Prague is a great city to spend a few days sightseeing around, but it also happens to be a perfect base for discovering the rest of the Czech Republic. While the capital city gets the bulk of tourists’ attention, there are many things to see in the Czech Republic outside of Prague. You only need to travel a couple of hours at most in any direction from Prague to find some of the best places to visit in the Czech Republic, including other cities, national parks, and castles.
Finding somewhere to visit from Prague is easy; the hard part is deciding which of the following Prague day trips to do first!
How to Get Around
Although you can make many of these day trips with public transport, consider renting a car for the day to give yourself more flexibility and independence. With your own four wheels, you control your time and schedule. Depending on how many people are in your group, renting a car might even work out to be cheaper than other forms of transportation. You can compare car rental deals and find the lowest prices at Rentalcars.com, an aggregation site that searches and displays prices and availability from hundreds of car rental companies, helping you find the best possible car for your budget.
Don’t want to drive or deal with the hassle of public transport? No worries! We’ve listed the best tour for each day trip (where available).
One of the best places to visit from Prague is the UNESCO-recognized mining town of Kutná Hora. It’s far more scenic than you’d imagine a former mining town to be, featuring landmarks such as the Gothic St. Barbara’s Church. Kutná Hora also has one of the country’s more macabre attractions – the Sedlec Ossuary, a small chapel on the outskirts of town that’s completely decorated with skulls and bones.
Seek out the Italian Court, a medieval palace turned royal mint, and the Czech Museum of Silver, which will take you through the town’s mining past. Then there’s the huge Jesuit College with its row of saintly statues, views down the valley, and trove of artwork inside.
Getting there: The most straightforward way to visit Kutná Hora from Prague is to take a guided tour – especially if you want to see the Sedlec Ossuary, as it’s nearly 40 minutes from the town center on foot. Otherwise, you can visit by train, the journey taking around an hour and 15 minutes.
The Czech Republic is packed with fantastic castles to visit, and one of the best is surely Karlštejn Castle. It’s also one of the most common and easy train trips from Prague. A trip out to this castle, which overlooks the small town of Karlštejn from its epic setting among hills of forest, is full of history and staggering scenery.
Whether you walk up through the quaint town or hitch a ride with a horse and cart, reaching the castle is half the fun. Once there, walk along the castle walls or explore inside its halls and towers. You can also see replicas of the Bohemian crown jewels, which once resided at the castle.
Getting there: Karlštejn is just a 33-minute train ride from Prague, and the train leaves every half hour, making it an easy place to see on a whim. If you’d prefer, though, a half-day guided tour will cut out the hassle of navigating public transport and leave your morning free.
As one of the most popular destinations in the Czech Republic, Český Krumlov is also one of the most sought-after day tours from Prague.
Český Krumlov is a wonderfully preserved historic town in the country’s south, featuring cobblestone streets and plenty of pretty traditional houses. Impossible to miss is Český Krumlov Castle, sprawling across the far riverbank in all its glory. Allow plenty of time to tour the castle, including its courtyards, terrace viewpoints, beautiful interior, and tower. Afterward, stroll around the manicured Castle Garden, which appears bigger than the town itself, or spend time by the Vltava riverfront at Lazebnický Bridge or the Český Krumlov Town Park.
Getting there: To give yourself enough time to see and learn about Český Krumlov, a guided day tour is the best way to go. To make it there on your own, you have the choice of bus or train, both taking a little under three hours each way.
Bohemian Switzerland National Park
The Czech Republic is home to some phenomenal national parks. One of its best is unquestionably Bohemian Switzerland on its northern border. What makes this one of the best side trips from Prague is that it suits not only hikers, but also anyone who wants to see some cool rock formations and stunning vistas.
Inside the park, you can take a river cruise along the Kamenice through the Wild Gorge and Edmund Gorge to Bastei Bridge in the neighboring Saxon Switzerland National Park. But nobody leaves Bohemian Switzerland without taking a gentle hike up to and through the park’s unusual rock formations and finding the iconic Pravčická Gate.
Getting there: Visiting Bohemian Switzerland as a day trip without a car presents some challenges. The train journey from Prague to Děčín takes an hour and 40 minutes. From there, you’ll need to take the local bus to the park’s main village, and then you’ll need to account for the time it takes to get from one sight to the next. A far less complicated approach is to go with a full-day guided tour, which will also let you see Saxon Switzerland while reducing travel time and stress.
For a city that rivals Prague’s beauty, look no further than Karlovy Vary, another one of the best day trips from Prague. Among its many thermal springs and spa resorts, the city’s regal riverfront with endless rows of grand buildings is what makes it so special.
As you walk through town, you’ll come across many colonnades, including the stone Mill Colonnade and the finely detailed Park Colonnade. Inside each are small hot spring fountains – all dwarfed by the Vřídelní Fountain as it spurts and steams boiling water.
