We start this series Hezký Den with a small Czech lesson - “hezký den” which is a czech phrase meaning “have a nice day.” Hezký = nice. Den = Day.
If you were hibernating during winter, spring is fast approaching and it’s time to have a Hezký Den outside of Prague! Our first recommendation would be a small adventure north - to the Czech Switzerland National Park, near the town of Děčín.
View over Pravčická Brana © Derek Halsey
Before you ask.....the name was inspired by two Swiss artists, Adrian Zingg and Anton Graff who were reminded of their landscape back home. Today, you will hear many different names to describe the same region: Czech Switzerland or Bohemian Switzerland (Czech: České Švýcarsko; German: Böhmische Schweiz).
What to See
Europe's Largest Sandstone Arch
One of the most notable features are the massive sandstone structures found throughout the park. Pravčická brána is Europe’s largest sandstone arch. There are two main trails which go up to the arch offering Panorama views across the park and into Germany’s Saxon Switzerland.
Short Trail - From Hřensko follow the red marked hiking trail (leading to the road) for 1.5 km until you come to a crossroads called "Tři Prameny". Turn left onto a stone-covered forest trail and follow this trail for 2.5 km and then you are at the site.
Longer Trail - From Mezní Louka follow the red marked hiking trail called "Gabrielina Stezka" (Gabriel's Trail) for 6.5 km through the forest until you come to Pravčická Brána
*Recommendation - if you have time take the longer trail - you can even stay in Mezni Louka - there are several hotels - U Fořta is our favorite with a nice restaurant and veg. options
At the top of trail next to the Sandstone arch is an old apline style hotel built in the 19th century - a small restaurant is still there - if you go in the winter season make sure to warm up with a hot wine (Svařák)!
April - October - 10AM - 6PM
November - March - 10AM - 4PM
Gorges of Kamenice
From April to October a must-see are the gorges of Kamenice - where you can take a small boat along the Kamenice river which splits into two picturesque gorges only accessible by boat, Edmund Gorge (also known as Silent Gorge) and Wild Gorge.
If you plan ahead we highly recommend to see Pravcicka Brana and the Gorges of Kamenice!
More info on prices and opening hours
How to get to Bohemian Switzerland
From Děčín head north towards the national border, after 12 km we reach Hřensko
From Dresden via Pirna, Königstein, Bad Schandau, to the border crossing of Schmilka - Hřensko
Park your car at the car park in Hřensko (behind the "Klepáč" restaurant, for a fee) or go to the car park in Mezní Louka (near the "Mezní Louka" hotel), both of which are starting points for trips to Pravčická Brána (parking is not permitted anywhere else except at these 2 car parks)
From Děčín there is a bus line to Hřensko and to Mezní Louka – there is a bus stop in Hřensko, another near Tři Pramenů and another in Mezní Louka
The nearest train station is in Děčín, from the station we must take a bus and then walk
The nearest train station on the German side is in Schöna on the opposite bank of the Elbe River, opposite Hřensko. There is a ferry from there to Hřensko
We also run self-guided and guided trips to Bohemian Switzerland. If you are looking for a biking adventure going through Czech Switzerland National Park check out our ELBE RIVER TOUR from Prague to Dresden!