Best Day Trips From Prague

Best Day Trips From Prague

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Do you struggle with "FOMO" or fear of missing out? I sure do.

During my recent trip to Prague I was fortunate to have seven days in the city, and yet I was torn between staying in the city versus taking multiple day trips. In the end I chose just one day trip to Dresden, Germany.

However, I thought it would be helpful to get suggestions from other travel bloggers about the day trips from Prague they chose for themselves. Each of these trips can be taken on your own since transportation by train is easily accessible. If you'd prefer a guided tour, those options are also available.

Hopefully you'll also be exploring more of the continent, and if you do, be sure to use this Europe bucket list as a guide. The Czech Republic--and all of Europe--have so much to offer, so I know I'll be returning soon!

Read about 5 Things To Do in Prague at Night or Prague Churches and Cathedrals

Suit of armor for a horse and man displayed at the Royal Palace in Dresden
Suit of armor for a horse and man displayed at the Royal Palace in Dresden

Dresden, Germany

Shared by Empty Nesters Hit The Road

A day trip from Prague to Dresden is a history lesson that appears before your eyes as you move from one city to the next. Visitors to Prague view hundreds of historic buildings spanning centuries because this city avoided large-scale destruction during the wars of the 20th century. Dresden on the other hand, due to extensive bombing during World War II, lost a great deal of its historic buildings. When possible, the city of Dresden has undertaken extensive renovation of some of its most famous sites, but in many cases these damaged buildings were replaced with new, modern ones.

Detail of Crown Gate at The Zwinger in Dresden
Detail of Crown Gate at The Zwinger in Dresden

A day in Dresden is likely to focus on its historic and renovated sites. Two of the most notable are the Royal and Zwinger Palaces. The Royal Palace offers a fascinating exhibit called the Historic Green Vault which is a collection of thousands of valuable objects acquired by German royalty over the centuries. The Vault is divided into nine rooms, each dedicated to a different type of object; amber, ivory, gems, etc.  There is an entrance fee for each the Royal Palace and the Green Vault. The vault also requires a timed ticket, so during busy seasons it’s helpful to purchase this in advance.

Across the street is Zwinger Palace, formerly a royal residence that is now home to three museums. Tickets are required for the museums, but just strolling the grounds is free. The ornate, Baroque palace gives visitors plenty to observe and enjoy for at least an hour.

Dresden is a two and a half hour train trip from Prague's Central Train Station. From the Dresden train station the palaces can be reached by a twenty minute walk. Along the way there are plenty of shops to browse and restaurants to grab a snack or meal.

Book your tour from Prague to Dresden today!

Karlstejn Castle
Karlstejn Castle, photo courtesy of Plzen Guide

Karlštejn Castle

Shared by the Plzen Guide

If you are looking for a day trip from Prague, but don't want to spend a whole day in a car or bus, then you can visit Karlštejn.

Karlštejn is a small village 40 km southwest from Prague and it is also a place where you can find one of the most impressive Czech castles, Karlštejn castle.

Karlstejn castle was built on command of Czech King and Roman Emperor Charles IV in 1348. The most important Czech Crown Jewels are housed here.

The stunning castle is situated on a rocky hill above Berounka river and the surrounding area is covered with deep forests and vineyards.

Due to its popularity and the short distance from Prague, Karlstejn castle is a popular goal of tourists. So if you plan a trip there it is better to buy tickets in advance online.

How to get there:

1) To go by train is very convenient. It is cheap and you don´t need to look for a parking place. Trains from Prague to Karlštejn run every 30 minutes. It is a line from Prague to Beroun and you should get off in Karlštejn station. The castle is situated about 2 km far from the train station, just follow the crowd. Pass the bridge over Berounka river and enjoy the nature around.

 2) It is also possible to come by car. Highway D5 direction to Plzeň, Exit 10 Loděnice. But be careful, Karlštejn town is a pedestrian zone only. Leave the car in a nearby parking place.

Want more information about Prague and the Czech Republic? Order your copy of the Lonely Planet Guide today!

Kutna Hora, photo courtesy of Time Turtle Travel
Kutna Hora, photo courtesy of Time Turtle Travel

Kutna Hora

Shared by Time Turtle Travel

Outside of the capital, you would be hard-pressed to find a city in the Czech Republic with as much grand history as Kutná Hora. This city became one of the most important in Central Europe in the Middle Ages because of the large number of silver mines. And the wealth from those mines helped construct the enormous public buildings you can still find here.

Walking through the main squares, you’ll see many impressive historic buildings. But the two most important ones are the Church of St Barbara and the Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec. Together they make up a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are some of the finest architectural jewels in the country.

Aside from all the main historic buildings, you also need to visit the Sedlec Ossuary. This small church is famous because of the way it’s been decorated – with bones! It’s rather creepy but also surprisingly beautiful.

