Hidden pearls in Czech Republic
Most know the Czech Republic because of its capital — Prague, and good beer, but this small country in the center of Europe has so much to offer. Here are our recommendations if you plan to spend more days and explore the beauty of various regions.
It goes without saying that you need to visit the capital — Prague. The main dominants of the city are the Prague Castle and St. Wenceslas cathedral, which are located in the heart of Prague. You can combine the visit with a walk across the Charles Bridge, which connects the New town and the Old town. Lastly, don´t miss out on the Old Town square, where you can find one of the main enticements of the city — the astronomical clock or orloj.
Right outside of Prague starts Central Bohemia, where you can find beautiful castles and chateaux, but also beautiful nature. What you absolutely can´t miss out on is the unique castle of Emperor Charles IV — Karlštejn with its unique collections of holy relics and the crown jewels, and Kutná Hora — the city of silver, which is included in the UNESCO world heritage list. If you make a trip to the city, include a visit to the ossuary and the unique late Gothic Cathedral of St. Barbara. A great trip for the family would also be the Konopiště Chateau with its beautiful park or Chateau Mcely, where you can enjoy various spa therapies. You can also explore the mysterious Koněprusy Caves with their breathtaking dripstone decoration. The caves are also the longest-known cave system in Bohemia.
The paradise for spa and beer lovers is set in beautiful but wild nature. Plzeň is the city for everyone that enjoys a glass of good beer, and if you stop by, you have to visit the Pilsner Urquell Brewery that created the legendary lager. If you want to give a try to wellness and spas, you should visit at least one of these cities belonging to the spa triangle, that is listed on the UNESCO world heritage list — Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně, and Františkovy Lázně. Long colonnades and bathing in thermal waters can enchant anyone, plus they are known for their healing powers. You can also go on cycling or hiking trips into the mountains and explore the beauty of Krušné mountains.
Magical and romantic nature is what North Bohemia has to offer. The main attraction of this region is the Bohemian Switzerland national park with its beautiful rock monument — Pravčice Gate. It is a perfect place for both climbing and a nice hike. You can also head out to the highest mountain in the Czech Republic — Sněžka, which is located in Krkonoše Mountains. It is a perfect place to visit also during winter if you like to ski. If you find yourself in the Liberec region, don´t miss out on the Crystal Valley, where you can witness the art of glassmaking that´s been connected to the area for centuries and where they create glass products sold to all corners of the world. Lastly, you must visit Panská Rock, which is a national nature monument known as a stone organ, thanks to its look.
A beautiful region that is full of fairytale chateaux, forests, and fishponds. South Bohemia is a paradise for both active and relaxing holidays. The crown jewels are the historical city Český Krumlov and the neo-gothic Hluboká Chateau.
For the ones who want to do some activities, I would recommend visiting the Treetop walk in Lipno or rafting in the historical center of Český Krumlov. And if you want to combine relaxing with an active holiday, head to Třeboň, where you can spend your time in the spa or bike in the protected landscape. Another city on your list should be České Budějovice. The city had a major role in the history of the Czech Republic thanks to its strategic position and kept its historical character and sites to be admired even today. It is also home to the original Budvar beer.
The region of rock cities, gingerbread, and horses. One of the dominants of East Bohemia is the Adršpach-Teplice rocks, which comprise some of the most beautiful rock formations in the Czech Republic. You can also come for a visit to the National Stud Farm in Kladruby nad Labem and learn about the tradition of horse breeding in the oldest stud farm of its kind, which is listed on the UNESCO world heritage list. Apart from meeting the horses, you can also travel back in time and go on a tour of the local chateau. Lastly, if you are up for an amazing view with a dose of adrenaline, visit the unique Sky Bridge 721, which is the longest suspension footbridge in the world!
Moravia and Silesia
Great wine, beautiful castles, folklore traditions, and much more. Moravia and Silesia are home to many UNESCO monuments, but the ones you absolutely must see are the Lednice-Valtice Complex and Kroměříž Chateau. The Lednice-Valtice complex is known not only for its beauty but also for its long tradition of winemaking. It also offers you the experience of walking through one of the most unique parks, full of rare tree species and ponds, which is also known as the Garden of Europe. Kroměříž Chateau doesn´t stay behind with its local garden known as the Garden of Eden, where you will be engulfed by a labyrinth of green walls and sculptural decoration.
For anyone who prefers natural beauty, the next stop should be the Moravian Karst, which is the largest and most beautiful karst area in central Europe. The main attraction of the area is the famous Macocha Abyss, which is the biggest abyss of its kind in Central Europe. You can also go on an idyllic boat tour in the Punkva Caves and sail across three lakes to the fairytale dome.
When visiting Moravia, you have to stop in Brno. The city is the capital of Moravia, and it is the perfect combination of history, modern architecture, and culture. An absolute must-see the legendary Villa Tugendhat — the functionalistic gem by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe that was absolutely ahead of its time and is now registered on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. Generally, in Brno, there is something unique on every corner, but you shouldn´t miss out on the neo-Gothic Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul and the Špilberk Castle, which belonged to one of the roughest jails in Europe at the time. You can also experience the amazing atmosphere of the city after the sun sets, and the city comes alive with all its bars and cafés, where locals meet up for a glass of regional wine and a delicious meal after work or school.