Most times when people hear the name of the European country the Czech Republic, they immediately think about Prague, the largest city. However, there is a lot more to it than just one city. The history behind this central European country is incredible. Once known as Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia, then the Czech Republic, and now Czechia. However, very few of the over ten million population actually call it Czechia. Discover major cities, national parks, the Czech language, and Czech cuisine on your trip.
Telc, Czech Republic
Written by Rachel Heller from Rachel’s Ruminations. Follow her on Twitter here.
Telc, the Czech Republic Main SquareThe UNESCO-listed town of Telč, about two hours southeast of Prague, gets my vote for the prettiest main square in the Czech Republic. In the form of a long triangle, the cobblestone square is lined with houses dating to the Middle Ages but now sporting Renaissance and Baroque facades, all painted in a variety of pastel colors. The houses are similarly sized with decorative gables in a range of styles. Their upper floors extend over the sidewalk, forming an arcade. Just the sight of them is absolutely charming.
On closer inspection, the houses become even more interesting, since no two are alike. While most are relatively straightforward – a pastel color and simple white decorative trim – a few are much more highly detailed, with sgraffito (a form of painting in plaster) figures, meant to appear three-dimensional.
At the narrow end of the main square’s triangle are two churches. The first, the Name of Jesus Church, is worth a look for the Baroque altarpiece and pulpit. In the second, St. James’ Church, you can climb the tower to get a bird’s-eye views of the main square and the surrounding town. At the same end of the square, you’ll find the castle, which has some wonderful renaissance interiors.
Read more from Rachel on her website here.
Brno, Czech Republic
Written by Melissa from Parenthood and Passports. Follow Melissa on Instagram here.
Brno city is the second largest city in Czech Republic and has a surprising amount of interesting things to do. Located in the south Moravian region of the country, Brno is a great alternative to Prague. The city is less crowded and less expensive than Prague. It draws far fewer tourists, but still boasts the same Old World charm and enchanting atmosphere that the capital city offers. The cobblestone streets of Brno’s Old Town is lined with shops, eateries, and beautiful churches with spiraling towers. But it’s what lies beneath many of these churches that makes them most fascinating. For a minimal charge, you can tour the ancient crypts inside the churches. These crypts are the final resting places of former monks and nobility, and their mummies are well-preserved and on display. Be sure to visit the city center, old town hall, Masaryk University, and Veveří castle.
For a true sense of local life in Brno, visit the daily vegetable market, where local farmers set up and sell their produce. And if you are looking to escape the city and surround yourself with nature, Moravia is definitely the region of the Czech Republic to do so. Picturesque rolling hills of green and yellow make up the incredible landscape of the countryside around Brno. Nature lovers and city seekers will both find Brno, the Czech Republic worth visiting.
Read 5 Reasons to Visit Brno here, on Melissa’s blog.
Prague, Czech Republic
Written by Leticia Sales of HappeeTravelers. Follow Leticia on Instagram here.
You shouldn’t visit Prague because it is the capital of the Czech Republic or because it is the largest city in the country. You should visit it because it is one of the most charming cities in Europe. Also known as the “City of a Hundred Spires”, it is a UNESCO world heritage site and an absolute gem of the Old Continent, with something for all tastes and ages.
Its beautiful churches, bridges and scenic streets are a perfect setting for those looking for a romantic setting. Some must see things in Prague city include Vitus Cathedral, Wenceslas Square, Prague Castle, new town, lesser town, Malá Strana, and the Charles Bridge. You also need to stop and watch Prague’s Astronomical Clock. Party lovers can enjoy Prague’s busy nightlife and try the famous absinth. The history and culture lovers can explore the city’s Jewish Quarter, get inspired reading a Franz Kafka novel at a beautiful café, or dive into the local medieval heritage at taverns, churches, and its lovely Old Town square.