It’s easy to get to Kutná Hora from Prague by train and the trip only takes about 50 minutes each way (although you’ll need to then change onto a local train for a short trip to the historic centre). It’s possible to walk around and visit all the important sites by yourself but there are tours that offer a more comprehensive understanding of the history here.

Book your tour from Prague to Kutna Hora today with Get Your Guide!

Cesky Krumlov
Cesky Krumlov, photo courtesy of Holidays to Europe

Cesky Krumlov

Shared by Holidays to Europe

One of the best day trips from Prague is the pretty town of Cesky Krumlov, close to the Austrian border.

Granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1992, Cesky Krumlov is home to more than 300 protected buildings including the second largest castle in the Czech Republic.  It’s the Baroque and Rococco-styled tower of the castle that has become the town’s landmark and most-recognised site.

Painted pink and green, and standing 54 meters tall, the tower can be seen from afar.  It’s well worth the climb to the top of the tower for stunning views of Cesky Krumlov and beyond.  The sight of red roofs and rolling green fields as far as the eye can see is incredible.

Aside from the castle complex – which also includes a museum and extensive gardens – there’s plenty more to see in town.  If you enjoy museums, Cesky Krumlov is home to both a puppet museum and a torture museum, but if you prefer to wander outside, the breathtakingly pretty Old Town won’t fail to impress.

The historical center escaped the bombings of WWII and, strolling along the cobblestones today, you can appreciate the beautiful, brightly painted facades of the buildings that have stood here for centuries.  These days they house shops, galleries and restaurants and you can easily pass an hour or two admiring both the interiors and exteriors.

Cesky Krumlov is built on either side of the Vltava River and during the warmer months, water sports such as rafting and canoeing are popular.  Another popular activity is sitting at one of the many riverside cafes enjoying a drink or something to eat. Many establishments include a tower view for free!

There are numerous ways to reach Cesky Krumlov from Prague.  We arrived by car, with the 110-mile journey taking just over two hours.  Public car parks are well signposted and within easy walking distance of the Old Town.

If you don’t have your own car, express trains depart every couple of hours from Prague and take around three hours to reach Cesky Krumlov.  Alternatively, you can book a guided day trip from Prague to Cesky Krumlov.

Ceske Budejovice, photo courtesy of Travel Geekery
Ceske Budejovice, photo courtesy of Travel Geekery

Ceske Budejovice

Shared by Travel Geekery

Ceske Budejovice is a royal city located in the South of the Czech Republic, just 2 hours away from Prague by bus.

The city is most famous for beer. In fact, the famous Budweiser beer originally comes from Ceske Budejovice and visitors can take a tour of the Budweiser Budvar Brewery.

But it’s not just the beer and the brewery that are worth experiencing in Ceske Budejovice. The charming town has a beautiful central square. In fact, it’s the second largest one in the country.

The best way to spend time here is to leisurely stroll the city center. The architecture is stunning. There are numerous baroque merchant houses, each one unique and of a different color. It’s a real feast for the eyes!

Eating some proper Czech food is a must too. You should try the potato pancake that’s called “Cmunda po kaplicku” from the South Bohemia region.

The city belongs to students and especially in the summer months you can see them hanging around a little city island called Sokolský ostrov. It’s also where a nice outdoor movie theater is located.

Lastly, Ceske Budejovice is also a home to Koh-i-noor Hardmuth pencil factory. If that doesn’t ring a bell, you should know that pencils and crayons made there have been well known in Europe for decades, especially the former Soviet bloc.

All in all, you’re going to have a nice authentic Bohemian experience in Ceske Budejovice. I can highly recommend it!

Olomouc, photo courtesy of My Wanderlust
Olomouc, photo courtesy of My Wanderlust

Olomouc

Shared by My Wanderlust

Olomouc, a historic capital of Moravia, is located about 2 1/2 hours away by train from Prague. There's plenty to do here for a few days, but a day trip will be enough to see all the highlights. This town is well known for its beautiful baroque architecture and you will see numerous beautiful houses and churches when wandering around.

Olomouc made it to the UNESCO World Heritage List in the year 2000 with its stunning Holy Trinity Column. While you are on the main square be sure to see the astronomical clock - Orloj. After seeing the one in Prague you will be surprised how different this one is. The clock was standing in this place since the 15th century but the current look was designed in the Socialist realist style which makes it a really unique masterpiece. Try to be there at noon to see the clock in action!

As a student city the atmosphere here is relaxed and laid-back. Once you're done with sightseeing there are numerous cafes, restaurants and wine shops where you can relax before heading back to Prague.

Book your tour from Prague to Olomouc today!

