×

From Prague to Kutna Hora: The Complete Day Trip Guide

Written by Diana Bocco
Jun 4, 2019

Founded over 800 years ago, the tiny town of Kutna Hora offers a welcome reprieve from the fast-paced rhythm of Prague-and although there's much to see and do here, the town is small enough that you can explore it completely on foot. You can easily visit Kutna Hora from Prague on a day trip if you have some time to spare. Some of the best options for getting from Prague to Kutna Hora include guided trips, trains and buses.

While most visitors arrive in Kutna Hora to visit the Sedlec Ossuary (better known to locals as "the bone church"), it pays to stick around longer to explore other impressive historical monuments and learn more about the history of the town. During the medieval "silver rush," Kutna Hora was a powerful aristocratic city-and that legacy is still obvious today in the rich Gothic architecture and the massive churches and monuments found all around the city.

Keep reading to find out why taking a day trip from Prague to Kutná Hora should be high on your must-do list when visiting the Czech Republic.

On This Page:

How to Get from Prague to Kutna Hora

Train departing Prague

By Train: Express direct trains and connecting trains (with one transfer along the way) both leave from Prague's main train station (Hlavní Nádrazí). Express trains take 60 to 70 minutes to reach Kutna Hora, while connecting trains can take up to 90 minutes, depending on which one you take. You can check schedules and buy your ticket online, but the trains are rarely full, so you could easily get a ticket once you get to the station. There's no need to make a seat reservation on these trains.

Once you arrive in Kutna Hora, you'll have to find your way into town. The train station is about 2.5 kilometers away from the center but only 10 to 15 minutes from the Ossuary. In good weather, this can make for a pleasant walk, or you can hop onboard local city bus no. 1, or catch a taxi right at the station. There are also eight-passenger minivans that double as taxis and will cost you less since you share the fare with other riders.

On a Guided Tour: If you'd rather have somebody else handle the organization and prep work, so you can just sit back and relax, a guided Kutna Hora Day Trip From Prague could be just what you need. Since Kutna Hora is so close to Prague, organized tours often take only half a day and still allow you to visit the famous "bone church," explore one of the deepest silver mines in the world, and see the stunning Gothic St. Barbara's Cathedral. Guided tours offer transportation in air-conditioned vans, a big plus during the summer.

By Bus: Buses leave from the main bus station (Florenc) and take longer to reach Kutna Hora than trains (about 1 hour 40 minutes) but drop you off right in the Kutná Hora city center-a convenient option if you're carrying luggage or if you want to start your trip with breakfast or lunch in the Old Town Center before heading somewhere else. Keep in mind that these aren't fancy long-distance buses but local ones without a toilet or air conditioning, so plan accordingly.

Things to Do in Kutna Hora

The wow factor in Kutna Hora is definitely the bone church, but this rather unassuming town has a lot more to offer visitors. With just a day to visit you won't have time to see everything, but these are some of the top sites to add to your itinerary:

1. Sedlec Ossuary (The Bone Church)

The Bone Church

This tiny Catholic chapel is best known for being the final resting place for the bones of somewhere between 40,000 and 70,000 people. Originally built as part of a larger Gothic church and town cemetery, the chapel was repurposed in the 16th century to house the remains of people who had perished during the Black Plague and the Hussite Wars that ravished the country over the previous two centuries.

When the mass graves in the local cemetery were exhumed in the 1500s during reconstruction work, the monk in charge of the chapel decided to do something more than just stacking the bones in the cellar. Instead, he built a chandelier with them; created skull garlands and altar decorations; and even designed a bone coat of arms of the House of Schwarzenberg, a prominent European noble house with local roots. The result is one of the most visited attractions in the Czech Republic and a somewhat-macabre and touching homage to those who perished here.

Official site: https://sedlecossuary.com/

2. St. Barbara's Church

Saint Barbara's Church

Saint Barbara's Church was under construction for over 500 years and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. While the outside of the church is definitely Gothic, you can see the different mark of the many centuries of construction once you step inside-from neo-Gothic stained-glass windows to Gothic frescoes to Baroque paneling.

St. Barbara is the protector of dangerous occupations, including miners-a very fitting choice for a town that owes its beginnings to silver mining. The church offers religious services on Sundays and special holidays, but it's also open to visitors daily and is a popular venue for concerts and cultural events.

3. Czech Museum of Silver and Medieval Silver Mine

Czech Museum of Silver and Medieval Silver Mine

Once upon a time back in the 13th century, the discovery of silver transformed the little town of Kutna Hora into one of the richest cities in Europe. Over the next few centuries, however, the mines were eventually depleted or flooded, causing miners to move elsewhere. What's left behind is a rich history of mining and silver minting that you can now explore at this museum.

A visit to the Czech Museum of Silver involves two very different experiences. First, visitors have a chance to see exhibits explaining medieval mining techniques and showcasing replicas of original machinery and equipment. Next, you can don a helmet and headlamp to walk 33 meters down into the Earth to reach an authentic medieval drainage gallery that once led to the now flooded silver mine. The gallery was accidentally discovered in 1967 during some hydro-geological digging and now houses small exhibits displaying early mining clothing and equipment.

Official site: https://www.cms-kh.cz/eng/homepage

4. Gothic Stone Fountain

Gothic fountain in Rejsek Square

The Gothic dodecagon-shaped stone fountain that sits on Rejsek Square in the center of town was built in 1495 to serve as a water reservoir. Large-scale mining operations at the time had interrupted natural water flow into the town, and the fountain (which was originally roofed) became the only source of drinkable water for the residents. The elaborate original design included wooden piping that extended for 2.5 kilometers to reach St. Adalbert spring and was in use until the late 19th century.

