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Kutná Hora - waste of a day!

I’m teetering on irate that We wasted a whole day coming here to see a town with no life, full of souvenirs and a bone church that took about ten minutes to walk through arm to arm with racks of other tourists who are probably equally as miffed.

Even the train ride was a let down but for some random pheasants. St. Barbara’s was lovely but not worth the trip here from Prague even coupled with the bone church.

Well that’s all I got so back to my beer while I wait an hour for a train back to some sign of life.

Cheers.

Posted by
6879 posts

Surely you read other sources of information and didn't rely 100% on a specific tour website like RS??? Did you take the time to research your destination and activities in Kuntna Hora? It's mostly known for its medieval silver mine...that's how the town amassed its wealth.

You saw pheasants on the train? ;-)

Posted by
892 posts

This is an interesting review for me to read because I will be visiting Prague for a 2nd time in October to take day trips that I hadn't made time for on my first "city sampler" trip last year.

Terezín is first on my list and Kutna Hora had been second, in part based on a recommendation from a friend who's been there and enjoyed it. But after watching a few videos and reading up - and finding so much more that I still want to do within Prague - I still can't prioritize it. And usually I am drawn to smaller towns and curious attractions.

So I'll be interested in reading other points of view.

Posted by
334 posts

Kutna Hora is a fantastic place to visit, but you do need to know how to do it. If you get it wrong, like our OP, then it can be a rather underwhelming experience.

Posted by
14879 posts

I don't know what Rick says about Kutna Hora in his book, but there are definitely places worth a stop if you're in the area or are driving nearby that don't seem to justify a special trip. And sometimes a place makes more sense if you have enough time to take in several Class B or Class C sights, but no single one of them would make a day-trip worthwhile.

Public transportation tends to require a lot of extra time on jaunts like this. I know there are times when Rick explicitly says a place is recommended only for those with their own wheels.

When I was preparing to visit Czechia last year, I considered all the comments about Kutna Hora from this board and multiple guidebooks and magazine articles. My ultimate conclusion was that I just didn't know whether I wanted to go. I'm not usually that indecisive, but the comments were very mixed.

Posted by
1135 posts

Serious question: How is that different from Prague, where you presumably came from?

Posted by
19 posts

Appreciate all the perspectives. I would never want to tell someone to skip something merely bc I didn’t enjoy it but this was truly underwhelming. The trains can be difficult to figure out (direct vs. multi-stop) and finding help was not easy. It was a dreary day so maybe that made it quiet but honestly there was barely sign of life in town. Whereas Prague is bustling with people even on some of the lesser strolled paths. I think it might have been a better experience for us if we had rented a car and made more of the day seeing other neighboring towns/sites by having our own transportation. Just my personal experience..

Ps pheasants were chasing each other around outside the train ;) though honestly would not have been surprised to see them aboard, and the beer was across the street from the train station.

PPS Marcus please do be helpful and tell us exactly how to get it right. Cause we walked all over, saw much of the city and its most noted attractions and felt it to be a complete waste of our short time here largely because of the travel effort involved by train.

Posted by
4518 posts

I agree with the OP. I thought the bone at Sedlec in Kutna Hora was pretty cool...but it took only a few minutes to see. The town was OK, but it was not worth a lot of extra time to see, especially if you have a limited amount of time in Prague.

Posted by
2330 posts

one person's Pompeii is another person's pile of rocks . I have visited kutna Hora a few times and though not an outstanding place compared to many others have enjoyed my trips there even in the snow .I do enjoy quieter places and as a former pathology technician piles of bones have always held an interest .I really enjoyed the Italian court building and one time I visited the old water storage near the top of the town that had a really nice art gallery ,I just like the whole feel of the town ,nothing outstanding but a pleasant place to be away from the major cities , some nice views from the higher up areas. There are also some good pubs and restaurants in the town.

Posted by
644 posts

I've been to Prague several times and have done the following day trips: Terezin (twice), Karlstein castle, and Dresden,Germany. Would recommend Terezin and Dresden. Wasn't much to see at Karlstein.

