Prague is littered with history, much of its most illustrious owing to Charles IV, the Holy Roman Emperor who made the city the Empire’s capital, and who also founded the Charles University, the Czech Republic’s oldest.
The city also contains the largest ancient castle in the world, which itself dates back to the 9th century: it covers a massive area of 750,000 square feet!
Prague is bristling with buildings that illustrate the Gothic style, the baroque, renaissance – all of it adding up into a beautiful soup of architecture and history that is almost unreal to see; the St. Vitus Cathedral alone is an incredible sight.
But then, the Czech Republic is filled with incredible sights, nature, and culture: from sandstone mountains in the north and historic Bohemian spas to quiet Moravian towns and a love affair with beer. There are actually tons of day trips from Prague that are well worth your time.
Best Day Trips from Prague – Quick Guide
(click to jump to each section)
- Karlovy Vary
- Cesky Krumlov
- Kutna Hora
- Konopiste Castle
- Saxon & Bohemian Switzerland
- Karlstejn Castle
Famous for its Jewish Quarter, the town of Třebíč is located in Moravia, a historical country in the Czech Republic and one of the original Czech lands (alongside Silesia and Bohemia).
In fact, the Jewish Quarter is one of the best maintained Jewish ghettos in all of Europe and as such has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the only Jewish collection of monuments to be listed outside of Israel.
There are many historic houses and two synagogues to visit here. Elsewhere in town, there is the St. Procopius Basilica – also UNESCO listed, built on the site of a church dating to 1104; the current Romanesque-Gothic church was constructed in the mid-13th century.
The historic nature of the buildings in town makes it worth a day’s exploration, with many sights to see besides.
Our Recommend Tours to visit Trebic:
- Day Trip from Prague to the UNESCO Towns of Trebic and Telc and a renaissance gem – Telc castle
- 3 Days trip from Prague to Moravia and surrounding area
- Private 2-Day UNESCO Sites Tour from Prague Including Sedlec, Kutná Hora, Trebic, Telc, and Zelená Hora
Named after Charles IV (Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia) who founded the city in 1370, Karlovy Vary is also known as Carlsbad.
While it is a very pretty place, with typical Bohemian houses in pastel colors lining the narrow, meandering streets, this town in western Czech Republic is more famous for its hot springs.
In fact, it was precisely for this that Charles IV decided to found the town, having organized an expedition in 1350 in the hope of coming across such a result. Today Karlovy Vary is the most famous hot spring town in the Czech Republic, being the most visited spa town in the country.
Sights in the city include the luxurious Grandhotel Pupp, dating back to 1701, and the 19th century Mill Colonnade, a grand symbol of the city which alone contains 13 hot springs!
Our top recommended tours to visit Karlovy Vary:
- Day Trip to Karlovy Vary from Prague including 3-course Lunch
- Karlovy Vary Full Day Tour from Prague
- Day-Trip to Karlovy Vary Spa with Walking Tour from Prague
- Karlovy Vary Like a Local: Customized Private Tour
The historic center of this Bohemian town has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992, along with the historic center of Prague itself. The center of Český Krumlov is based around the imposing castle, which dates back to 1240, and looks out over the Vltava River. Another sight in town is the magnificent Church of St. Vitus.
Aside from these main sites, the picturesque fairytale medieval center of town alone is enough to warrant a day trip from Prague, which is just over two hours away to the north by car.
The white walls and red roofs of the buildings in this town are just too pretty, and with the dramatic curve in the river, this makes for an extremely picture-perfect place to visit.
Our top recommended tour of Cesky Krumlov:
The town of Telč was founded in the 13th century as a royal water fort designed to protect the much-used trade routes between Bohemia, Austria and Moravia – the region where Telč is located.
It’s famous for its unique central square, called Náměstí Zachariáše, which is lined with high-gabled renaissance and baroque architecture, featuring covered walkways and arcades.
Also in town is the monumental Renaissance castle, which was originally built in the Gothic style in the 14th century – the old style no longer pleased nobleman Zachariáš of Hradec, and he had it altered two centuries later.
The charming pastel houses, the interesting sgraffito style on the facade of some buildings, plus its heritage, make Telč definitely worthy of being on this list of the day trips from Prague – just under two hours away by car.
Located just over an hour’s drive from the capital of the Czech Republic, this city is one that’s packed with things to see. For instance, there’s the St. Barbara’s Church, a magical example of Gothic architecture with an unbelievable story: because construction was interrupted several times, this castle took over 500 years to build – from 1388 to 1905.
Most bizarre of all though is Sedlec Ossuary, a macabre display of human skulls and bones, part of Sedlec Abbey. Due to soil brought back from the place of Jesus’ crucifixion, and sprinkled on the cemetery, it became a desirable place to be buried.
Demand led to expansion and exhumation of those already buried; in 1870 a woodcarver was employed to put order to the stacks of bones, which resulted in this incredible monument. Even the chandeliers are made of human bones!
Our top recommended tours to Kutná Hora:
- Kutna Hora Day Tour from Prague Including Sedlec Ossuary
- Half-Day Trip to Kutna Hora and the Ossuary from Prague
- Kutna Hora Private Day Trip from Prague by Train
- Kutna Hora and Bone Chapel Private Day Trip from Prague
Believe it or not, it’s actually very easy to get to this German city from Prague, it’s only 2 hours by car. This illustrious city has a long history and is associated with the kings of Saxony, the name of this area of the country, who had close ties to Poland before the unification of the states that became modern Germany.
