Best Day Trips from Prague
Without a doubt, Prague is one of the most cultural cities in the world. The Czech capital set on the Vltava River is renowned for its stunning architecture, has an Old Town that's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famous for the arts in all forms, and is a capital city with a fantastic nightlife scene. After a few days of continuous sightseeing and partying in Prague, you can start to feel burnt out, which is not exactly the way a vacation should make you feel.
When you're beginning to go into a state of cultural overdose from visiting all of the best museums in Prague or are suffering from some serious after-dark overindulgence, it'll be time to take action. Forget downing a couple of shots of Becherovka as a remedy, it'll only make you feel worse. What you need to do is get up early and go on a day trip out of Prague in search of a more natural cure.
Prague is surrounded by beautiful national park areas, including the Bohemian Switzerland National Park. Here, you can forget about getting a cultural brain ache and just enjoy nature at its finest. If you're a glutton for mental punishment and want more architecture, there are also some very visit-worthy cities near Prague you might want to investigate. You can even head out of Czechia for the day if you want to, but more about that further on.
The last thing you'll want to take with you on a day trip out of Prague is your luggage. Even if you have a rental car, it's not wise to leave your personal belongings stashed in it while you go hiking through the hills. It might not be there when you get back.
If you need secure luggage storage in Prague, then you need a Bounce luggage locker. Once you drop your stuff off in a Bounce luggage locker, you can forget about it. It'll be kept safe in a tagged and insured locker only you have access to until you're ready to collect it.
How to get out of Prague
Once you've been there a couple of days, you'll have mastered how to get around Prague by public transport, especially in the city center. That's good because using public transport is also a great way of going on a day trip out of Prague. Trains are by far the most efficient way of traveling, but the local bus services, although slower, are not a bad option either.
Yes, you may have trouble pronouncing the names of the stations and stops, but that's all part and parcel of the fun of visiting Czechia. Don't feel too embarrassed if you have to resort to mime when asking for directions to the stations, though you will discover that bus and train are words most people will recognize if you get the hand signals right.
Hlavní nádraží, Prague hl.n, is the city's main train station and is located on Wilsonova Street. Nádraží Florenc UAN is the city's main bus station and is located at Pod výtopnou 13/10.
The Best Day Trips From Prague
From Prague to Liberec and Ještěd Mountain
Liberec is a city north of Prague that is close to both the German and Polish borders. It's a city with a real Bohemian vibe as it’s been greatly influenced by German settlers over the years. Liberec has its unusual architectural attributes, too, in the form of 17th-century timber-clad houses. They're just one of the reasons people take a day trip from Prague to Liberec, though.
One of Liberec's biggest attractions is Ještěd Mountain. Ještěd Mountain towers over Liberec to a height of around 1,000 meters and is topped with an unusual and very outstanding structure known as the Ještěd Tower. The tower, which was originally a television antenna, now houses a hotel and restaurant.
It's a steep climb to get to the summit of Ještěd Mountain, but you can make it easier by taking the cable car. You can board the cable car near the city's Horni Hanychov transport terminal. It's a scenic ride that pays dividends because, from the panoramic summit viewpoint, you can see across three countries, Czechia, Poland, and Germany. Hiking back down the mountain is great exercise if you're feeling energetic.
How to get to Liberec and Ještěd Mountain
There are times when buses are quicker than trains, and as there's no direct train from Prague to Liberec, then the bus is by far the quickest option. The average bus trips from Prague to Liberec take about an hour to an hour and ten minutes, so it's the perfect destination for a half-day trip.
From Prague to Bohemian Switzerland National Park
Going to the Bohemian Switzerland National Park is one of the best day trips from Prague you can do. Why? Where the Elbe River flows through northern Czechia, it's carved a unique landscape in the country. That landscape is contained within the boundaries of the Bohemian Switzerland National Park and is really something to behold.
Erosion by the elements has also played a part in the creation of the massive rock formations and left behind what is the biggest sandstone arch in Europe, Pravčická brána. While you can't hike over the arch because of its fragile nature, there are some great trails leading to other impressive rock formations you won't want to miss.
Some of the best hiking trails in the country are in the Bohemian Switzerland National Park, but you don't need to be a hardened hiker to enjoy the park's majestic landscapes. Make the village of Hřensko your destination, and you'll be able to take a boat ride through Edmund Gorge on the Kamenice River, which is a lot more restful.
How to get to Bohemian Switzerland National Park
The park is in quite a remote area, so if you want to spend as much time there as possible, your best option is to rent a car. If that's not possible, you can take the train from Prague to Decin and then a bus from Decin to Hřensko.
