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Czech Republic Travel Guide

Cobbled lanes and medieval wonders against a fiery landscape
If there ever was one country that could transport you back in time as soon as you set foot on it, it’s the Czech Republic.
Known to many as Czechia, the Czech Republic is, in its essence, pretty cobblestoned lanes and archaic architecture. But at the same time, it’s so much more. Plumb in the centre of Europe, the Czech Republic is testament to the continent’s intriguing history of raids and sieges, triumphs and conquests. Czech castles today stand as chronicles of these events– turn a corner and you’ll find yourself face to face with Gothic ruins; turn the other and it’s a beautiful summer palace. Extremely traveller-friendly, there are a wide range of options to explore Czech Republic , for group travel and solo plans alike.
The modern country, still holding onto its traditions, is slowly becoming the face of Europe- beautiful and yet, less crowded as compared to its western European counterparts. So browse around, choose a Czech Republic tour package and start planning your trip. Soon, you’ll wonder why you missed out on exploring this gem till now!


Read more
If there ever was one country that could transport you back in time as soon as you set foot on it, it’s the Czech Republic.

Known to many as Czechia, the Czech Republic is, in its essence, pretty cobblestoned lanes and archaic architecture. But at the same time, it’s so much more. Plumb in the centre of Europe, the Czech Republic is testament to the continent’s intriguing history of raids and sieges, triumphs and conquests. Czech castles today stand as chronicles of these events– turn a corner and you’ll find yourself face to face with Gothic ruins; turn the other and it’s a beautiful summer palace. Extremely traveller-friendly, there are a wide range of options to explore Czech Republic , for group travel and solo plans alike.

The modern country, still holding onto its traditions, is slowly becoming the face of Europe- beautiful and yet, less crowded as compared to its western European counterparts. So browse around, choose a Czech Republic tour package and start planning your trip. Soon, you’ll wonder why you missed out on exploring this gem till now!



Location

The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in the heart of Europe. It’s bordered by Poland, Germany, Austria and Slovakia. Formerly Czechoslovakia, a pact in 1993 split the erstwhile country into today’s Czech Republic and Slovakia. Flights from India to the Czech Republic have a duration of at least 8 hours (excluding layovers). 

When to go

The best time to visit the Czech Republic is in May, when the Prague Spring Festival is in its full glory. If a little more peace and quiet is what you’re after, consider visiting in September– the balmy weather encourages leisurely strolls in smaller towns. 

Where to go

Any Czech Republic vacation almost always kicks off with a visit to Prague, the ‘cradle of Czech culture’. This historically significant capital is dotted with an abundance of Gothic architecture, from the iconic Charles Bridge to the St Vitus Cathedral with its spires rising against the horizon. 

Further inland, the culture and heritage of the country takes precedence over the modern façade posed by Prague. South Bohemia and Moravia are must-visits for a slice of life as the locals live it– complete with traditional attire and practices.

For beer connoisseurs looking for trips to the Czech Republic, the country is both a paradise and a museum– some of the world’s most famous brews, including Budvar, Pilsner Urquell and Staropramen, were conceptualised here. 
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At a glance

Currency

Czech Koruna
The Czech Republic uses the Koruna as the official currency. At the time of posting, the Czech currency to INR conversion is 1 CZK  = INR 3.07.

Temperature

In the Czech Republic, temperature reaches its highest in July, at 24ºC. January and February are the coldest months with temperatures going as low as -4ºC. 

Language

Czech
In the Czech Republic, the official language is Czech. German and Russian are also commonly spoken. In more traveller-friendly cities like Prague, you may find English speakers. However, do consider learning a few basic words in Czech to get by.

Weather

The Czech Republic has a continental climate, with colder winters and balmy summers. During winters, cold winds from neighbouring Russia can cause intense frost. Rain is frequent, but not heavy enough to disrupt your Czech Republic travel plans.

Expert travel advice

Travel tips and insider advice that have made the most difference to us, sourced from our
community of like-minded travellers and global experts.

Discover ancient architectural marvels in Prague   

Recommended by Passion Passport

“Prague showcases a myriad of architectural styles ranging from the 10th century to modern day. The wide variety of structural design that the Czech capital features truly reflects the storied history of this enchanting city — so, whether you’re an architecture aficionado or just a lover of beautiful facades, Prague is waiting to be explored.”

The travel community of Passion Passport inspires story tellers from across the globe. It talks about the events, experiences and people they have come across which shaped their perspective towards the world.

