15 Best Day Trips from Prague (According to a local!)

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There are so many fantastic day trips from Prague! I’ve been living in Prague for several years now, and have been exploring the Czech Republic in depth — including many, many day trips from the city.

So many people visit the Czech Republic and don’t leave the Prague city limits — but there are so many beautiful places worth visiting.

So what are the best places to visit on a day trip from Prague? My top recommendation is always the town of Kutná Hora, a pretty town home to an interesting church made of human bones, but on this list you have everything from natural wonders to interesting overlooked cities!

Keep in mind that for an optimal day trip, I recommend a journey of two hours each way or less. You can go a bit beyond — like to Brno, Český Krumlov, or Olomouc — but I also think you should consider staying overnight if it’s a longer journey.

Every trip on this list is either doable by train (often direct train), bus, or guided tour.

(Planning a trip to Prague? Be sure to check out my favorite unusual things to do in Prague, best Prague restaurants, and what NOT to do in Prague!)

This post was published in March 2024.

The bohemian city oThe bohemian city o

Kutná Hora

Kutná Hora is my personal pick for the best day trip from Prague. I always recommend it to Prague visitors because it’s a really pretty Bohemian town with a fascinating chapel built of bones; it’s a short, 50-minute journey from Prague; tickets are easy to buy; and tours are aplenty.

The bone church — its real name is Sedlec Ossuary — is the main sight worth visiting. It’s creepy and fascinating, while being an architectural marvel. (Know that photography is now allowed here.)

But beyond the ossuary, the town of Kutná Hora is so underrated! It’s painted in beautiful Bohemian pastel colors, with lovely churches, cute restaurants, and flowers blooming everywhere. The perfect easy getaway that lets you see Bohemian life beyond Prague.

Best things to do in Kutná Hora: Visit the bone church, of course! But also take time to stroll around the city center, and grab a nice Czech lunch (I enjoyed the food and setting at Staročeská restaurace V Ruthardce).

The Cathedral of St. Barbara is a spectacular gothic masterpiece, and don’t miss the Czech Museum of Silver and the Church of St. James. But Kutna Hora is a great place to get lost.

Should you book a tour or go independently? I think Kutná Hora is pretty easy to do on your own via public transit, but if you’d rather have the ease of going with a tour guide, you can do that!

Book a tour to Kutná Hora from Prague: This top-rated Kutná Hora tour from Prague includes round-trip transportation from your hotel in Prague, a tour of Kutná Hora town, and admission to Sedlec Ossuary.

How to get to Kutná Hora from Prague independently: Head to Prague’s main train station, Hlavní nádraží (the station is abbreviated as Praha hl. n). Use the machines to buy a ticket to Kutná Hora hl.n. The journey is 50 minutes direct; there are also trains that have a transfer in Kolín, which are closer to 90 minutes each way.

From the station it’s about a 15-minute walk to the bone church, then an additional 30-minute walk (or 15-minute walk-and-bus journey) to the city center.

If you have a rental car, Kutná Hora is about an hour’s drive from Prague.

The medieval city of Cesky Krumlov, sitting on a hill, lots of orange-roofed homes and church steeples, all surrounded by a calm river.The medieval city of Cesky Krumlov, sitting on a hill, lots of orange-roofed homes and church steeples, all surrounded by a calm river.

Český Krumlov

Český Krumlov is absolutely spectacular — a gorgeous medieval city in South Bohemia that looks plucked straight from a fairy tale, cliches be damned. The city is encircled by a river and topped with a castle overlooking the gorgeous town. Spending time in a small city like this makes a wonderful foil to the big city of Prague.

Honestly, I urge people to stay overnight in Český Krumlov, rather than do a day trip. Overnighting is so much better — the city is so peaceful and lovely when the day-trippers leave, plus you’ll have more time to explore, and it is a pretty far journey each way.