Pilsen, photo courtesy of Reflections Enroute
Pilsen, photo courtesy of Reflections Enroute

Pilsen

Shared by Reflections Enroute

One of the best day trips from Prague is the small town of Pilsen. This small city is famous for just one thing--beer. It is here that Pils beer was born and the Pilsener Urquell Brewery is the place to go to learn all about it. The brewery will not only tell you the history of pilsner beer, or pale lager, but it will give you samples at the end. Tours are available in English.

After learning what makes this town tick, it's time to try out another beer establishment...the beer spa. Beer baths, or beer spas, are very popular in the Czech Republic. The attendants fill up your wooden bath with a mix of warm water and beer mash (hops, barley, etc.), and you just sit back and relax. Next to you, you have a tap to keep refilling your fresh beer. It's fun and comforting. When you are finished, your skin feels so soft and lovely. We go as often as we can; we love it.

Then when we are all finished, we head into the gorgeous center of town to find a some amazing Czech food. There are plenty of restaurants where you can try knedlinky, or dumplings, alongside some beef or some traditional gulasch, and of course wash it all down with a mug of beer.  Enjoy your day in Pilsen!

Book your day trip from Prague to Pilsen!

Terezin Concentration Camp entrance, photo courtesy of Nomad Women
Terezin Concentration Camp entrance, photo courtesy of Nomad Women

Terezín Concentration Camp

Shared by Nomad Women

There are many delightful day trips from Prague. You’ll enjoy them. Here's one that’s not so pleasant. But it could well be far more memorable. In fact, it might be a highlight of your trip to Prague, as it was for me. Just one hour from Prague brings you to the World War II prison/ghetto/concentration camp at Terezín, which the Germans called Theresienstadt. The site consists of a fortified prison and a walled townsite. The star-shaped Small Fortress at Terezín was used as a political prison for 150 years before the Nazis came along. They continued that tradition, holding Gestapo prisoners, resistance fighters and general trouble-makers. Here you’ll see the barbed wire, the gallows, the firing squad field. The next stop is the crematorium, built to dispose of the bodies of thousands of Jews and other prisonsers.

The Main Fortress was designed as a walled garrison town in the late 18th century. Designed to hold 5,000 residents, the pretty town gave no hint it would become a walled ghetto, penning in more than 58,000 Jews at the height of the war. 34,000 of them died there, from malnutrition and disease. The Nazis’ other use for Terezín was as a place to send Jewish artists, musicians, professors and other intellectuals. They could dress it up as a sort of Potemkin Village, a supposedly model camp they cleaned up and showed off to Red Cross officials. For that visit, the professional musician inmates gave an impressive performance of Verdi’s “Requiem.”

Terezín has a deeper story to tell, and it’s one you should discover for yourself. Many companies in Prague offer day trips, which is the easiest way to visit. To see my own reaction to the trip, read A Visit to Terezin Concentration Camp.
Trebic, photo courtesy of Quirky Globetrotter

Třebíč

Shared by Quirky Globetrotter

Třebíč is located in the Vysočina Region of Czech Republic, about two hours away from Prague. This little town is the ideal place for a romantic getaway with a significant other or can serve as a gateway to the past for a solo traveler. In Třebíč there are three historic UNESCO sites. One is a beautiful, historic church called St. Procopius Basilica. The gothic style church is large and ornament. Walking into the sanctuary and looking at the beautiful rose, stained glass window is definitely a religious experience.

The second UNESCO site is the Jewish Quarter is Třebíč. This Jewish quarter is one of the best preserved Jewish ghettos in Europe and is the home of a beautiful Jewish synagogue. When I was visiting in August, the Jewish Festival was going on and music being played in the synagogue could be heard all over town. Třebíč is the perfect city to learn a little more about Jewish history.

Like many Czech towns, Třebíč has a beautiful square with colorful buildings. One building in particular that visitors should notice is the Painted House, which is considered another UNESCO site. It’s hard not to notice the building with its stark black and white exterior. The outside of the beginning is painted in a Renaissance style and reflects the unique and rich history of Třebíč.

Book your tour from Prague to Třebíč today!

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Best Day Trips from Prague
Best Day Trips from Prague

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. This is an excellent list! All must-see places and they are so close to Prague. I have seen some of the place, but need to see the rest, especially Karlstejn Castle and Cesky Krumlov!

    1. For such a small country, the Czech Republic has so much to se!

  2. Visiting the Czech Republic is on our bucket list for our next European vacation and besides Prague, I have been wanting to visit Cesky Krumlov as well. It’s great to read about all the other options that make for a great day trip from Prague. Visiting the beer spa in Pilsen sounds like such a unique experience. Lots of great information here and the photographs are lovely as well.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this article and hope you have a great time when you visit!

    2. My sister and I absolutely loved the beer spa. There is so much to do in Prague and the Czech Republic. You’ll have a great time when you visit.

  3. I’m just in love with Czech Republic and ready to return there again and again, at least reading your blog about the trip. Prague is my favorite city… Thanks for sharing!

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