I’m looking for some off the beaten track places within a few hours by train from Prague to explore. I was in CZ Republic last year for a week and did Czesky Kumlov, but that was an overnight trip. I’ll be in Prague for the Prague Food Festival, Czech Beer Festival, the Cultural events of opera, dance, music etc. What I want to do is visit some castles close by to Prague. Small towns are my cup of tea! I also love good food and if you know of a restaruant in a small town that would be good for lunch let me know? I rented an apartment for the month, so I want to get back to Prague each evening, unless someone can give me a reason to stay in a smaller town because it is a must experience place?
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I’ll start with the relatively off-the-beaten-track parts of Prague itself that you might not have on your itinerary. Have you already covered the area south of Národní, the southern Nové Město waterfront and the Vyšehrad fortress? They’re all worth exploring. Then there’s the modern art at Veletržní palace in Holešovice, of course. The ‘National Style’ exhibition that will be running when you’re there should be worth a look.
If chateaux are of interest, then head out to Mělník, which will take you about an hour on the train (with one change), or you can take the bus from metro Nádraží Holešovice and Florenc. There’s another chateau with wonderful grounds at Konopiště (around an hour by train, plus a two-kilometre walk from the station), or try the Gothic castle of Karlštejn, which is just over half an hour by train from Prague.
Other worthwhile daytrips would be to Terezín, for its wartime Jewish ghetto, or to the wonderful Gothic church at Kutná Hora. Both are around an hour by bus from Prague’s Florenc terminal. Taking the train is also possible though a little more complicated.
All the practical ins and outs are in the Rough Guide to Prague: roughguides.com/shop/rough-guide-prague/book/
Hope this helps!
Thanks for the off the beaten path locations and things to do. South of Národní, the southern Nové Město waterfront and the Vyšehrad fortress is an area that I have never been to and I will be sure to check this area out and it’s close.
The chateaux’s are now on my list and already have Karlštejn and Kunta Hora as part of my plan. Terezín is right up my alley, so I will check the location and see if I can go there also.
Thanks for the information and if you think of anything else, please let me know. I don’t leave until next month.
Thanks again! I am so looking forward to my time back in CZ and Prague! I have what you suggested in my plan and ready to go. I live in SE Asia and can’t wait to escape to more sane weather. It’s the hot season here at 35-38 c, so time for a great break! Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, Neil named most of the very-often-overlooked places. The RG guide book describes more of them. Let me as a local Praguer suggest a few more. There are ways how to discover the city with a easy-going guides: if you prefer walks than check http://www.praguealternativetours.cz, they take people into the urban wilderness …. or in case you are into running, then follow http://www.runningtoursprague.com, they can adjust the covered route to what you ask for.
Though the original question of yours referred to regions outside of Prague, there are still quite a few districts in Prague worth the visit, while they are not ranking among Sightseeing Top 10 – e.g. picturesque New World (“Nový svět”) near to the Prague Castle, working-class district “Žižkov” with the highest density of pubs in the whole of the city, riverbanks – especially the right one (“Náplavka”), where lots of new caffetterias mushroomed recently with frequent live music performances and which hosts a farmer’s fair (on Saturdays).
The Slav Island is opened now (November 2013) after a massive reconstruction, providing a special view-point to observe the centre from.