Czech Republic Itinerary

By Rick Steves and Honza Vihan

So much to see, so little time. How to choose? To help you get started, I've listed my top picks for where to go in the Czech Republic, my plan for your best two-week trip by car, your best 12-day trip by public transportation, and tips on when to go.

Depending on the length of your trip, and taking geographic proximity into account, the following are my recommended priorities:

  • 3 days: Prague
  • 4–5 days, add: Your choice of nearby day trips (Kutná Hora, Terezín Memorial, and the three castles: Konopiště, Karlštejn, or Křivoklát)
  • 5 days, add: Český Krumlov (and skip day trips)
  • 7 days, add: Olomouc
  • 8–9 days, add: Třeboň, Telč, and Třebíč
  • More: Your choice among Šumava, Wallachia, Slavonice, or the Mikulov Wine Region with Lednice/Valtice

This list assumes you’re primarily interested in the Czech Republic. But note that Prague also splices neatly into a wider-ranging trip that can include such nearby destinations as Vienna (4–6 hours by train), Budapest (7–8.5 hours), Kraków (7.5–8.25 hours), Munich (6.25 hours), and Berlin (4.5–5 hours).

The Czech Republic's Best Two-Week Trip by Car

Day 1: Arrive in Prague, sleep in Prague

Day 2: Prague, sleep in Prague

Day 3: Prague, sleep in Prague

Day 4: Day trip to Terezín Memorial, sleep in Prague

Day 5: To Český Krumlov, sleep in Český Krumlov

Day 6: Český Krumlov, sleep in Český Krumlov

Day 7: To Telč via Třeboň, sleep in Telč

Day 8: Telč and Slavonice, sleep in Telč

Day 9: To Pavlov via Třebíč, sleep in Pavlov

Day 10: Mikulov wine region and Lednice, sleep in Pavlov

Day 11: To Olomouc, sleep in Olomouc

Day 12: Olomouc, sleep in Olomouc

Day 13: Return to Prague, sleep in Prague

Day 14: Prague, sleep in Prague

The Czech Republic’s Best 12-Day Trip by Bus and Train

Day 1: Arrive in Prague, sleep in Prague

Day 2: Prague, sleep in Prague

Day 3: Prague, sleep in Prague

Day 4: Day trip to Terezín Memorial, sleep in Prague

Day 5: To Český Krumlov, sleep in Český Krumlov

Day 6: Český Krumlov, sleep in Český Krumlov

Day 7: To Telč via Třeboň, sleep in Telč

Day 8: Telč and Slavonice, sleep in Telč

Day 9: To Olomouc via Třebíč, sleep in Olomouc

Day 10: Olomouc, sleep in Olomouc

Day 11: Return to Prague, sleep in Prague

Day 12: Prague, sleep in Prague

With More Time

With more time in the Czech Republic, consider a pair of other destinations that are a little more difficult, but still possible, to reach by public transportation: Hikers enjoy Wallachia, which fits easily into the above schedule after Olomouc (make your home base in Trojanovice). Wine lovers head for the Mikulov wine region, easiest to visit between Telč and Olomouc (make your home base in Pavlov).

Beyond the Czech borders, you could visit Budapest, Hungary, and Kraków, Poland — each an easy, direct night-train trip away from Prague (or an even quicker connection from Olomouc). 

When to Go

In Prague and the Czech Republic, the "tourist season" runs roughly from Easter through October. July and August have their advantages, with the best weather, longer days (daylight until after 21:00), fewer tourists in Prague than in the peak months of May, June, and September, and busy festivals held in small towns around the country. In spring and fall (May, June, Sept, and early Oct), the weather is milder, and the colors and scents are more powerful.

Winter travelers find the concert season in full swing, with remarkably fewer tourists — but outside of Prague, many sights are either closed or open on a limited schedule. In December, you’ll find Christmas markets on main squares around the country, fragrant with the scent of hot wine with cloves. After a quiet Christmas season, Prague explodes with fun on New Year’s Eve, teeming with thousands of Germans and other Europeans. In January and early February, when few tourists come, chances are you will wake up to a Prague silenced by the wistful glimmer of snow, which quickly melts in the Old Town but stays on the ground at Prague Castle and on top of Petřín Hill. Seeing the Charles Bridge blanketed by fresh snow makes the hours spent out in the cold worthwhile. Frequent pub stops, with lots of plum brandy and hot wine, are essential at this time of year — and they bring you closer to local life. Winter can linger, but Prague usually turns green with spring around mid-April.


Honza Vihan is the co-author of the Rick Steves' Prague & the Czech Republic guidebook.