7 easy breezy day trips from Prague for every travel style

Kick off the summer season with a newly opened beer museum, a walk in the footsteps of literary giants, and strawberry (and lavender) fields forever!

Lauren Flatley

Written by Lauren Flatley Published on 21.06.2024 17:11:00 (updated on 22.06.2024) Reading time: 8 minutes

For art lovers: Nelahozeves

If you have an appreciation for art, history, and get excited when you hear the word “Dvořák,” we suggest you venture northwest to a charming town called Nelahozeves. This hidden gem is nestled along the Vltava and prizes one of Bohemia’s prettiest Renaissance castles dating back to the 10th century. But its biggest claim to fame is that it's the birthplace of one of music’s most important composers, Antonín Leopold Dvořák. Step off the train at Nelahozeves, walk up to the Nelahozeves Castle (we suggest listening to Serenade of Strings as you do so), and you’ll see why Dvořák was so inspired.

As you explore the castle, you’ll take in a rich collection of paintings, musical instruments, and historical artifacts that span centuries. Among the treasures, you’ll find works by Bruegel, Rubens, and Velázquez. Even more exciting for music lovers, as the country celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Year of Czech Music, a brand new exhibit will open this summer. At the Antonín Dvořák Birth House, visitors will get to know Dvořák as never before.

Nelahozeves Castle / photo via lobkowicz.cz
Nelahozeves Castle / photo via lobkowicz.cz

Don’t miss it: The Antonín Dvořák Birth House will open in Nelahozeves on June 28. As the museum is in test mode, admission will be reduced until the end of summer 2024. Visitors can explore the Central Bohemian village where the acclaimed composer grew up via audio guides that take them from his modest beginnings to global acclaim. Later this year, the annual Dvořák Nelahozeves Classical Music Festival, a one-day series of concerts, workshops, and guided tours, takes place on Sept. 8.

What else to do: Head to the marina for a sightseeing cruise, boat rentals, or a bite to eat at Marina Vltava restaurant after visiting the castle. 

How to get there: Nelahozeves is easily accessible by public transport from Masarykovo nádraží. Take the regional train directly to Nelahozeves Castle in under an hour; trains run regularly on Saturdays and Sundays.

For literature buffs: Frýdlant and Kersko

Prague may be a literary haven for bookworms – from beautiful baroque libraries to overfilled antiquarians and endless cafes – but there is still plenty to do outside of the city for fiction fans. 

Kersko and Hrabal

If you’re looking for a literary excursion that’s not far from Prague head directly east to a small town called Kersko. This cottage settlement inspired the renowned Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal, and you can now visit his former cottage, recently reopened as a museum, to delve into the life and works of one of the country's most beloved authors. 

Photo: Facebook/Středočeský kraj - oficiální stránka
Photo: Facebook/Středočeský kraj - oficiální stránka

Don't miss it: Hrabal's Hájenka is a restaurant in the Kersko cottage settlement where the film The Snowdrop Festival, based on the author's book of the same name, was filmed. Visitors can dine in the pub featured in the movie. The menu focuses on venison dishes paired with the Hrabal-inspired Postřižiny beer.

What else to do: If you have time, consider starting in Nymburk, the medieval city that brews the beer named for Hrabal’s book Postřižiny (Cutting It Short). After strolling or grabbing something to eat, you can take a river cruise to Kersko.

How to get there: Kersko is easily accessible by car, with the drive taking just over 30 minutes from Prague. Alternatively, you can take a train from Prague's main station to Lysá nad Labem and catch a local bus to Kersko.

Frýdlant and Kafka

In celebration of 100 years of Kafka, head north to Frýdlant, a small town in the Liberec region of Czechia that sits on the ridges of the Jizera mountains. Though not officially confirmed, it’s been rumored Kafka was smitten with this region, having come on occasion for work but also as a tourist. So much so, his final unfinished novel, The Castle, is said to be inspired by the imposing Frýdlant Château, which stands high up on a basalt rock. Feel connected to literary greatness as you walk through Frýdlant’s historic streets and explore its castle grounds, just as Kafka once did.

Don’t miss it: Celebrate the second annual Frýdlantsko Franz Kafka (Franz Kafka’s Frýdlant) this summer from July 6 to October.

What else to do: Wander the streets to the main square or cozy up at a local cafe with your favorite Kafka novel. We suggest CAFÉ Jazzová Osvěžovna.

How to get there: Frýdlant is easily accessible by car in just under two hours. If you don’t have a car, you can also take the Flixbus from Florenc bus station and arrive in Frýdlant in two and a half hours. Just pay close attention to timetables as only a few Flixbuses pass through this town each day. 

