krakow: What’s Better?
12. Spend a tranquil day at Ceské Budejovice
Planning a day trip to Ceské Budejovice is a lovely way to relax. You can catch a direct train from Prague Main Station. This bustling and vibrant city is most famed for its brewing history. Also nestled within the Bohemian Forest, Ceské Budejovice offers an appealing mix of history and natural beauty.
Visit the nearby enchanting Cesky Krumlov, mentioned above. If you want to delve into the darker side of history, a guided tour of Lety, the former internment camp outside the city, can be arranged.
13. Divoká Šárka
Divoká Šárka Nature Reserve is a serene sanctuary that offers an easy escape. Conveniently, it’s a mere 40-minute journey from the city center using Prague’s efficient public transportation system.
This nature retreat is perfect for exploring peaceful trails and verdant landscapes. Spend your day meandering through well-trodden paths lined with dense forests that whisper tales of timeless beauty. Navigate cliffs that add an exhilarating touch to your exploration, and marvel at natural springs that feed into the city’s swimming pool.
As daylight wanes, reward yourself after stretching your legs by kicking back at the local Beer Garden—an oasis hidden amongst the reserve’s wild scenery. Here, you can savor a crisp beer under a blanket of stars, capping off your day in style.
Divoká Šárka invites you on a simple yet soulful adventure where urban connectivity meets raw natural beauty right in Prague’s backyard.
14. Brno – The Czech Republic’s Second Largest City
Brno, the vibrant heart of South Moravia and the Czech Republic’s second-largest city, is an enthralling destination brimming with charm. This bustling metropolis of over 400,000 people seamlessly merges historical with contemporary allure.
With its quaint squares, awe-inspiring churches, and pulsating nightclubs, Brno offers a captivating mix that caters to all types of travelers. As you navigate Brno’s cobblestoned streets and alleyways, various fascinating sights await.
A must-visit is the vibrant farmers’ market where local vendors showcase their fresh produce – it’s a feast for both the eyes and taste buds. Do not miss out on the intriguing astrological clock at Freedom Square – deciphering its time-telling method could be an interesting challenge!
While in Brno, venture into Europe’s second-largest ossuary – a sobering yet insightful glimpse into history. And finally, no visit would be complete without exploring the imposing Špilberk Castle, which offers panoramic views over the city.
See Related: Most Famous Landmarks in the Czech Republic
15. Velká Amerika (Big America Quarry)
Nestled about 30km south of Prague, Velká Amerika (also known as the Czech Grand Canyon) is an abandoned limestone quarry that has captured the hearts of many. This stunning geological gem used to be a popular summer retreat for the Pravici community, and even today, it continues to draw in crowds on sun-soaked weekends for swimming and sunbathing.
But there’s more to this area than just Velká Amerika. A series of other intriguing quarries are just a short distance away. There’s Malá Amerika (Little America), situated nearby with its unique charm, and Mexico, another fascinating quarry site showcasing the region’s rich mining history.
Navigating these sites is straightforward, with marked trails marked by yellow and white markers. It’s a chance to immerse yourself in the natural beauty while exploring some less frequented corners of the Czech Republic.
16. Bohemian Paradise Nature Reserve
Bohemian Paradise, or Český ráj as it’s locally known, is a magical wonderland that’s often compared to Bohemian Switzerland due to its similar rock formations and labyrinthine landscapes. While they share certain features, each has its unique charm.
The city boasts an array of historical treasures, from well-preserved castles to evocative ruins dating back centuries. Yet it’s not all about history here – the reserve also offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures.
Don’t pass up on visiting Hrubá Skála Castle, distinctive with its imposing presence over a towering rock wall. Valdštejn Castle is an absolute must-visit with its beguiling Gothic allure.
To top off your experience, breathtaking panoramic views wait around every corner. With so much to offer, Bohemian Paradise truly lives up to its name as a haven for nature enthusiasts and history buffs!
What cities are close to Prague by train?
You can travel to several captivating cities near Prague by train. The most popular destination is Český Krumlov, renowned for its splendid architecture and fairy-tale atmosphere.
Other notable destinations include Kutná Hora, known for its unique historical attractions, Podbrady, a peaceful spa town, and the stunning landscapes of Český ráj (Bohemian Paradise). Additionally, don’t miss out on visiting Olomouc, with its rich history, and Karlštejn Castle – a magnificent Gothic fortress from the 14th century.
What countries can I visit by train from Prague?
Prague is an excellent starting point in the heart of the country. It offers numerous travel options to Austria, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary, as day trips if you’re feeling up for it. Cities such as Vienna, Salzburg, and Berlin are easily accessible and Budapest and Krakow are a mere few hours away by train.
What is the closest European country to Prague?
The closest country to Prague is Germany, and the major city closest to Prague in Germany is Dresden. It’s easy to travel between Prague and Dresden on a direct train, which takes about two and a half hours. The train ride is scenic and passes through beautiful landscapes in both countries.
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a seasoned traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers find their next adventure, whether it’s exploring new places or revisiting old favorites.
He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wonderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). He loves listening to people’s stories from around the world as well as sharing his own experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.