Best Day Trips from Prague (Episode 33)
While living in Prague, we've discovered a good number of incredible day trips from there. In this podcast, we discussed two that we explored with Matt's aunt when she came to visit: Cesky Krumlov and Terezin Concentration Camp.
In this episode, we talked about:
- Why Cesky Krumlov is one of the most magical cities
- How we took a train to Cesky Krumlov, but needed to take a bumpy bus for an hour
- Views, views, and more views!
- The bears at Cesky Krumlov!
- The must-see places there
- Our exciting train ride back to Prague with a slew of drunken Austrian men
- Terezin Concentration Camp in the Czech Republic
- What it's purpose was during World War II
- Facts about Terezin
And much more! If you'd like to see pictures and more information on these day trips and/or four other day trips from Prague, check out the blog post below!
Wine: Paul Mas - Cabernet Sauvignon (South France)
Prague is an incredible city, offering a plethora of views of clay roofs, cobblestone streets, and fairytale-like architecture. But, the Czech Republic as a whole has far more to offer than just Prague.
We had discovered this little town in the Czech Republic through only a small amount of research. It came up multiple times on various websites as being one of the most fairytale-like small towns in Europe.
Granted, traveling 3 hours to one place and then back in one day can sound like a lot. However, Český Krumlov is more of a day trip kind of a place because there really isn't that much to do there except walk around and admire the beauty of it. You don't need more than five hours or so there.
We woke up early on a Friday and took our train at 8:00AM. We found our assigned car, room, and seats (which we found on the tickets) and relaxed. We did need to get off at "Budejovice" stop instead of Český Krumlov, then finish the journey on a bus.
Why? No idea. Most likely because of some construction. But, nevertheless, we got there. The bus dropped us off at the train station, then we walked about 20 minutes downhill into the downtown area of Český Krumlov and were completely blown away!
While there, you need to visit these places because we did and loved them all:
Barber's (Lazebnický) Bridge
Český Krumlov Castle
Cloak Bridge (Pláštový Most)
The Castle Garden
St. Vitus Church
If you're looking for some grub with a lovely view, check out Restaurant Bolero. Be sure to order the local beer, too!
To get to Český Krumlov from Prague:
Take the train from Nadrazi Holesovice train station to Český Krumlov. You could buy your tickets there or on GoEuro. Travel for about 3 hours. Get out and walk pretty much straight for 20 minutes until you reach the downtown area (you'll cross a small bridge and can see the castle to your right).
To get to Prague from Český Krumlov:
Walk back to the train station. You could buy your tickets there easily or again on GoEuro. Take the train from there to Prague station Nadrazi Holesovice.
Terezin (Theresienstadt) Concentration Camp
Only a 50-minute bus ride away from Prague is a concentration camp that was used during WWII in Terezin, Czech Republic.
Here are some facts we learned while taking a tour there:
- In this camp, 150,000 prisoners (Jews, political prisoners, gypsies, etc.) were held for months or years, then ultimately transported to other concentration camps, like Auschwitz, where they were murdered.
- Tens of thousands of children were among those 150,000
- Children often put on plays, colored pictures, and did other child-like things within the camp (there's plenty of chilling evidence of this in the Ghetto Museum)
- 150 people died per day at this camp, mostly from diseases like Dysentery or infections. They were all stored in one room, then transported to the crematorium in town for cremation
- Not many people were outright murdered there, but it did happen. The biggest mass murder there was near the end of the camp's liberation where 52 people were shot at once.
- After the war, the camp was used as a prison for Nazis. Ironically, the commander of the camp during the war was imprisoned there, then hanged for his crimes against humanity.
It was not a pleasant place for us to be. We couldn't help but feel uneasy throughout our time in the concentration camp, the museum, and even the town. For obvious reasons, when going there, don't expect it to be a happy time. However, it is a learning, depressing, and humbling experience, to say the least. Having said that, it really is worth the visit.
To get to Terezin from Prague:
Take the metro to stop Nadrazi Holesovice. Go up the stairs and walk out to the area with the bus stops. Go to the bus stop for Terezin. Pay about 100 CZK to the bus driver. Get out at Terezin.