But I understand that many travelers only have time for a day trip. If that’s all you have, that’s fine. Start your day early, end it late, and you’ll have a great time. It’s one of the most popular day trips from Prague for a reason.

Best things to do in Český Krumlov: Head up to the castle for a postcard-perfect photo of the town (and the light is best in the late afternoon). Hire a raft and go paddling along the Vltava River. Explore all the artsy little shops, and have a meal at a restaurant on the banks of the river. And head to Apoteka, one of my favorite bars in the Czech Republic — they are a cocktail bar with a menu of quirky craft cocktails. Try the popcorn sour!

Should you book a tour or go independently? If you’re an experienced traveler, you’ll be comfortable getting yourself there by public transportation. But if you’d rather relax and have someone else handle all the logistics, taking the tour is a great idea, especially since it’s faster to drive to Krumlov than take public transportation.

Book a tour to Český Krumlov from Prague: This top-rated Český Krumlov tour from Prague includes round-trip transportation via shuttle, as well as a tour of Český Krumlov and some time to explore on your own.

How to get to Český Krumlov from Prague independently: You can either take the train or the bus, but I recommend the bus because it’s direct and the bus station is much closer to town. (A few trains to Český Krumlov are direct, but most require a change in Ceské Budjevice, and the train station is about a 20-minute walk from the city center.)

Buses to Český Krumlov leave from Na Knížecí, a bus station right by the Anděl metro stop in Prague. The bus takes just under three hours.

If you have a rental car, Český Krumlov is about two hours and 15 minutes from Prague.

Read More: Guide to Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

A national park with tall rock cliffs looking over a wild forested area.A national park with tall rock cliffs looking over a wild forested area.
Bohemian Switzerland is a spectacular day trip from Prague for nature lovers! Via Shutterstock.

Bohemian Switzerland

Despite its name, Bohemian Switzerland isn’t Switzerland at all — this is the name for a gorgeous natural region in the Czech Republic, right on the German border. (The German side is called Saxon Switzerland.)

If you’re looking to escape Prague for the day to experience nature, Bohemian Switzerland National Park is home to the most awe-inspiring mountain views in the Czech Republic. Come here for dense forests, deep gorges, and fresh mountain air.

The Tiské stěny — the Tisna Rocks — is a spectacular area with misty, high-piled rock formations and cliffs, and served as a mystical backdrop in The Chronicles of Narnia movies.

Bohemian Switzerland is a great spot to visit year-round, and tour operators adapt their trips to the current weather conditions. Make sure you wear good hiking shoes!

Best things to do in Bohemian Switzerland: Hike three miles to Pravčická Gate, the largest sandstone arch in Europe (pictured above). Take a boat through the gorges of the Kamenice River. Cross the German border to visit the Bastei Bridge and the spa town of Bad Schandau. And if you want to be independent, there are so many hiking trails! Czechs LOVE to hike.

Should you book a tour or go independently? I strongly recommend going with a tour, as it’s not easy to do by public transportation.

Book a tour to Bohemian Switzerland from Prague: This top-rated Bohemian Switzerland day trip from Prague includes round-trip transportation from Prague, and your choice of two options: you can either do a moderate hike to Pravčická Gate, or take a boat journey down the gorge. After you’ll have lunch and a visit to the German side of the park to visit Bastei Bridge and Tiské stěny, the Tisna Rocks, before heading home.

How to get to Bohemian Switzerland from Prague independently: Driving is your best option, as it’s much faster and easier. Bohemian Switzerland National Park is about one hour and 45 minutes from Prague. If not, take a train from Prague’s main train station, Praha hl.n., to the town of Děčín, and from there take a bus to the town of Hřensko. Get off at Hřensko–Pravčická brána or Mezní, and from here you have a three-mile hike to the gate.

A path leading to a castle tower underneath a stormy gray sky.A path leading to a castle tower underneath a stormy gray sky.

