Pravčická brána – the trip to the north
Are you thinking of leaving Prague just for one day and wondering where to go? Going somewhere without a need of staying overnight but still wanting to see a unique and interesting place? Do you like the countryside and wandering in nature? So, this is the right place to go. This is a must, to be honest! We call it Czech Switzerland, and it is situated on the north of the Czech Republic very close to the German border.
This is from where I was born and spent almost my whole childhood. I love many places, but there is no place like this one. You can go there for additional days and see it all, but you can enjoy it in one-day. The transport from Prague is not bad. The best time to visit this amazing place is in the summer, people say, but in my opinion, I would go there in spring when every tree and flower is in bloom and everything looks like a picture from some travel catalogue. It is also nice in the fall you when you can see the autumn colors around you.
No matter when you visit this place, it’s always majestic with its own spiritual atmosphere. I’m pretty sure that if the forest could talk it would have told us such great stories. Everyone can turn into an artist when you step on the rocks here and have a look around; artistic visitors will definitely love to paint some beautiful painting or write down some inspirational story, or even some poetry! Nothing else is necessary to feel free as a bird and make you think of jumping from the rocks and flying away high into the sky. But please don’t do it, even if you feel this way. It’s not a great idea!
You won’t just feel free as a bird; you’ll also feel like if you are in a fairy tale. Actually, you kind of ARE in a fairy tale… more like in a movie, though!
Do you think that you’ve already seen this place somewhere? You are right! Some location appeared in the movie “Chronicles of Narnia”! Only one thing is missing. When I was here with my friends we were looking for the entrance (portal) from Narnia. It should be a pole but we couldn’t find it. Sadly, not everything is real, I know. In the end, this doesn’t matter and you still will love it even if there is no portal from Narnia around you. The view is just breathtaking and makes you feel incredible. I can guarantee you that this mind-blowing place is like a dream just the way it is. Absolutely worth it!
I’ve been raving about this place, but haven’t told you what is it and how to get there. It is situated in the north of the Czech Republic. It is called “Pravčická brána” (Pravčická Gate) and the name is accurate, because it really looks like a massive stone gate in the middle of the forest surrounded by trees of a different heights and that make it even more beautiful. As I’ve already mentioned, it is situated on the border with Germany, in a national park that is called “Czech Switzerland”. In my opinion, it’s the most beautiful one!
Czech Switzerland is mostly situated around the river Elbe, one of the most incredible places to visit in the Czech Republic. Pravčická brána is not exactly situated along the river, but that fact doesn’t make it any less attractive. If you are going to visit this place, you can go either by car or by train from Prague. I would recommend travelling by train, as the way from Prague to Děčín is just magical. If you are lucky and you take a really early train, you can watch a sunrise that is unbelievably stunning. When the first sunrays touch the edges of the trees, they look like they are on fire. It looks beautiful and scary at the same time. You may love to watch the sunrise forever as if it were an amazing concert of dancing rays with a soundtrack composed by Mother Nature.
Instead of spending the whole time (approx. 1.5-2 hours) driving the car, let’s talk about how to get to this wonderful place from Prague. I’m pretty sure that if you go by car you will use your GPS so you don’t need any advice. If you decide to go by train, you have to take a train that goes to Děčín. There are two options to go to Děčín by train. You can go from the main train station (mainly via international trains) or from the Masarykovo train station (fast or slow trains). I would recommend taking an early train so you can spend your whole day in the park rather than in the train. After 1.5 hours in the train and watching the beauty from your window, you step off in Děčín. You have to change to another public transport in Děčín: the bus. You can find the buses in the front of the train station. Choose a bus going to Hřensko. The connection between Děčín and Hřensko is quite good, as many tourists go there every day. You can buy bus tickets from the bus driver, telling him the stop you are going to (Hřensko should be your answer to his question).
In the Czech Republic, we have many tourist and hiking signs. You can find many arrows, lines or squares on trees which are in different colors. Those are not the same as the color lines for skiing, and don’t indicate how hard the terrain is but rather show you the paths. Have you seen any before? They are green, red, yellow, blue or white. Next to the color you will find the site name written as well as how far away it is. You can find these hiking paths everywhere, even in cities like Prague. You can take the right path color from Hřensko to Pravčická brána. You go from the bus through a beautiful canyon and then up a hill. No matter what, you have to use your feet to get to the best places now!
You won’t get lost if you follow the signs, and soon you will arrive at the fairytale-like place! Whether you are following the crowds in the summer or going alone in the fall, your journey will end just at the right place. Trust me, this beauty can’t be explained by any word, you have to go there and see it for yourself. Check my photos below for a better explanation!