While the original pipes are no longer here, the fountain still remains in place in excellent condition and is beautifully lit at night.

5. Historic Center

Colorful buildings in the historic center of Kutná Hora

Once you've seen the main landmarks in Kutná Hora, spend some time exploring the maze of cobblestone streets that make up the historic center of town. A rich royal city by the 14th century, Kutna Hora enjoyed centuries of prosperity thanks to its rich silver mines-something you can clearly see in the magnificent mix of Renaissance, Gothic, and Baroque architecture in this area.

While Prague's Old Town has been extensively restored and feels "newer," the Historic Center in Kutna Hora looks and feels its age-which actually adds a touch of magic to the city. A mismatch of crumbling building facades and cute cafés and little shops spread over gentle hills for blocks and blocks, offering visitors many chances for a photo op as they walk around. The Central Square is often home to markets and free concerts during summer and Christmastime.

6. Italian Court

The Italian Court in Kutná Hora

This beautiful 13th-century palace once housed the Bohemia's Royal Mint, where local silver was fashioned into coins that were then distributed and used all over Central Europe. While coins are no longer produced here, visitors can still get a glimpse of what the medieval minting process was like at the new coin minting museum. It's also possible to book an experience tour, where you get to actually try the minting techniques by hand and hammer-and even take your coins home once you're done.

For an extra bit of excitement, head down to the palace cellars to see the permanent exhibit called "Unveiling the Mysterious Face of Kutná Hora," where you can learn some fascinating details about local medieval criminal cases.

Official site: https://pskh.cz/en/italian-court/

Where to Eat in Kutna Hora

Traditional Czech meal of beef goulash and dumplings

If you want to eat near the Ossuary, Restaurace U Balanu is one of your best options, offering large portions and plenty to choose from if you're after a hearty meal based on local recipes. The outdoor garden and terrace are a great choice for summer, while winter gives you a chance to cozy up to their wood-burning stove.

For an authentic mix of Czech cuisine and European dishes, it doesn't get much better than Restaurace V Ruthardce, a centrally located eatery with a beautiful open view of St. Barbara's church.

If you're looking for something more casual or a quick bite, Factory Bistro right in the center offers homemade burgers and genuine Italian pizza and pasta-plus probably the best espresso you'll find in town.

Where to Shop in Kutna Hora

Artisan Czech chocolates

No other souvenirs will remind you more of your Kutna Hora visit than things you can get at the Ossuary gift shop. You can find tons of plaster skulls here in all shapes and sizes (from hefty bookends to tiny key rings), as well as postcards, notebooks, coffee mugs, and even some religious gifts such as rosaries and prayer cards.

Don't let the name fool you-Kutna Hora's Choco Museum might offer some cool historical details about chocolate (including an insider look into the production of handmade chocolate using a 100-year-old recipe), but the best thing about this place is what you can take home with you when you leave. After tasting a cup of their hot chocolate, pick up a couple of bars of their specialty ginger chocolate or the luxurious (and very hot) wild pepper chocolate bites to surprise your loved ones back home.

After bones, silver is perhaps the most common item associated with Kutna Hora. While you can find silver (and more affordable silver-plated) gifts at many souvenir and art shops around town, the silver museum also sells replicas of medieval coins once minted here, as well as commemorative coins and medals.

Where to Stay if You Want to Spend a Night in Kutna Hora

The Palace Kutna Hora and Column of the Virgin Mary Immaculate

While you could possibly see all the major attractions in town in just one day, staying over means more chances to explore the little unseen corners and lesser-known areas of Kutna Hora. Lucky for you, there's plenty of choices when it comes to places to rest your head for the night.

  • Luxury Hotels: There aren't many luxury accommodations in town, but the ones available tick all the boxes. Just steps away from the Italian Court and the Chocolate Museum, Palace Kutna Hora is actually a four-room-only space set inside a centuries-old building right in the center of town. The hotel offers modern, spacious rooms and plenty of charm in a can't-be-beat location.

    When it comes to bed-and-breakfasts, it's hard to outshine Libusina Villa, which offers rooms with slanted roofs and original wooden beams, terraces with stunning views over the city center, and even some bedrooms with their own freestanding bathtubs.
  • Mid-Range Hotels: Penzion Kutna might not be chock-full of amenities, but it makes up for it in the form of rustic charm and a nice location just steps away from St. Barbara's Church. Aside from a hearty buffet breakfast, this pension also offers a relaxing garden and a quiet location to unwind at the end of the day.

    Even closer to the church is Penzion & Restaurant Barbora, where all rooms have balconies or patios and a perfect direct view of St. Barbara's. This is a great option if you want fine cuisine and modern, comfortable rooms all in one place.
  • Budget Hotels: Budget travelers will find everything they need for the right price at the Medinek Hotel. Rooms here are simple but clean and spacious, and some offer nice views over the town.

More Related Articles on PlanetWare.com

Exploring Prague and Surroundings: If you are going to base yourself in Prague, be sure to see our list of the top attractions in Prague to plan out your sightseeing. You can also easily explore more destinations in the surrounding area without the hassle of having to move locations. One of the most popular excursions is a day trip from Prague to Cesky Krumlov.

Discover destinations, find outdoor adventures, follow the journeys of our travel writers around the world, and be inspired.

More on Czech Republic