Close to rivalling Paris for the title of the most romantic city in the world, Prague is certainly one of the most beautiful. The Czech capital is a veritable smorgasbord of history, art, and culture, with stunning baroque architecture at every turn, and unforgettable views across the Vltava River. Known as the city of a thousand spires, Prague attracts millions of visitors every year – but there’s more to discover when visiting the Czech Republic.
While the jewel in the Czech crown quite rightly brings scores of people to experience its delights, getting out of the city equally has its benefits – especially if you’re not one for the crowds. Luckily, as much as Prague itself has a lot to offer, so does its surround, having some amazing sights and attractions little more than a few hours away. With that in mind, here are some of the very best day trips you can enjoy right on Prague’s beautiful doorstep, and you’ve no excuse when it’s so easy to get around!
For some unknown reason, this is still one of the Czech Republic’s best-kept secrets. Located just under two hours from the capital, this ancient national park straddles the border into Saxon Germany, sharing the remarkable sandstone rock formations of the Elbe River Valley. If you’re into the great outdoors, this is not to be missed, quite simply the best day trip from Prague you could possibly do.
You’ll be amidst some truly jaw-dropping natural architecture, enjoying stunning sunsets, peaceful river cruises and even local coffee culture set with a backdrop of unrivalled beauty.
Quite why this memorising national park is still relatively off the tourist radar is a total mystery.
At just under 30 kilometres from your Prague home base, you’d be amiss to not pay a visit to this wonderful 14th Century castle. Built to protect the crown of Emperor Charles IV and other royal and religious treasures, it is a gothic masterpiece in a picturesque setting, perched above the surrounding forest and countryside.
Karlstejn Castle is a great option for a day trip from the capital, not least because it’s so close. However, it’s worth remembering that it’s the third most visited location in the Czech Republic, so be wary of the crowds during peak times. Don’t let that put you off though, and enjoy one of the several guided tours of the castle and its pleasant seat – complete with the delightful views from its main tower.
A spa town located just over an hour from Prague, Teplice is a relaxing day out away from the usual tourist hustle and bustle. It has all the charm you might expect from a sleepy Czech town, but still with plenty to see and do, including a castle and gardens, historic main square and churches, exploring the centre on a mini-train and of course pampering yourself at one of the many spas here.
And with some delicious Czech food and drink to indulge in from the region, a visit to Teplice makes for a chilled-out alternative to the more frequented destinations in the country, and likely at a fraction of the cost too.
You’re in the Czech Republic, which is, per capita head, the largest beer-consuming country in the world. Now, the Czechs are particularly proud of this, and they should be particularly proud of the beer they actually produce. They have a good shout from making the best brews known to man, and they do say that no trip is complete unless you pay a visit to their most famous beer brewing town – Pilsen.
Pilsner Urquell has been pumping out batches of their concoction since 1842 and has become one of the top breweries in Europe, nay – the world. Tours (and of course samplings) are available, but the town is well worth a visit in its own right.
If you want to experience a fairy tale town the likes of which you’ve only ever seen in a movie, then look no further than Český Krumlov. The most popular destination in the Czech Republic after Prague, it’s a delightful medieval wonderland located just over 2 hours from the capital. You’ll feel like you’re walking in an open-air museum.
Aside from a beautiful town centre, and top-quality food and beer, Český Krumlov boasts a stunning castle and gardens, but if also has an adventurous side. The river is popular for kayaking and white-water rafting, and there are many places along the banks of the Vltava to dock and enjoy some famous local hospitality. It’s really not to be missed.
It’s not all about the Czech Republic when it comes to taking a day trip from Prague. The Saxony town of Dresden is only two hours up the road, through some beautiful countryside and into one of Germany’s most charming towns, sitting proudly on the River Elbe.
Heavily bombed by the allies in WW2, Dresden has risen from the ashes to become one of the coolest little cities you’re ever likely to visit. Don’t miss the funky Äußere Neustadt quarter for some awesome street art and nightlife – but then it might turn into more than a day trip!
When taking a day trip from Prague, you’re really going to be spoilt for choice. In fact, there just isn’t enough time or space to do this country justice here. Towns like Brno and Olomouc also deserve mentions, and there are more castles here than in a Game of Thrones episode. While the capital will lose none of its powers of attraction, it’s always worth exploring a little further afield here. Just make sure you don’t drink too much beer.
Which of these day trips most takes your fancy? Let us know!