To get back to Prague from Terezin:
Take the bus from stop 1 in Terezin's main square. Pay about 100 CZK to the driver. Get off at Nadrazi Holesovice. The final bus to Prague leaves at 4:30pm (at least it did the day we went, which was a Saturday).
**Be sure to purchase tickets online ahead of time for the tour of the camp as you will need to. You can't exactly just "show up." With this ticket, you'll be provided a guided tour and entrance to the Ghetto Museum in the town, which is also definitely worth a visit.**
Sedlec Ossuary a.k.a. Bone Church
After just an hour train ride, you can find yourself in Kutná Hora, a small town in the Czech Republic. Within this small town resides a small chapel called Sedlec Ossuary, a.k.a. Bone Church. Beneath the church's nave, the skeletons of 40,000 people can be found.
But, they're not just buried or placed delicately somewhere. Instead, the room they are in is ornately decorated with these bones. Eerily, ornately, creepily decorated. They were decorated in this way in 1870 by a woodcarver named Frantisek Rint who was given the task to "arrange" these skeletons. Well, it appears he didn't take that task lightly!
To get to Kutná Hora from Prague
You could take a bus from Florenc of Cerny Most bus stations. But, we took the train to Kutná Hora hl.n. from the main train station Hlavní Nádraží in Prague. We recommend the train because it is faster, more comfortable, and roughly the same price. You do have to walk about 20 minutes from the train station to the Bone Church, though. The train is around 110 CZK one way.
To get back to Prague from Kutna Hora
Walk back the way you came to the train station Kutná Hora hl.n.. Buy tickets to Prague, then hop on the train there.
Here is a great website for figuring our the time table for trains and buses to Kutna Hora.
A 40-minute train ride from Prague can take you to this glorious place called Karlštejn Castle. This castle was founded way back in 1348 and was used as a royal treasury. The castle held the crown jewels of the Roman Empire. That's right: this magical castle was built solely to hold important jewels.
After getting off the train or parking your car, you can walk and find the castle rather easily. The town is lovely to walk through and filled with small coffee shops, restaurants, and even some gaudy tourist shops. However, the walk is worth it to the castle. Once you're at the castle, it's a small place to walk around, but it is magnificent and you can't help but feel like royalty while being there! Oh, and there's even a few lovely views!
To get to Karlštejn Castle from Prague:
To get back to Prague from Karlštejn Castle:
Take the direct train from Karlštejn back to Prague Main Station.
Since Germany closely border the Czech Republic, why not pop over for a visit and visit the closest big German city? Dresden is known to be an artsy place filled with shops of all kinds. That, and it's only about a 2 hour journey!
We went there just for some shopping, as clothes shopping in Prague is a bit more expensive. We went to the mall Centrum Gallerie. Our friends introduced it to us and the cheap clothing store called Primark. Although cheap, it has a lot of great clothes! Matt bought an entire new wardrobe there for a little less than $200! Worth it.
After shopping, we ate some delectable food, walked around the downtown area, and admired the architecture.
To get to Dresden from Prague:
You can take a car, train, or bus to Dresden. For the train, you could take it from Nadrazi Holesovice. For the bus, you could take it from Florenc. Take whatever transportation you decide to Dresden Station.
To get back to Prague from Dresden:
Once again, take a train or bus. For a schedule, check it out here.
Just about an hour and 40 minutes from Prague resides a quaint spa town. Karlovy Vary it was constructed in the 16th century because of its healing hot springs. These hot springs have been healing spa-goers for around 650 years! But, these waters also are known to have curative properties and are used to aid the body in things like improving immunity, aiding the digestive tract, increasing metabolism, preventing civilization illnesses, and more.
Pretty incredible water, huh?
Plus, the city is basically just a big spa. You get to, you know, relax! And who doesn't like to relax?!
Photos from Karlovy Vary are from our good friend Katie!
To get to Karlovy Vary from Prague:
You can take a bus from Florenc or a train from Hlavní Nádraží in Prague. A bus can cost around 2-7 Euros and a train can cost around 13 Euros.
To get back to Prague:
Take the bus from Karlovy Vary Terminal or take the train from Karlovy Vary Nádraží. Check out GoEuro once again for prices, times, etc.
Would you visit any of these places? Have you ever visited any of them?
Wine: Paul Mas - Cabernet Sauvignon (South France)