Karlštejn Castle

If you’d like to see more of the Czech Republic besides Prague, but don’t want to go too far or commit too much time, Karlštejn is an excellent day trip from Prague. This castle dates back to the 14th century, when King Karel IV ruled Bohemia.

The castle is filled with works of art and history today, and the architecture is interesting. Tours of the castle leave continuously, and they always have tours in English.

Should you book a tour or go independently? Karlštejn Castle is easy to get to by public transportation, but tours often add on a visit to another site, like the Koneprusy Caves.

Book a tour to Karlstejn Castle from Prague: This group tour to Karlštejn Castle also includes a visit to the stalagmite- and stalactite-filled Koneprusy Caves, a visit to Big America canyon, and lunch at a traditional Czech tavern.

How to get to Karlštejn Castle from Prague independently: From the main train station in Prague, Praha hl.n., take the S7 train in the direction of Karlštejn. The journey is direct and takes about 41 minutes. This will drop you in the town of Karlštejn; from here you can walk up to the castle.

An overhead view of the colorful city of Plzen, with lots of buildings in warm shades of yellow, white, and pink.An overhead view of the colorful city of Plzen, with lots of buildings in warm shades of yellow, white, and pink.
Plzeň is so pretty — and one of the best day trips from Prague! Via Nick N A on Shutterstock.

Plzeň

Are you a huge fan of Czech beer? You’ll be delighted with Plzeň (Pilsen). This town is home to the Pilsner Urquell brewery, and many a Czech and tourist have made the pilgrimage out to try the world’s best beer at its source.

Not a beer drinker? You can still have fun in Plzeň if you want to, but you might have more fun in one of the aforementioned cities on this list. Even so, you can take in the best views of Plzeň from the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew — or head underground to explore the tunnels that have been beneath the city for centuries!

Should you book a tour or go independently? If you’re just visiting the brewery, just book yourself a train ticket — but if you want to add on glassblowing, I recommend booking a tour.

Book a tour to Plzeň from Prague: This group tour from Prague to Plzen includes transportation from Prague, admission to the Pilsner Urquell Brewery, lunch in a Czech pub, and a visit to the Bohemia glassworks in Nizbor, which is a nice cultural way to supplement your day trip from Prague!

How to get to Plzeň from Prague independently: From the main train station in Prague, Praha hl.n., book one of the many trains to Plzeň, and that journey takes about 90 minutes. Alternatively, you can book a Flixbus departing from the main bus station in Florenc, and that journey takes about 50 minutes.

The town of Karlovy Vary, with elegant multi-colored homes set against a walking street running along a river.The town of Karlovy Vary, with elegant multi-colored homes set against a walking street running along a river.
It’s hard not to fall in love with Karlovy Vary, one of the best Prague day trips!

Karlovy Vary

Karlovy Vary is one of the most elegant towns in the Czech Republic, made famous due to the rich geothermal waters surrounding the city. Today Karlovy Vary is a UNESCO World Heritage Site — one of the Great Spa Towns of Europe — and there are plenty of spas you can visit (my favorite is Hotel Thermal, with a warm outdoor pool you can enjoy year-round).

In addition to the thermal springs, Karlovy Vary has nice hiking trails surrounding the town, the Moser glass works, good restaurants and shopping, beautiful arcades where you can sample all the spa waters with your signature cup, and they even put on a world-renowned film festival in the summer!

My husband and I went to Karlovy Vary for a mini-moon right after we did our legal wedding in Prague. It couldn’t have been a better choice — though we had the benefit of enjoying a relaxed three-day visit rather than a quick day trip from Prague! I’d recommend staying overnight if you can, but a day trip is still worth it, too.

Should you book a tour or go independently? It’s easy enough to get to Karlovy Vary by public transit; if you’re doing it on your own, I recommend going early and coming back late, as there’s so much to do.

Book a tour to Karlovy Vary from Prague: This Karlovy Vary day trip from Prague includes transportation from Prague, a city tour, and four hours to explore on your own.

