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Medway, Massachusetts

Europe, Vienna, Prague, Amsterdam, Paris, Salzburg

Anyone have any quick day/ off the beaten path trips in Europe?

I am planning a trip to Vienna, Prague, Amsterdam and Paris this Spring. I really wanted to fit in Salzburg, but the cost doesnt make sense for a night.  Does anyone have any off the beaten path towns/trips in or around any of the cities listed? We're open to anything!   Many thanks in advance!! 

18 Answers

top answer by
Tony from Seattle

You can get to Cesky Krumlov pretty easily from Prague (the busses often have wifi and drink service and are super cheap).  It's a Unesco World Heritage site!

It's a charming small town with easy river paddling/rafting, some great hiking, a great castle, etc.  It's definitely a mellow town, but (despite the Czech people generally being a little gruff) was one of our favorite little towns in 8 months of travel.  Words don't do it justice-- here's a Flickr search for it to give you an idea of how adorable it is. We wrote a more detailed post about it here:

Another option from Prague is Kutna Hora, which can be reached by train in an hour or so (note: the train station is a bit confusing so allow ample time to figure it out).  It features the amazing Sedlec Ossuary or "Bone Church" which is a bizarre little church filled with the bones from tens of thousands of people artfully sculpted into chandeliers, etc.  The town itself is pretty charming, too-- it has one of the prettier cathedrals we saw in the Czech Republic and it has a strange little silver mine tour that's definitely worth going on.  Here are some pics and here is our post on it.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cesky Krumlov (city)
  2. Kutna Hora (city)
  3. Sedlec Ossuary (attraction)
15 thankscomments (3)

answered by
Terry from Buffalo (New York)

In Prague take the an overnight trip to Cesky Krumlov - a jewel of medieval town with dungeon pubs and underground restaurants.  Try to stay overnight as the vibe is totally different at night.  Easy local train ride from Prague. 

And in case you are a beer fan - the trip to Cesky Krumlov will take you through České Budějovice | Budweis (the home of Budweiser - albeit a lot different from the commercial brew in the USA).  

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Prague (city)
  2. Cesky Krumlov (city)
  3. České Budějovice | Budweis (attraction)
13 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Toi Ting from Netherlands

Hi Katie! Try Zaanse Schansin A'dam surrounding, the Utrecht canals (different than the A'dam ones), rent a car/bike and drive along the river the Vecht, visit the city Haarlem, or the beach at Zandvoortor Bloemendaal. Last but not least, go island hopping (included waddenlopen <= just Google) in the north of the Netherlands ( Texel, VlielandTerschellingAmelandSchiermonnikoog.)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Utrecht (city)
  2. Haarlem (city)
  3. Zandvoort (city)
  4. Bloemendaal (city)
  5. Texel (city)
  6. Vlieland (city)
  7. Terschelling (city)
  8. Ameland (island)
  9. Schiermonnikoog (city)
  10. Zaanse Schans (neighborhood)
11 thankscomments (2)

answered first by
Todd from Boston

The Czech Republic is filled with tiny towns that are great for day trips. I can't speak from personal experience (yet), but I have heard nothing but fantastic things about Cesky Krumlov. If you're a beer fan you'll want to take a trip to Plzen

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cesky Krumlov (city)
  2. Plzen (city)
11 thanks

answered by
Rouven from Germany

Katie - if you can fit in Munich for your trip, Salzburg is super close and you'd also get to see a bit of the Alps, which is quite nice in spring.

I can definitely recommend goin for a little hike and enjoying that part of Austria for a day or two.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Munich (city)
  2. Salzburg (city)
  3. Alps (attraction)
10 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Violette from Paris

Hi Katie,

in Paris you should go toHammam de la Mosquée de Paris

39 rue Geoffroy Saint Hilaire
75005 Paris

You should have a mint tea with delicious marrocan pastries in one one the 2 courtyards, it is so charming.  You can also visit the religious part, were ther is wonderful gardens, with flowers, bleu tiles, fountains, birds : it is magic  :

2 bis place du Puits de l'Ermite, 75005

Mosquée de Paris

Near that place there is a Jardin des Plantes and museums, and  Rue Mouffetard, an autentic street of Paris, it is good to go saturday morning, you can have lunch in one of the bistrot at Place de la Contrescarpe

Have a good trip in Europe !.



PS : if it is week end, you should rent bicycles with VELIB, it is all over Paris (it is like CityBike in New York), it is so easy, make research on internet before to go, to make sure that you understand how it works.

