Prague’s surrounding area
When planning your trip to the Czech Republic it’s worth bearing in mind everything the country has to offer so you can better organise your time spent in the country. Many visitors opt to only stay in Prague, however we want to show you the best places for day-trips from the capital. Then it’s up to you to decide if you want to extend your stay in the city of 100 spires, or to instead explore elsewhere in the country.
Starting with the outskirts of the capital, in the neighbourhood of Troja, situated on a bend in the Vltava river, is Prague Botanical Garden, spanning almost 30 hectares, which are open to the public. The neighbourhood is also home to the beautiful Troja Palace, a Baroque gem built from 1679 onwards as a summer residence of Count Václav Vojtěch ze Šternberka. On a visit to the palace, we recommend amusing yourself in its French-style gardens and on the monumental stairway that leads to the palace. The spectacle continues inside the palace, which boasts walls covered in delicate frescoes created by Dutch and Italian painters.
Another interesting place to visit that is very close to the capital is Karlstejn Castle, a beautiful medieval fortress built between 1348 and 1365 in order to guard the royal treasures. The complex, which was founded by Charles IV, stands majestically on a hill overlooking the picturesque town of the same name.
To the east of the Czech capital are two of the most impressive historical quarters in the country: Kutná Hora and Brno. The former, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was once the second most important city in the region thanks to its profitable silver mines. Examples of its former splendour include the Gothic Santa Bárbara Cathedral and the Jesuit College, built in homage to kings Ferdinand II and Ferdinand of Habsburg and boasting an interesting F-shaped plan. Brno, on the other hand, is an atmospheric university city whose urban landscape is reminiscent of Vienna, which is no surprise as those commissioned to create it – between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries – were Austrian architects.
If you are interested in the history of the Jewish Holocaust, we recommend visiting Terezín concentration camp. Situated 60 kilometres to the north of Prague, it is a good way to gain an understanding of the country’s history and boost our collective memory by learning about the atrocities committed in that horrific period.
Finally, if you would like to bid farewell to the Czech Republic with a good taste in your mouth, be sure to head south to discover the charming medieval village of Cesky Krumlov, or travel eastbound, where you will find the spa town of Karlovy Vary, a town known for the properties of its medicinal water, visited by the likes of Freud, Beethoven, Chopin and Karl Marx himself.
Less well known than its big sister Prague, Brno surprises and impresses visitors with its university vibe, its cultural life and its Functionalist architecture.
Karlovy Vary is one of the Czech Republic’s loveliest towns and a European mecca for spa lovers. A fantastic option for an excursion from Prague.
The town of Kutná Hora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is known for its unclassifiable ossuary but is also home to more treasures. Discover them just one hour away from Prague.