How to get to Karlovy Vary independently: There are both trains and buses running from Prague to Karlovy Vary — but there are a LOT more buses than trains. Both buses and trains take about two hours each way.

A bohemian church with an orange roof and a green dome, and in the foreground, colorful ribbons hanging on trees.A bohemian church with an orange roof and a green dome, and in the foreground, colorful ribbons hanging on trees.
Tábor brings endless charm!

Tábor

If you’re looking for a nice little town that is more popular with Czechs than international visitors, I’m a big fan of Tábor. This pretty little town in South Bohemia is home to about 34,000 inhabitants — just big enough for finding a bunch of things to do.

In Tábor, you can wander the colorful streets of the town center; climb the tower of Kotnov Castle, with the best view of town; and for a delicious and unusual meal in the Czech Republic, the restaurant Rafariz dishes up sumptuous Uyghur-style noodle dishes.

Another great option is to hike along the Lužnice River. There’s an easy trail along the river’s edge, and I really enjoyed this! Once you get to the town of Malšice, simply hop on the train back to Tábor.

Should you book a tour or go independently? Independently, as it’s easy on public transportation and this is not a popular tour destination.

How to get to Tábor independently: There are plenty of trains from Prague to Tábor. From Prague’s main train station, you can expect a journey of an hour and 15 minutes on the local train, making it an easy day trip.

A view looking over a river running through the woods, tiny wooden cabins on shore.A view looking over a river running through the woods, tiny wooden cabins on shore.

Posázavská Stezka

Czechs LOVE getting out of the city on the weekends to hit the hiking trails. And while there are so many hiking day trips from Prague you can do by train, one I love to recommend is the Posásavska Stezka, located south of the city.

This is a really nice hike along the river, with some moderate up-and-down segments. Altogether you should expect 2.5-3 hours of hiking — and make time for a beer at the pub outside Petrov u Prahi station! Czechs pretty much hike to the pub; it’s what they do!

If you do this hike on the earlier side, you’ll have plenty of time in the afternoon to spend in Prague. It’s more of a half day trip than a full day trip from Prague.

Should you book a tour or go independently? Go independently. I don’t know of any tours doing this route.

How to get to the Posásavska Stezka independently: Take the train from Prague’s main train station to Kamenny Přivoz station and take it back to Prague from Petrov u Prahi. Each way it’s just under 90 minutes.

A cemetery at Terezin in Czech Republic, with a Star of David on display.A cemetery at Terezin in Czech Republic, with a Star of David on display.
Terezín Concentration Camp is one of the most moving day trips from Prague. Via Shutterstock.

Terezín

Not all day trips from Prague are about fun and games — and if you’re looking to understand one of the darkest chapters in Czech history, I recommend a visit to Terezín, a former concentration camp. Terezín (Theresienstadt Ghetto) is a camp where Jews from all over Europe were sent between 1941 and 1945.

Terezín wasn’t explicitly an extermination camp — but it was designed to be a holding place before sending prisoners on to Auschwitz or Treblinka to be killed. Many died from illness, starvation, and poor living conditions. Around 150,000 Jews passed through here altogether; only 17,000 were saved after liberation.

Creepily, this camp also served as a propaganda piece and was filled with flowers and pretty buildings, serving as a backdrop about what a nice place it would be for Jews to go.

Should you book a tour or go independently? I strongly recommend booking a tour to Terezín from Prague. The sites are spread out all over the town, and it’s a much better experience if you have a local guide.

Book a tour to Terezín from Prague: This top-rated Terezín tour includes transportation from Prague (including optional hotel pickup) and a guided three-hour historic tour of Terezín. It’s a half-day tour, so you’ll have most of your afternoon back in Prague.

How to get to Terezín independently: To get to Terezín, head to Letňany station in Prague (not the main bus station) and get on Bus 413. Tell the driver you’re going to Terezín, pay for your ticket, and get off at the stop Terezín U Památniku, and the small fortress is a short walk from the bus stop. From there the other sites in town are up to a 15-minute walk away.