There is "pistes cyclables" (cycle tracks) all over Paris.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hammam de la Mosquée de Paris (attraction)
  2. Mosquée de Paris (attraction)
  3. Jardin des Plantes (attraction)
  4. Place de la Contrescarpe (attraction)
  5. Rue Mouffetard (attraction)
8 thanks

answered by
Radovan from Prague

I can recommend some places in Bohemia. Tips you already got mentioned except Prague also Cesky Krumlov, Pilsen or Kutna Hora. All of them are good, the best of them is Cesky Krumlov.

Close to  Prague you can visit Karlstejn castle also. I suppose that good could be also some places on way Prague- Vienna, most recommended is area Mikulov - Lednice - Valtice. Farther from the road is roman rotunda in Znojmo and close to it nice park with oldest czech vineyard Šobes in a very nice valley.

If you will go to Cesky Krumlov, you can make break on Zvíkov or Orlík nad Vltavou castles. They are by river and in case of good weather it will be fine. On the same way is famous castle in Hluboká nad Vltavou and next to it nuclear power plants Temelín. :-) Another way is possible through Trebon with historical castle and aristocratic tomb.

Next to the Český Krumlov are many other amazing places like monastery Zlatá Koruna, monastery Vyšší Brod, castle  Rožmberk nad Vltavou. They all follow the river Vltava and there is very funny attraction to flow through all the cities on small boat. Really close to that is attraction in Lipno nad Vltavou - tower in trees called Treetop Walkway.

If you are interested in old countryside, visit i.e. Holasovice.

More links to UNESCO places etc. and something about Prague you can find on

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Prague (city)
  2. Cesky Krumlov (city)
  3. Pilsen (city)
  4. Kutna Hora (city)
  5. Karlstejn (city)
  6. Vienna (city)
  7. Lednice (city)
  8. Valtice (city)
  9. Znojmo (city)
  10. Hluboká nad Vltavou (city)
  11. Trebon (city)
  12. Český Krumlov (attraction)
  13. Rožmberk nad Vltavou (city)
  14. Vltava (attraction)
  15. Lipno nad Vltavou (city)
  16. Mikulov (city)
  17. Šobes (attraction)
  18. Zvíkov (attraction)
  19. Temelín (attraction)
  20. Holasovice (attraction)
  21. Orlík nad Vltavou (attraction)
  22. Vyšší Brod (attraction)
  23. Zlatá Koruna (attraction)
7 thanks

answered by
Carina from Vienna

Salzburg is pretty on-track and touristy to be honest (saying this as an Austrian who thinks Salzburg is very pretty though).
More off the beaten track would be Krems an der Donau & Melk and the Wachau Valley in-between (Austrian white wine region), are you traveling at this time of the year?

I'd also totally recommend going to Budapest - it has a less touristy and more raw feel to it than Vienna or Prague, it's also pretty cheap and would probably fit in well! 
Train connections between Vienna and Budapest are perfect, and Prague connects well too! 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Krems an der Donau (city)
  2. Wachau Valley (attraction)
  3. Budapest (city)
  4. Melk (city)
7 thanks

answered by
Denise from Vietnam

Hi Katie,

I always did the following stuff with our couchsurfers:

You can take the ferry behind Central Station in Amsterdam (for free!) to visit  EYE Film Institute Netherlands . A very interesting looking building (I think it's nice, but opinions differ). You can actually see it from the dock. On that side of Amsterdam (North part) there are a few alternative nice hangouts where you can have a drink. Like Pllek and Noorderlicht Another acitivity could be visiting the fleamarket IJ-Hallen, near Noorderlicht. It's every third Saturday and Sunday of the month, but do check the website before going:


Kind regards, Denise

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. EYE Film Institute Netherlands (attraction)
  2. Pllek (restaurant)
  3. Noorderlicht (attraction)
  4. IJ-Hallen (attraction)
5 thanks

answered by
frieso from Brussels

I would recommend stopping at a city that is more or less on your itinerary, like Budapest, Bratislava, Berlin or Brussels (basically any city starting with a B ;-)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Budapest (city)
  2. Bratislava (city)
  3. Berlin (city)
  4. Brussels (city)
5 thanks

answered by
Beau from Houston

Amsterdam can be good in the spring, but if you want something ''different" try taking a day trip to Utrecht or Haarlem. They're really lovely little Dutch towns that don't have the frantic hustle vibe of Amsterdam! Good luck!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Amsterdam (city)
  2. Utrecht (city)
  3. Haarlem (city)
4 thanks

