The following easy one-day trips can simply be served by the public transport which is efficient and quite cheap. You can either download the idos app for your iPhone or you can use this site to help plan your journey.
Don’t be concerned that you won’t be able to get around once you leave Prague – there are definitely more people willing to help a stranger than those who will not – even if they can’t speak English. What you will usually find by heading out of the capital is better value for your money, a better experience, more personal interactions, and good Czech beer for 25CZK – not for 80 like at Old Town Square.
A small 12th century silver mining town to the east of Prague that prides itself in its spooky “bone church” where you can look death right in its face . For lunch – definitely go to Mikuláš Dačický restaurant (Mikuláš Dačický was a Czech writer, aristocrat, and womaniser in the 16th century). They brew their own beer and the food is delicious – get adventurous and have some potato pancakes or gingerbread dumplings – they are out of this world and totally worth the price. If you get delayed and/or lazy, you can ask the waitress to call a taxi and get you back to the station for about $5. The last direct train is at 9.00pm.
How to get there: the direct trains run every two hours (8.00 am – 10.00 am etc.) from the main station (Hlavní nádraží). You can buy the tickets there or in case you run late don’t worry, you can buy them on the train. The tickets are less than 100CZK ($5) and you can get group discounts, and discounts for children (under 15). Buy a return ticket – it’s a bit cheaper than both tickets purchased separately.
It’s about a 2km (1.25M) walk from the station to the bone church and about the same distance to the town centre. Don’t be put off by the neighbourhood which is not the nicest (what would you expect from a place where a former cloister was made into a tobacco factory) but the St. Barbora Church and the picturesque little squares with beauteous vistas are worth it.
Somewhat of a national obsession, there are numerous castles and chateaus scattered across the Czech countryside. Guided tours can be staid and a bit didactic, so it is best to amble around on your own when possible. Most castles, however, are situated in bucolic surroundings or carefully manicured grounds, and touring them – perhaps going for a hike and topping it off with a foamy pint of Czech beer – is a great way to relax and learn a bit about medieval Bohemian history at the same time.
The Three K’s : Karlštejn, Konopiště, Křivoklát.
How to get there: trains to Karlštejn and Konopiště run every hour from Hlavní nádraží and it takes about the same time to get there as to Kutná Hora – so the fares are similar. Both trips include 30 – 40min walks from the station to the top. It is wise to take a small snack with you since literally all of the restaurants are tourist traps. So are the gift shops – they’ll only try to rip you off.
Křivoklát might be a bit more complicated to get to since there is no direct train or bus. The train leaves from Hlavní nádraží. You must go to Beroun and change there and further down the track to Křivoklát.
Known as Theresienstadt in German, this 18th-century garrison town 60 km north of Prague was transformed by the Nazis into a concentration camp. About 140,000 Jews from all over Europe were interned here during the war. Deportees were initially crammed into the town’s barracks and when they were full, the civilian population was moved out and the entire town turned into one huge ghetto. The “small fortress”, used as a prison by the Gestapo, now houses the Terezín Memorial. Theresienstadt was not an extermination camp as most of its prisoners were sent on to Auschwitz or other death camps, but some 34,000 people died here, and visiting the town today is a moving experience.
How to get there: Terezín is 50 minutes by bus from Prague’s Nádraží Holešovice train station. Buses leave every 30mins. Or you can take a train from Hlavní nádraží do Bohušovice nad Ohří and walk to Terezín (20mins) – the track copies the one that the inmates had to walk when they were sent there. Get a guided tour – all the guides speak English and they know what they are talking about. Don’t be surprised by Rosa – a Czech/English guide originally from the Phillippines – whatever question you ask – she’ll assuredly have answer.