10 places worth visiting in the Czech Republic
If you are just planning your trip to the Czech Republic and have not yet decided on the route, this article is definitely for you. I have tried to collect the most interesting places to visit and popular among tourists in the Czech Republic.
First place always takes the Czech capital – cultural and historical center of the Czech Republic. Prague is home to about 1.3 million people, but that does not prevent it to remain a cozy and compact city whose main attractions – the Old Town, Prague Castle, Charles Bridge – are collected in walking distance. Unlike many other major European cities, Prague was not destroyed by bombing during World War II.
In Prague you can taste inexpensive and the most delicious beer in Europe, to eat cheap and tasty food, visit museums and galleries, buy souvenirs of the famous Czech pomegranate, Czech Cochinor pencils or mole. In addition, Prague is an excellent starting point for visiting nearby European cities – Vienna, Dresden, and Munich.
Olomouc is also called the pearl of eastern Bohemia. The historic center of the city is the most famous and best preserved in the Moravian part of the country. Olomouc is famous as a city of flowers, thanks to the annual flower show, and as the center of the Orthodox Church in Moravia. The old town of Olomouc is under UNESCO protection. Olomouc has more than 25 fountains of fanciful shapes. Do not forget to taste the famous Olomouc cheese.
Few tourists can resist the charms of this cozy little town. Český Krumlov is situated on the Vltava River, and is home to only 16,000 people. The narrow, winding streets and doll’s houses with red tiled roofs give the town the enduring feeling of being in a fairy tale. The town has its own castle, several museums, and St. Vitus Cathedral. When visiting Český Krumlov with a guided tour, you will also stop by one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic, Hluboka nad Vltavou Castle.
4. Karlstejn Castle
Karlštejn Castle (Karlštejn) – one of the most famous castles in the Czech Republic, located 35 km from Prague. The castle was founded in 1348 by Charles IV. Close to the castle there is Karlstejn National Park, quarries Lesser and Greater Bohemian America, as beautiful as the American canyons. The castle is the most visited place in Bohemia after Prague. Previously, it housed the treasures of the Czech kings, which were later moved to Prague Castle.
5. Moravian Karst
Moravian Karst is a very unusual and impressive place, located near the city of Brno. It is one of the largest underground karst massifs in Europe. There are more than 1000 caves in the karst. The deepest place in the karst is the Macocha cleft with a depth of 138 m, which is considered one of the deepest in Europe. On a tour of the Moravian Karst you will travel through its underground river on a boat. This place will please both adults and children.
6. Kutna Hora and Kostnica
Kutná Hora is famous for being the largest place in Bohemia where human skulls and bones are stored, the Kostnice. It is also home to St. Barbara’s Cathedral, the second largest Gothic cathedral in Bohemia after St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague. The cathedral is astonishing in its scale and power. The center of Kutna Hora is under UNESCO protection.
7. Pilsen Brewery
The Czech city of Plzeň boasts the legendary Plzensky Prazdroj brewery that produces the popular Pilsener beer with a bitter taste. It is easy enough to get to the town – by bus or train from Prague. Tours of the brewery are held several times a day, including tours in Russian and English. During the tour you will be told about the production of the most popular Czech brand of beer in the world, and then in the cellar you will try unfiltered beer straight from the barrel! Read more about what awaits you during an excursion to the brewery in our article.
8. Karlovy Vary
Karlovy Vary is without any doubt the most visited by Russians resort in the Czech Republic. The city is suitable both for treatment and for recreation and entertainment: after all, Russian artists often come here for tours, there is a Becherovka museum and a beautiful viewing platform with a funicular. The Karlovy Vary resort specializes in treatment of diseases of gastrointestinal tract, endocrine, nervous system and musculoskeletal apparatus. On its territory there are sanatoriums providing complex treatment, 16 mineral springs, thermal pools.
Thousands of people from all over the Czech Republic travel to Moravia every year. This region is famous for its tradition of winemaking, which dates back hundreds of years. Mutěnice and Milovice are famous for their wine cellars. The best time to visit is in autumn, when the surroundings become even more colourful and the cellars hold a festival of young wine – burčák.