A gray town hall with spiky spires and pointy eaves on a town square in Liberec, Czech Republic.A gray town hall with spiky spires and pointy eaves on a town square in Liberec, Czech Republic.
Liberec’s town square on a somewhat snowy winter day.

Liberec

One unusual day trip from Prague is the town of Liberec (LEE-ber-ets), a city close to the German and Polish borders. In Liberec you’ll find a pleasant small city with a wonderful collection of architecture, including an unusual Neo-Renaissance town hall!

The best part of visiting Liberec is simply exploring the streets. While it isn’t a tourism powerhouse like Český Krumlov or even Brno, I find wandering around to be a worthwhile activity here. Don’t miss the villas behind the town hall, and there are some nice cafes tucked into the colorful streets of the old town.

You could simply visit Liberec town — but for a treat, consider visiting Ještěd Tower, an unusual hotel and restaurant in a space ship-like shape, with windows overlooking the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. I loved visiting this place; the pumpkin soup was GREAT and it was a fun little excursion!

Should you book a tour or go independently? Definitely go independently; I don’t think any tours from Prague exist.

How to get to Liberec independently: To get to Liberec from Prague, head to Černý Most Station (the end of the B line) and take a bus to Liberec, which takes a little over an hour. If you want to get to Ještěd Tower, public transportation doesn’t go there — you’ll either need to drive from Prague or take a taxi from Liberec (about a 20-minute drive).

A big, ornate arcade in a small Czech town. It has unusual large glass windows on it.A big, ornate arcade in a small Czech town. It has unusual large glass windows on it.

Mariánské Lázně

If you like the idea of Karlovy Vary, but want to visit a spa town that’s a little more quiet, Mariánské Lázně makes a good choice for a (slightly far) day trip from Prague. Another of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Spa Town of Europe, Mariánské Lázně is a quiet, bucolic getaway where natural hot springs abound.

If you’re spending a day here, you should make a reservation at the spa at the Hotel Nové Lazné, which has a gorgeous, elegant, Roman-style bathing area with multiple pools, along with saunas, steam rooms, and cold plunges. You can book spa treatments, too.

That said, 2.5 hours each way is a bit long for a day trip, and you might get more out of your time if you overnight here (or visit Karlovy Vary, which is a bit closer).

Should you book a tour or go independently? Go independently. I don’t know of any tours that exist.

How to get to Mariánské Lázně from Prague independently: Take the train from Prague’s main train station to Mariánské Lázně. Trains run hourly, but every other hour it’s an indirect train that requires changing in Plzen. The journey is about 2.5 hours. From the station I suggest hopping on the bus to the city center, as it’s a 30-minute uphill walk otherwise.

A Christmas market in Dresden, Germany, with a big tree and a tall wooden tower of spinning Christmas characters.A Christmas market in Dresden, Germany, with a big tree and a tall wooden tower of spinning Christmas characters.
If you time your visit right, Dresden’s Christmas markets are wonderful!

Dresden, Germany

Are you visiting Prague for Christmas market season? I absolutely recommend taking a day trip to Dresden, Germany! (Just make sure that the markets are actually on — Christmas market season in Germany is shorter than Prague’s, usually running from December 1-23.)

Dresden’s Striezelmarkt is one of the best in Germany, with several markets stretching across different neighborhoods. Come here for gluhwein, lebkuchen, and all kinds of tasty goodies (and be sure to read my guide to planning a German Christmas Market trip!).

Is Dresden worth it if it’s not Christmas market season? Honestly, unless you have something specific you’ve wanted to visit in Dresden, I would choose somewhere else on this list. (I did really enjoy visiting the VW Golf factory, watching all the cars being manufactured!)

Finally, if you’re intent on visiting Germany on a day trip from Prague, Dresden is your best bet — it’s close by with tons of transportation options. Nuremberg and Berlin are too far.

