Most of the tourists are visiting only Prague and rarely go outside of the capital. However, there is a lot of cities to visit in the Czech republic. And there is a lot of interesting places all around, so it would be a shame to stay just in Prague. Besides the Czech Republic is a relatively small country, so it is possible to visit most of those cities as a day trip from Prague.
Best cities to visit in the Czech Republic (that are not Prague)
First, let’s speak a little bit about geographic. In general, the Czech Republic is divided into three main regions. The biggest part is called Bohemia – although as far as I know, it has nothing to do with Bohemian Rhapsody. Bohemia is the part, where you can find Prague but also a lot of castles. Bohemia also has a well-known spa triangle with other interesting cities to visit.
Moravia is the second biggest region in the Czech Republic. It is famous for its folklore. Funfairs are still pretty common in the Czech Republic and in Moravia, there is a lot of traditions around it. For example, people here very often wear traditional folklore dresses. Even today it is quite common. Another tradition is local cakes that are very often well decorated. There is also a lot of folklore songs and dances, that people enjoy on funfairs but sometimes also just on Sundays.
Lastly, Czech silesia is the part that we kept after the Habsburg monarchy lost its power and countries were divided. The biggest part of Silesia is in Poland. The Czech Republic has only a small part, which is also full of folklore. And because of its natural resources, there is a lot of mining of coal going on. For visitors that can mean two things – first, sometimes the air is a little bit polluted so perhaps a breathing mask is a good idea if you want to visit Ostrava. Second, you can see amazing industrial zones, some of them are open for the public to visit, making it one of the most interesting museums in the country.
Cities to visit in Bohemia region
Here is one of the most visited cities after Prague. Český Krumlov has the second biggest castle in the Czech Republic and it is part of UNESCO heritage. The city is bisected by the Vltava river, the same as the one in Prague. That means that from the town you can see beautiful views dominated by the castle from the 13th century. The castle has Gothic, renaissance and baroque elements, which is making it quite special.
If you like art, there is also an Egon Schiele museum. Full of paintings and drawings of this Austrian artist. You would recognize that this is a special building by the fact, that there are paintings on the buildings as well. And if you don’t know who he was, don’t worry. I didn’t know it either before I went there, but I did enjoy the presentation of his art.
The city is located about 2 hours from Prague. There is a lot of tours that offer a guided tour to Český Krumlov.
City where I was born but also and that is possibly more important, where the legendary Pilsner was invented. Yes, this is the birthplace of the legendary Pilsen lager that is now world-famous. Pilsen is only about 90km from Prague, which makes it also a great day trip. So what to do here? Well, first of all, for all beer lovers, there is the brewery that you can actually visit. They make tours in English, German and Russian as well. You get to know here everything from how to make beer like this and why it is so special, to how much they produce (spoiler alert: a lot!).
Else you can also visit the local cathedral of Bartholomew or Great synagogue that was built in the 19th century. If you are interested in history, there is an underground to explore. Lots of medieval tunnels and wells. All accessible through the guided tour from the main square.
If we translate Hradec Králové we would get to know that it is Castle of Queen. In the middle ages, kings tend to build cities for their queen and this was one of them. Meaning that there was a castle, although the closest castle that you can visit here is called Hrádek u Nechanic and it is a little bit outside of the town, but not within the reach. Only about 15 minutes by bus.
This chateau was build in the 19th century although it is built in the gothic style. It was built relatively late and only for the dynasty, that was not in power, but still decided to have chateaux. This castle is not for battling purposes more like for romantic stays of nobles. And it is pretty visible on it. From 2001 it is part of the cultural heritage of the Czech republic.
Another interesting monument that is actually in the city center of Hradec Kralove is called the White Tower. The tower was build in 1571 and there is a great view from it. Till today it is one of the tallest buildings in the city.
Other than that, the city is known for the food making industry but also for local IT. There is also the well-known brand of pianos that was founded here in Hradec Kralove. Petrof is now known all around the globe and until today they have factories here in HK.
Hradec Králové can be an interesting day trip from Prague, mainly because it is an only hour and a half from Prague. There are regular train departures from central station, it goes approximately every hour. It is also an easy way of reaching the city center.
The history of this town began in 1142 when it was founded. The first Cistercian monastery raised with the city at that time. Kutná hora is one of the cities for miners. From 1260 people were mining silver here, although the earliest findings of silver started around the 10th century.
