a day trip from Prague to Kutná Hora + the Bone Church: what to do, where to eat, + is it worth a visit?

Kutná Hora is a city located in the Bohemian region of the Czech Republic that is frequented by tourists. Despite the number of people who trek out to the UNESCO town, it’s quiet and easy to see everything in half a day if you’re ambitious {a little longer if you move slower}. With delicious bistros and interesting churches, Kutná Hora is a town just a 1-hour train trip outside of Prague.


READ ON FOR THE DETAILS ON A DAY IN Kutná Hora


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HOW TO GET to Kutná Hora

The best way to get to Kutná Hora from Prague is by train, especially if you don’t have a car or can’t hire one. The train only takes 1-hour and it’s a comfortable ride with cushioned seats and heating/air conditioning on board depending on the season. Train tickets can be purchased online, but it was recommended by the hostel staff to grab our tickets straight from the train station.

GETTING AROUND the UNESCO town

While getting to Kutná Hora by train is actually pretty simple, getting around the town once you arrive at the train station is a bit more complicated. The town is not the most walker friendly. The sidewalks end in some spots and there aren’t always pedestrian crossings. In the warmer months, you could definitely walk from the train station to the attractions if you aren’t pressed for time {I did in full December winter to see more of the town, foolish but fun}. The alternative to walking is utilizing public transport in the form of buses or hiring a taxi. The buses in Kutná Hora are, apparently, quite unreliable and time tables are more like suggestions than actual schedules— which is very different from the public transport in Prague. Taxis, though the most convenient option, aren’t always easy to find and the cost adds up quickly.

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WHAT TO SEE + DO

VISIT THE SEDLEC OSSUARY

The Sedlec Ossuary, more commonly known by tourists as “the Bone Church” where the skeletons and bone remains of an estimated 70,000 people. Those bones have been artistically arranged to form decorations and furnishings for the chapel. The ossuary is the second-most visited tourist attraction in the Czech Republic, getting almost 200,000 visitors every year. Due to the influx of touristsThe centerpiece of the bone church is a massive chandelier that contains at least one of every bone in the body. You’ll have to purchase admission, but I got the pass to see all three of the famous churches in the town instead of paying admission at each place.

Many people opt for a tour guide. These are heavily overpriced and you do not need a guide by any means. The Bone Church is small and there are cards provided for visitors to read the history of the church in multiple languages. Skip the tour guide this time. I’d also suggest getting there earlier. Around noon the church gets packed and it’s a small church to begin with. Throw in hoards of tourists with cameras and you have a nightmare on your hands. I left around the midday hour and walked out the door passed a line of tours, very glad I’d beaten them there.

HOT TIP: Buy the visitor’s pass for all three of the major churches in town and save yourself money! Buying individual admission to all three is more expensive than purchasing the combination pass.

In truth, the Bone Church is the entire reason Kutná Hora is on the map. However, it isn’t the only reason to go to Kutná Hora…

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TAKE A PEEK INSIDE THE CHURCH OF SAINT JAMES

Walking from Sedlec Ossuary, you’ll come to the main road’s intersection and see the Church of Saint James. It’s beautiful, though honestly a little underwhelming after the history and uniqueness of the ossuary. I enjoyed the spiral staircase leading to the “attic”, for lack of a better word, of the church. The giant archways were impressive in stature, but overall this was my least favourite of the three churches I visited by a mile.

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CHECK OUT THE DETAILS OF ST. BARBARA’S CHURCH

St. Barbara's Church, or Chrám svaté Barbory as it’s known by the Czech, is a Roman Catholic church. St. Barbara’s is a UNESCO Heritage Site, as well as one of the most famous Gothic-style churches in Europe. Kutná Hora was once a town of silver mining, which makes St. Barbara, the patron saint of miners, incredibly fitting. The cathedral kind of church started being built in 1388 but it wasn’t finished until 1905. While the church was intended to be twice its current size, when the silver mining economy slowed funding stalled, so the church’s scale was downsized. The giant stained glass windows and pointed spires of the church, along with it’s massive organ make it visually stunning.

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WHERE TO GET FOOD

After scoping out two of the three churches listed above, I dipped into Organzza Cafe {MAP}, a tiny bistro serving up vegan soup so hot it continually fogged up my camera lens {thus the literal steamy photo}. Organzza is small but the food was delicious, hot, and cheap. Organzza serves home-made pastries, sandwiches, salads and coffees, as well as its fantastic soup of the day. My vegan minestrone soup cost me 55 CZK {a whopping USD $2.47} and came with a side of fresh bread. It’s a cute wee place that I highly recommend.

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FINAL VERDICT

Overall, I would recommend a trip to Kutná Hora if you have more than just a few days in Prague. There is so much to see in Prague city itself that shouldn’t be missed. The train system makes it easy to get in and out of Prague to visit the little UNESCO town, but I wouldn’t stress about missing it if you have limited time. The Bone Church is fascinating but, like most dark tourism, there are ill-behaved tourists which is frustrating beyond words. Kutná Hora is definitely worth it for those who are traveling slowly with ample time in Prague looking for a quick day getaway that offers something different from Prague.


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