Prague is easily accessible by plane, bus, car or train, and its location in the heart of Europe makes it an easy place to reach whether you’ve been traveling through Eastern or Western Europe. The Prague metro station and system make public transportation easy to travel from the Praha airport and throughout the city and city center.
In the winter, you can also try the delicious local food at the lovely Christmas market, at the Old Town. Did you know there have been several movies filmed in Prague? The best way to explore the city is by just walking around! Many of the local attractions are outdoors, and the vibe of the city will mesmerize you!
Read more from Leticia on her blog here.
See more if you want to have a 6 best day trips in Prague!
Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic
Written by Jane Dempster-Smith from To Travel Too. Follow Jane on Twitter here.
Just 90 minutes from Prague, Karlovy Vary the famous Spa town in Bohemia’s Spa Triangle is definitely one of the prettiest towns in the Czech Republic. Sitting in a valley surrounded by forests, lush green fields and the River Ohre running through it, it has been a popular destination for royalty and famous people for ‘taking the waters’ since the 15th Century. You may know the town as “Carlsbad” the German name for it.
These days, visitors from over 90 countries have enjoyed visiting this spa resort town not only for the spa treatments and health benefits of the abundant springs with mineral water but for its fresh air, hiking, and a luxury getaway from Prague.
Karlovy Vary is the home of the oldest International Film Festival in the world. It is held in July each year. If you visit the town and find yourself at the Market Colonnade head across the street to Moser Glass. They are the creators of the Crystal Globe that is presented each year to the winning nomination. Royalty, Heads of Countries and States, as well as famous people have been purchasing Moser Glass Tableware since 1857. You may even get to see the Crystal Globe in the window.
Whilst in Karlovy Vary you must try some of the mineral springs. A porcelain Spa Cup can be purchased as a souvenir and also used to taste the free mineral springs located in the Colonnades throughout the town. The hotter the spring the more bitter the taste. To counteract the bitter taste I can recommend tasting the locally made ‘spa wafer’ that is freshly made on the spot, warm and oozing with delights such as hazelnut chocolate. You may just not stop at one – they are quite addictive.
Karlovy Vary is a special destination with so much to offer the visitor.
Read more from Jane on her website here.
Plzeň (Pilsen), Czech Republic
Written by Šárka Novotná from Plzen Guide. Follow her on Twitter here.
Looking for one day trip from Prague?
Come to Plzeň to see the place where the famous Pilsner Beer was born in 1842. Plzeň (also known as Pilsen in English and German) is the fourth populous city in the Czech Republic and thanks to the short distance from Prague (only 100 minutes to the southwest by train) is Plzeň a popular goal of tourist for one day trip out of Prague.
Why you should visit Plzeň?
To take part on Pilsner Urquell Brewery Tour, which is according TripAdvisor one of the world´s best tourist attractions. The Pilsner brewery tour takes 100 minutes and will take you across all Pilsner Urquell factory’s areas. You will learn about every step in the brewing process: ingredients used, malting, fermentation, maturation in wooden tanks etc. The tour finishes in the brewery cellars 20m below ground by tasting of Pilsner Urquell beer straight from the wooden barrel. Of course, if you are older than 18 years.
What else you can see in Plzeň?
Pilsen City Center offers plenty of attractions such as:
- The Cathedral of St. Bartholomew with the highest church tower (102,6 meters) in the Czech Republic.
- Renaissance City Hall on the Main square
- The labyrinth of underground corridors known as Pilsen Historical Underground
- The unique Great Synagogue – the third-largest in the world.
Pilsen hosts a special event beginning of May: Pilsen Liberation Celebration.
Liberation festival is the most popular event in Pilsen, which attracts thousands of tourists from Europe and USA each year. You can look forward to historic army cars, open-air concerts, Convoy of Liberty and live army camps. Plzeň celebrates its liberation by the US Army in 1945 at the end of World War II.
Read more from Šárka about Plzeň (Pilsen) on her blog here.
