Kutná Hora, Czech Republic, once competed with Prague in terms of power, culture, and riches, thanks mostly to the silver mines and the royal mint. Now it's a fairly quiet place, despite the day trippers from Prague. If you stay the night, you might feel like you have it to yourself.
Narrow, winding streets and grand architecture make Kutná Hora a great place to wander. There are also quite a few interesting attractions and a fair number of cafes and artsy shops. Be sure to see the cathedral and other buildings lit up at night. Views are especially good from the lookout along the wall near St. Jacob's church and from the park below the Italian Court (Vlassky Dvur).
Don't miss the silver mine tour, where you don white miners' robes and very necessary hardhats and descend deep into the earth for a taste of what life must have been like for the miners there. The tunnel is narrow -- sometimes narrower than your shoulders -- and you'll have to duck a lot. It's not for the claustrophobic, but if you're fine in tight spaces, you'll enjoy the adventure. You're also allowed to touch all the baby stalactites and such. Ask if there's an English tour scheduled -- you'll pay a little extra, but it's worth it.
The striking shape of the Church of Saint Barbara is a symbol of Kutná Hora. Around it are parks and terraces where you can relax or picnic in the shadow of this architectural gem. The entry fee is a little steep, but the interior has some nice stained glass, huge statues looking down from the gallery above, and an interesting array of mining motifs.
Don't miss Gask Park, accessible from the stairs by St. Barbara's or from other directions. The views are great, and the new water feature in the corner is perfect if you're there on a hot day.
The Sedlec Ossuary is perhaps the most famous sight in Kutná Hora (though it's technically in the adjacent town of Sedlec). This isn't the only ossuary in the world. They were quite popular for a time. But the bones here -- the earthly remains of up to seventy thousand people -- are arranged with such artistry that it has become an extremely popular (if somewhat morbid) tourist attraction. Other interesting sights include the Italian Court and mint museum, the stone fountain, and various churches.
There aren't many budget accommodations or hostels in Kutná Hora. If you want a hostel, you may have to stay in another town like Ricany. Prague, of course, has plenty of hostels and is only about an hour or more away by public transport.
Hi, I'm Melinda Brasher,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Kutná Hora hostels. Welcome.