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Small Czech town suggestions

I'm looking for ideas for a small-ish Czech town to spend 2-3 nights in this September in between Prague and Budapest. I've considered some of the more obvious stopping points like Bratislava or Brno, but I'm not totally sold on either of those, unless someone wants to talk me into them. I am looking for somewhere without a lot of touristy stuff to do, because I really want to just slow down for a day or two and sleep in, read a book in a park, sit for a couple hours at a café, go for a long walk, that sort of thing. At this point I will have completed the GAS tour and done 4 days in Prague, so I'll definitely be ready for a vacation from my vacation. I plan to spend 4-5 days in Budapest after this before flying home.

So far the best option I've found might be either Trebon or Telc, which both intrigue me. I will be traveling by train/bus as needed and these two towns seem to be reachable between Prague and Budapest, even if it's slightly inconvenient. I thought I could base myself in one of them and then if I happen to get bored I could do a day or half day trip to another one. But I'm open to suggestions if anyone has stayed anywhere else that might fit. I'm leaning toward the Czech Republic, but I would also consider suggestions in Slovakia if there is somewhere I could get to by train. I've seen lots of pretty pictures of places in Slovakia, but it seems a bit harder to get to the really great locations by public transport, or maybe I've gotten the wrong impression.

Thanks in advance for any tips or ideas anyone wants to share.

Posted by
4560 posts

A few years back, I drove from Brno to Prague with a few days detour in between: stop in Telc, night in Trebon, stop in Jindrichuv Hradec, three nights in Cesky Krumlov. You can see pictures on my website(s) (click on my profile to find the links).

They were all nice towns, with Cesky Krumlov the most touristy of course. Telc might have been better than Trebon but logistics worked better for me to stay in Trebon. Jindrichuv Hradec was super nice too - not sure about bus/train connections, but it's worth considering.

Don't completely rule out doing what I did (in reverse) by renting a car and driving - I found driving easy once I got away from the cities. You'd have a lot more flexibility with a car.

Posted by
2454 posts

Consider Mikulov. It's around a 30-minute train ride from Breclav, which is on the main Prague-Brno-Budapest line. Mikulov itself is nice, and at a few kilometers you have the Lednice-Valdice landscape park.
Telc is a beauty, but rather awkward to reach by train.

Posted by
4619 posts

I think I got feeling for what you want. Neither Brno or Bratislava are smallish towns. Telc and Trebon are just little out of your way. Both are in Rick Steves book, therefore not completely forgotten by tourists. Mikulov is a good idea. Logistically probably the best. It is about half way between Prague and Budapest. Little bit like Italian hill town - including wine. Red is better in Italy, white is better in Mikulov. Nice hikes around and Valtice and Lednice nearby. Again, it's in R.S. book: Prague & the Czech Republic. Another nice town: Kromeriz. No need to describe it, it's also in R.S. book. So to suggest a town which is not in the book therefore you almost certainly won't meet Ricknicks, maybe with the exception of me. Nice, non touristy town - Uherske Hradiste. It is the center of a very traditional region Slovacko (google it - with the word region too, otherwise you get a soccer club from there). Folk costumes, folk songs, folk trades. If you time your visit to 8th and 9th September you will see it all. http://www.slavnostivinauh.cz . Unfortunately only part of it could be switched to English. The rest of it try with the translator - not very good. Plenty of pictures from past festivals. Also all churches, castles, museums, monuments etc. in UH and nearby are open for a free visit. If you decide for it I would recommend to book your accommodation ASAP.

Posted by
4430 posts

I wouldn't have been surprised if you specifically ruled out Cesky Krumlov, but it isn't mentioned in your OP. You seem to be aware that budget transportation for the OP project can be tedious, even if the town is attractive for a pause.

Posted by
110 posts

Thank you all so much for the great suggestions. I love being able to come here and get such wonderful advice. I have the RS book, Prague and Czech Republic, so I will start looking up the places you all have suggested and doing some more specific research. I will also consider the option of driving. I know public transport can be a bit tricky, so I'll compare that with self driving to see what the possibilities are. I just started getting overwhelmed looking at too many options and the suggestions you've provided will help me narrow my focus. Thanks again!

Posted by
4560 posts

FYI, when I rented my car in Brno years ago, I had to rent it at the tiny Brno airport. I took the bus from Olomouc to the Brno train station, then caught a local bus to the Brno airport. It sounds complicated, but turned out to be quite easy. If you want to do it in reverse, you could drop the car at Brno airport, take the local bus to Brno train station, and then catch a train on to Vienna and/or Budapest.

Posted by
199 posts

We visited Olomouc a few years ago and it was lovely. We stayed at one of the hostels and spent the day looking at churches, museums and eating at wonderful restaurants. The town is easy by using their bus system, easy to get to by train or bus, and a beautiful little city. Lots of great coffee shops, shops & restaurants. It's a University town too so I'm sure you could easily find somewhere to hole away for relaxation and reading. Probably night life possibilities too if you'd like that. A version of the hostel we usually stay in Prague, just opened up in Olomouc - it's called Sophie's Hostel.

And, last year as a day trip from Prague, we went to Kutna Hora. A bit more touristy but wonderful scenery. We did the Silver Mine tour which was very interesting. But, you can easily lose yourself around one of the winding streets into a local coffeeshop, park or restaurant. We took the train there.

I also went to Cesky Krumlov one year but it proved a little difficult to get to by train from where we were at during that part of our trip. Although, it's a cheap and inexpensive bus trip to & from Prague. It was a picturesque town with a great castle. The town is situated by a river, which we river rafted for a short portion. The town is alive with various types of restaurants, bars, shops & coffee shop. It does have a tourist feel and was more crowded during the day than the other two cities I mentioned. We stayed at a hostel called Krumlov House which was clean, quaint, easy to find & we met lots of neat people.

Let us know where you end up! :)

Posted by
110 posts

Well, after much research and consideration the past few days I've decided to stay 3 nights in Mikulov between Prague and Budapest. I hadn't considered this area because it's always referred to as the "Mikulov wine region" and I don't usually drink alcohol, but due to several recommendations I did some digging and it looks like so much more than that! I'm very excited about some of the hikes in the area and the Valtice/Lednice area also looks nice if I want to do more exploring. I was really hooked when I saw some of the different castle ruins you can walk to between Mikulov and Pavlov. I love a good ruin!

Thanks to everyone for helping me branch out a little and come up with this plan. I think this will be the perfect break for me between 2 large cities. Now, if only September would get here faster...