On the Road Again: Europe’s Best Day Trips

Want to make the most of your short trip to Europe? Thanks to the efficiency of Europe’s trains, buses and ease of crossing country borders, tourists can never run out of destinations to explore. Pack your itinerary with three of the best day trips from major European cities to get the most bang for your buck.

  1. Český Krumlov from Prague, Czech Republic

Prague alone is considered to be one of the most stunning cities in the world due to its enchanting architecture and rich history. Frequented by tourists year-round, few tourists ever feel the need to venture out of the city center to see more of what the Czech Republic has to offer. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, Český Krumlov is a 2.5 hour bus, train or car ride from Prague, nestled in the South Bohemian region of the country. With its historic city center seeming like a site straight out of a fairytale, the Vltava River runs through the town with a looming 13th century castle drawing in millions of tourists each year. During the summer months, water sports along the river are popular, but the town is just as charming in the colder seasons. If you take a visit, you may even decide to spend the night, as the town is packed with restaurants and offers plenty of accommodations as well.

  1. Siena from Florence, Italy

Often considered rivals, Siena and Florence are two of Tuscany’s gems. Art lovers flock to Florence, while travelers interested in Tuscany’s hill towns can find a great base in Siena. Unlike Florence’s renaissance appeal, Siena’s architecture is much more medieval and gothic. The Piazza del Campo is one of Siena’s highlights as the main square with a rich history in horse racing. Sip Tuscan chianti wine at an outdoor café, chow down on pappardelle pasta with wild boar ragu or take a guided tour to nearby local wineries and vineyards. Depending on the route and speed, Siena can be reached via train in one to two hours. Of course, those exploring Italy by car can reach the town in closer to an hour – just be sure to have a designated driver if you plan on tasting wines. Although Florence is considerably larger and houses much more shopping, nightlife and restaurants, Siena is a breath of fresh air for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of one of Italy’s most visited cities. 

  1. Bratislava, Slovakia from Vienna, Austria

Travelers looking to check off as many countries as possible on their bucket lists can take advantage of Vienna’s close proximity to the country of Slovakia with a quick train ride to Bratislava (typically less than an hour long). Famous for classical music from composers such as Mozart and Beethoven, Vienna is Austria’s largest city with baroque architecture and plenty of sights to see. Its price range is a bit more on par with Switzerland rather than cheaper countries in Central or Eastern Europe; however, prices in Bratislava are considerably lower, giving your wallet a bit of a break for the day. As the capital of Slovakia, Bratislava is home to the Bratislava Castle on a hilltop overlooking the Danube River. Try Slovakian delights such as cabbage soup, hearty dumplings and dishes with plenty of potatoes. Slovakia also shares bragging rights alongside the Czech Republic for the creation of slivovitz which is a plum brandy that comes in a variety of fruity flavors often referred to as palinka.


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