One Week in the Czech Republic

Bridges on Vltava River at Dusk in Prague, Czech Republic
Bim / Getty Images

It’s impossible to see everything that the Czech Republic has to offer in just one week but you can still cover a lot of ground. This seven-day itinerary includes many key sights and cities in the Czech Republic, including Kutná Hora, Český Krumlov, and the Moravian wine region. 

Using Prague and Brno as a base, there are many top locations that can be visited on day trips so that you don’t have to worry about changing hotels and mastering a new public transportation system every day. There are many tour companies offering tours to these locations or you can do it yourself, which will be much cheaper. If you’re overwhelmed by planning your trip to the Czech Republic, let this one-week travel itinerary lead the way.

01 of 07

Day 1: Prague

View of the Charles Bridge from the river banks

TripSavvy / Dorian Lee

Welcome to the Czech Republic! After arriving at Václav Havel Prague Airport or the main bus or train station, your first order of business will be to make your way to your accommodation to drop off your bags. Using the well-connected public transportation system will be the cheapest way to do this but a ride-sharing app may be easier if you have a lot of luggage. We recommend avoiding the taxis waiting at the station or airport, as you’ll likely pay a much higher rate than other options. If you do take a taxi, use an official airport service like FIX Taxi or Taxi Praha to prevent price-gouging.

Head straight to Prague Castle after dropping your bags off. Lines can get quite long at the castle during high-season, so it’s best to get there as early as possible. There's a ton to explore as Prague Castle holds the Guinness World Record for the largest ancient castle complex in the world. If you work up an appetite while there, make your way to the nearby Strahov Monastic Brewery for a traditional Czech lunch and some fresh beer that’s brewed on-site. 

Once you’ve filled your stomach, head down the hill through Lesser Town (Malá Strana) to Charles Bridge (Karlův most). The bridge dates back to the 1300s and is one of the most recognizable sights in Prague. Take your time strolling across the bridge while admiring the replica statues and great views of Prague Castle behind you. You’ll cross into Old Town on the other side of Charles Bridge. Make your way through the winding streets to Old Town square where you’ll be able to take in the splendor of Prague’s stunning gothic architecture and see the famous astronomical clock. Enjoy a relaxed dinner and drinks at a traditional Czech restaurant nearby, such as Krčma, and turn in early for the night.

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02 of 07

Day 2: Day Trip to Kutná Hora, Pilsen, or Terezín

The Great Synagogue and Pilsen cityscape. Czech Republic
Kirillm / Getty Images

Wake up early on day two and grab a quick bite to eat before heading out on a day trip. It may be difficult to decide where to go since there are many great locations that are easy to visit in a day from Prague. No matter which you choose, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Kutná Hora, Pilsen, or Terezín.

Trains and buses travel between Kutná and Prague several times throughout the day. It takes about an hour to get to Kutná Hora central station (hlavní nádraží) by train. From there, you can take another train or bus into the city center or catch a tourist minibus straight to Sedlec Ossuary and St. Barbara's Cathedral. The ossuary at Sedlec Abbey is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its massive chandelier constructed from human bones.

If you’d rather spend your day drinking and learning about the beer the country is famous for, head to Pilsen (Plzeň). Pilsen is the fourth largest city in the Czech Republic and is known worldwide as the birthplace of pilsner beer. Located just 56 miles (90 kilometers) west of Prague, the journey takes approximately an hour and a half by bus or train. Tour the Pilsner Urquell brewery for a deep look into Czech brewing culture and sample some of the freshest beer in the country.

It is also possible to visit the Theresienstadt Ghetto concentration camp in Terezín on a day trip from Prague. A somber and important location, a visit to this memorial to the victims of the Nazis will surely be a moving experience. The memorial highlights the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime at this site and throughout the Czech Republic and gives visitors an opportunity to pay their respects to the 33,000 people who lost their lives there.

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03 of 07

Day 3: Travel from Prague to Český Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov along the river

TripSavvy / Evgeniya Vlasova

Take your time in the morning to recover from the busy day before. Enjoy a nice breakfast at one of Prague’s famous cafes: Café Savoy or Café Louvre. After breakfast, catch a bus or train to Český Krumlov. This journey will take approximately three hours so be sure to bring something to entertain yourself if you aren’t taking the Regiojet bus, which provides each passenger with an entertainment console. 

Český Krumlov is one of the most beautiful towns in the Czech Republic. Its historic center dates back to the 14th century and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend your day strolling through the area and taking in the lovely sights. Stop by the Eggenberg brewery, which was established in 1560, for dinner and enjoy a traditional Czech meal with some locally-produced beer. If the brewery looks familiar, it may be because it has been featured in popular films such as "The Illusionist" and "Hostel."

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04 of 07

Day 4: Enjoy Český Krumlov and More of Prague

Český Krumlov in early summer
Damien Te Whiu / Getty Images

Start the day by visiting the awe-inspiring Český Krumlov Castle, which is the second biggest castle complex in the Czech Republic. Its origins can be traced back to 1240 and rumor has it that the moat was once filled with bears instead of water to ward off intruders. While there, make sure to visit the castle’s Baroque theater, which was originally constructed in the 1680s and is one of the best preserved theaters of its kind in the world. 

