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Beer baths, impressive gothic cathedrals, glamping under a fortress and even a church made of human bones are just some of the things to see in Kutná Hora. And with such quirky attractions, it’s no wonder the medieval city in the Central Bohemia region of the Czech Republic is a popular day trip from Prague, luring many day-trippers to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Start by following the winding cobblestone streets up to towering St. Barbara’s Cathedral to marvel at its intricate facade and sky-high vaulted interior, then meander back through the historic centre to check out some of the unique spots that set this spot apart from everywhere else in the country. From the most memorable museums to spooky sanctuaries, here are some of the weirdest things to do in Kutna Hora.
Visit a bone cathedral
The best known of all the Kutna Hora attractions is the Sedlec Ossuary…AKA the church made of human bones. Yes, you read that correctly.
The cemetery and monastery date back hundreds of years, and were attacked in the 1400s by troops overtaking the city who burned both sites to the ground. Nearly a century passed before work to move the remains of some 60-thousand people began, and during the painstaking process the bones were stored in the ossuary while the church was rebuilt.
What happened next is up for debate, but legend has it that either community members stacked the remains to make room for construction, or a half-blind monk miraculously got his eyesight back after stacking the skulls into pyramids. Regardless, that was the beginning of the so-called Kutna Hora bone church, and today it’s one of the Czech Republic’s top tourist attractions.
The spooky sights you’ll see during a Sedlec Ossuary tour includes skull decor shaped into elaborate candelabras and chains, crosses fashioned out of femurs, a skull chapel and even an impressive human bone chandelier.
Book a Sedlec Ossuary tour from Prague: Click to book
Go glamping under a castle in a luxury tent
Experience what life is like as a royal, by glamping under a castle at Malešov Camp. This so-called ‘medieval glamour camp’ is found just a five-minute drive from Kutna Hora, under the shadow of the Tvrz Malešov fortress which is perched high over a reservoir of the river Vrchlice.
The luxury tents nestled beneath it are white canvas structures designed to mimic what nobility would stay in when travelling with the army, and are outfitted with wooden floors, beds with cozy linens and a storage chest. Each one even has a gorgeous private bathroom with hot showers, a toilet and medieval artwork.
Guests can duck into the on-site tavern for a hearty meal, head into the museum detailing Malešov’s history, grab a drink at the Přátelský Pivovar Malešov brewery which serves up craft beers made in-house, or explore the castle which has a serene courtyard complete with a fountain, large rooms decorated with period furniture, and gorgeous panoramic views. Click here to book
Soak in a beer bath
Even if you’re more of a wine lover, you’ll want to soak up this beer bath experience which is one of the most memorable, fun things to do in Kutna Hora.
In the traditional Czech beer spa ritual, spa-goers soak for half an hour in a wooden tub filled with piping hot beer, which is a combination of brewer’s yeast, hops and water. You then relax for another 20 minutes on a straw bed or lounger, to give the nourishing ingredients time to absorb into the skin.
It’s said that the hop oils help treat psoriasis, acne and cellulite, while the vitamins in brewer’s yeast are thought to promote digestion and metabolism. Whatever the case, it’s a unique, surprisingly relaxing experience, and best of all you’re totally allowed to drink beer the whole time.
In Kutna Hora, the beer spa is found in the historic cellars of Hotel U Kata, and treatments last about an hour.
Print your own postcard
Gain a new appreciation for the printing process with a stop at the Gutenberg Printing House, which has a fabulous collection of centuries-old printing machines. Learn about the intricate process of letterpress, hand cutting, gold embellishments and the evolution of the typewriter, which are guaranteed to never make you look at a book the same way again. Finish off your experience by making your very own postcard on a 100-year-old machine, which is definitely one of the most unique things to do in Kutna Hora.
Stamp a silver coin at the Italian Court Kutna Hora
Keep the crafty theme going by heading to the nearby Italian Court to stamp your own coin. This is where silver coins were produced in the Middle Ages when Kutná Hora was at the epicentre of wealth, and once served as a royal residence for King Wenceslas IV. Visitors can learn more about its history wandering through the museum’s exhibits, then cap off their tour by dressing in a medieval getup and wielding a hammer to mince a keepsake embossed coin.
Tour a chocolate museum
Got a sweet tooth? Then be sure to stop into the eclectic Chocolate Museum, which is dedicated to the history of the local Koukol & Michera chocolate factories which date back to the early 1900s and were once considered among the world’s best.
Start at the back to take a peek through old momentos like signs and molds, then sample sweets from the chocolaterie up front and sip on mugs of their divine hot chocolate or even chocolate beer. They also offer tasting sessions which gives you the opportunity to sample several kinds of chocolate, and learn more about how cocoa beans are grown and chocolate is produced.
Practicalities for visiting Kutna Hora
How to get to Kutna Hora from Prague: Kutna Hora is one of the best day trips from Prague, as there’s so much to see and it’s just a one hour drive from the capital via Route 2 or E67. Another easy option is to take the train from Prague to Kutna Hora, which departs from the main train station Praha Hlavní Nádraž throughout the day and takes about an hour.
Book a Kutna Hora tour
The best Kutna Hora hotels
- U Vlasskeho Dvora Hotel: This no-frills property is budget-friendly, with perks like free parking and a pool. Its location in the centre of Kutna Hora makes it easy to walk to the main attractions. Click to book
- Hotel U Zvonu: This hotel is an example of traditional Kutna hora accommodation, and rooms are clean and spacious. Guests enjoy the helpful staff and the excellent breakfast, and note that since Hotel U Zvonu is in the city centre there can be a bit of traffic noise. Click to book
- Hotel U Kata: With great views from rooms on the upper floors, multiple restaurants and a quiet location on the outskirts of the town centre a quick walk from the attractions, Hotel U Kata is one of the best hotels in Kutna Hora for some relaxation…especially if you take advantage of the on-site wellness centre. Click to book
Globe Guide explored Kutna Hora a guest of CzechTourism. As always, hosts have no editorial influence on articles.
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