Unique Excursions From Prague
The city of Prague is a magical place. The buildings all of rich pastels and even the stop lights can be consider art. Random strolls down unfamiliar streets lead you to hidden parks and beautiful cafes. Although, while Prague receives all my praises, I highly suggest hopping on a tour, train, bus, even blimp if possible to explore some of the Czech countryside and neighboring towns and cities. Here are a few suggested trips to add to your Prague Itinerary:
Czech Switzerland - The Bridged Mountain
Located a skip, hop, and a jump away from Prague (but really just a train and bus) are the beautiful natural landscapes of the Czech Countryside. In the midst of 40 minute hike through breathtaking forest and drop cliffs, lays the iconic and widely photographed stone bridge that stands as a view point amongst hundreds of acres of scenic mountains, trees, and fresh air. If that doesn't already sell you, I should mention that the Chronicles of Narnia were also filmed here. While there are excursion sites ranging from $90-$120 to take you out there, the public transportation in the Czech Republic is so easy and reliable, it won't cost more than $15 if using both the train and the bus. Plus, there are also beautiful towns to see on your journey to stop for a bite to eat or a pint of beer (because this is still the Czech Republic).
The City of Pilzn
Speaking of beer, for a true beer fan visiting the Czech Republic - there is no better side trip to take than the town of Pilzn, home of the Pilsner beer. It's said that their process and technology of brewing has inspired and led to the creation of more than 70% of the world's current beer market. It's a quaint, picturesque city that still prides itself on it's roots launched in the Pilsen brewery. It seems as though almost everyone has a relative or friend that is employed by the beloved beer makers. An interesting dynamic to also see while visiting the town of Pilzn in the emergence of Micro-breweries. While every visitor must take a guided walk-through tour of Pilsen brewery, I highly suggest checking out the newer, local micro-brews for a true full-spectrum beer experience. Located (via tram) 5 minutes away from the heart of town, lies Raven, a microbrewery started by an Australian mate who takes innovation of his beer to the next level! I personally enjoyed his coffee stout and for the bravest of souls his chili (Carolina reaper edition HOT) infused I.P.A.
Known as a luxurious spa town made famous from movies like James Bond's Casino Royale, and the inspiration behind Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel, Karlovy Vary will bring out everyone's inner diva. Whether you decide to stay or not, the Grandhotel Pupp is a gorgeous hotel that must at least be on your visit list. Amongst the laundry list of things to do and see in the city, some highlights include the Moser Glass Factory, Diana's lookout, the various beautiful parks, the famous healing waters, and even the Becherovka distillery. While tours are offered from Prague, I suggest spending more than a single day in the city - there's a bus for $12 roundtrip, which takes you to and from each location.
Kutna Hora & The Sedlec Ossuary
Only and hour away from Prague, lays the beautiful town on Kutna Hora. Once the capital of Bohemia and a fiscal hub of central Europe in the middle ages (due to the discovery of large amounts of silver throughout the city) it's no wonder UNESCO labeled it as a World Heritage Site. Some of the sites worth seeing are: Saint Barbara's Church which was dedicated to the Minners, Stone fountain, and the Italian Court. While the beauty and activities of Kutna Hora are lists, pages long, the most famous site to see is the Sedlec Ossuary home of the famous Bone Chapel. Stories of half-blind monks and holy soil drew a large amount of people to the town to be buried. With supply versus demand, it was easy to see how the graveyard became overrun in the 1500s. Later in the 1800s, a wealthy family of the town commissioned the now-famous bone chapel. It's surely a spooky site to see. Tours from Old Town are easy to book and moderately inexpensive for the full day.