Top Day & Best Side Trips From Prague:
Connecting Prague’s Old Town to the Little Quarter, Prague’s medieval Saint Charles Bridge is one of the City’s most magical experiences. As you stroll across the Vltava and inspect the many surrounding sights, you will instantly feel like you’ve travels hundreds of years back in time. Because of the St Charles Bridge’s central location is it very easy to pair your walk with one of the surrounding neighborhoods to make an unforgettable day.
The Top Day Trips From Prague:
1. Kutna Hora Bone Church: The Sedlec Ossuary known as the Bone Church is decorated in a very creepy fashion with over 40,000 human skeletons. Our favorite decorations are the large coat of arms made with pretty much every type of bone and the huge chandeliers with skull candle holders. Nearby is the Muzeum Alchymie in basement of the Sankturinovsky House which feels like you are stepping into the lair of a mad scientist. The house also has a pretty cool Gothic tower where alchymie experiments used to take place. Bone Church Website:
2. Karlštejn Castle (1 hour 15 minutes): The neo-Gothic Karlštejn Castle was built from 1348-1365 by Czech King and Roman Emperor Charles IV for protecting his royal treasures, including a collection of holy relics from the Roman Empire. After the Hussite wars broke out King Charles also moved his coronation jewels here where they stayed for over 200 years. It was originally built in a very classic fashion before being changed to Gothic, then Renaissance, and finally its current look over centuries. Although the appearance has been changes, the original step-like order of Castle’s buildings has remains. You start at the Well Tower and Burgrave’s Palace located as the lowest level and walk up to the majestic five-floored Imperial Palace and further up towards the Marian Tower before finally coming to the 180 foot tall separately fortified Great Tower.
Getting Here From Prague: Take the local train from Prague (train station SMICHOV – TUBE B) to Karlstejn’s Train Station which will take 45 minutes; Karlstejn is 10km before Beroun. Trains leave each direction between the two cities every 30 minutes. From Karlstejn train station it is about a 20-30 minute walk to the gates of the castle. There are no taxis from the station as Karlstejn is a pedestrian only village with no cars or bikes allowed. Hours: Their hours are little goofy, but here is a rough overview. Mid November-February Weekends 10am-3pm; Closed Weekdays. March-June Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm; Closed Mondays. July and August Daily 10am-6:30pm. September-Mid November Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm; Closed Mondays. Cost: They have 3 different guide tours depending on what you want to see which cost on average CZK 300. Tours are available in a bunch of different languages. The tours last from
50-110 minutes depending on which one you choose. Virtual Tour: (HERE). Facebook: (HERE). Castle Website: (HERE).
5. State Chateau of Hluboká: The Schwarzenbergs lived here for over 300 years until WWII when they had to flee and the Gestapo occupied it.
Resident of the American South with quickly notice how it looks very similar to the old Louisiana State Capital in Baton Rogue.
Getting Here From Prague: 2.5 for nearby Ceske Budejovice from Prague then only 10 more minutes to Hluboká nad Vltavou. Every other train matches up perfect but the odd ones require a 30 minute layover. Chateau Website: (HERE).
6. Terezín Concentration Camp Memorial: Terezín was originally a fortress and prison built by the Emperor Josef II named after his mother Maria Theresa, but was turned into a Jewish Ghetto and Concentration Camp during the holocaust. Today it serves as a memorial and can be a powerful experience for most visitors. Memorial Website: (HERE).
7. Plzen, Czech Republic (30 Minutes): Waldsassen Basilica has a great crypt with skeletons and an amazing library.
Klatovy is only a little bit further
9. Kost Castle (1 Hour): Built in the late 1371. 50 minute tours are conducted in period dress by either Herman the executioner Herman or by Count Octavian. There are two different options for tours, but we like the Torture Tour the most as it takes you into the dungeon of the Castle and highlights the torture and executions that occurred from the 1500’s-1700’s. Trosky Castle is also nearby. ruins of 14th century castle between two large pillars. It is a good stop in conjunction with Kost castle. Castle Website: (HERE).
11. Dresden, Germany (2 hour 15 minutes): sfwefsdfsd
12. Pernštejn Castle: Built in the late 1200’s by the Pernštejn family who were one of the richest families in Bohemia. The castle was never sacked in medieval times as it was perched on top of a rock, had a great draw bridge and numerous rampart towers for defense. Just in case a group ever did break the walls, many inner corridors were made extra skinny so a knight in armor couldn’t fit. They also had a 5 story back up tower called Barborka Tower to hide out in that was only connected to the rest of the castle with a tiny wooden bridge. Almost all of the Castle is still intact and the silhouette of the Barborka Tower is great for taking photos.
The biggest legend is of the White Lady. The White Lady was said to be a former chambermaid who started skipping church to stare at herself in the mirror. When the resident Monk asked her to come back to Church she laughed and at him and was cursed to eternity causing her ghost to be stuck roaming the halls. To this day it is considered unlucky to gaze into the mirrors at the Castle and will result in loosing your looks within a year. Castle Website: (HERE).
Venturing a ways from the castle are the cities of Brno, the Church of St. John of Nepomuk at Zelená hora (unique layout with 5 gates, 5 chapels, 5 altars and 5 stars best appreciated through the air).
14. Brno, Czech Republic (3 Hour Train): Brno is of the Capuchin Monastery (website) with its erie crypt of Monks. The Capuchin Monks would put their dead in a coffin during each funeral precession, but afterward would lay the bodies in the crypt to be able to re-use the coffin and save money. They did this from 1400 into the 1700’s until it was outlawed and the crypt was closed. Although they didn’t mean for it to happen, the perfect air conditions in the crypt mummified the last 24 monks they buried here which have become quite a tourist attraction. The Monks are neatly lined up in rows, their heads rest on original brick pillows, and are so well preserved you can still see their robes and the rosaries they are holding.