answered by
Katharina from Vienna

Hi, it's is just a bit off the beaten tracks but I would suggest you to go the little town of Cesky Krumlov. I think it is a very European little town on the river Vltava, which beautifully runs through it. Egon Schiele's (the painter) mother lived there. It is not on the expensive side and there is a sweet little hostel ( Krumlov House). It is a good break from visiting the big cities. If you have any questions concerning your trip to Vienna, don't hesitate to contact me! 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cesky Krumlov (city)
  2. Vienna (city)
  3. Vltava (attraction)
  4. Krumlov House (hotel)
4 thanks

answered by
Terry from Sarasota

Be sure to get yourself a Paris Metro multi-day ticket, because it goes everywhere in Paris and it sure beats trying to find a parking place. And it inter-connects with the TGV train system, at all of the major Paris train stations (there are four).

You definitely should visit  Montmartre, which is accessible via the Metro, because it is not only a beautiful church, but sits high on a hill over looking Paris, so the photo opportunities there are excellent.

Also Metro accessible, is  Versailles, this is easily a day trip, as the grounds are vast, and the tour through the main living quarters is fascinating.  Go early as you can, because this is a highly visited location, and the crowds grow larger as the day wears on.

La Seine river runs right past  Notre Dame View, and the island it sits on is interesting as well.   The Louvre is just a few blocks away, so if you are in a museum mood, you will be astounded by the size of this museum.

Lest I forget - if you are a coffee person, you will find coffee shops & bakeries on most of the streets in Paris.  The coffee there is excellent, and you will find great French pastries there as well.

While in Vienna, be sure to visit  Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn, as it is a great example of a Hofburg Palace.   

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Montmartre (attraction)
  2. Versailles (attraction)
  3. La Seine (attraction)
  4. Notre Dame View (attraction)
  5. The Louvre (attraction)
  6. Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn (attraction)
  7. Hofburg Palace (attraction)
6 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Stephan from Innsbruck

Hello Katie,

if you are staying in Vienna for some days, you could consider  Salzburg for a day trip. You could use the railjet from OBB (Austrian Federal Railways) or take the Westbahn (privatly operated) to Salzburg, which leave  Wien Westbahnhof every hour and only take about 2 hours and 30 minutes to Salzburg.

Have a great trip!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Vienna (city)
  2. Salzburg (city)
  3. Wien Westbahnhof (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by
Marnie from Conflans-sur-Anille

In Paris, I would definitely suggest you take the fast speed TGV train from the Montparnasse train station to Vendome or Le MansLe Mans(a 45 min direct ride), then rent a car (or take a taxi chauffeur if you don't drive) and spend two or three days in an elegant chateau, where you will be welcomed by the owners themselves, my husband and myself, whose family have lived there for more than 610 years! You will experience the real, authentic France, whilest residing in a luxurious private home. Check out Chateau De La Barre,.

Your hosts will organise day trips where you will discover famous castles but also quaint villages and lots of hidden gems

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Vendome (city)
  2. Le Mans (city)
  3. Chateau De La Barre (hotel)
3 thanks

answered by
Dabs from Chicago

From Prague, if you don't want to move for the night, I'd recommend the Bone church in Sedlac that was already mentioned.  You can then visit Kutna Hora, we walked but I'm guessing there is also a bus. 

From Vienna, you can visit nearby Bratislava, we took a hydrofoil there and a train back but honestly I didn't think the hydrofoil was worth the extra money.

Paris, tons of places you can visit, not so off the beaten path is Versailles which I'd say is the #1 daytrip outside of Paris.  You can also easily reach Brussels by Thalys train, I did this with my niece who was really into art nouveau architecture a couple of years ago.  You've also got Giverny where Monet's gardens are, I'd only do this if you think the flowers will be in bloom.  A little more work to get to is Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, we did it by car but I think it's achievable by public transport, just not as straightforward as Versailles. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Kutna Hora (city)
  2. Bratislava (city)
  3. Versailles (city)
  4. Brussels (city)
  5. Giverny (city)
  6. Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Gery from Brussels

Hi Katie, I just come back from Czech Republic. If I'd had an extra night to spend in the area, I'd definitely want to go to Cesky Krumlov (140 km away from Prague). The old town is a pure jewel, full of listed heritage buildings and small enough to be enjoyed in a day.

I visited the place 20 years ago, a few years after the fall of the iron curtain, and I had the feeling I had just slipped back in time...

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cesky Krumlov (city)
2 thanks

answered by
mona from Fayetteville

There are many companies that offer day trips to Salzburg from Vienna and Prague.  Check on

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Salzburg (city)
1 thanks

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