Prague is beautiful, but do you know what else is beautiful too? The rest of the Czech Republic. Most people can see everything they want to see in Prague in two days, so if you’re taking visiting there, why not add in a day trip? Move away from the packed city and its careful architecture and get a taste of nature in Bohemia.
Pravcicka Brana is a natural bridge-shaped rock formation in Swiss Bohemia that towers above the seemingly endless forests below.
This article is going to talk a lot about the logistics of the trip, to help you guys not have all the same frustration and panic episodes I had when I was trying to get there. (Major tip: come loaded with Koruna and Euros.) To get there from Prague, buy a train ticket to go from the main station to Schöna, which is actually in Germany, just across the border. This route will probably require you to switch trains in Decin, Czech Republic, or Bad Schandau, Germany. Once you’re in Shöna, go down some stairs from the train station until you’re at the river. There, a ferry shuttles back and forth across the river for just a couple Euros or Czech Koruna per passenger to get you to Hrensko, Czech Republic. From there, stop by the tourist office in the pink building for a map, and then be on your way!
Hiking from the miniature town of Hrensko to Pravcicka Brana took me 2 or 3 hours (though I did make many stops for pictures). The path through the forest is a continuous moderate incline, but there are plenty of gorgeous views to keep you distracted from your feet hurting.
Once you get there, buy admission tickets (they’re quite cheap, and are even cheaper when you tell them you’re a student) and get up close to the natural bridge.
There’s a picturesque structure built into the side of the rocks, allowing for some incredible views of the bridge and valley, as well as some great crêpes. They also have wifi there, so you can check train schedules and make sure you don’t get stranded in Hrensko.
After the admission gate, turn left to explore short hiking trails that take you as high up as you can go. There are insane rock formations to be seen in every direction, so really take your time to explore!
This whole leisurely trip took me 12 hours, from leaving Prague to arriving back in Prague. Don’t miss it if you visit the Czech Republic!