Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is full of bold and beautiful medieval architecture that exudes charm, culture, and history. While you should definitely spend some time here, if you don’t also plan to spend some time outside of the city, then you’re missing out. Prague’s central location in this dynamic country gives you a great opportunity to venture out into the countryside. Here you can visit the people and culture of the rural areas and small towns. You will surely be blown away by the beauty of the landscapes, history, and people of the Czech Republic.
Not sure where to go? The following destinations are all accessible within a day’s drive of Prague. From castles to small towns, you can see the countryside, the rolling hills, and the way of life that these hardy and amazing people have lived for centuries. Below are some easily suggestions for day trips from Prague that are easy to reach and worth your time.
The town of Cesky Krumlov is worth a visit of several days if you have time, as it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But if you don’t have several days, then at least put it on your itinerary for a single day trip from Prague. This small town is full of medieval and Baroque architecture with small homes, restaurants, and shops, plus grand churches, an old town square, and a picturesque river. On top of all this, everything is overlooked by the second largest castle in the Czech Republic. The town looks and feels just as it did in the 18th century.
If you don’t have time for the multi-hour tour of the castle (which is not free), then you enter the castle itself for free and go straight up to the top of the walls for an unbelievable view of the city below. But don’t miss the old theater, either. The town also has several museums about the history of the area, and during summer visitors can go tubing down the Vltava River.
This historical royal hunting lodge was part fortress and part palace, and is located in the Bohemian area of the country. Once a private residence for Archduke Ferdinand (the assassination of whom led to the outbreak of World War I), it is now a museum that holds a fine collection of artwork as well as ancient weapons, tapestries, and information about the lives of those who lived and worked here over the centuries.
Built by Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, this fascinating castle is so full of history that your head will spin as you try to take it all in. Dating back to the 14th century, this castle sits upon a hill overlooking the surrounding forests. Visitors can browse through the halls and admire the collections of art, historical pieces such as furniture and weapons, and jewels. A walk along the ramparts and towers of the castle is one of the more fun experiences for children, too!
The primary reason to visit this historical town dating from the 15th century is the “Bone Church”, or more formally known as the Ossuary. The entire town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and contains multiple attractions in addition to the Ossuary such as the Cathedral of St. Barbara, the Italian Court, and the gothic St. James Church. But the Ossuary is the main draw, as it is both historical and creepy at the same time. Containing over 40,000 human bones, the inside is both elegant and scary. Plenty of shops, restaurants, and historical architecture will also entertain you during a visit to this dynamic and cultural town.
Beer lovers can’t miss this town! The Pilsner Urquell Brewery was started in 1842 and is open to visitors for a tour and tasting. But try not to get too loaded up, because the rest of this amazing city has even more to offer. Multiple historic churches and buildings are also located here and are worth a visit. The large town square holds an open-air market as well. Under the historical and beautiful town hall is located a network of tunnels and cellars which can also be explored. If you are traveling with your kids, don’t miss the puppet museum!
One of the great benefits of taking day trips from Prague is that you can return to your “home base” in Prague at the end of the day. Then, you can explore the great restaurants, shops, and nightlife that this amazing city has to offer. If you’re looking for a party, you can check out one of Prague’s many party hostels. Or take your partner on a romantic river boat cruise, or stroll across the famous Charles bridge. Either way, you’ll find that Prague can be very affordable, and so are the nearby destinations in the countryside.