To make the day a little more adventurous, get off the train in Decin and rent a bicycle from outside the station. If you're not the overly adventurous type, you can arrange for a local guide to collect you from Decin station and take you on a guided tour of the park's highlights.
From Prague to Karlstejn Castle
One of the easiest and best day trips from Prague to make is the one to Karlstejn Castle, a hilltop castle above the medieval town of Karlstejn. The monumental, blue-roofed castle is very similar to Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, although minus some of the fairytale aspects as it's a lot more square.
Karlstejn Castle is quite a few centuries older than its German counterpart, which wasn't constructed until the 19th century. Karlstejn Castle was built in the mid-14th century by the then king as a storage place for the Bohemian crown jewels, most of which are still there today.
All parts of the impressive castle are accessible to visitors, although some, because of their content, require you to be accompanied by a castle tour guide. There's a minimal charge for the tours that must be pre-booked online via the official website before arrival. Don't miss the tour that takes you up to the Great Castle Tower. The views from there are incredible, and you'll definitely get an inkling of how King Charles IV felt as he peered down on his realm.
How to get to Karlstejn Castle
The best way to do this day trip, unless you go by car, is on the train. A direct train departs every 30 minutes from Prague's main station to Karlstejn. From Karlstejn station to the castle is a short, albeit steep, 15-minute walk.
If you go by car, the drive takes about an hour. You need to be aware that you will have to park in Karlstejn 's only car park at the bottom of the hill and then walk to the castle from there. Karlstejn is a pedestrianized town, so keep an eye out for no-entry street signs. Drive up the wrong one, and you could ruin your day trip by getting a fine.
From Prague to Terezin Concentration Camp
Not all of the landmarks on the Czechia landscape have a pleasant past. The 18th-century-built Theresienstadt fortress' history turned dark when the structure, originally constructed as a vacation resort for royalty, was turned into a concentration camp by the Nazis in WW2.
While visiting Terezin Concentration Camp isn't one of the most joyous day trips from Prague you can make, it does serve as a painful reminder of the atrocities humans are capable of inflicting on each other.
You can choose to either explore Terezin Concentration Camp and its exhibitions alone or take a tour of the installation with a guide. Both ways are emotive and disturbing, but the second is obviously more informative. You will also be able to watch documentary films in the museum. The visit can be harrowing, so it's a good idea to plan a diversion for the evening after your day trip here to take your mind off what you've seen and heard.
How to get to Terezin Concentration Camp
There is a direct train from Prague's main station to Terezine station, from where you'll need to walk to Terezin Concentration Camp. The train journey is around two hours. If you choose to drive here, the trip will take approximately an hour. You can also choose the option of an organized day trip from a tour company which includes transport from your accommodation to the ghetto and concentration camp.
From Prague to Bohemian Paradise Nature Reserve
When you're hoping to have an escape back to nature, then one of the best day trips from Prague is one that involves visiting the Bohemian Paradise Nature Reserve. The reserve covers an area of over 70 square miles and contains sandstone and basalt rock formations, caves, small lakes, and a number of castles, both intact and in ruins.
How to get to Bohemian Paradise Nature Reserve
Because the reserve covers such an enormous area, you should decide what you want to see before you go. You will see more if you rent a car as you can drive between different places. Without a car, the best option is to go on one of the organized day trips from Prague, or you'll spend most of your day swapping from bus to bus or train to bus and basically not seeing what you wanted to see.
From Prague to Kutna Hora
One of the easiest and best day trips from Prague to take if you want a cultural outing is to the picturesque town of Kutna Hora. Kutna Hora is around an hour east of Prague by car or train and is where the UNESCO World Heritage Site, St Barbara's Cathedral, is located.
There's more to see in the historic town of Kutna Hora than the cathedral and the Sedlec Ossuary, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, so be prepared to explore on foot. Kutna Hora's old town is a delight of quiet, characterful streets that entice you to wander.
Known as the silver city and the treasure chest of the country, Kutna Hora has a long and fascinating history connected to the mining of silver. You can learn all about that at the town's Silver Museum, where there's even a replica silver mine you can go down into.
How to get to Kutna Hora
You can catch a train from Prague main station to Kutna Hora, and the journey takes around an hour. You can also take a bus from Prague to Kutna Hora. The journey takes on average an hour and a half and will leave you at the bus depot in the city center, which is a great spot to start your exploring.
Wherever you decide to go on a day trip when you're staying in Prague, guaranteed it'll have some wow factor whether it's natural or manmade. You don't even need to travel too far as there are some great places about an hour away from the city that make for amazing day trips. Yes, you may need to be a little adventurous, especially where the language on signs is concerned, but at least you'll know you're in a foreign country, and that's what traveling is all about.