For beer backers: Kostelec nad Černými lesy

With the world's highest beer consumption per capita and more than 400 breweries, the Czech Republic is a beer haven for locals and tourists alike. While it’s not hard to tire of beer-related experiences in Prague, from local hospodas to buzzing beer gardens to monastic breweries, you might also wonder what else Czechia’s beer culture has to offer. When planning for beer-related day trips, many put Pilsner or České Budějovice at the top of the list, but we suggest heading about 40 km southeast of the city to the small town of Kostelec nad Černými lesy.

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This quaint destination has everything you could want in a medieval town: Renaissance buildings, an impressive castle, and dense fairytale-like forests wrapping the city (hence the name: "Kostelec in the Black Forest”). But the trip's highlight will be the new National Beer Museum, showcasing Czech brewing traditions with historical equipment, interactive exhibits, and histories of famous breweries. Tours run daily and start at the Černokostelec Brewery. Entry includes access to English-friendly audio guides, and you can taste some of their microbrews. 

The new National Beer Museum
The new National Beer Museum

What else to do: Pack a few beers and some light fare for a picnic on the Vyžlovka Lake. Afterward, stroll the many trails in the nearby nature preserve, Voděradské bučiny, before heading back to Kostelec nad Černými lesy for beer and Czech food at the museum’s Černokostelecký pivovar.

How to get there: In a little over an hour, you’ll be able to reach Kostelec nad Černými lesy by public transportation. Take the regional train from Masarykovo Nádraží to Český Brod, then take a 25-minute bus ride over to Kostelec nad Černými lesy. Trains leave every hour on the weekends. 

Happy glampers and farm fans: Chodoun and Vraňany

Chodoun’s lavender retreat

The Czech Republic is the place to be for outdoorsy folk, with four national parks and over 25 protected areas, many of which can be hiked, climbed, biked, and camped as day or weekend trips from the capitol. But if you’re looking for a little more luxury (without spending a lot of money), we suggest you head to Chodoun, a small village near Beroun, surrounded by the Křivoklát Highlands and protected landscape areas. Here, you’ll enjoy a sustainable, lavender-scented experience in the heart of Barrandien Geopark.

Once you arrive at Lavandula Bohemia, indulge in aromatherapy or grab a bite to eat at their local farm-to-table restaurant. If you want to venture away from the breathtaking fields, you’ll find plenty to do nearby. Down the road is Farm Stehlík, which has a selection of tasty, locally-grown products, and surrounding the town are many tranquil hiking trails to explore. If you want to make it an overnight, Lavandula Bohemia now offers glamping experiences: tents, caravans, and tiny homes amongst its organic lavender fields.

Lavendar Valley in Choudon
Lavender Valley in Choudon

What else to see: Catch a one-hour regional train to the base of Karlštejn Castle.

How to get there: The fastest way to get to Chodoun is by taking a direct regional train from Prague's main train station. In just over an hour, you’ll arrive. Direct trains leave a couple of times a day, so be sure to check timetables when planning. If you aren’t able to catch a direct train, don’t worry, you can still get there by taking a bus from Zličín to Zdice in just under an hour and a half.

Hanč Farma Vraňany strawberry paradise

If agrotourism is more your travel style, head 30 km north of Prague to the tiny village of Vraňany. Here, you’ll find one of the country’s best-kept secrets: the Vraňana Hanč farm. Operating for over 25 years, this six-hectare area boasts the largest farm shop in the Czech Republic. You won’t walk away empty-handed when you visit. We recommend trying their cider, selection of fresh jams, compotes, preserves, and best-selling strawberries. You can even self-harvest (and taste) some of these strawberries at their designated picking plots!

What else to see: After getting refreshments and a bite to eat at Café Na Výsluní, visit one of the many chateaus and castles in the surrounding area, such as Mělník, Veltrusy, or just slightly further out Kokořín.

How to get there: A direct train leaves Masarykovo nádraží every couple of hours, getting you to your destination in just an hour.

Vrnany
Hanč Farma Vraňany

For Instagram addicts: Brdy

If your ideal getaway includes capturing stunning photos for your social media feed, the Brdy region is the day trip for you. Where will you take your Insta-worthy shot? At the summit of Houpák hill, the highest peak in southwestern Bohemia. You can reach these panoramic views by starting in Hořovice. From there, you’ll climb through forests and meadows, capturing castle ruins and old bunkers. At the top, take as many photos of the vistas as your feed demands! This hike can take up to seven hours, so we recommend starting this day trip early.  

What else to see: Should your feed lean a little more towards historical grandeur, stay in Hořovice and take in the elegance of the 300-year-old Hořovice Château, which has plenty of architectural beauty and lush gardens to photograph.

How to get there: Typically, the best way to reach the Brady region is by car, traveling about an hour’s drive southwest of Prague on the D4 highway and following signs for Příbram. But from June 8, a new circular cycle bus line marked 505 will, for the first time, take tourists and cyclists from Příbram to Kozičín or Orlov to experience the beauty and tranquility of Brdy. The bus runs until Sept. 15.

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