Prague is one central European city waiting for you to charm with its beauty and finesse. It’s easy to fall in love with Prague whether you spend a day or two or months. Yet, Czechia’s charm is not limited to Prague. The surrounding places are as beautiful as the Czech capital. So, if you have some days to spare, I suggest taking some of these fantastic day trips from Prague. Go explore Central Europe a bit more with these trips.
Ideas for fantastic Day trips from Prague
The central location of Prague with neighbours like Austria, Germany, Slovakia and Poland, there is no dearth of amazing places to see near Prague. With easy access through Euro rail & amazing road network, no town is too far away from Prague. So, here are some fine ideas for amazing day trips from Prague.
1. Day trips from Prague – Kutná Hora
Less than an hour-long train ride from Prague lies the town of Kutná Hora. With a history that dates back to the 1100s, Kutná Hora itself is an interesting town to visit. But the thing that brings most people here is a church; a church decorated entirely with human bones.
The Sedlec Ossuary – a small Roman Catholic chapel often just referred to as “the Bone Church” – is located at the Church of All Saints just outside the centre of Kutná Hora. The inside of the ossuary is decorated with the bones and skulls of roughly 40,000 people, which in many cases have been artistically arranged.
The story goes that a blind monk started arranging the bones in the late 15th century when remains were being moved from the Sedlec Abbey cemetery into the ossuary. They were further arranged in the 1660s when the church underwent renovations, and again in the 1870s when Czech woodcarver Frantisek Rink added some extra touches.
Today, the Bone Church is a macabre work of art that draws tourists from all over the world. It’s easy to reach Prague (direct trains leave almost every hour), and certainly makes for one of the very unique day trips from Prague.
– Amanda, Dangerousbiz
2. Day trips from Prague – Baroque town Holasovice and its magical Stonehenge
About 2 hours south of Prague is a little-known town Holasovice with a magical place often called the ‘Czech Stonehenge’. This man-made megalith is not only a beautiful place, but it is also a place with special energy. Unlike in the real Stonehenge in Great Britain, you can and should enter the circle of stones following a set of rules and then you will be able to feel the energy that these stones collected from the universe. Some people describe the feeling as vibrations in their spine, hands or legs, sharp or soft light in front of their eyes and a feeling of peace and happiness.
The town of Holasovice itself is a beautiful place for a walk among houses from the Czech baroque era and belongs to the UNESCO world heritage. All of the houses are still in use and you can enjoy great beer and traditional Czech food in local pubs. This place is definitely a nice addition to one-day trips from Prague to Ceske Budejovice. Read about more Czech cities worth visiting here.
– Tereza, Czick on the road
3. Day trips from Prague – Karlovy Vary
Karlovy Vary is arguably the Czech Republic’s most famous spa town, and while their mineral water is pretty special, there’s a lot more to appreciate about this place.
Located about two hours west of Prague, people have been flocking to Karlovy Vary (or Carlsbad in German) for years to visit the healing spas and drink the mineral water, which is free at colonnades throughout the city. Famous people like Beethoven, Chopin, Goethe, and various royals have sipped Karlovy Vary’s waters. Even though it’s supposed to be healing, the salty minerals give it a unique taste that isn’t for everybody! If spas or special water aren’t your things, it’s lovely to walk around the city and enjoy the colourful and historic architecture, or even take a nice walk in the surrounding woods. You can grab a flavoured wafer to munch on as you wander, or maybe even two considering they’re very light. Karlovy Vary is also the home of Becherovka vodka and the Moser glassworks, so touring those places is an option. And if you’re visiting in July you might see a modern-day celebrity, as the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is quite famous.
I highly recommend Karlovy Vary for a day trip from Prague if you’re looking for a little less hustle and bustle, and a little more relaxation. The spas, mineral water, historic buildings, and cultural spots make for a lovely visit.
4. Day trips from Prague – Cesky Krumlov
Just 2 – 3 hours away from Prague by train is Cesky Krumlov, making it perfect for a day trip from Prague if you start early. It’s a beautiful fairytale city restored to its former glory it’s a fantastic example of a traditional Czech town.
There are many things to see and do in Cesky Krumlov which will easily keep you occupied for a day or longer if you have the time to also stay a night or two. A highlight is the Castle with its colourful tower, known by locals as the wedding cake. If you visit in summer you can also go kayaking or rafting on the river which looked great fun. Just one thing to be aware of is that Cesky Krumlov is extremely popular so be prepared for it to be very touristy. If you prefer things a bit quieter, then consider visiting in the low season, I can imagine it would be stunning in the snow.
– Tanya, Can travel Will Travel
5. Day trips from Prague – Ceske Budejovice
České Budějovice is the main city in the Czech province of South Bohemia. At only 2 hours from the Czech capital, both by bus and by train, it’s the perfect destination for a day trip from Prague. The city is absolutely adorable and yet a bit off-the-beaten-path. If you love quiet places with rich historical heritage, good food and excellent beer, České Budějovice should be on your list!