Olomouc, Czech Republic
Written by Veronika Primm from TravelGeekery. Follow her on Facebook here.
Olomouc town is located in the East of the Czech Republic, about 2.5 hours away from Prague. That’s perhaps what prevents it from being as crowded as Prague often gets. But Olomouc is as beautiful, if not more, as Prague. Just a lot more compact. The student town features a lovely preserved Old Town, complete with an astronomical clock. Baroque has put its imprint on the city tremendously and it shows not only in a number of well-decorated churches but also in the 6 baroque fountains located in the city center. Be sure to visit the Holy Trinity Column, Bouzov castle, and upper square.
Among Czechs, Olomouc is famous for its smelly cheese called Olomoucké tvarůžky or Olomoucké syrečky. There’s even a confectionery featuring sweets made using the cheese! But apart from that, you can find a plenty of fine dining opportunities, including trendy international places to eat, as well as stylish cafés.
Just outside Olomouc lies a lovely hill with an exquisite Baroque Basilica on the top – the Holy Hill. It’s right here where pilgrims used to visit hundreds of years ago. Nowadays, the hill is also home to a zoo and a hospice. I love the quiet atmosphere near the Basilica and watching a sunset from the very top of Holy Hill is one of my fondest memories from the area.
Read more for Veronika about Olomouc here.
Kutná Hora, Czech Republic
Written by Rhonda Krause from Travel? Yes Please! Follow her on Facebook here.
Kutná Hora was once one of the richest cities in the Kingdom of Bohemia, thanks to the silver mines that lay below the town. While it’s no longer as high profile as it used to be, Kutná Hora is still a lovely place to visit as a side trip from Prague. The small city has numerous attractions ranging from historic buildings to an eerie church.
At the Italian Court, the former Royal Mint, you can learn about the production of silver coins, as well as visit some rooms of the Royal Palace. The Czech Museum of Silver further explains the process of silver mining and its role in the history of Kutná Hora.
Another symbol of silver mining in Kutná Hora is St. Barbara’s Cathedral. The church is dedicated to the patron saint of miners and its interior decorations depict themes of mining, providing a glimpse into secular life during medieval times.
The most unique attraction near Kutná Hora is Sedlec Ossuary, known as the bone church. It is a tiny church decorated with human bones. The artistic arrangement of bones includes garlands, a coat of arms, and a large chandelier. Also visit the gothic stone fountain, gothic stone house, and historic center
Read more from Rhonda about Kutna Hora here.
Rožnov, Czech Republic
Written by Claudia Tavani from My Adventures Across The World.
Rožnov is one of the nicest places to visit in the Czech Republic, ideal for families and a lovely place to travel to during the winter. This small town is located at around 4 hours drive from Prague, and it is significantly less touristy compared to other places in the country. It has a relaxed atmosphere, very local, and it provides for a nice change after the busy Prague and the lively Brno.
One of the nicest places to visit in Rožnov is the Wallachian Open Air Museum. This was founded in 1925 with the intention to move into the area and therefore re-create a perfect Wallachian style village. It is a great place to explore to learn more about the history and culture, as well as the traditional way of life of the country. Rožnov is also famous for the beer spa – much better than the touristy ones to be found in Prague. It’s located in a local brewery (that serves delicious beer, has a fantastic on-site restaurant and even a small chocolaterie), and it offers many treatments that are all beer based.
Roznov is a great access point to Pustevny, a very pretty mountain station that is pleasant to visit even in all seasons, and even more so when it is covered in snow. Pustevny can be reached by cable car from Trojanovice, which is at around 15 minutes drive from Rožnov. Once up in Pustevny, when it is covered in snow it is quite cold, so it is better to sit in one of the many cafés to have a hot drink and enjoy the local food. There are plenty of quirky looking buildings outside, and an easy walk takes all the way to the statue of Radegast in Radhost.
Read more from Claudia about Things To Do In The Czech Republic In Winter here.
Get a customized activity plan for your trip: