When you're right in the heart of Europe, the possibilities for adventure are endless.
As the capital of the Czech Republic, Prague does not disappoint. In the true style of many European capitals, it offers history, entertainment and culture in abundance.
Situated in the heart of the continent, the city positions itself as the perfect getaway for day trips from Prague to both the East and the West of Europe.
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Day trips from Prague
With so many things to do in Prague, it's natural to see an abundance of travellers wishing to visit this chic capital city. Stay in Prague for a few days, then take a few day trips from the city to explore some lesser-explored gems. Outside Prague, there is an entire country to explore, with nature worth holding your breath for and traditional cuisine perfectly accompanied by brews typical of the various regions.
The Czech Republic became an independent state only in 1993, and despite being what can be considered a young country, its public transport is up to date and reliable.
Trains, buses and ferries make it easy to explore not just the rest of Czechia, but also the rest of central Europe. The city's strategic location means Prague is an excellent getaway to the rest of the region.
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Dresden from Prague
Bidding a short goodbye to the castle in Prague and after travelling North-East for less than two hours, in the city of Dresden, one can see yet another castle or two.
Towers and spires embrace the Elbe River and it is hard to believe that what is now known as the ‘jewel box of Germany' was almost completely destroyed during Allied air raids in 1945.
The history of Dresden dates back many centuries, but it was in the 1700s that most of its iconic buildings were built, including some must-see such as the Frauenkirche, Zwinger and Brühl's Terrace.
What happened during the Second World War heavily affected the way Dresden developed, and now, the city offers a very pleasant combination of classical art and lively contemporary entertainment venues.
One of the most convenient ways to reach the Saxonian second-largest city is via FlixBus, a private bus company that offers tickets connecting the two cities for as little as €12.
Terezin from Prague
On the way to Dresden, 60 kilometres north of Prague, one encounters Terezín.
Formerly a military citadel and fortress, it's easy to reach by bus from the capital as ten buses leave from Prague each morning and head for Terezín.
While discovering the small fortress and visiting the prison museum is surely interesting and fascinating, most tourists visit the town because of its more recent history.
Originally, Terezín was used as a holiday resort destination for local nobility, but in the 1940s the SS transformed the fortress into a ghetto and concentration camp.
Today, the fortress operates as a museum and memorial to the destruction caused by WWII.
Cesky Krumlov from Prague
In the deep south of Bohemia, Český Krumlov is also known as "the little Prague in miniature”. It is not hard to see why.
The UNESCO World Heritage site is a small town where architecture from the baroque period meets romantic colours and finishing at every street corner.
Just like Prague, its historical centre and its castle are on the banks of the Vltava River, which make it a popular summer choice for tourists and locals to enjoy a day break. There are many day tours from Prague which you can join. They usually include lunch as well.
The castle and the tower museum are often at the top of tourist guides, but it is when one venture away from the mainstream spots that the true soul of the place comes to life.
Located northwest from the town centre, there is a recently abandoned graphite mine. The tunnels, which continue for two kilometres underground, can be visited and guided tours are offered in English and German.
Art lovers will not be disappointed either, as a renowned museum and gallery, devoted to the Austrian artist Egon Schiele, the "Egon Schiele Art Centre”, hosts both permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Karlovy Vary from Prague
If a relaxing day break is what you are looking for, Karlovy Vary is the right place.
Branded by its own tourist board as "a spa town like no other”, the description is pretty self-explanatory.
Exceptional hotels, fine dining restaurants and spa packages are widely available in Karlovy Vary, and - although on the pricey side - they promise to offer unique and relaxing experiences in a spectacular setting.
Two hours away from Prague central station, Karlovy Vary is built on a series of thermal springs, which combined with the refined buildings make the environment look peaceful, exquisite and romantic.
If you don't have a car, join one of the many day tours from Prague and discover Karlovy Vary with the help of an expert guide.
Brno from Prague
Less than three hours away from the centre of Prague, Brno is one of the most popular cities in the Czech Republic. It is an odd, yet fascinating place from an architectural perspective.
Many buildings, including the Špilberk Castle - which is now a museum - and Cathedral of Saint Peter and Paul, were built during the 13th century. Therefore, the medieval vibe lingers around Brno's Old Town.
However, architects in the early 20th century also added some modernist touches to the city. Villa Tugendhat, a historical building that can be visited daily, was built in 1930 by German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and it is now considered to be one of the first prototypes of modern architecture in Europe.
Although surely an appealing destination for architecture enthusiasts, Brno is also a suitable destination for those who wish to live the stress of the capital city behind and immerse themselves in nature.
Brno Reservoir, a dam on the Svratka River, is where locals like to refresh themselves with a swim on hot summer days.
For more active visitors, the Moravian Karst, a karst landscape and protected nature reserve, is easily reachable from the city centre heading north, and it showcases a wide variety of geological features, so people can explore caverns and gorges.
Karlstejn Castle from Prague
Making its appearance on several Pinterest boards and Instagram accounts, Karlštejn Castle is a wonderful Gothic structure built in the mid-1300s by the King of Bohemia.
Originally, it was indeed used as a castle, but mostly to protect crown jewels, religious artefacts, royal treasures and relics.
Depending on the vibe one wishes to give to their day out, it can turn out to be the right setting for both Game Of Thrones amateurish reenactments, as well as Disney sing-alongs with one's other half, for when visiting the chambers one is met with both simple rooms and more pompously adorned ones.
