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If you are looking for an exciting adventure outside of Prague, then you are in the right place to explore . The Czech Republic has a lot to offer, from historic castles and beautiful nature trails to beer tasting and unique landmarks. Karlovy Vary, Bohemian Switzerland, Tabor and Terezin are some of the must-take day trips from Prague.
1. Karlovy Vary: One of the best Day Trips from Prague
Karlovy Vary is a beautiful spa town located in western Bohemia, where you can immerse yourself in the natural thermal springs, and an excellent choice for a daytrip from Prague.
This small town is also popular for its stylish architecture, St. Mary Magdalene’s Church, and the Moser Glass Factory, where you can watch skilled craftsmen create stunning crystal products. Don’t forget to check out the Becherovka Distillery, known for the best Czech herbal bitter with a unique recipe.
Karlovy Vary, known in German as Karlsbad, is steeped in history and tradition. Named after Charles IV, a Holy Roman Emperor and the King of Bohemia, the town dates back to the 14th century. According to legend, the Emperor founded the city after the discovery of hot springs during a hunting expedition.
Nowadays, these thermal springs are one of the town’s main attractions, with 13 main springs, about 300 smaller springs, and the warm-water Teplá River. Visitors can stroll along the beautiful colonnades, each housing different springs with varying temperatures and mineral compositions.
Karlovy Vary is also renowned for its International Film Festival, one of the oldest in the world. This prestigious event transforms the town into a bustling, vibrant hub for film enthusiasts and celebrities alike.
In terms of gastronomy, make sure to try the Karlovarské oplatky, a local specialty. These are traditional spa wafers which come in various flavours. A tour of Karlovy Vary would not be complete without it.
2 Bohemian Switzerland: One of the popular Day Trips from Prague
Another one of the most Day Trips from Prague is Bohemian Switzerland. Is a national park known for its stunning natural beauty along the Elbe canyon, dreamy sandstone formations, and enchanting nature trails that offer the perfect escape from urban life. You can take a bike ride, hike, or walk. Bravchitz is an excellent option for hikers who love to explore the sandstone formations and the deep forests.
Bohemian Switzerland, or České Švýcarsko in Czech, is truly a paradise for nature enthusiasts. This national park is adorned with exquisite sandstone rock towers, deep canyons, spectacular viewpoints, and serene forests.
One of the park’s main attractions is the Pravčická Brána, the largest natural sandstone arch in Europe. This impressive formation stands 21 metres high and is a must-see for any visitor.
For those interested in fauna, the park is home to a rich and diverse wildlife. You may spot foxes, deer, and even lynxes if you’re lucky. Birdwatchers will be delighted to spot peregrine falcons and eagle owls.
The park also offers a multitude of hiking and cycling trails for all levels of fitness. One of the most popular routes is the Gabriel Trail, which takes you through the heart of the park and to some of the most breathtaking viewpoints.
Bohemian Switzerland provides the essential respite from the hustle and bustle of city life and is indeed a day trip worth taking from Prague.
Tabor is a preserved town located in the Southern Bohemian Region that has a vital role in the historic Hussites movements against the church. Tabor is home to unique religious architecture, lively museums and galleries, and an extensive art scene, some dating from the 15th century.
Tabor is steeped in history with its well-preserved architecture and cobbled streets providing a glimpse into the past. The city’s main attraction is the Tabor Museum, which showcases a vast collection of Hussite artefacts that narrate the city’s rich history. Another must-visit is the Zizka Square, the city’s central square lined with beautiful Renaissance and Baroque houses.
If you’re interested in history, then the catacombs of the old town are a must-visit. These underground tunnels, which date back to the 15th century, used to serve as hiding places during times of war. Tabor also boasts a vibrant food scene, with numerous restaurants and pubs offering traditional Czech cuisine. Enjoy a hearty meal while soaking in the city’s charm and history.
Terezin was once a former concentration camp that is now turned into a park that reminds visitors of the atrocities that took place in Nazi-controlled territories. The museum portrays the lives of prisoners during their detention time, and visiting the memorial makes us remember the importance of positivity, hope, and the power of love.
Terezin, once a grim reminder of World War II atrocities, now stands as a symbol of resilience and remembrance. This former concentration camp has been transformed into an educational park and a memorial, educating visitors about the horrors of war and the resilience of the human spirit.