České Budějovice has one of the most beautiful squares in the Czech Republic – the Přemysl Otakar II Square, named after the Bohemian King Ottokar II who founded the city in 1256. In the middle of the square is the stunning Samson Fountain. For the best views of the city, climb the Black Tower – another historical building near the city square, built in the 16th century.
If you are visiting the city in the summer, you can hire a boat and spend a lovely time boating on the Vltava or Malše Rivers.
A visit to České Budějovice can’t go without a visit to the iconic Budweiser Budvar Brewery, where you can take a tour of the brewery. The Czech Budweiser beer shall not be mixed with the American one. Only the name is the same and this is still a sensitive issue.
To end the day in Czech style with a svíčková (a traditional dish) washed down with a Budweiser beer, head to Masné krámy Restaurant. The beautifully restored historical building of the restaurant was once the city meat market.
How to get to České Budějovice from Prague? You can take the bus, operated by RegioJet, departing from Na Knížecí bus station in Prague or the train from the Main Railway Station.
– Daniela, Ipanema Travels
6. Day trips from Prague – Pilsen (Plzen)
For true beer lovers, there’s no better day trip from Prague than to visit the historic town of Pilsen. Pilsen is located only an hour from Prague by car, or about 90 minutes by train or bus. The town itself is lovely, with an old synagogue that now hosts concerts and a lot of great traditional Czech restaurants.
If you love beer, then a pilgrimage to the Pilsner Urquell Brewery in Plzen is a must. Their beer museum walks through the beer-making process and the history of the town of Plzen. The town grew up around the brewery because Pilsner Urquell is the most famous Czech beer.
The tour includes the bottling plant, which is huge, and a site to see if they happen to be bottled during the visit. The most unique part of the visit, though, is a tour of their historic underground caves where they now store and age the beer. Each visit to the brewery ends with a tasting of a pilsner directly from the barrel. Tours of the brewery cost about $9, but it’s best to check their schedule and book ahead to get the best price. After the brewery tour, try some local Czech dishes, like roasted duck with red cabbage and bread dumplings at Jdelini Listek.
– Amber, With Husband In Tow
7. Day trips from Prague – Bratislava
While I was living and working in one of the Czech Republic’s colourful European towns I set a goal to explore all of the Czech Republic’s neighbours. I headed to Prague (or Praha) as the Czechs call it, and joined a coach ride of around 3 hours to Bratislava.
Slovakia’s capital makes the perfect day trip because it has an old-world and almost Mediterranean feel. Think wide-open squares where people sip coffee or nibble on ice creams, plus pastel-painted buildings that make a nice backdrop. It’s not too big, but just bitesize enough for a day or weekend away.
What most people will say they love about Bratislava, and I agree, is that although they’ve adopted the Euro, they haven’t reached the prices of some other European capitals. So you have the convenience of a currency that’s very easy to get hold of, without the price tag.
Bratislava is best visited in the cool of the spring and autumn, it’s also nice in the summer – but watch out for some hot days!
As you take it all in, make time for the ornate city museum and national gallery and, if time allows, make the climb to historic Devin Castle for its fabulous views.
– Danielle, Live In 10 Countries
8. Day trips from Prague – Wine tasting in MelnikElena
If you fancy wine and historical chateau surroundings then a day trip to Melnik is just for you. The town of Melnik lies above the confluence of the Labe and Vltava rivers, approximately an hour’s drive from Prague. Melnik gained importance sometime around 1000 when silver denarius coins were made here for Duchess Emma, the wife of Boleslav II. The royal families who lived here contributed greatly to Melnik’s development and this has had a great positive impact on the town.
One of the highlights of Melnik is its Chateau which carries the same name as the town — the Melnik Chateau has been in the same noble family of the Princes of Lobkowicz since 1753. It houses an 11th-century wine cellar which spans three floors. The legend has it that Ludmila, the daughter of a ruler of the pagan tribe of Psyovians had herself planted the first vines here in the 10th century for the purpose of producing altar wine. Today, you can savour the renowned light and refreshing Ludmila wine right in the heart of this charming chateau. If you are a fan of reds you will definitely appreciate the Pinot Noir which is produced from 50-year-old vines — the oldest at the vineyard. Small but very charming, Melnik is a town that you should definitely add to your itinerary for awesome day trips from Prague. You will be glad that you did!
– Elena, Passion For Hospitality
9. Day trips from Prague – Liberec
Liberec might not be the most obvious day trip destination from Prague but the city, located only one hour away by bus, is very interesting and worth a visit. Located in the Sudety mountains Liberec is a perfect winter sports destination. But if you visit Liberec in the summertime you won’t be bored either.