Another wine route runs through the town of Bzenec. There is a must-try wine Bzenecká lipka, famous for its fragrance of linden trees growing in the park of Bzenec castle. The most popular wine route is passing by the town of Znojmo, located in the very south of the country. Here you can sample a variety of popular Moravian wines. When visiting Moravia you should not ignore the castles, of which there are a great many. For example Lednice-Valtine complex, which is made in Baroque and Neo-Renaissance style. In this castle was filmed the movie “The Story of the Necklace”.
The Ardšpach-Teplice Rocks are worth a visit for anyone who wants to enjoy not only the architecture, but also the amazing Czech nature on their trip through the Czech Republic. Ardšpach-Teplice Rocks are located 130 km north of Prague. The rocks were formed by erosion by water and air thousands of years ago. The rocks extend over an area of 28 square kilometers. You can come here for one day, or go hiking for 3-4 days, thanks to the nature is nice, and the views are amazing.
As you have seen, the Czech Republic is full of interesting places, except for Prague, both for nature lovers and fans of architecture. If you come here for at least a week, I suggest you visit some of them. If during your stay in the Czech Republic you visited places not listed here that struck you, please write in the comments.
You can get to most of the places on the list on your own or as part of one of the tours in Russian. Only my advice to you, choose a reliable tour company. If you want to get to these places on your own, I recommend buying bus tickets in advance on the Infobus website or renting a car. You can book a car on the Myrentacar website, which compares prices from the local best rental companies and where you can rent a car without a deposit or credit card.
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What to see in Czech Republic, except Prague – 14 the most interesting places
Densely populated country located in a natural area rich in water, mountains and forests, the Czech Republic remains after the collapse a popular tourist destination. Many beautiful spas, nature reserves, unique attractions, in addition to the glittering Prague, attracts travelers from all over the world. There are a number of authentic cities and towns in the Czech Republic that are full of its own charm and are definitely worth a visit.
Kutna Hora and Kostnica
Every Czech knows about the sacral place on the outskirts of Kutná Hora, Sedlec, which conveys how short the earthly life of man is. This is the famous, unique church of Kostnica, where everything is made of human bones: crosses, chandeliers, decorations of arches and vaults (rumor has it that 40 thousand bones were used). The history of the extraordinary church began in the 13th century, when the local monastery cemetery became a holy ground, where representatives of all the nobility dreamed of being buried.
In 2 centuries, the cemetery had nowhere else to grow, so they began to bury secondary: they dug up the bones and put them in the chapel. One of the monks laid out of bleached bones 6 high pyramids – with them in 1870 carver F. Rintu began to decorate the church. Now Kostnica is of great interest to tourists as an unusual shrine, where you can think about eternal things and reconsider something in your life.
Not only beer lovers know that the best beer drink is made in the Czech Republic, proof of which can be seen in the Pilsen Brewery. One of the oldest and most famous Czech breweries is located in the city of Pilsen. Although now there is a modern brewery with new production technology, but the “heart” of the plant – the old workshops of the old brewery are still alive, they still brew beer. Tourists become acquainted with the stages of brewing, go down into the vast cellars, where the famous drink is brewed in wooden tubs. A visit to the Museum of Brewing, where the history of beer production and the lives of those who stood at the origins is vividly illustrated, will be very interesting. At the end of the tour everyone is given the opportunity to taste the “live”, unfiltered beer. Visitors give only positive feedback on their visit.
Everyone who comes to the blessed Karlovy Vary remembers Charles VI, who was once enchanted by the lush greenery, thermal springs with clouds of steam and the extraordinary beauty of this place (15th century). It was on his orders that a village was founded here, which later became a famous spa resort with 12 kinds of mineral healing waters. A majestic monument to the discoverer of this beautiful corner of Bohemia was built in gratitude. Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad) has been a popular spa resort for many celebrities, not only as a therapeutic spa, but also as a town with a special pacifying atmosphere that added to the moral cleansing of the soul.
The streets buried in luxurious greenery and beautiful flowers, surrounding charming scenery, forest park zone, great hotels – everything here delights and sets you in a positive mood. Interesting places to visit are the Geyser and Mill Colonnades, St. Mary Magdalene Church, St. Peter and Paul’s Church, Goethe’s Tower, Jan Becher Museum, Museum of Regional History, Dvořák Gardens, and more. Having visited Karlovy Vary once, you can fall in love with it for a lifetime.