The Small Fortress, used as a Gestapo prison, and the Large Fortress, where Jewish prisoners were kept, are the main areas of interest. The Ghetto Museum, located in the Large Fortress, displays a collection of drawings by children who were imprisoned there, offering a poignant insight into the conditions they endured.
Despite the sombre history, Terezin also has a few light-hearted elements for visitors, including a playground and a café. It’s worth noting that respect for the historical context of this site should be maintained at all times. The journey through Terezin is sure to be a moving and informative experience, reminding visitors of a past that should never be forgotten.
Plzen is one of the ideal Day Trips from Prague for beer lovers who don’t want to miss the classic Czech Pilsen beer. The fantastic Pilsner Brewery, founded in the 19th century, is the birthplace of Pilsen Urquell, The World’s first-ever light-coloured beer. Visitors can enjoy the ultimate brewery experience with tasting and learning the brewing history and methodologies.
Nestled in the heart of Czech Republic, Plzen is not only known for its beer but also its rich history and culture. The city boasts a variety of attractions such as the St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral, showcasing an impressive fusion of Gothic architecture, and the third highest church tower in the country.
Visitors can also explore the Plzen Historical Underground, a labyrinth of cellars and passages that date back to the 14th century. In addition, the Techmania Science Centre is a must-visit for families with children, offering interactive exhibits that make learning fun and exciting.
For art lovers, the Museum of West Bohemia houses a vast collection of fine arts and crafts. Lastly, don’t miss out on the vibrant festivals, including the Pilsner Fest in October, the city’s biggest beer festival. Plzen truly offers something for everyone, making it an excellent destination for a day trip from Prague.
6. Karlstejn Castle
Karlstejn Castle is a beautiful medieval castle located within a brief train ride from Prague. The castle’s architecture is stunning, and the tour guide will take you from the history of the place to the beautiful panoramic views of the Czech countryside.
Built by Charles IV in the 14th century, Karlstejn Castle served as a repository for royal treasures, especially Charles’s collection of holy relics and the Imperial Crown Jewels. The castle’s robust, gothic architecture and hilltop location make it a spectacular sight.
There’s a lot of history to be uncovered here, from the Chapel of the Holy Cross adorned with semi-precious stones to the exquisite frescoes that line its grand halls. The nearby Karlstejn village offers quaint restaurants and shops, making it a perfect place to unwind after exploring the castle. The lush greenery surrounding the castle is also perfect for a leisurely stroll.
7. Cesky Krumlov
Cesky Krumlov is a well-known town located in South Bohemia, famous for its renaissance and Baroque-era architecture. The historical town centre is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can experience traditional Czech crafts, try on garments, and learn about the majestic castle’s rich cultural background.
Cesky Krumlov, believed to have been established in the 13th century, is a town like no other. The old-world charm of this town, with its meandering streets and ancient houses, transports visitors back in time. The crown jewel of the town is undoubtedly the Cesky Krumlov Castle, the second largest in the country, which stands as a testament to architectural grandeur.
This vast complex comprises of forty buildings and palaces, five castle courts, and a castle park spanning over seven hectares. Not to be missed within the castle precincts is the Baroque Theatre, one of the world’s most preserved theatres of its kind. Another notable feature is the castle’s bear moat, where visitors can observe bears, a tradition dating back to the 16th century.
Apart from the castle, the town also boasts of several other attractions such as the Egon Schiele Art Centrum, the Museum of Torture, and the Church of St. Vitus. A stroll along the Vltava River or a rafting trip down its course offers a different perspective of the town. With a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty, Cesky Krumlov promises an enchanting and captivating experience for every visitor.
8. Kutna Hora
Kutna Hora is a small town with huge history located in central Bohemia, famous for its silver mines that helped in building the wealth of the area, making it a popular location for medieval kings and queens. Some of the must-visit places to watch in Kutna Hora are the Sedlec Ossuary or Bone Church, the cathedral of St. Barbara, and the Italian Court Palace.
Kutna Hora, once the jewel of the Kingdom of Bohemia, is a town replete with a rich history and architectural splendour. Its significant role as a royal mint during the Middle Ages earned it a prominent place in history. The Sedlec Ossuary is a fascinating church decorated with the bones of an estimated 40,000 people, a somewhat macabre but unmissable sight that illustrates the transience of human life.