The centre is full of beautiful architecture dating back to the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Be sure to go inside the town hall (built as a copy of the old town in Vienna) to see the stunning interior that was often a film set in numerous productions. Just behind the town hall, you will find a unique bus stop designed by the famous yet controversial Czech sculptor David Cerny (you can see his numerous works around Prague). Don’t miss the residential area packed with beautiful old villas – wandering around this part of Liberec is a real pleasure! You should also take the cable car up to Jested Mountain to admire not only the stunning landscape around but also the futuristic architecture of the hotel located on the top of the mountain. For a lunch stop you can choose from numerous cafes and restaurants but the one located in the basement of the town hall is particularly beautiful and serves delicious dishes of Czech cuisine.
– Kamila, Kami & the Rest of the World.
10. Day trips from Prague – Terezin
Just an hour by road from Prague, is a spot for reflection, for remembering, a spot to stand and say “Never Again.” A day trip from Prague to the Terezín Ghetto/Prison/Concentration camp is one you’ll never forget. The pleasant 18th-century Czech walled town and nearby prison provided the Germans with a convenient place to close in thousands of Jews as a way station to the extermination camp at Auschwitz/Birkenau. Almost 90,000 of them climbed into the packed cattle cars for the trip from here to the gas chambers and labour camp. 15,000 were children. 90% of those who left died.
On a visit to Terezín, you’ll see the Small Fortress, used for Gestapo prisoners, resistance fighters and general trouble-makers, like those arrested in town for smuggling paper for art classes for the children. You’ll see the spartan barracks, the delousing showers, the gallows and the firing squad area, conveniently set in front of a hill to absorb the bullets. You’ll walk through the crematorium, where the thousands who died of malnutrition, disease and murder were reduced to a box full of ashes. Then you’ll move on to the town and the museum. It’s there, in the pristine rooms, that you’ll see the dozens of drawings made by children… on some of that smuggled paper that cost a few their lives. You’ll also see a plaque below each colourful drawing… name of child, birthdate, date and place of death (mostly Auschwitz.) Most of them were between 9 and 14 years old.
It won’t be your most pleasant day in Czechia. But it may well be the one you remember the longest. Read more about the camp/ghetto/prison and why I will never forget my visit there in this blog post about A Visit to the Terezin Concentration Camp.
– Donna, Nomad Women
11. Day trips from Prague – Litomysl Castle
It’s not very well known. In fact, most people have probably never heard of Litomyšl. But this small town is home to one of the Czech Republic’s most beautiful World Heritage Sites – Litomyšl Castle.
The castle was built in 1568 and was originally designed in the Renaissance style, although the interior was updated to a Baroque style in the 18th century. The outside is striking because it is decorated with rows of tiles, each one of them with its own imagery of things like animals, people, and fruit.
You can only see the inside as part of a guided tour but it takes you through all the main rooms, with their stunning artwork and furniture. There are lots of incredible things to see that just show you how rich and powerful the people who lived in this part of Europe once were.
Other than the castle, the town of Litomyšl is charming in itself. The main square is really more of a main road and stretches for about 500 metres. On either side are colourful buildings with facades from different eras – Baroque, Classical, and Empire. It’s a lovely spot to relax for a meal or a drink after you’ve fully explored the castle.
Litomyšl is about a two-hour drive from Prague. If you’re travelling by public transport, the best way is to get a train to Choceň or Česká Třebová and get a connecting bus from there.
– Michael, Time Travel Turtle
12. Day trips from Prague – Dresden
Dresden nicknamed the “Venice of the North” is a great day trip from Prague. Located in the German state of Saxony across the border from the Czech Republic, you can reach Dresden by either bus or train. Both of these public transportation options take about two hours and run throughout the day. Alternatively, you can book an organized tour which will handle the transportation and your day’s activities.
While in Dresden, you can go on one of the many excellent organized Dresden tours including everything from street art to nightlife tours, plus traditional city walks. A personal highlight for me was learning about Kurt Vonnegut’s time in Dresden and visiting the Slaughterhouse where he was held and which was the inspiration for the novel Slaughterhouse-Five.
There are many gorgeous buildings to see in the Altstadt, including the Frauenkirche, the cathedral, and the Semper Opera House. But don’t forget to cross the Elbe River and explore Dresden Neustadt. This is the quirky, artistic side of the city, but it’s also full of beautiful pre-war baroque buildings which managed to survive the bombing of the city in World War II. Give yourself time to explore Neustadt’s beautiful passageways.
Dresden is also home to many world-class art museums and has several beautiful castles in the vicinity. While there is so much to explore here that you could visit Dresden for weeks if you only have a day you can see much of the heart of the city and get inspiration for your next European adventure.
– Stephanie, History Fangirl
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