The castle is probably one of the closest day trips available from Prague, but one should be aware that in order to reach it, there is no public transport that will connect the two hubs.
Velka Amerika from Prague
On the way to the Karlštejn Castle, many professional drivers are most likely to make a short diversion towards Velká Amerika.
Sometimes referred to as the Czech Grand Canyon, it is a partly flooded and abandoned quarry made out of limestone. Measuring almost 1 km in length and 100 metres in depth, one can immediately understand why diving aficionados may pick this location for a much-needed cooling down session in the summer.
The limestone was mined in the first half of the 20th century and is connected to another quarry, Malá Amerika. Featured in many Czech films over the years, this location is unique and a must-see.
You can reach Velka Amerika by bike from Prague if you join one of the organised groups. This includes bike rental and insurance.
Bohemian Switzerland National Park from Prague
Contrary to what the name may suggest, this breathtaking national park is just a few hours north-west of Prague. Beware - there is no reliable public transport network that connects the city to the natural reserve, so cycling or joining a day tour are the most convenient ways to reach the Bohemian Switzerland National Park.
Also known as Czech Switzerland, this stunning region that extends for almost 80 sq km is encapsulated between the Lusatian Mountains and the Ore Mountains. Hence the name: with crystal-clear lakes, secular trees and rock formations, Bohemian Switzerland is the right place where to find and enjoy a breath of fresh air - quite literally.
An ideal destination for adventure travellers and mountaineering pros, it is also suitable for families and more relaxed visitors who want to hike for a few hours before stopping for a picnic.
Divoka Sarka from Prague
If travelling all the way up to the Bohemian Switzerland National Park sounds like too much of a hassle for a day trip, but you still wish to enjoy the beautiful Czech nature, Divoká Šárka is the right place for you.
Conveniently located in the outskirts of Prague and connected by buses and trams to the city, this natural reserve offers areas where to sunbathe and relax, as well as easy and slightly more challenging hill hikes.
If you are already tired after walking in Prague's Old Town, hop-on a segway and enjoy a guided tour to the canyons.
Natural water basins and artificial swimming pools are also available at the park, making it an enviable destination where to spend a hot summer day away from the city crowd.
Vienna from Prague
Leaving River Vltava behind and heading south, in only a few hours on the bus or train, one finds themselves on the River Danube.
Vienna, the capital of Austria, is an easy location to visit from Prague, and during a day trip, you have a decent amount of time to visit the key landmarks and taste some of the typical food. Home to writers, philosophers and artists from the past centuries, the city emanates sophistication from how its buildings are shaped, to the way desserts are constructed.
Those who wish to dedicate their day to the arts, better head for the MuseumsQuartier district, where regional artists of the likes of Schiele and Klimt are on display.
If instead one is after local history, the Palace of Schönbrunn is probably the most remarkable residence the Habsburgs used to have, and it is possible to visit both the main buildings and the gardens with the same museum entrance ticket.
Even those interested in contemporary arts will find cafes and galleries that cater to their tastes.
With so much to offer, Vienna really is a good spot for anyone - especially cake lovers, who should not resist temptation and most definitely order a slice of the famous Sacher Torte at the homonymous hotel.
Cesky Raj from Prague
Just over an hour drive away from the city centre lays Český Ráj, which translates literally into ‘Bohemian Paradise', is a protected landscape area north-east of Prague.
Back in 1955, when it was first established, it extended only to an area of about 95 km2, but today it has doubled in size and is an excellent location for those who wish to combine history with spending time surrounded by nature. In fact, one can both hike the forests and visit ancient ruins.
Trosky Castle can be found within Český Ráj, and it is one of the most famous castles in the country. Established in the 14th century, it is now partly destroyed, but it is still possible to visit some parts and take good photos of the famous Panna Tower.
At first sight, the rocky remains of Valečov Castle may not look particularly impressive, but as one makes their way into the area open to the public, it is easy to appreciate and be amazed by the vast sandrock construction that has been preserved for centuries.
Unfortunately, there is no public transport route suitable for a day trip to Bohemian Paradise and hiring a car is the best way to reach the area.
Pilsen from Prague
For as little as €3.60 - probably the same price one would end up paying for a glass of beer in some of Prague's restaurants - it is possible to purchase a FlixBus or RegioJet ticket to Pilsen.
In just about 60 minutes, one is transported back in time. The streets, built in Gothic style in the 19th century recall those seen in Germany. But for as beautiful as Pilsen is, what brings many tourists to this western Czech destination is something else: beer.
In 1842, the Pilsner Urquell Brewery was established. Since then, it has specialised in bottom-fermented beers and has gained worldwide fame.
Today, the brewery is still in use and guided tours are offered on an almost daily basis. During the tour the brewing process is thoroughly explained, and so is the distribution of the drinks. It culminates in a tasting session for over 18s.
Wroclaw from Prague
Thanks to its strategic position in the middle of central Europe, Prague is also only a few hours away from Poland.
Not far from the border and right on the Oder River, the Polish city of Wrocław was built across several islands and it is known for its several bridges and medieval architecture.
In the central square known as the Rynek, the many colourful buildings built in Gothic style and the Old Town Hall are probably the most popular spot for visitors.
The best way to reach the city from Prague is by train, with routes taking between ten and four hours and ticket prices affordable for all. To make the most out of your day, we recommend joining a sightseeing tour which will visit all major landmarks and monuments with friendly commentary.