One of the best things about Europe is how dense it is. Everything is just a (fairly cheap) train ride away from everything else, making it the ideal situation for most travelers looking to see as much as possible as efficiently as possible. Prague is no different and even though the city itself is gorgeous and with its own attractions, sights, and sounds, the Czech Republic has a lot of other fascinating areas to visit. None are too far off from the city making them ideal day trips from Prague. Here are just a few of the many places you can visit without worrying about getting back in time for some tapas at Monarch.
|Majestic Castles||Kutna Hora||Terezin Concentration Camp|
|Prokopske And Dalejske Valley||Glass and Beer||Karlovy Vary and Marianske Lazne|
The Austrian-Hungarian empire might not be around anymore, but it left quite a legacy, which you can actually visit. The Czech countryside has no shortage of beautiful European castles all with their own lore, legends, and fables which are just as charming as the buildings themselves. Some of the most popular are just an easy train ride away from Prague and offer guided tours. However, for the most bang for your buck, it’s highly recommended that you let your sense of adventure take over while you roam the grand, musty halls and take in their enchanting beauty.
Some of the most popular castles to visit are Karlstejn, Konopiste, and Krivoklat, but there really is no obligation to do as everyone else does. For the best day trip from Prague, just point your finger at the map, find the nearest castle, and let your imagination be your guide. With fast and reliable trains, and so many castles to choose from, you’re just a day trip away from having a unique story to tell about that time you got lost in that giant palace outside of Prague.
Castles Tours from Prague
|Konopiste Castle Half-Day Trip from Prague
From the comfort of your air-conditioned coach, leave Prague and travel approximately 25 miles (50 km) south to the 900-year-old town of Benesov for a half-day trip to Konopiste Castle.
|Karlstejn Castle Half-Day Trip from Prague
Built in the 14th century by Charles IV, the Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia, the Gothic-style castle housed treasures of the Holy Roman Empire, including the Czech coronation jewels.
| Cesky Krumlov Day Trip from Prague
You’ll travel through the Bohemian countryside passing picturesque villages to visit the town Cesky Krumlov – UNESCO Heritage site, comprising 300 historic houses, the castle and chateau.
|Konopiste Chateau, Nový Knín & Karlstejn Castle Private Tour
Visit the Konopiště Chateau, once the private residence of Archduke Franz Ferdinand d´Este of Austria, and the Gold Museum in Nový Knín and visit to famous Karlštejn Castle.
A bone-chilling tour in Kutna Hora
The mining town of Kutna Hora plays host to a wonderfully macabre structure that everybody needs to see at least once in their lives. The town itself is very old-world, with plenty to see of its UNESCO heritage sites. It dates from the 13th century and much has been preserved. St. Barbara’s Cathedral is a popular destination with its incredible gothic architecture, but there’s another reason to travel to the small town of Kutna Hora.
Among only a few in the world, in Kutna Hora stands an ossuary, or a church of bones. The Sedlec Ossuary dates back to the 1200s when an abbot sprinkled earth from the Holy Land on the spot. Since then, it’s slowly morphed from a cemetery to a church. Initially the ossuary was meant as a place to simply hold the bones, but over several stages from the 1500’s to 1870, the bones have come to be part of the structure and used as an architectural flourish and even as furnishings. It truly is a masterpiece as grisly as it might seem and it is beautiful in its own right. It’s definitely worth seeing if only for the 40,000 to 70,000 people who have been laid to rest there.
Terezin Concentration Camp
Just outside of Prague sits one of Europe’s most sobering sites. What made the Terezin concentration camp unique in the Nazi regime was the fact that they pretended the camp was something else for a Red Cross inspection. Children were forced to put on plays for the inspectors. Once everything was “verified,” the regular activities of the camp resumed.
Today this site is a breathtaking memorial of the sacrifices that so many made in those fateful years. You’ll find that the numerous barracks on the camp site still have the same mattresses. You’ll find a row of sinks that has no plumbing, put into place to make the Red Cross inspection have a false impression of the camp. Every atrocity ever committed at the camp has been thoroughly documented so that everyone can know for all of time what happened on those grounds.
Terezin was a transit camp, so many found themselves being transferred to places like Auschwitz. This makes one of the highlights of a day trip the artwork made by the children of Terezin. As you tour through the Major and Minor Fortresses, you’ll find yourself in the shoes of those who came before, wondering about the uncertainty of their futures.
Plan on spending at least 4 hours to fully tour the Terezin concentration camp. Tour reservations can be placed online and easily added to any holiday or trip to Prague. You are also invited to explore on your own. It’s just off of the D-8 toward Berlin and Dresden and turns are clearly marked if you plan on driving. Buses also routinely run from the Nádrazí Holesovice stop to the site.
Prokopske and Dalejske Valley Nature Reserve
Travelling doesn’t always have to be about seeing buildings or even cities. A great day trip from Prague can be calm and soothing too! The city is surrounded by absolutely wonderful and beautiful land that can be taken advantage of. There are several nature reserves, Prokopske being one of the most famous. Locals and tourists alike take to the trails to either get lost in the breathtaking beauty of the land.
The trails also lead to a few fun spots that are perfect for picnics and family time with beautiful and unique views of the city. However, being so close to the city, the reserve still has a few Prague touches that worth seeking out including the train that serves as both transportation and a historical attraction and a water-filled limestone quarry that is stunning. The reserve has much to discover, and it could easily take an entire day trip from Prague to see all there is including the protected plants, and even fossils. The reserve is open year-round and is easily accessible from just about anywhere you might find yourself whilst in Prague.
Glass and Beer
Most people have heard the term “Bohemian,” which usually conjures up the image of a free-spirited artist or musician who seems to always live in the moment. Few know that Prague is actually at the heart of the real Bohemia where the term originated. However, it’s easy to see why they lent their name to such a beautiful way of living while taking a day trip from Prague to the Nizbor Bohemia Glass Factory. It’s an opportunity to witness artisanal glass making and glassblowing. The factory produces crystal pieces which the Czech Republic is famous for and as a bonus, they’re discounted so that everybody can get their favourite souvenir.
But Bohemia also comes with its wild side. Not far from the glass factory is the Pilsner Urquell brewery. You can take a tour of the brewery and learn a little about the beer that the Czech Republic is famous for and then maybe get a pint in your very own hand-crafted stein!
Relax at the Spa
There are definitely those of us who, as much as we love to see new things and go off exploring, sometimes find travelling to be just as exhausting as it is exhilarating. Well, luckily, there’s a day trip from Prague for that too! Prague boasts many beautiful spas but if you’re really looking to relax, do as the locals do and get out of the city so you can take in the majesty of nature while getting pampered into bliss.
The Czech Spas of Karlovy Vary and Marianske Lazne near Prague are unique in that they offer tours to learn the history of the area and their twelve springs so that you don’t have to feel too guilty about getting a mud bath while you’re supposed to be learning about a different culture. They offer a full package that includes walking through their Tepla River and tasting different mineral waters, luxurious meals, and of course the royal treatment at the spa. It might feel a bit decadent, but hey, there’s so much to see and do in and around Prague that nobody will fault you for wanting to spend a day relaxing.