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Prague Jan 14-18, day trip recommendations

Hi,

I will be in Prague for 3 full days, I have the opportunity for a free day the first day, official tour doesn't start until second day. I am interested in going outside the city first day, any suggestions? I am interested in the Archduke Palace outside city and also Terezin. I can only do one, any suggestions? Thanks.

Posted by
4637 posts

It depends which one you are interested in more. Archduke Palace or something between chateau and castle is called Konopiste. By public transport you can go by train to Benesov then walk or taxi or a little road train. To get to Terezin take a bus. By train it takes too long. Both trips and what to see there are very well described by Rick Steves in his book Prague & the Czech Republic. Both are worth seeing, it's your pick.

Posted by
15644 posts

I only visited Terezin. By bus, I started at the fortress, just outside the town. Then I walked (about 1 km) partly along the town wall, very interesting. Be sure to allow enough time for all the sights within the walls.

Posted by
2649 posts

I would say Terezin would give you a batter full day of things to see,the Terezin site is actually a small town and it takes a while to get round and see everything, there are regular buses from Holesovice that take about an hour to get to Terezin and you can either start at the small fortress or the main museum as the bus stops outside both.You can buy tickets at either site that allows you to visit all the sites in the area , they are spread out so be prepared to walk a fair bit.
Konopiste castle is easy to do on your own , train to Benesov and then about a 30 minute walk or a taxi from the train station.You have to do a guided tour and there are several in various languages so check what time a suitable language tour is on and what particular tour you want. word of warning there are thousands of stuffed animal sin the place and it can be off putting for some folk The grounds of the castle area are very pleasant to and there are open air cafes and a few stalls in the grounds too.

Posted by
3392 posts

I have been to both and would say that it completely depends on what you are interested in.
If you want to learn about WW2 and the Holocaust then go to Terezin. The site is divided into two sections...the small fort which was used as a prison for political opponents of the Nazi regime and the walled town that was used as a holding place for Jews on their way to concentration camps, mainly Auschwitz but others as well. I found it to be quite eerie with much of the city still clearly unoccupied. There is a museum of the Jewish Ghetto - lots of reading on large posters with just a few small artifacts. There is also a walking tour of the town and you can visit several key sites that were important to this period.
If you are interested in the history of the aristocracy in the Czech Republic then Konopiste is quite nice! It isn't terribly old (1800s) but is very reflective of a specific, bygone time in the history of Bohemia. The castle itself if beautiful (if you've seen "The Illusionist" you'll recognize much of the interior), and the grounds are also nice to walk in. There is a deer park and the onsite restaurant in the top of the courtyard inside the castle is very good - cash only in the restaurant!

Posted by
672 posts

If you decide to go to Terezin, I suggest using Wittmann Tours, and if possible with Helena Katzlingerova-Rakytkova ('Helen') as your guide. Helen, who has been guiding for Wittmann since its inception over 20 years ago, gave a fantastic tour for my wife and I in late August 2015! It was supposed to be a group tour, but it ended up being a private tour since we were the only customers that day. And Helen took us to places that I did not see on a previous tour of Terezin with Wittmann in 2007, such as inside the walls of the Small Fortress. Helen is extremely knowledgeable about Terezin and has personal ties to a survivor, about whom she and her husband wrote a book (Life Forbidden, by Jan Rakytka - about Prof. Felix Kolmer). I don't think one can say that he or she 'enjoyed' a visit to a former concentration camp, so I will say that it was extremely informative, historical, thought-provoking, personal, and sad when one realizes that most of the Terezin prisoners did not survive the war.

In late August 2015, we also took a day trip from Prague to Dresden with Kamil Vondrous, who with his wife Petra, owns Prague-extra.com. Kamil was an excellent, knowledgeable guide, who was friendly and engaging. The cost of the 10-hour trip was very reasonable, especially compared to other trips with private guides that we have taken in Italy and Denmark. We very much enjoyed our day together and would highly recommend him if you are looking to arrange a private tour in or out of Prague