While most people head to Prague for romantic getaways, eventful stag do’s or to soak up its vivid history, the rest of the Czech Republic is often left forgotten. However, from gothic castles to beautiful mountain ranges, this is a country that is bursting with beauty and bohemian culture that’s just waiting to be explored. Once you’ve finished perusing Prague’s art galleries, sampling its world-class beer and taking in all its cobbled alleys and courtyards, it might be time to hit the road to check out what else this rich country has to offer.
From important memorials and majestic castles within an hour’s drive to jaw-dropping valleys and quaint towns a little further out, take some time off from your city explorations to enjoy a 1-day trip to these truly extraordinary places.
Closer to home
If you’re only in Prague for a long weekend and don’t want to spend too much time on the road, these great locations are only around an hour’s drive from the city centre – perfect for shorter jaunts that will only take up half a day of valuable sightseeing time.
Driving distance: 45 minutes
The impressive Karlstejn Castle, just outside of Prague, is a must-see for art lovers, history enthusiasts and wannabe royalty. Built in the 14th century to hold the coronation jewels of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV, it’s been renovated several times over the years and is now known for its distinct neo-gothic architecture. Take a trip back in time by exploring its many turrets, or get in touch with your creative side by viewing the world’s largest collection of Gothic paintings in the castle’s Chapel of the Holy Cross.
Driving distance: 50 minutes
A visit to this town will be a truly humbling experience for all. Once a military fortress that was built in the late 18th century to defend the country from invading forces to the north, it was
then famously occupied during WWII and used as a German concentration camp. Its horrific past has been honoured with the Terezín Memorial where you can learn more about the site’s history, including the vast National Cemetery and the thought-provoking Ghetto Museum.
Driving distance: 1 hour 10 minutes
Known by many as the Bohemian Paradise, this unique landscape of rocky outcrops, abundant forests and charming villages has been a source of inspiration for artists, writers and other creatives for centuries. Declared the country’s first nature reserve in 1955, its many attractions include the unusual sandstone formations, the beautiful and iconic ruins of Trosky Castle, and the ethereal dolomite caves.
If you can’t get enough of this beautiful country and want to venture a bit further out, these inspiring places will definitely fit the bill. Taking you away from the hustle and bustle of the city during the day, they’re still close enough to ensure you have plenty of time to get back to Prague for a refreshing pre-dinner pint.
Driving distance: 2 hours 30 minutes
A quintessential Bohemian town that’s considered one of the most picturesque spots in Europe, Cesky Krumlov certainly holds plenty of charm. The cobbled town square, Baroque and Renaissance architecture, and its fairy-tale riverside castle make it worthy of its title as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Quench your thirst in one of the medieval pubs, get lost in the meandering alleyways, and discover beautiful costumes and interiors at the Baroque theatre museum.
Driving distance: 2 hours
A 14th century spa town nestled atop picturesque hills, Karlovy Vary is the ultimate place to visit for rest and relaxation. With famous hot springs that were discovered over seven centuries ago, it became a famous resort in the 19th century that drew in visitors for its stunning architecture, beautiful views and healing spa treatments. Nowadays, you can still make the most of the soothing benefits of the thermal springs as well as enjoy one of the many events that take place throughout the year.
Driving distance: 2 hour 45 minutes
To experience some of the Czech Republic’s most awe-inspiring and unique landscapes, there’s no better place to visit than the Moravian Karst. An area known for its dramatic rocky scenery and bounty of caves and gorges, the Moravian Karst is a popular spot for adventurers of all ages. Enjoy an unforgettable underground river cruise, peer down into the depths of the Macocha Abyss, or admire the vividly coloured stalactites at the Balcarka Cave.