Eastern region of the Czech Republic with rich history was known already in 4 centuries BC as the area inhabited by the ancient Celts. Moravia passed from one country to another many times, and only since 1993 it became an administrative unit of Bohemia. Such a historical journey could not but have an impact on the image of the region, which is why its cities have so many ancient castles, cathedrals, churches and palaces. In Ostrava the main attraction is the Castle of Silesia Ostrava, surrounded by picturesque nature. We recommend visiting Ostrava and admiring the surrounding scenery.
Cathedral of Divine Savior – an object of tourist pilgrimage. Špilberk Castle in Brno, the first building around which the city began to grow, captivates with its beauty. The mysterious Castle of the White Lady – Pernštejn will leave a deep impression. These are just a few examples of historical monuments in Moravia, they are in every city of the region.
The amazing natural reserve Moravian Karst is the largest karst area in Middle Europe (more than 1100 karst grottoes). Tourists can spend a very interesting time here, unraveling mysterious formations. There are 4 karst caves on the Punkva River available to visit, amazing with their stalagmites, stalactites, huge underground corridors and abysses. The karst gorges Empty and Dry Trough are fascinating, and a walk through them is a journey into the unknown. The main enigma of Moravian Karst – Rudická sinkhole charms and amazes with mysterious riverbed of Jedovnická, which flows underground and gushes out after 12 km. The rich flora and fauna are the treasures of the reserve. Moravian Karst is protected by the state.
The small charming little town of Olomouc (100 thousand square meters) on the banks of the Morava is a true “museum of antiquities”. Its history began with a military camp, then a mighty fortress, which became the center of Olomouc an appanage principality and the capital of Moravia county. Having survived the ravages of war, the city was reborn from the ruins and is now one of the most beautiful cities in Bohemia with a well-preserved historic center, well-developed culture and educational system. Three large squares and their surroundings make up the old town, the historical core from which Olomouc grew.
In this district there are many beautiful monuments of the past: the 25-meter column of the Holy Trinity, City Hall with a Gothic astronomical clock and a chapel, a magnificent building of neoclassical architecture – Moravian Theatre, quite famous in Bohemia, St. Wenceslas Cathedral and others. A trip to Olomouc is a journey into the medieval history of Bohemia.
The natural wonder – the rocky town of Ardspach, located in the south-east of the Czech Republic, has become a place of pilgrimage for tourists wishing to penetrate the mysteries of the bizarre rock formations. Hiking trails (3.5 km long) here began to be built in the 19th century, conventionally dividing the piles of rock into a suburb and a town. The paths are marked with signs in green and equipped with signposts so that no one can get lost. Over two centuries, each distinctive rock image has been given a name by analogy with the object it resembles.
In the suburb there are rocks Jug, Sugar Loaf (height 52 m) and other interesting objects. Gothic Gate (1839) leads to the Rock City from which there begins a gorge with a well-built path for tourists leading to the Elephant’s Square (rock formations remind of ears and trunks of elephants). Rocks Tooth, Devil’s Bridge, Madonna, waterfall Silver Creek will impress your imagination and will be remembered for a long time.
Brandýs nad Labem
At 30 km from Prague, there is a beautiful and picturesque village – Brandis nad Labem Castle, which embodies several centuries of Czech history, starting from the 14th century. The representatives of many noble families have owned the architectural and park miracle by turns, and since 1918 the castle is owned by the state as a valuable historical and cultural monument. It is impossible to describe in words the beauty of all constructions, paintings, sculptural images, park landscape. You have to see it to appreciate the cultural and material value of all the magnificence. Today, in this “Renaissance and Empire beauty” are held various festivals, celebrations, chamber concerts, wedding ceremonies. No one leaves here disappointed.
The Holocaust theme will never disappear from people’s memory. Small Czech town Terezín is an evidence of it, as well as recent chilling movie “Cold Tango” by Pavel Chuchrai (you are welcome to see it). The ancient 17th-century fortress first served as a prison, and at the beginning of the 41-45 war it became the first Nazi concentration camp. Here, during the ethnic cleansing by the Austro-Hungarian authorities several tens of thousands of Russians who did not want to convert to Catholicism were exterminated. When the Nazis took possession of Terezín, they expelled the entire local population in order to turn the fortress into a Jewish ghetto in which German and Austrian Jews were taken under the pretext of deportation to the east.
