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Nov
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Day Trips from Prague

I spent a few days in Prague, and fell in love it with the city. Many in my hostel went for day trips to interesting sites, but I stayed put in Prague and spent every evening on the Charles Bridge. Do I regret it? Absolutely not! I loved every minute in Prague. But if you are blessed with itchy feet and like to explore more, here are three day trips recommended by travel bloggers.

Cesky Krumlov by Claire Sturzaker from Tales of a Backpacker

One of the most popular day trips from Prague is to Cesky Krumlov, a fairy-tale town, 2-3 hours away.  It is easy to take a Prague to Cesky Krumlov day trip by train, bus or with a tour group, and although I highly recommend spending more time in Cesky Krumlov if you can, a day trip is enough to see the highlights of Cesky Krumlov, a beautiful example of a traditional Czech town.  Cesky Krumlov Castle dominates the town, it is the second largest castle complex in the Czech Republic after the Prague castle complex, and you get wonderful views from the top of the castle tower. You can pay to go inside and explore the different areas of the castle or wander through the grounds and gardens free of charge. The castle gardens are closed during the winter months, but the walk up to the gardens also has great views of Cesky Krumlov.

Cesky Krumlov

Aside from the castle, a free walking tour is a good way to get to know the town and its history as you walk around the narrow streets and go inside the Church of St Vitus.  You can also visit the monasteries in Cesky Krumlov and various museums such as the Egon Schiele art museum and Cesky Krumlov Regional Museum.  During the summer there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in Cesky Krumlov too, from hiking to the nearby hilltop, rafting in the river and horseback riding.

Kutna Hora by Rachel Heller from Kutna Hora

Kutna Hora is home to an impressive UNESCO site, or rather three sites that have been combined into one. The historical town center is still laid out as it was in the Middle Ages, when Kutna Hora’s silver mining industry was booming. It’s lovely, and worth a stroll.

Two churches, one at either end, are the other two parts of the UNESCO designation. St. Barbara’s Cathedral is a huge late-gothic confection, complete with flying buttresses. Inside, you’ll see some over-the-top baroque art and altarpieces. You’ll  also find some older, medieval-era frescoes that depict the everyday activity of the townspeople. The Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady and St. John the Baptist, on the other side of the historical center, looks pretty standard Gothic on the outside, but because of an 18th century renovation, the inside is a masterpiece of “Gothic Baroque” style.

Kutna Hora

The UNESCO site, though, isn’t why so many daytrippers visit Kutna Hora from Prague. They want to see the “Bone Church,” a rather odd little place quite nearby the Cathedral of the Assumption. Back in the 16th century, thousands of human skeletons had to be removed from the cemetery next door when it closed. So the bones were stored in the church itself, piled neatly into massive bone pyramids. This is gruesome enough in itself, but it gets worse: in the 19th century, a local “artist” started using the bones to decorate the church. Today, the bones are everywhere: draped like streamers over archways, assembled to spell words or a coat of arms, arranged to form ornate crucifixes. Created from somewhere between 30,000 and 60,000 human skeletons, it’s a truly ghoulish sight.

Brno by Claudia Tivani from My Adventures Across The World

Brno is one of the prettiest places to visit in the Czech Republic, and though it would deserve two days to be explored, it can actually be visited on a day trip from Prague, as it is at a mere 200 km (around 2 hours drive and 2 and a half hours by train) from the capital. The city has a lot to offer. Home to the biggest international university in the country, it is very lively and the vibe is friendly and easygoing.

Brno

What makes it a place worth visiting is the grand architecture, with the beautiful boulevards and the well kept buildings. Among the must sees in Brno are the Old City Council and the square below, as well as the nearby cathedral. In the weeks heading to Christmas, there are many beautiful Christmas markets that are fun to explore, especially for families with children, and that are not nearly as touristy as those of Prague. 

However, Brno’s main attraction is Villa Tugendhat, a UNESCO World Heritage site and an incredibly well kept example of functionalist architecture. It was built in the 1930s by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohes under orders of the Tudendhats, a prominent Jewish couple. The villa has gorgeous, spacious rooms, all of them with breathtaking views of the park below and the city in the distance. The Nazis confiscated the villa during the occupation. This was later returned to the authorities after the war. In 1994 it was turned into a museum, which can now be visited on guided tours that need to be booked in advance.

If you want to explore around Prague, budget at least a week in the city!

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