On either side of the river valley, Karlovy Vary is sheltered by hills blanketed in forest. You’ll find spectacular views of the city at the Deer Jump Lookout, or you could climb the tower overlooking the Castle Colonnade.
Getting there: As the train takes an indirect route, your best public transport option is one of the frequent two-hour buses to Karlovy Vary from Prague. If you want to learn more about the city and its thermal springs, though, taking a guided tour is the better way to go.
The Czech Republic has a special relationship with beer, and the small city of Pilsen is the perfect place to explore that bond. As the birthplace of Pilsner beer, Pilsen is where you can visit the Pilsner Urquell Brewery, take a tour to see the brewing process, and sample some beer straight from the kegs.
When you cross the river, it’s not far to the city’s historic center, where you should head for Republic Square. You can enjoy plenty of sights here, such as the towering Cathedral of St. Bartholomew, modern gold fountains, the Renaissance Pilsen Town Hall, and the traditional gabled houses around the sides. Around the edges of the Old Town, other interesting landmarks include the Great Synagogue and the JK Tyl Theatre.
Getting there: Direct trains to Pilsen leave from Prague every 30 minutes or so, the journey taking about an hour and 40 minutes. You can get there in an hour if you drive, and the bus might also be slightly quicker than the train.
Terezín Concentration Camp
Although independent and peaceful now, the Czech Republic has quite a grim and turbulent history. Arguably its darkest chapter was during World War II when Nazis occupied the region, opening the Terezín Concentration Camp.
On a visit to the Terezín Memorial, you can learn how the Nazis converted the fortress town of Theresienstadt into a concentration camp and ghetto. You can hear stories of prisoners at the camp and see the railway tracks that carried victims there. The memorial site includes the Ghetto Museum and the Magdeburg Barracks, now a war museum. Elsewhere in the town, you can also see the old fortifications and head down into the underground corridors.
Getting there: While Terezín is a relatively short trip from Prague by car (only 45 minutes), the trip is best taken with a guided tour to understand the true gravity of the place. Visiting via public transport is possible, with trains leaving from Prague every hour, but the camp is 2.5 kilometers (about 1.6 miles) from the nearest train station.
There’s no shortage of castles that are easy to reach from Prague, and Konopiště Castle outside the small city of Benešov is one of them. You can comfortably visit this beautiful castle as a half-day trip from the capital.
The castle dates back to the 13th century, so you can expect to see plenty of historical artifacts here, especially in its famous armory. But this three-story chateau is best known as the last residence of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria before he was assassinated in 1914. As such, there’s quite a bit about him on the castle tour, including a visit to his family’s private apartment.
Getting there: The biggest benefit of taking a tour to Konopiště Castle is that some include another destination, such as Karlštejn Castle, to make it a full-day trip. If you only want a half-day trip, you can get there in an hour with one of the frequent trains from Prague.
Bohemian Paradise Nature Reserve
For an enticing mix of castles and curious natural landscapes, make your way to Bohemian Paradise. It’s easy to confuse this reserve with Bohemian Switzerland, given their similar names and rock labyrinths, but they’re actually quite different. While Bohemian Paradise also offers hikes through towering rock formations and narrow crevices, it’s home to multiple historic castles and ruins as well. Don’t miss Hrubá Skála Castle perched on a huge sandstone cliff or the Gothic charms of Valdštejn Castle. Throwing in the sweeping panoramic views, there’s something here for everyone.
Getting there: Bohemian Paradise is the kind of place you can only see properly if you drive or go with a tour. Public transport doesn’t even get you to the outskirts of the reserve within two hours, and then you need to get around inside it as well.
The underrated northern city of Liberec lets you see another side of urban life in the Czech Republic. Begin your visit with the main plaza, Dr. Edvard Beneš Square. It’s here that you can admire the beautiful Fountain of Neptune and the magnificent Liberec Town Hall, which dominates the square with its imaginative architecture. Next, seek out the half-timbered Wallenstein Houses for an idea of what the homes of Liberec once looked like.
Heading behind the town hall, you’ll see the historic F. X. Šalda Theatre on the way to the Museum Quarter. From here, it’s a nice walk down to the Old Harcov Dam with its peaceful waterfront and quaint wall. Back near the city center, it’s hard to miss the red and white exterior of Reichenberg Castle and its gardens.
Getting there: Your best option for getting to Liberec quickly is by car, as the city is only a little over an hour’s drive away from Prague. If you take public transport, buses are the way to go, as they run frequently from Prague’s main station and make the journey in about an hour and 30 minutes.
We could keep going with more great places to visit from Prague, but you’ve now got plenty of ideas to get you started. Enjoy!