Sometimes, a quick getaway out of town the perfect add on to a European trip. Most European capitals have nearby cities and regions that are worth the day trip, but these five are our favorites. Don't miss out on any of them when you visit.
1. From Prague: Cesky Krumlov
Just a 1.5-hour train ride from Prague sits one of the quietest, most beautiful towns in Central Europe. Cesky Krumlov is a perfect day trip from the ever busier city of Prague. The town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, having escaped the bombs of World War Two and keeping it's Old City preserved. It's a must-visit in the summertime when you can float down the river and enjoy a 1 Euro Pilsner while you do it.
2. From Ljubljana: Piran
A rental car will do you wonders in Ljubljana, as it's a city surrounded by beautiful day trips. We recently published an article on places you'll fall in love with in Slovenia, and they're all day trips from the capital city.
If there's one not to miss, however, we think Piran deserves an extra shout out. Sitting on the Adriatic Sea, the walled city will probably make you feel like you've stepped into Croatia or Italy without a passport. It's a popular tourist destinations for locals, as their are beaches and waterfront cafes lining the city. Stroll through the alleys, visit the main church, and take in the salty air. A day is all you need to explore this tiny town.
3. From Florence: Siena
Florence is an amazing city, but we'd highly recommend taking a day trip to Siena before you head off to explore Tuscan wines any further. Of course, if you haven't planned a day trip into wine country, that should also be at the top of your list.
To train from Florence to Siena is approximately 1.5 hours, leaving you with plenty of time to explore. Stroll the Piazza del Campo, climb the Torre del Mangia for some spectacular views, and take in the Il Duomo di Siena - it's often referred to as one of the most beautiful churches in all of Italy.
Keep the truffles, fresh pasta, pecorino, steak, and Chianti coming for lunch and dinner before you depart.
4. From Paris: Champagne
It would be a shame to visit Paris and not visit the birthplace of one of the world's most famous beverages. The Champagne Region is just a short one-hour train ride via the TGV. It runs all day from Paris to Reims and Épernay and back. We'd recommend sticking to those two areas if you're doing a day-trip. Champagne is of course stored in caves, so be prepared for some underground adventures.
Getting around Champagne without a car can be challenging, so look into rentals, or consider taking a private day tour. They'll keep you fed and make sure you can get your fill of bubbles safely!
5. From Dublin: Cliffs of Moher
The bad news is you'll have to drive across the entire country - the good news is:
-Ireland is only about 250 kilometers from east to west coast
-The drive is scenic and there are stops along the way
-The end destination is stunning
The Cliffs of Moher are probably our favorite part of Ireland, and that's saying a lot. If you've flown into Dublin and were planning on spending your entire trip in the city, we'd highly recommend taking a day trip to the west coast and seeing the Cliffs of Moher. It's only a three-hour drive and there are other things to see as you make your traverse the island.
A picture's worth a thousand words, but they're even more dramatic in person.