You’ve most likely heard of Prague if you are a beer lover, as it boasts the best beer in all of Europe – quite right, too. But there’s so much more to discover about the capital of the Czechia. As the 14th largest city in the European Union, Prague is also the old capital of Bohemia and it’s by far one of the trendiest modern destinations out there.
With architecture that looks like it’s jumped straight out of a fairytale, little winding streets and hidden treasures, you can spend days getting lost in the old neighborhoods. But there’s just as much to discover a short trip away from Prague. If you’re visiting the Czech capital for a long time, amazing Bohemian castles, UNESCO Heritage Sites and little lost-in-time picturesque towns are a short drive, bus or train away. There is a lot to see in the heart of old Bohemia, so here’s fifteen destinations to consider while planning your trip to and around Prague.
Here are the best day trips from Prague:
1. Kutná Hora’s Bone Church
The curious Bone Church in Kutná Hora or Sedlec Ossuary is definitely unlike anything you have ever seen.
The church is furnished with complex and creative decorations like chandeliers, bells and coats of arms all made from real human bone.
The Ossuary contains the bones of about 40,000 people, all of which died either of the plague or during the Hussite wars.
Afterwards, you can also explore the town of Kutná Hora itself, which is a UNESCO world heritage site.
It’s a very straightforward trip from Prague, as you can jump on the train and be there in an hour.
It’s probably worth checking the train schedules for the trains back so you can plan efficiently.
2. Cesky Krumlov
Situated just over 100 miles south of Prague at the crossing of the Vitava river lies Cesky Krumlov, a picturesque Bohemian town.
Due to its placement on the river, it was an important trade center during the 14th – 17th centuries.
A highlight is also Cesky Krumlov castle, which features large gardens and impressive interiors.
As it isn’t too far from Prague, it’s possible to do it as a very long day trip.
You can take a comfortable and affordable day bus from Prague and explore the wonders of Bohemia.
3. Terezin Concentration Camp
An important, sobering part of Czech history, Terezin concenration camp is a chilling reminder of Nazi atrocities during WWII. Over 30,000 people died in Terezin, which was run as a Nazi scam to convince the rest of the world that the imprisoned Jewish populations were treated humanely.
The large complex is open for guests to walk around freely and is to this day a site of eerie sadness and a reminder of unspeakable terror.
Buses run to and from Prague every day to Terezin and it takes just under an hour to drive there, too.
4. Pilsner Urquell Brewery and Plzen
A must-do for all beer enthusiasts, Pilsner Urquell Brewery is located in the town of Plzen.
Pilsner is the Czech beer that created the worldwide standard for pale lager.
Take a tour of the brewery and enjoy the complimentary beer tasting, seeing the brewing equipment and much more.
And while you’re there, why not take a look at the town of Plzen as well, with its wonderful city centre and the synagogue, which is the second largest one in Europe.
Hop on a direct train from Prague to Plzen, and Pilsner Urquell Brewery is a short 5-minute walk from Plzen Station.
5. Konopiste Castle
Just south of Prague lie the dwellings of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Konopiste.
The heir to the Habsburg throne used the chateau mainly as a hunting lodge and was a frequent visitor up until his death in 1914. During his stay there, Franz Ferdinand also assembled the largest collection of mounted animals in Europe.
The castle also includes beautiful gardens where you can roam around for hours.
Just grab the bus from Prague Central Station (Praha Florenc) and you’ll be in Konopiste for an hour, then it’s just a short walk to the Archduke’s former dwellings.
6. Krivoklat Castle
Are you looking for a trip back in time? Then a great alternative to trying to build your old Delorean is visiting Krivoklat Castle.
Just an hour’s drive from Prague, the castle is perched upon a gorgeous hill.
The Gothic interiors are fully preserved, as are over 50,000 books.
Walking through the old corridors, you can also see depictions of the castle’s old history – mainly carvings of angel, who are carrying what looks like symbols of torture.
If you want to explore a bit more, you can also marvel at the castle exterior too.
7. Castle Karlstejn
Just a 40-minute train ride from Prague, Karlstejn houses Karlstejn Castle, famously an old summer residence for Charles IV. Located on a picturesque hilltop, you don’t want to miss those stunning panoramic views when you go up to it.
Once you’ve reached the castle, make sure to head straight for the Chapel of the Holy Cross for a chance to see where the king’s jewels were housed at the time.
And the facade of the castle itself looks like it’s jumped straight out of a storybook, so definitely well worth the visit.