Posted by
1421 posts

We will be in Czechia in a few days but probably won't visit Kutná Hora. We were at the Chapel of the Bones in Evorá Portugal a few years ago. From what I've read the Kutná Hora Ossuary is larger and brings 200,000 visitors a year. As a healthcare provider I did find the Evorá Chapel fascinating.

Cheers!

Posted by
4518 posts

i don't think it's a matter of Kutna Hora being completely unworthy. It's more a matter of time investment vs. what you get out of it. If you have a week in Prague and are taking it slow? Then a leisurely day trip to a few towns like Kutna Hora might be nice.

I think the OP's point is that the guidebooks might make the town sound more appealing than it really is for what you get. If it was a 10 min tram ride from Prague, the bone church would be well worth the time spent. Half a day on a short visit to Prague? Not worth the time, in my opinion. What are you not seeing instead of Kutna Hora?

Posted by
662 posts

Hi from Wisconsin,
One good bone chapel is enough for most people. When I visited Kutna Hora we were it. There were no signs, no tourists. But that was back in the day.

Day trips...Konopiste Castle south of Prague. Read up about it and who lived there waiting to become the head of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

To reduce the number of tourists and t-shirt shops you do have to get out of the center of Prague. Let me recommend crossing the Vlatava to the north of Prague 1 (0ld town) and walking around Prague 7 (Letna). Between the National Technical Museum (bikes and motorcycles and some other mechanized things) and Prague castle is a lovely park overlooking old town.

Two cities that really require and over night are Brno and Olomouc. Both had been capital cities in their own right at one time or another. And both host large numbers of university students at their place of higher learning. Brno is a bit more gentrified that Olomouc, hence I like Olomouc a bit more. Both are on rail lines. Prague to Brno is easy, cost under $10 each way. Prague to Olomouc is about $12 each way. Or go Prague- Brno- Olomouc -Prague.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
11938 posts

I suggest also at least spending an overnighter in Brno and Olomouc. Brno was a province capital.

Posted by
334 posts

My first piece of advice regarding Kutna Hora is to go with a guide. You will see much more and understand much more about the significance of the place if you're there with someone who knows the history and who knows what to look out for.

Generally, when I lead to a tour to Kutna Hora, I go on the early morning train (8 am) so as to get to the Sedlec Ossuary before the mob arrives, then we visit the church of Mary and John the Baptist, before walking up to Kutna Hora along the river. Usually, we take the tour of the old royal mint at the Italian Court (complete with a demonstration of how coins were coined) before stopping for lunch in the town. After lunch, we usually spend some time in Saint Barbara's, before taking the train back to Prague. There is a direct train back to Prague in the afternoon, arriving at 5.50pm. It's a full day out, and most people tend to nod off on the train back to Prague.

Of course, if you don't have a guide you can do that itinerary under your own steam. It's just about knowing where to look.

Posted by
2551 posts

Sure, it is disappointing when a day doesn't measure up to expectations. Is it a waste of a day for everyone? Most likely not. It depends on interest, understanding the back story and perhaps willingness to adjust timing (such as getting an earlier train outta there) and understanding this is by no means a 'must see' day trip. Sometimes things are less of the wow factor than we have assumed. I find a few places where I have preconceived expectations to be disappointments. When these are one of those RS 3*** must sees, I blame it on too much internet and YouTube watching and high personal expectations. They are often clearly worth the 3*, but may not meet my expectations.
Hopefully the beer with some great local brew you can add to the 'tasty' list and remember that part of Kutna Hora.
As an aside, is there a TI office that you may have benefited in visiting for some help in salvaging the day?

Posted by
35 posts

Hi we did the train trip and loved the little trains. Have a map and it was simple navigating.
We stayed at Hotel Medinec in the town square. Of our 3 weeks touring the Czech this was our highlight for both Hotel and Town. Cobblestone streets, small eaterys and everything walkable if weather fine and fit enough.
We spent 2 nights in Brno and hindsight wouldnt have stopped one.
Thats the beauty of travel and everyones tastes.
I do think if you meet some friendly locals that leaves a lasting thought of the town.