Day tours outside of Prague

Apr 5th, 2006, 03:55 AM
Original Poster
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Day tours outside of Prague

My husband and I will be visiting Prague in two weeks. We are interested in doing a day trip outside of the city and Cesky Krumlov came highly recommended. However, it appears to be 2+ hours away from Prague and we don't wish to rent a car.
Has anyone used one of the tour outfitters such as Martin, Premiant or Cedok?
Would you recommend it? Do you have the opportunity to explore Cesky Krumlov on your own? Or, are there other day trips that you would recommend?
wanderingcouple is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 06:18 AM
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We'll be in Prague for part of 5 days (3 complete in the middle - arrive noon 1st day and leave 4PM on last day).

I wanted to have a couple of daytrip ossibilities as options should we decide on it.

My first choice was Cesky Krumlov but I dropped that idea when I saw how far it is. About 4 hours each way by train or a complete 10 hours on an organized visit. No way in a day for us.

My other choices are Karlstejn Castle or Terezin.

Apparently the inside of the castle is nothing much. For a train ride of under an hour it might be a worthwhile diversion.

I've read Terezin is a very heavy visit. Also, the train doesn't go directly and requires a short bus ride. Due to motion sickness a bus ride all the way is not an option.

Hope these are other ideas for you.
Myer is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 07:23 AM
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When I was in Prague a few years ago, we visited Karlovy Vary and Kutna Hora. I highly recommend looking into taking a day trip to Karlovy Vary - it's a very beautiful spa town and just featured in the movie Last Holiday. I wasn't as taken with Kutna Hora, but I know quite a few people that have enjoyed it. My parents just got back from Prague this past fall and raved about their organized day trip to Cesky Krumlov - they said it was even better than Karlovy Vary. So, when I go back I plan to check out Cesky Krumlov even though it takes up a day. I also plan to go back to Karlovy Vary. I'm sorry that I can't recommend an outfitter - I don't know which one they used.
bailey6325 is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 09:36 AM
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yes, I did take a day tour to Cesky Krumlov and can recommend that idea. I think it's more like at least 3 hrs one way. A bus tour is a lot more efficient than doing it on your own. I used Martin Tours and the tour and guide itself were great -- we had a special arranged tour of the castle (not for the public), a walk around town and also visited an interesting church just outside the town. We were given about 2 hrs on our own in the middle of the day, I imagine, maybe a bit more. That free time was for whatever we wanted, plus lunch on your own. CK is a very small town, so easy to walk around on your own.

The only thing I didn't like about Martin was it was a small van with hard seats. So, it wasn't that comfortable for that many hours. I don't know if they still do that, or not. I have used Prague Sightseeing tours to Kutna Hora, and they were excellent also and had very nice buses, so I would go with them (they also do Cesky Krumlov).
Christina is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 09:38 AM
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my recommendation
Christina is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 11:06 AM
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we're heading to Prague this fall. Is driving bad or you just don't want to drive?
lal_birch is offline  
Apr 12th, 2006, 08:15 AM
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We used Prague Sightseeing for a day trip to Cesky Krumlov, and I wouldn't recommend them! The "minibus" was very uncomfortable, we had only 15 minutes on our own to explore, and the guide barely spoke English! Because many companies use minibuses, they book quickly, so book in advance. Some companies include a stop to Ceske Budojovice or the chateau on the way (I forget the name) Also- make sure you will get time to look around the town. Many companies only offer the tours on certain days, so check ahead. (The castle is closed Monday, but we found tours with different companies on Tues, Wed, Sun I think) Have fun!
smp22 is offline  
Apr 12th, 2006, 08:47 AM
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I think all tour bus companies limit tours to specific days (other than Prague city tours), so you do have to check schedules ahead.

I'm surprised to hear the above about Prague Sightseeing as my tourguide with them for Kutna Hora was excellent and completely fluent in English, Czech, and German and French. I was amazed (I know both Eng and French so could compare). Also, the bus we had for Kutna Hora was is much closer were very comfortable and larger than a minivan. It wasn't as large as those giant buses, but Martin Tours used just a regular small passenger van. So this is very contradictory information from my experience and I just wonder why they would have a much worse van for a long trip? It could just be luck of the draw as to which tour guide you get, and they have some good and bad, who knows.

IN any case, the itinerary for Martin tours gave you much more than 15 min on your own -- but maybe the tour itself covered less, that could be why. (it only covered the castle and main church in CK, and the garden around the castle). There isn't really that much to do in CK on your own, frankly. I would have liked to visit the museum there, that was the only other thing I wanted to do, which I didn't because I just sort of goofed off at lunch and walking around. They have a lot of tourist shops there, but I wasn't interested in shopping as it was no different than Prague and got my fill there.

Maybe smp can explain how they had no free time since the tour covers 9 hours by their schedules -- they must have visited much more than Martin tours, as that tour wasn't any longer in total.
Christina is offline  
Apr 12th, 2006, 08:49 AM
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I made a mistake, Prague Sightseeing lasts 10 hours, the 9 was the departure hour. It does say it includes lunch, so that is obviously part of it -- Martin just lets you off on your own for that in the middle of the free time.
Christina is offline  
Apr 13th, 2006, 03:30 PM
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Prague sightseeing starts the tour with a pickup at the hotel and then about 15 minutes of waiting and shuffling passengers into different buses for their respective tours at the tour office. The Cesky Krumlov tour includes a walking tour of the town, with the church and the castle. It also included a long lunch, plus waiting time for our castle tour. I think we were unlucky with this particular tour, because (along with our guide issues) we ended up getting back over an hour earlier than expected. (Total time was under 8 hours.) Instead of being dropped off at our hotel as promised, we were dropped off 3 blocks away and told "you find the hotel from here, yes?"
smp22 is offline  
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