Explore caves and an underground river at the Moravian Karst   

Recommended by TG Spring

“The fun part about this part of the trip was being able to explore the numerous caves that covered the steep rock cliffs on either side of the trail. It was an incredibly beautiful walk, and there were some cool opportunities to do a little bit of rock climbing..”

Musings of a young student studying in Prague, who loves sharing his stories on his word press blog about his trip across Europe.

View two countries from one point on Krkonose Mountains   

Recommended by Live Now Dream Later

“Let’s just have a little walk and see what we can find. Two, three hours later we found ourselves at the top of two different countries. See, sometimes you might accidentally hike from the Czech Republic to Poland...”

Live Now, Dream Later is run by Saana, a popular travel blogger, who wants to encourage other dreamers to set out on their own adventures.

Visit the oldest-functioning astronomical clock   

Recommended by The Blonde Abroad

“Within 10 minutes, I found myself (mouth agape) standing in front of Prague’s astronomical clock. Built in the 1400’s, it’s the oldest astronomical clock in the world still functioning. While I had no idea how to properly read the “time,” it was fascinating to gaze at the dials and hands of the clock featuring the sun, moon and signs of the zodiac.”

Like many people who follow their dreams Kiersten Rich (Kiki) a native California girl who spent years travelling solo across the globe to different destinations inspiring the solo women travellers.

Hike through the Bohemian Switzerland National Park   

Recommended by Bobo and Chichi

“Walking through the maze of towering sandstone rock formations here feels like something out of a fantasy. Well, it sort of actually is. Imagine these gorgeous rocks with a blanket of snow and you’re basically at the set of the movie.”

Megan and Scott, a couple from the USA are a trusted a source for travel tips and destination who write stories about their first hand travel experiences from different parts of the world.

Incredible places to visit in Czech Republic

Prague

Plucked straight out of a fairytale, Prague inspires everybody who visits, even serving as the haunting muse to Smetana’s Moldau Symphony. The capital city is the Czech Republic’s jewel in the crown - a potent mix of Gothic splendour, historic art galleries and street culture that gives Rome and London a run for their money! And if there’s one more addition to the extensive list of contributions made by Prague to the world’s cultural fabric, it’s world-class beer.

Charles Bridge

The capital city features one of the most recognisable vistas in any Czech Republic travel guide– the Charles Bridge, overlooking the calm Vltava river and the iconic hilltop castle silhouetted against the sun. The 600-year-old charming bridge lures travellers from all over the world, greeting them with locals playing exciting live music on the bridge. If you want a quieter experience and just enjoy the view and calm, consider visiting at dawn. 

Prague Castle

On the other side of the Vltava river at the end of Charles Bridge is this fairy-tale fortress. Prague Castle is hard to miss even from the heart of the city; its sky-high spires and charming palaces loom against the city skyline. Within the castle walls, you’ll find museums, art galleries and architectural icons that together form a treasure trove of historical and cultural gems. Pick up audio guides to listen to intriguing stories from the past as you stroll along.

St Vitus Cathedral

An ornate edifice that took nearly 600 years to complete, St Vitus is a crucial piece of the Czech Republic’s religious and cultural history, indeed of central Europe. Behind its rich façade lie the baroque-style silver tomb of the famous St John of Nepomuk and an exquisite mosaic of the Last Judgement that dates back to the 14th century. Architecture enthusiasts will have a field day decoding the different styles used to bring this masterpiece to life. 

Prague Astronomical Clock

An unforgettable addition to Prague’s skyline, the Astronomical Clock went under scaffolds until very recently to be given a facelift. The origins of the clock dates back to 1410, so old that it has the sun going around the Earth! Be sure to notice the highlight of the clock– the 12 apostles that emerge from cubbies as the clock strikes. 

The Lennon Wall

A landmark with as much political as cultural significance, the John Lennon wall is both a tribute to the legendary musician and a pacifist symbol for youth. For many years, authorities tried to whitewash the wall, but without any luck. The graffiti and John Lennon’s portrait resurfaced each time. Until very recently, tourists were actively involved in making their own artistic additions to the wall. However, the conversion of the area into an open-air gallery now makes it a sight-only experience (that’s definitely worth having).

Try a Trdelnik

Foodies, tasting this local delight should definitely be on your list of things to do in the Czech Republic! This traditional Czech rolled pastry is peppered with sugar and walnuts, making for the ultimate street snack. Bag a hot one, head to the riverbank and watch the world go by as you indulge in this caramelised goodness.

