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While Prague is one of Europe’s top long-weekend destinations, it’s definitely worth considering staying for an extra day or two to see more of the Czech Republic. We’ve rounded up some of the best day trips from Prague, including Medieval towns and eerie Gothic castles — plus all the trips can be done in a full day and are budget-friendly! Here are our top cheap day trips from Prague:
1. Karlštejn Castle
Karlstejn Castle is one of the top day trips from Prague and one of the most glorious castles in the Czech Republic. The castle was first established by the Roman emperor and Czech King Charles IV, and was built as a place to store royal treasure and precious items. It’s an epic castle, with looming towers and an eerie atmosphere. If you’re considering exploring across the border while in the Czech Republic, these castles in Poland are well worth the journey.
2. Ceský Krumlov
Cesky Krumlov is a UNESCO World Heritage town known for its Medieval history and architecture. The town was built in the 13th-century and lies on the banks of the Vltava River. It’s known for its UNESCO-listed historic castle, town hall, and town that features a mix of Baroque, Gothic, and Renaissance architecture and has been well-preserved due to slow modern development. Cesky Krumlov is located around two hours south of Prague, and can be seen in a day trip or as part of a full day tour that also visits other smaller towns. You can also stay overnight if you prefer not to rush.
3. Pilsner Urquell Brewery
A lot of people visit Prague for the great, cheap beer, so why not head out to the Pilsner Urquell Brewery, where you can check out the world’s first pale lager? Pilsner’s pale lager was so popular it’s been replicated throughout the world, and at the brewery you can find out more about its history, and do a fair bit of sampling. The Pilsner Urquell Brewery is around one hour from Prague by car and a great way to see it is by a Pilsen tour.
4. Kutná Hora
Kutná Hora is a city that lies a few hours east of Prague. It’s popular due to its Medieval architecture and the famous Gothic St. Barbara’s Church. Other top sites to visit include the chapel of Sedlec Ossuary, which is eerily decorated with human skeletons, earning it’s name as the ‘bone church’. On the site of a former Cistercian monastery is the Gothic and Baroque Cathedral of the Assumption, which is also an interesting place to visit.
5. Terezin Concentration Camp
A trip to Terezin Concentration Camp will provide a sobering reminder of Eastern Europe’s dark history. Terezin lies 30 miles north of Prague and was originally a holiday resort for Czech nobility; however, it was turned into a Jewish ghetto and concentration camp under the orders of Nazi Germany in 1940. The camp primarily held Jews from Czechoslovakia, as well as thousands of Jews who had been deported from other European countries. In total, over 150,000 Jews were kept here for months before being transported to extermination camps. Many died during their time in Terezin due to living conditions and Nazi brutality. Of the 15,000 children who were held in Terezin, less than 150 children survived. Today, you can visit the camp to find out more about its history and see what life would have been like for those that passed through.
Olomouc is a charming Baroque city, that some travelers say is their favorite place in the Czech Republic, earning it the title of ‘Little Prague’. Olomouc is home to plenty of historical and cultural gems, and the city has six opulent Baroque fountains and several interesting churches. From Prague to Olomouc is a two-hour train ride or three-hour car drive. After a long day exploring, ensure you have somewhere to relax back in Prague, these cheap hostels are perfect to travelers on the go.
7. Prachov Rock Formations
The Prachov Rock Formations is a rock city located just over an hour’s drive from Prague. It’s a fascinating sight, with giant rocks and sandstone formations set against a landscape of mountains, gorges, and woodland. The area attracts hikers and rock climbers, and the rock formations are said to date back to the Mesozoic era when the whole area was part of the sea bottom.
8. Konopiste Castle
Another top castle to visit is Konopiste is around an hour from Prague. It’s an epic, four-winged castle known as being the last residence of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, whose assassination triggered the beginning of World War One in 1914.