It was previously known as the ‘Jewel Box’ because of the amount of baroque and rococo style buildings in its city center. These, sadly, were almost entirely destroyed by the controversial British and American bombing of the city in World War II. However, due to incredibly faithful reconstruction, many famous sights still exist today.
Also the exquisite palace, gallery, and museum of Zwinger, the famous Semperoper opera house (which premiered works by such greats as Strauss, and Wagner), plus the mind blowing Dresden Cathedral. It’s a wonder that any of these exist as beautifully as they do today.
You may better know this Czech Republic town by its German name of Pilsen, which in turn gives its name to Pilsner, the internationally renowned pale ale variety. Located around one-hour-twenty from the capital, this is one of the most interesting day trips from Prague for a beer-lover, that’s for sure.
From the late 13th century up until 1840, the brewing method remained unchanged, but then along with English technology and Bavarian brewing processes, the pilsner was born: Pilsner Urquell.
This coincided with the rise of mass glass manufacturing, and the elegant Bohemian style of glassware helped to further disseminate the newly born beer throughout Europe.
Elsewhere, the architecture of Plzeň is beautifully baroque, much of it dating from the late 17th century; it is also home to the Great Synagogue, the second largest in Europe.
Our top recommended tour to Plzen:
Originally established in the 1280s by a Prague bishop, this stunning chateau or castle was initially built as a Gothic fortification in the French style. Captured by the Swedes in 1648, it was sold and, in the mid-18th century, the dilapidated structure was turned into the chateau it is today.
The grand white curving towers and massive orange roofs of this dominating structure secure it as one of the Czech Republic’s finest.
It is also one of the most historically prominent castles in the country, since it belonged to Archduke Franz Ferdinand and was his final residence before the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne was assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914, the spark that began the First World War.
In fact, the bullet that killed him is on display at Konopiště, alongside Europe’s third-largest collection of medieval arms and armor.
Our top recommended tours to Konopiště castle:
- Konopiste Castle Half-Day Trip from Prague
- Konopiste Chateau and Cesky Sternberk Castle and Sázava Monastery Private Tour from Prague
- Konopiste Castle Private Tour from Prague
- Private Day Excursion to Karlstejn Castle & Konopiste Castle with Local Guide
Saxon and Bohemian Switzerland National Parks
Spanning the Czech and German borders, this two-in-one National Park area is awash with coniferous forests and stunning sandstone rock formations.
In the ‘Bohemian Switzerland National Park’, the Czech Republic side, you’ll find the magnificent Pravčická Brána, which is the largest sandstone arch in Europe; this unique natural structure was also used for a location in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe.
There’s an incredibly picturesque inn called the Falcon’s Nest here, built next to the arch in 1881. Meanwhile across the border, in the ‘Saxon Switzerland National Park’. You’ll have the opportunity to glimpse Bastei a famously jagged rock formation that towers 636 feet above the Elbe River.
A tourist attraction for over two hundred years, the stone bridge that runs alongside the rocks dates from 1851 and commands outstanding views over this beautiful kingdom of nature.
Our top recommended tour to Bohemian Switzerland:
It’s monuments like Karlštejn Castle that give rise to the romance and nostalgia of Bohemia, a seemingly faraway kingdom that could as well be something from a fairy tale.
This mighty structure dates back to 1348 and was built by Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia, Charles IV. It’s been reconstructed several times: once in the Gothic style after 1480, then in the baroque style, at the end of the 16th century; but, captured by the Swedes in 1648, it fell into disrepair.
Finally, its present neo-Gothic look owes to a late 19th-century reconstruction. Today the castle is an incredibly imposing structure sitting starkly against the sky, dark blue spires shining above giant grey walls. And at less than an hour’s drive away, this is one of the day trips from Prague that shouldn’t be missed.
Our top recommended tours to Karlštejn castle:
- Small-Group Bike Tour to Karlstejn from Prague
- Private Tour: Karlstejn Castle Half-Day Tour from Prague
- Countryside Tour on E-Bikes from Prague to Karlstejn Castle
- Karlstejn Castle Small-Group Bike Tour and Microbrewery Visit from Prague
Recommended Multi-Day Prague Tours:
- Prague Getaway 3 Nights– Start and end in Prague! With the discovery tour Prague Getaway 3 Nights, you have a 4 day tour package taking you through Prague, Czech Republic. Prague Getaway 3 Nights is a small group tour that includes accommodation as well as an expert guide, meals.
- Prague to Dresden Guided Cycle– Start in Prague and end in Dresden! With the bicycle tour Prague to Dresden Guided Cycle, you have a 7 day tour package taking you through Prague, Czech Republic and 6 other destinations in Europe. Prague to Dresden Guided Cycle includes an expert guide and more.
- Beloved Europe– Start in Prague and end in Amsterdam! With the discovery tour Beloved Europe, you have a 6 day tour package taking you from Prague to Amsterdam and through Prague, Czech Republic and 7 other destinations in Europe. Beloved Europe includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, transport.
- Highlights of Central Europe– Start in Prague and end in Budapest! With the discovery tour Highlights of Central Europe, you have a 9 day tour package taking you from Prague to Budapest and through Prague, Czech Republic and 3 other destinations in Europe. Highlights of Central Europe is a small group tour that includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.
More on the Czech Republic:
- 3 Days in Prague: Things to do in Prague
- Ultimate Guide to Eurail Pass Train Travel in Europe
- Travel Insurance for Europe Vacation: Do I Need It?
- When is the Best Time to Visit Europe?
- Viking River Cruises in Europe- What to Expect