Meanwhile, the Cathedral of St. Barbara, patron saint of miners, is an exemplary model of late Gothic architecture. Its ornate interior, adorned with frescoes depicting medieval mining and minting processes, is equally impressive. The Italian Court, once a royal residence and mint, now serves as a museum, where visitors can gain insight into the historical coinage process.
Beyond these major attractions, the town offers a myriad of other sights. The Hradek Small Castle houses the Silver Museum, where one can learn about the town’s prosperous silver mining past. The Plague Column, a common feature in many Czech towns, stands as a symbol of gratitude for the end of a plague.
A walk around this charming town, with its quaint streets and centuries-old buildings, is a walk back in time. Kutna Hora offers a unique blend of history and cultural exploration, making it a must-visit day trip from Prague.
9. Pruhonice Park
Pruhonice Park is a scenic park located just outside of Prague, where you can enjoy a breathtaking experience walking the nature trails and witness botanical gardens featuring more than 8000 plant species across the world. The park provides an ideal spot for picnics, sunbathing, bird watching, and taking a stroll around the peaceful lake.
Pruhonice Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the epitome of natural beauty and serenity. Covering an extensive area of 250 hectares, the park is home to an astonishing array of plant and animal life, offering visitors an unforgettable experience of being one with nature. The landscape is punctuated with picturesque streams, tranquil ponds, and enchanting waterfalls, further enhancing the overall allure.
The heart of the park is the Pruhonice Castle, a magnificent structure that boasts a mix of Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Gothic architectural styles. The castle houses the Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences, playing a pivotal role in botanical research and environmental education.
The park’s landscape garden, one of the largest in Europe, is a horticulturist’s dream come true, showcasing over 8,000 species of plants. Different sections of the garden are dedicated to various types of flora, including rhododendrons, ornamental trees, and exotic plants, creating a spectacular tapestry of colors and fragrances.
For those seeking a more active visit, the park offers a plethora of walking trails that meander through varying terrains. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll by the lake or a challenging hike up the hills, there’s a path to suit every preference.
Pruhonice Park, with its blend of natural beauty, architectural grandeur, and biodiversity, offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, making it an ideal day trip from Prague.
10. Adrspach Teplice Rocks
Adrspach Teplice Rocks are a picturesque set of sandstone formations situated in Northern Bohemia, a bit far from Prague, but visiting this rocky paradise is worth the trip for adventurers. The natural site is a popular spot among climbers, hikers, coming to catch views of the steep cliffs, clear waters, and rewarding rock formations.
Set amidst the dense greenery of the Broumov region in northern Bohemia, the Adrspach Teplice Rocks are a spectacular natural wonder. This vast rock city is a labyrinth of towering sandstone pillars, with some reaching up to 300 feet in height. Sculpted by millions of years of wind and water erosion, these formations have assumed unique shapes, earning names such as the ‘Mayor and Mayoress’, ‘Lovers’, and ‘Sugar Loaf’.
A well-marked trail leads visitors through the fantastical landscape, weaving between the narrow rock crevices and along serene lakes. Along the way, there are numerous vantage points that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. This trail culminates at the Teplice Rock Town, where a collection of imposing rocks stand like silent sentinels, guarding the panoramic view.
For the more adventurous, the park is a popular site for rock climbing, with hundreds of routes of varying difficulty levels. The main attraction perhaps is the ‘Grand Waterfall’, a stunning cascade that plunges down a 45-meter tall cliff.
The Adrspach Teplice Rocks captivate visitors with their awe-inspiring beauty and offer a wild escape into nature. Though a little distance from Prague, the journey to this rocky utopia is an adventure in itself, making it a must-visit destination for nature lovers and thrill-seekers alike.
The Czech Republic has an exceptional fascination that is worth exploring. One of the most accessible yet fulfilling things you can do while here is to take any of these day trips from Prague mentioned in our blog post. Whether you’re indulging in the natural beauty of the countryside, discovering the country’s rich and diverse history, or getting a taste of Czech beer, the Czech Republic has something unique for everyone. Take some time away from the city and find an adventure that will leave you with unforgettable memories.