Should you book a tour or go independently? Definitely go independently. Transportation couldn’t be easier.

How to get to Dresden independently: You can either go by train or bus, and both ways take about two hours and 15 minutes, though buses are cheaper. You can take a train direct from Prague’s main train station or a bus from Prague’s main bus station in Florenc.

An view from above of the city of Brno, with lots of peach and white buildings and church towers poking up.An view from above of the city of Brno, with lots of peach and white buildings and church towers poking up.

Brno

The second-largest city in the Czech Republic is often overlooked by travelers — but Brno (BUR-no) has so much to offer. The largest city in the Moravia region of the eastern Czech Republic, Brno feels like a small, slightly shabbier version of Prague — but cheaper and a lot of fun, too!

My absolute favorite thing to do in Brno is visit Villa Tugendaht, a REALLY cool modern residence. If you’re interested in design or architecture in the least, you will love it! You should book tickets ahead.

Other than that, be sure to check out the Brno Ossuary (bone church!), see the “Brno Dragon” in the town hall (it’s a crocodile!), and hit up the cool restaurants and bars in Brno (including my favorite, “The Bar that Doesn’t Exist,” an internationally lauded cocktail bar).

Honestly, I think that Brno is better as an overnight destination. And if you’re traveling from Prague to Vienna or vice versa, it’s a nice place to stop in between.

Should you book a tour or go independently? Go independently. Transportation is very easy.

How to get to Brno independently: From Prague’s main train station, there are constant trains to Brno. Trains take about 2.5 hours. You can also find many buses along this route that take about the same amount of time.

Bright pink and yellow buildings of Olomouc set against a bright blue sky.Bright pink and yellow buildings of Olomouc set against a bright blue sky.

Olomouc

Olomouc (o-lo-MOATS) is one of my favorite places in the Czech Republic, and you never see it mentioned on “best of” lists! Honestly, there aren’t a ton of things to do, but I think the city has a really great vibe and some nice restaurants and cafes.

The city’s main square is home to a Holy Trinity Column that itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Additionally, there are lots of fountains, an astronomical clock similar to Prague’s, lots of churches and parks, and a few museums.

Olomouc also makes their own signature cheese. Full disclosure — I love cheese, but this cheese is not my favorite, so I recommend trying a small plate, not ordering it for your main meal!

Olomouc isn’t the kind of city you visit with a checklist — it’s more of a place to soak up the vibe. And considering that it takes 2-2.5 hours to get here, this is also a place that you might prefer staying overnight.

Should you book a tour or go independently? Go independently. Transportation is easy and this isn’t a popular tour destination.

How to get to Olomouc independently: From Prague’s main train station, there are constant trains to Olomouc. If you want a treat, the Leo Express trains run this route and have a NICE business class. You can book those at leoexpress.com. Trains take 2-2.5 hours each way. There are also plenty of buses along this route.

A view from above of the gray palaces and buildings of Salzburg, Austria, a river running through the middle.A view from above of the gray palaces and buildings of Salzburg, Austria, a river running through the middle.
Salzburg — a beautiful city that is a little too far from Prague for a day trip.

Too Far for a Day Trip from Prague

I know that it’s so tempting to fit in as many day trips as possible — but I encourage you not to day trip to the following destinations within Central Europe. I’d recommend spending two nights in them, minimum, or perhaps a single night if you don’t mind the long journey.

Bratislava, Slovakia — 4:15 by train.

Berlin, Germany — 4:30 by train.

Vienna, Austria — 4:30 by train.

Nuremberg, Germany — 4:45 by bus.

Munich, Germany — 4:45 by bus.

Wroclaw, Poland — 4:45 by bus.

Salzburg, Austria — 5:30 by bus.

Budapest, Hungary — 6:45 by train.

More on the Czech Republic:

Have you been to Prague? What’s your favorite day trip? Share away!



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