If you have a few days in Prague, why limit yourself? Get out of the city and see what other wonders the Czech Republic has to offer. Here are 5 must-see day trips from the famous capital.
What to do: Pilsen (Plzeň) was named 2015 Capital of European Culture and with good reason. It’s a beautiful historic city where you can stroll about the ancient streets and see the third biggest synagogue in the world, The Great Synagogue, or the beautiful Cathedral of St. Bartholomew.
Of course, the biggest draw for the city of Pilsen is the world famous Pilsner Urquell Brewery. It is a fun interactive tour where you can touch and smell ingredients, see the famous beer being made and packaged, and even try some unfiltered, unpasteurized beer yourself, straight from the barrel.
Check out the city’s website before you go for their 2015 program of events, http://www.pilsen.eu/tourist/, which includes a giant puppet show and a Baroque food, music, and arts festival.
What to eat: After you visit the brewery, head to Senk Na Parkanu for another pint of Pilsner beer and some hearty Czech food. The dishes are reasonable at about 200 CZK per meal.
How to get there: The easiest way to get from Prague to Pilsen is by train. The train leaves every hour from Prague’s main station and takes about an hour and a half. A ticket costs 150 CZK.
#2. Kutná Hora
What to do: This city offers several attractions such as the impressive Arch-Deanery Church of St. Jacob, the Czech Silver Museum, and the historic center of Kutná Hora, but of course the real gem of this old silver mining town is the Kostnice (or Sedlec) Ossuary. It’s a chapel decorated in every bone of the human body. The Ossuary even contains a chandelier of human bones. This grim attraction is a must-see.
What to eat: Try hotel and restaurant U Ruze. It’s close to Kutná Hora’s city center, offers delicious Czech food at a reasonable price, and has a beautiful garden seating area with a great view.
How to get there: Getting to Kutná Hora can be a bit complicated as the train and bus stations aren’t very close to the ossuary. Your best bet is to take a train from Prague hl.n. and get out at Kutná Hora hl.n. which is a 10 minute walk from the Kostnice Ossuary. The trains leave about every hour and take a little over an hour and a half. Tickets cost about 100 CZK.
There are also buses that leave from Florenc and Háje in Prague, but the schedules can be confusing and occasionally require a transfer stop. Bus and train schedules can be checked here, https://www.cd.cz/en/default.htm.
What to do: This town is a very short journey from Prague, worthwhile because you can see where the rivers the Labe and Vltava meet from the high point on which the town was built, visit the Mělnik Chateau, and check out the imposing Church of Sts. Peter and Paul with the ossuary hidden beneath. It’s best to visit this town during the Mělnik Wine Festival, usually held during September, when you can taste the delicious young wine of the area and view Czech crafts and traditional performances.
What to eat: Come during the Mělnik Wine Festival and sample many traditional foods and wines.
How to get there: Take a bus from Praha-Holešovice for 50 CZK. It’s a 40 minute ride.
What to do: Come to Terezin to see a darker side of Czech history. This old fortress turned concentration camp was not a death camp, but a holding camp for those who would later move on to Auschwitz or other camps. The museum is worth checking out since it is included in the admission price to the camp. When you arrive you will have to sign up for an English tour. The Nazi propaganda film created in Terezin is shown at the end of the tour and is a harrowing reminder of the horrors of WWII.
What to eat: The nearby village of Terezin is within walking distance of Terezin Concentration Camp but only offers a handful of places to eat. Understandably there are not many restaurants nearby, and it might be best to simply return to Prague after visiting the concentration camp.
How to get there: Buses leave from Nádrazí Holesovice in Prague and cost about 80 CZK. The ride takes about an hour. Be careful because the last direct bus from Terezin to Prague leaves around 2:20 pm. After that you will have to take a bus from Terezin to Litomerice and leave for Prague from the station in Litomerice.
#5. Český Krumlov
What to do: This UNESCO World Heritage sights is one of the most beautiful towns in the world. Tourists traveling from Prague to this medieval fairy tale are awed and amazed by the feel of stepping back in time. Simply wander about the city and let your breath be taken away. If you’re feeling adventurous sign up for white water rafting on the Vltava.
What to eat: Pick a place along the river for spectacular views and the sounds of fish splashing in the water, like U Dwau Maryi. It’s a tad pricey, but the venison and other traditional meals are delicious. Most restaurants in this town are priced quite high because of the high volume of tourists, but follow your nose and you’re sure to find a great Czech meal or a nice hot chocolate.
How to get there: The easiest way is to book a bus ticket with Student Agency, http://www.studentagency.cz/. The bus leaves from Na Knížecí bus station near the Anděl metro station. It is a 3 hour ride and costs 210 CZK. Book early because seats tend to fill up fast.