Perhaps the most recognizable monument of Kutná hora is famous for, is st. Barbara’s church. The church is one of the most famous churches in the Czech Republic and it is part of UNESCO heritage. The main reason for it is the outside architecture, the building of this church began in 1306 but due to wars and change of reign was finished in 1906.
Another reason for visiting Kutná hora is Sedles Ossuary. It is a small chapel, located inside of the church of All saint. The ossuary is decorated by human bones, it is believed that there are up to 70 thousand human bones in the ossuary decoration. The most famous decoration is perhaps the chandelier made entirely of bones.
If you want to go to Kutná Hora, you can take either bus or train from Prague. The train should take only about 45 minutes to get there and but for about an hour. Some tour companies also offer guided tours to Kutná Hora, but you can do it on your own if you don’t mind reading about the city from the leaflets.
Cities to visit in Moravia region
Let’s start in a region called Moravia. Brno is like the capital of Moravia. At the same time, it is very much anti-Prague city. In general, people from Moravia don’t like people from Prague. It is the old villages vs big city fight. But anyway, Brno is still the second biggest city in the Czech Republic and it is worth to visit.
So what can you do there? First of all, there is more nature than in Prague. So, for example, you can visit there Moravian Karst, which is a nature reservation with historical caves. You can also visit Špilberk Castle. This castle from the 13th century is also a city museum with interesting exhibitions. If you are missing a cathedral similar to the one in Prague, don’t be sad, there is one also from the 13th century, looking very similar to the one in Prague. It is the cathedral of st. Peter and Paul. And for architecture lovers, there is Villa Tugendhat, a modernist house, that was restored in 1929. In fact, it was in this very building, where the politicians decided, that Czechoslovakia will get separated into Czechia and Slovakia.
Brno makes a little bit longer day trip from Prague, as the train takes about 2,5 to three hours. But it is possible to do it in one day, although it might not be the most comfortable day trip. I would recommend to stay here overnight and perhaps consider some other visit some other cities around in Moravia region.
Olomouc should be also on your list if you want to visit more cities in the Czech republic. It is another historical city, not as big as the Czech Republic is, but certainly big enough to entertain you for a day. There is the saint trinity column, which is definitely worth to see. It dates to the early 1700 and it is one of the dominant in the city.
Another great thing to visit in the Czech Republic would be Saint Wenceslas Cathedral in Olomouc. It is another great looking Gothic-style cathedral. And if you are an animal lover, Olomouc has one of the best Zoos in the Czech republic.
Mikulov is in the southern part of the Moravia region. It is a city in the middle of vineyards and every year at the end of summer there is a festival that celebrates the wine industry here. The most famous wine from this region is called Pálava and it is sweet white wine. A nice one.
The main dominant of the city isn’t just vineyards all around but also the local castle. The first stone of the castle comes back from 1390 but the current look of it comes from the 18th century, where it was rebuilt and renovated.
Mikulov has a lot of other little churches and chateaux around, that I would certainly recommend visiting. The best time for visiting this city is the summer where you will probably have the best look. You can enjoy here one of the best Czech wine.
Because Mikulov is located in south Moravia, it is not easy to make it as a day trip from Prague. It takes about 3 to 3 and a half hours to get here from Prague. But there are several options. You can visit Mikulov as a day trip from Brno or other cities in the Moravian region or you can reach the city from Viena. Mikulov lays directly on the border with Austria, making it easier to get here from Viena.
Cities to visit in Czech Silesia region
Ostrava is another city in the Moravian region. This time it is the Moravian-Silesian region and Ostrava is the biggest city here. This city lays only 15 km from polish borders, which means it might not be the best day trip from Prague, but you can certainly visit it from Krakow.
But anyway, Ostrava is mainly steel city. Meaning that in this place was (and still is) a lot of mining. So you can visit here, for example, the mining museum, where you get to know everything about local mining history. And since we are at mining, you can also visit lower Vítkovice, which is industrial heritage, located in Vítkovice neighborhood in Ostrava. And what it is? Lower Vítkovice is an industrial area of ironworks with a unique industrial architecture style.
The easiest way to get to Ostrava from Prague is to take a train. The ride to this city takes about 3 hours, so it is possible to make it as one day trip, but there is going to be a time pressure on getting back. So I would recommend to stay for the night and perhaps venture around the city. But to Ostrava, it is easier to get to from Poland and it can be taken as a day trip from Krakow.
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