Fairly close to the Capuchin Monastery is the second largest ossuary in Europe which sits beneath St. James Church. The bones of over 50,000 people were buried here before it was sealed up in the 1700’s in favor of cemetery burials. The ossuary lay forgotten under the church until a local historian re-discovered it in 2000. It took them a number of years to make it safe for visitors as due to bacteria that formed when they opened it, but today it is truly awesome to visit. The only ossuary bigger are the catacombs in Paris, France.
Some of the other highlights are the Church Of St Peter & St Paul (website), which looks has large Gothic towers just like the Church of Our Lady in front of Týn in Prague, and the modest Špilberk Castle (website) which offers great views of the city. A very popular side trip if staying in Brno is the Veveří Castle (website) which has been owned by royals, nobles and even served as a hunting lodge. Many tourists take the train to Kuřim which is about half way there, hike the rest and take the steamboat along the river back to Brno.
Getting To Brno From Prague: Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic and sits right on the main train route from Prague to both Budapest and Vienna. The Trains go city center to city center and it takes about 3 hours to get to Brno from Prague. Costs is roughly CZK 360 round trip.
Visiting The Capuchin Monastery: February 15th-December 14th Tuesday-Sunday 9am-Noon & 1-4:30pm; Only open on Mondays May-September; Closed all of December 15th-February 14th. The Monastery sits on Capuchin Square near the Cabbage Market.
Visiting The St. James Church: Tuesday- Sunday 9:30am-6pm; Closed Mondays. Costs is CZK 140.
15. Chateau Konopiště: Was the home of Franz Ferdinand who was next in line to take over the Hapsburg Dynasty before his assassination
sparked WWI. Long after his death the grandeur of his life lives on in
Franz’s former home.
Franz was said to be a great hunter with over 300,000 kills, a ton of which still decorate the Great Trophy Corridor. If you find it as odd as we do that Franz had a collection of over 1,000 paintings of St George, it’s because he was in a competition to make his collection bigger than the one of the King of England at the time. Franz’s passions of fight, hunting, and collecting all come together in the Este Armoury where is assortment of weapons is one of the largest collections anywhere in Europe. Chateau Website: (HERE).
16. Waldsassen, Germany (3 Hours 30 Minutes): Waldsassen Basilica has a great crypt with skeletons and an amazing library.
Cheb is nearby
17. Přerov nad Labem Open Air Museum: 32 structures – from old Bohemian timbered houses, bee hives and a bell tower to mansions below the local chateau, as well as an old schoolhouse and a hunting lodge. Museum Website: (HERE).
18. Broumov Monastery (3 Hours 45 minutes) Too far a way for a day trip, but is awesome. Baroque Library and mummies can be seen. Also has one of only 40 authenticated negative copies of the famed Turin Shroud. It is the only copy existing North of the Alps. It was given to Czech by the Archbishop of Turin, Italy in 1651. The Shroud is normally not on public display. Monastery Website: (HERE).
19. Hospital and Church of the Holy Trinity in Kuks (2 Hours 25 Minutes): gallery of beautiful statues by the “Czech Michelangelo” or view the Nativity Scene hewn directly from the rocks, the only one of its kind in the world. Hospital Website: (HERE).
20. Libere, Czech Republic (2.5 Hours): The City Hall and Old Town Square and both pretty cool, but the main attraction is taking the tram up Ještěd Moutain.
Ještěd Moutain – Tram and Ski lift can both take you right to the top of this mountain with a large Chedi shaped building
2:30 from Prague wth slow trains taking 3:15
21. Lešná Chateau & Zoo (3.5 Hours): Maybe Czech’s best Chateau. This beauty looks a lot like Peles Castle in Romania.From the Zlín-Dlouhá 2 miles away it is 3.4-4 hours to Prague or 2 hours to Brno. Zoo Website: (HERE).
22. Frýdlant Castle (3.5 Hours): Built by a politician who got super rich after the Battle of White Mountain. converted into a Chateau after the 30 years war and open to the public in 1801.
Frýdlant v Čechách train stop. Castle Website: (HERE).
8. Melník, Czech Republic (30 Minutes): Located under St Peter and Paul’s the Melník Chapel of Bones was intended to be a holy burial ground for Bohemia’s queens and princesses. A plague in the 1520’s killed tons of people and the tomb was turned into a Crypt for 15,000 skeletons. The bones laid in a pile and the tomb was bricked shut until anthropologist Jindrich Matiegka took it upon himself to open it up rearrange the bones in 1910. The bones were turned into a symbolic work of art with one pile in a 5 foot by 5 foot wide 6 foot tall orderly pile and others forming large crosses and harts.
1. Bratislava, Solvakia (3 1/2 hour train ride): Trains from Prague to Bratislava depart from the Main Station and from Nadrazi Holesovice. During the day, they run at regular intervals of about two hours. In Bratislava, the trains from Prague arrive at the Main Train Station, easily accessible from the city center by public transport.
You can search the Praha – Bratislava train schedule here.
2. Vienna, Austria (5 hour train ride): –
3. Berlin, Germany (4 1/2 hour train ride): –
4. Munich, Germany (6 hour train ride): – This former capital of Bavaria still has all of its old world charm. While 6 hours is a long time for a day train, there is no night train available to Munich from Prague.
5. Accessible by Night Train: Amsterdam (Netherlands); Budapest (Hungary); Frankfurt (Germany); Kraków (Poland); Warszawa (Poland);