In reality they were sent to Auschwitz for extermination. 33 thousand people were burned in Terezin; of 140 thousand who found themselves in the ghetto, only 3 thousand survived. Nowadays there is a Memorial complex here; when you walk through it you can clearly imagine in what inhuman conditions those unfortunate condemned were held and what tortures they experienced. There are memorial plaques on the huge cemetery, symbols of grief. There is a Columbarium, a hall for ceremonies, the Ghetto Museum, and a house of prayer. Each of those present feels an emotional protest against the repetition of such atrocities.
More commonly known as Marienbad, Marienbad is a wonderful spa resort, which received this status in the 19th century, having evolved from a small town to a fashionable European spa in 2 decades. There are many beautiful modern buildings, but there are also interesting ancient architectural monuments, inherited from past eras. One of them is the Tepla Monastery (end of the 12th century) with early Gothic and later Baroque buildings. Within the walls of the monastery there are valuable rarities – ancient books, which you can see.
Perfectly preserved monument of architecture of the 17th century is the authentic castle-museum Kunzvart, in which the exhibits are the original furniture and things of previous owners. There are many churches in the town, among them the Church of St. Vladimir and the Catholic Church of the Virgin Mary deserve special attention. The resort is associated with the names of Chopin and Goethe – there are their museums, which have become popular tourist sites. Visitors love to walk under the Colonnade in the center of town, where there is a spectacular Singing Fountain. The beautiful parks of Mariánské Lázně (Geological Park, Bohéminium) are very interesting to visit.
Benátky nad Jizerou
The main attraction of this Czech town, which brings tourists here – a palace castle from 16th century, where Emperor Rudolf II and the court alchemist and astronomer Brahe lived for some time. It is no coincidence that there is a laboratory, in which a plague cure was allegedly invented, and an observatory. One of the castle’s exhibitions tells about the life of the scientist, the second is devoted to the stay in the castle of the great composer Smetana. Many people are interested in the Toy Museum in the castle, which presents unique antique dolls, various cars and scooters. Attract the attention of tourists are local churches: Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Chapel of the Holy Family, Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
Captivating tale of Middle Ages opens to visitors of Cesky Krumlov, charming look with its medieval appearance from the first steps. Its location is also astonishing: The blue ribbon of the Vltava River zigzags through the streets and squares of the town, dividing it into islands. Inimitably picturesque view of Krumlov from above: it really reminds of a fairy tale city where the distant past comes to life. The Hluboka Castle (13th century) by the Vltava River is unequivocally beautiful and unique – a masterpiece of architecture and an important historical monument.
There is another castle in the very heart of the town – Krumlov (beginning of the 13th century), which has preserved everything in its original form, for which it was given the status of a state reserve (1989). Plaschowy 3-level bridge – a unique multifunctional building – is a popular place of the town. It is worth visiting St. Vitus’ Church – a symbol of magnificence and power (14th century), still active. Worth seeing is the old Cistercian monastery Vyshy Brod (13th century) – a monument of national culture, still active.
Hluboka nad Vltavou Castle
In Český Krumlov, on the rocky banks of the Vltava River, there is a truly architectural “pearl” of the Czech Republic, erected here around the middle of the 13th century. The last reconstruction of the 17th century, undertaken by the aristocrats Schwarzenbergers, gave the castle a neo-Gothic look that is irresistibly beautiful. The castle can be admired as a real work of art. The rich tapestry of Flemish tapestries, paintings by the famous painter Hamilton, a unique granite fireplace, golden sleighs, luxurious furniture, cutlery, crockery – everything inside is admirable.
Not far from Prague (28 kilometers) on a high, hard-to-reach rock rises the fairy-tale Gothic Karlštejn Castle (Karlstejn Stone). Next to it flows picturesque mountain river Berounka. It was no accident that Charles VI chose this place for his residence – none of his many enemies could besiege the fortress. After the death of Charles VI, a sad fate befell the castle: the owners changed, but no one cared about its preservation, until it was transferred to the state. After a grandiose reconstruction the castle with the Imperial Palace, Mariana Tower, Great Tower and Chapel of the Holy Cross became a place of pilgrimage of tourists. You can come here by train, regular bus, or tourist bus. From the railway station to the castle leads way, equipped with signs.