Official language: Czech
Currency: Czech koruna
Welcome to the land of Kafka, Architectural Magic and off course Bohemia
Centered in Europe, the Czech Republic is a history buff’s heaven. Beautifully dotted with castles, medieval towns, breathtaking mountain ranges, ancient ruins and superb wineries, it’s a full-on world class destination. While most tourists mainly flock to Prague, but in essence, the Czech Republic has much more to offer than just the beauty and buzz of the capital city. Traveling to the Czech Republic is not only affordable, but it boasts some of the most beautiful and rugged natural adventures just waiting to be undertaken. With its one foot is Western Europe and the other in the Slavic East, the Czech Republic is a destination that will sink its claws deep into you with the honey-colored spa towns of the Sudeten Mountains, Bohemia’s Renaissance breweries and the ever so famous underground bars of Moravia.
Must see places in Czech Republic
Since it’s the capital and the major drawing point for tourists, Prague stands out as one of Europe’s hottest destinations, and with good reason! The old medieval streets are an attraction in their own right, but the local food and off course the beer is just as popular. From the Prague Castle to the Astronomical Clock and the eccentric nightlife, Prague calls for more than just a few days for exploring.
A short distance away from Prague you’ll find Kutná Hora, which was once home to a thriving silver mine, one of the best in Europe for that matter! The town is beautifully decorated with structures, most of the town being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The stunning interior and frescoes, its famed mural called The Vision of St. Ignatius and the old charm that lingers here is what will capture your soul. Pop in at the town’s Old Mint, which is housed in the Italian Court. The court used to be the home of the Bohemian King Vaclav IV and makes for a real noteworthy site.
For the hikers at heart, Šumava has a lot in store and promises one heck of an experience. This is the Czech Republic’s largest national park, and as such if filled with breathtaking natural scenery. From the region of forest-clad hills that define the Austrian border to the massive lakes, the trout streams that lead through virgin forests to the historic monuments dotted along the scenic route, Šumava definitely isn’t a stop-and-go destination.
The old town of Český Krumlov is where you’ll find the Český Krumlov Castle. It’s a massive building and dates back to the 13th century. You’ll be amazed at just how well preserved the castle is given its age. This UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts plenty to see like the Rosenberg Ballroom and the Renaissance Hall, the Royal Apartments and the Chapel of St. George. Make sure you check out the castle’s old Baroque theatre among the 40 buildings in the castle complex. The fine old palace, courts and gardens can easily cause you to get lost for the day.
The old city of Brno has a lot on offer for the discerned traveler and definitely allows you to see a side of the Czech Republic that you would have missed out on if you stuck to Prague for the duration of your stay.
South Moravia seems to be the outdoor enthusiast heaven. The area is crammed full of rolling hills, whimsical vineyards and old historical villages and is definitely a must see. Mikulov and Valtice are best known for their wine sampling experiences surrounded in the stunning natural backdrop. Then there’s the UNESCO listed Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape to see. It might keep you lingering more than just a day or two!
Karlsbad is the old German name for this town, but whichever name you call it by, Karlovy Vary can’t be missed if you’re keen on a great spa experience. Dating back to the year 1358, Europe’s elite has always been traveling here for the amazing hot springs. The town has 13 main springs and countless smaller springs and lie scattered across the magnificent fountain at the Tepla River to the Neoclassical and Art Nouveau colonnades with their drinking and bathing fountains.
This is also home to the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, one of Europe’s oldest fil festivals and boasts a lot of important cultural sights and museums. Karlovy Vary also happens to be one of Europe’s most important glass-making centers, which has been thriving in these parts for over 150 years. If you’re game for an exploring excursion, do swing by the Moser Visitor Centre and Glass Museum, and exhibition center of one of the world’s leading decorative glass manufactures, Moser Glassworks.
Standing out as one of the most breathtaking parts of the Czech Republic, Eastern Bohemia is home to the awe-inspiring Bohemian Paradise or Český ráj. A land mass decorated with impressive natural rock formations, Bohemian terrain defies all laws of physics, which means you’d be crazy not to check it out! Declared as a UNESCO Geopark, the region is best known for its grand sandstone hills, natural bridges, basalt columns and outcrops and the very scenic drive promised in the area. It’s not all just about the nature here though, so make sure you don’t miss out on an opportunity to see Kost Castle and Trosky Castle. The town of Turnoy is a good place to start your day trop at and gives you all the info you could need and more from the Bohemian Paradise Visitor Centre.
For a true look at a real Renaissance town in Europe, Telč stands out as one of the most idyllic. The town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The beautifully rebuilt town with its medieval arcades and gables houses that leads up to the very intriguing town square.
For a fresh and invigorating day trip, head out the university town of Olomouc. The sight of the sculptures, fountains, the UNESCO listed Holy Trinity Column and the astronomical clock, to name a few are some of the most noteworthy sites. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t forget to soak up the atmosphere created by the green parks and baroque churches here. Nearby you’ll find the region of Hana, which is mostly an agricultural region that sees a lot of villages coming together every year to host a seriously impressive harvest festival come late September.
Sedlec is a small town best known for its “Bone Church” (the Gothic All Saints Chapel). On offer here is the opportunity to gaze upon the remains of some 70,000 people who passed away between the 14th and 16th centuries. The display is rather chilling and includes coats of arms, chandeliers, chalices and bells.
Pick the time right!
Tourists travel to The Czech Republic between May and September
The Czech Republic has fairly hot summers and cold winters. Spring time is great to travel here because they days warm up nicely and overall sees a lot of consistent and fair weather throughout the country. Autumn is also a nice season to travel here with the clear and settled weather that seems to last for days on end.
Did you know?
Ahoj is the Czech word for Hello
- Pečená kachna - roasted duck
- Svíčková na smetane - a beef dish in a cream sauce
- Závin - Strudel
- Ovocné knedlíky - fruit dumplings
- Smažený sýr - fried cheese
- Buy some bus and train tickets before you head to the Czech Republic to save on transportation costs while you’re there
- Make sure you brush up on some basic Czech before you head over
- Don’t stick to Prague, we’ve shown you every reason why it’s best to take a trip off the beaten path!