8. Karlovy Vary
If all the hustle and bustle of Prague has made you long for a relaxing day trip, why not try the spa town of Karlovy Vary nearby? Famous with its hot springs and thermal baths, Karlovy Vary is an ideal choice for anyone looking for a quiet off-the-beaten-path tourist destination.
And it’s not just that, the beautiful architecture and natural serenity of the town present a dreamscape for a beautiful afternoon walk, with attractions such as the Moser Glasswork museum to marvel at.
To get to Vary (as it’s often colloquially known), the easiest thing to do is jump on a bus from Prague.
There are direct buses, and there are others with as few as one change.
Either way, you’re sure to enjoy the beautiful serenity of the hot springs with a day in Karlovy Vary.
The region of Vysočina, which is Czech for “highlands”, is placed among rolling hills and beautiful rustic landscapes.
You can’t miss this if you’re looking for a place that combines history with beautiful nature.
Vysočina is home to not one, but three UNESCO World Heritage sites as well.
A bus or a car are your best bets for getting to this remote little town, as trains unfortunately wouldn’t stop there.
But once you see the beauty of the hills around, you’ll know it was worth the effort!
Also known as the ‘Florence on the Elbe’, Dresden is filled to the brim with Baroque and Rococo style buildings, just waiting to be explored.
The best part is that it only takes an hour on the bus or 2.5 hours on the train to get there, which is a dream considering what you get for your time.
Landmarks such as the Zwinger Old Masters Gallery are a must, where art lovers will have the time of their lives with works from Titian, Raphael, Canaletto and many more.
Other things to visit include Dresden Castle, the Church of the Virgin Mary and the beautiful Weisse Gasse.
11. Elbe Sandstones Natural Reserve
Located just on the border between Czechia and Germany, the beautifully preserved Elbe Sandstones Natural Reserve is a wonderful way to marvel and the beauty of natural formations.
Only about 1.5 – 2 hours from Prague by car, the drive there is also packed with wonderful landscapes you can enjoy.
Once you get to the natural reserve, you can enjoy beautiful formations such as the Tisa Rocks and the River Elbe Canyon and – if you’re feeling adventurous – you can also cross the German border to see the Bastei Sandstone Bridge and Fortress.
Once you get there, you’ll see why scenes of The Chronicles of Narnia were filmed there – the place really looks like it’s jumped out of a fairytale.
12. Bohemian Switzerland Natural Park
If you visit Czechia, it would always be a real shame to not see the full beauty of its natural formations.
Therefore, visiting Bohemian Switzerland is an absolute must.
A very short and picturesque drive from Prague will get you straight there, where you can spend the day hiking and, if the weather permits, have a picnic as well.
Housing beautiful villages and unique rock formations, Bohemian Switzerland really is a treat for any outdoor enthusiast.
A must-see is the Pravcicka Brana, the largest sandstone arch formation in Europe.
It’s a great reminder of the beauty that nature can create unprompted and opens up great views for the rest of the area as well.
13. Velká Amerika
Translated as Big America, Velká Amerika is also known as the Czech Grand Canyon.
The breathtaking limestone quarry is located just to the southwest of Prague and is a popular escape for those living in the big city.
On a summer weekend, you’ll easily see crowds flocking there to soak in the sun and go for a relaxing swim.
When you take the bus to Morina, Velká Amerika is only a short hike away.
If you’re feeling like you want to explore more, there’s also Malá Amerika (Little America) and Mexiko (Mexico), two other quarries in the area, easily accessible with signposted pedestrian routes.
14. Hospital and Church of the Holy Trinity in Kuks
Located to the Northeast of Prague, Kuks is probably one of the longer day trips you can take out of the capital as getting there can be as long as 2.5 hours.
But it’s definitely worth it to explore the famous Hospital there, also referred to as “the jewel of Czech Baroque art”. The place is a unique monument of central European town planning, architecture and statutory art.
Around the hospital you’ll find Braun’s sculptures of Virtues and Vices – he was also referred to as the Czech Michelangelo.
If you want to explore the area more, just a short walk away are more Braun sculptures among natural beauty in the nearby park.
15. Capuchin Monastery in Brno
A three-hour train trip and you’ll be in the beautiful city of Brno, home of the Capuchin Monastery, with its eerie crypt of Monks.
The Capuchin Monks were in the habit of reusing coffins for their dead, and did so for three centuries before the practice was outlawed.
But the air conditions in the crypt mummified 24 bodies and now those can be seen when you visit the monastery.
Also, if you liked Kutná Hora, there’s another ossuary nearby to the Monastery with the second biggest catacombs in Europe.
On the main train line between Prague and Vienna, the city of Brno is easy to get to on a direct train.