After exploring the castle and its gardens, head back to Prague for a relaxing evening of exploring the city’s Jewish quarter. Since you’re sure to spend a significant amount of time at the castle in the morning and the trip back takes around three hours, it’s likely that many of the main attractions in the area will already be closed but you’ll still be able to enjoy the ambiance. Stop by King Solomon, the oldest kosher restaurant in the Czech Republic, for some traditional Jewish cuisine. 

Once you’ve finished dinner, make your way to Absintherie to try the legendary green drink. There are over 100 types of absinthe available to sample and plenty of unique cocktails that use the spirit. The staff can provide a lot of information about the beverage and demonstrate the correct way to serve and drink it.

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05 of 07

Day 5: Brno

Cathedral of Peter and Paul along the Brno skyline

TripSavvy / Evgeniya Vlasova

Take the train or bus in the morning down to Brno, the Czech Republic’s second-biggest city and capital of the Moravia region. You’ll notice pretty quickly that Brno has a different vibe to it than Prague. The population skews slightly younger and you’ll encounter way fewer tourists. As a result, prices tend to be significantly lower than in the capital city. If you’re feeling peckish when you arrive, you can grab some lunch in the heart of the city center without worrying about it costing a fortune. 

Once you’ve spent some time enjoying the area around the main square, head up the hill to Špilberk Castle. This 13th-century fortress has beautiful gardens around it and will provide you with some of the best views of Brno. Be sure to buy a ticket for the casemates located below the prison. This part of the complex was once one of the harshest prisons in the Habsburg empire. This isn’t the only one of Brno’s coolest sights located underground either.

The 10-Z bunker built into the side of the hill Špilberk Castle sits on was originally built during Nazi occupation but was transformed into a nuclear fallout shelter during the Communist period. You can even spend the night in the bunker if you’re feeling adventurous. The ossuary at the Church of St. James is the second biggest in Europe so it’s definitely worth a visit. If you haven’t had enough creepy adventures underground, Brno’s 17th-century Capuchin Crypt is the final resting place for 41 naturally mummified monks.

After such an exciting day, you’ll likely want to kick back with a hearty meal and a few beers. Head to Lokál U Caipla for traditional Czech dishes and fresh Pilsner Urquell beer served straight from the tank.

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06 of 07

Day 6: Day Trip to Moravian Wine Villages or Olomouc

Moravia Vineyard

TripSavvy / Evgeniya Vlassova

Wine lovers should take advantage of their location and head to one of the wine-producing towns in Moravia as an astounding 96 percent of Czech wine is produced in this part of the country. Znojmo or Mikulov are both great options for a day trip from Brno and will offer plenty of wine cellars and vineyards where you can sample some of the country’s finest wine. The National Wine Salon at Valtice is another option for hardcore wine drinkers. Visitors can pay for a two-hour block of time in the cellar where they can try as many of the Czech Republic's 100 best wines as they want.

Olomouc is another option for an easy day trip from Brno, with buses and trains running regularly between the two cities. Despite being the sixth-largest city in the country, Olomouc feels quite cozy and its main square is home to the Holy Trinity Column, which is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Saint Wenceslas Cathedral is also worth a visit, and its southern tower is the second tallest church tower in the Czech Republic.

Return to Brno in the evening to enjoy some more of the city’s excellent nightlife. If you’re in the mood for beer, head to Výčep Na Stojáka. This translates roughly to "stand up" and you’ll notice that there are no seats in or outside the bar. If the weather is nice, you’ll see patrons enjoying their beers on the curb or in the square across the street. If cocktails are more your scene, check out Bar, Ktery Neexistuje, also known as the bar that doesn’t exist, or Super Panda Circus for creative cocktails that tell a story.

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07 of 07

Day 7: Return to Prague

Sunlight Streaming on Charles Bridge, Castle District, Royal Palace and St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague, Bohemia, Czech Republic
Harald Nachtmann / Getty Images

Begin your last morning in the Czech Republic by enjoying one of the tasty eggs benedicts and coffee at Bavard cafe in Brno. After breakfast, sneak a peek at the Brno “dragon” in the Town Hall and head over to the Vegetable Market (Zelný trh), a popular farmers market that takes place on the square every day except for Sundays. Wander through the stalls and then up the Petrov hill to the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul where you can enjoy the beauty of the church up close and get great views of the city from above.

From there, make your way down to the train or bus station. The journey back to Prague takes approximately two and a half hours but can be longer on the bus due to heavy traffic between the two cities. The train often works out to be cheaper than the bus with train tickets from the company Regiojet costing approximately $4 for the low-cost option and $10 for business class. Both the train and bus station are within walking distance of the city center so you won’t have to worry about catching public transportation or a taxi.

Once you’ve made your way back to Prague, head to the Prague Beer Museum for dinner and drinks. Their menu includes regional favorites such as pork knee, goulash, and schnitzel. They also serve an impressive 30 Czech microbrews on tap, so this is a great opportunity to get a flight or two and try as many local beers as possible before leaving the Czech Republic. After dinner, take a walk along the banks of the Vltava River for one last view of Prague’s stunning castle.