Český Krumlov

Three things - fun riverside picnics, a massive medieval castle and magic! Repackage Prague- with all its icons - minus the crowd and you have Český Krumlov. This charming town  (UNESCO World Heritage Site) is so small you can cross it in 20 minutes. But those 20 minutes pack in the richest of experiences - in terms of scenery, culture and history. Romance is in the air- you’ll notice it when you set foot here, strolling through cobbled streets, standing on  bridges overlooking the Vltava and the charming castle or just relaxing by the riverbank. If you’re looking to travel to the Czech Republic on a honeymoon package, make sure this underrated gem is part of your plans.

Český Krumlov Castle

Dominating the skyline, the 700-year-old Renaissance-styled Cesky Krumlov castle is not your typical castle. Gigantic and completed in the 13th century, the castle is quirky in the sense that at one point, the moat that surrounds the castle grounds was not filled with water, but rather, bears! 
This was an attempt by the rulers of the castle to associate themselves with the powerful Orsini family - whose name is a pun on the Italian word for bear; orso. Today, to enter the castle, you will need to be part of a pre-booked guided tour. However, do consider a leisurely stroll through the expansive grounds if you’re looking to plan last-minute holidays to the Czech Republic.

Old Town

The old-world atmosphere of Český Krumlov is further amplified by the Old Town, where Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic buildings sit side by side on the riverbank. Explore the Old Town on a self-guided or organised tour to learn about its past and present. If you’re seeking a few moments of solitude, consider sitting for a while in the Minorite Monastery grounds in Latran.

Raft on the Vltava River

An utterly charming way to explore the South Bohemian countryside is to raft along the Vltava River. The inflatable rafts are by far the most interesting option, especially if you’re looking for adventure on your visit to the Czech Republic. Self-guided rafting is the done thing, but watch out for the rapids near the old town which may cause a tumble!

Eggenberg Brewery

The tradition of brewing beer is nearly as old as the town itself, and nowhere is this better exemplified than in the Eggenberg Brewery. The brewery is complex enough and has changed many hands through the course of time to become the state-owned entity it is today. Book a guided group or individual tour to see the behind-the-scenes of the brewing and sample a few choice vintages.

Kutná Hora

Czech Republic tours are incomplete without a day or two spent in Kutná Hora. From churches made entirely of bones to cathedrals that rival Prague’s in beauty and splendour, this idyllic medieval town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, full of historic sights and sounds that one must experience when in the heart of Europe.

Sedlec Ossuary

Imagine a bone church constructed using the skeletal remains of nearly 40,000 people! As grotesque as that may sound, the result is Sedlec Ossuary, a strange yet enthralling display, spearheaded by the massive chandelier that contains one or more of each bone in the human body. Located towards the northeast of the town centre, the ossuary’s bony coat of arms represents the Schwarzenbergs, the family that commissioned this bizarre transformation of a former monastery. 

Cathedral of Saint Barbara

A sister structure to Prague’s majestic St Vitus, the Cathedral of Saint Barbara is a Gothic architectural marvel. The inside of the Cathedral is just as impressive– pay extra attention to the original frescoes, dating back to the 15th century, in the ambulatory chapels. The terrace on the eastern wing of the church is where you can head to witness sweeping views of the town and surrounding areas.

Czech Museum of Silver

Silver ore has been monumental in making this tiny medieval town super rich; it’s only fitting that an entire museum be dedicated to it. Through a guided tour, soak in the history of the region and the importance of silver to its development. The more extended tours allow visitors to strap on a mining hat and head 500m into mine shafts under the town!

Italian Court

What’s known as the Italian Court today is the erstwhile Royal Mint, the financial hub of medieval Czech Republic in the 1300s, when currencies were extensively minted here. The new name was coined by Wenceslas II in favour of the Florentine craftsmen who kick-started trade here. Today, visitors can stroll through the original treasury rooms that house coin and minting exhibits, the Royal Mint, the Royal Chapel and the imposing Audience Hall.

Karlovy Vary

You know you’ve entered the right spa town, when once Russia’s Tsar Peter the Great himself was a regular patron, indulging in treatments back in the 18th century. Welcome to Karlovy Vary!
 
Picture a relaxing holiday and medieval landscapes together, and you have Karlovy Vary. This town should definitely be a part of your Czech Republic holidays plan if you want a rejuvenating break and at the same time, some old-world charm. As one of the country’s first spa towns, Karlovy Vary’s streets are still dotted by grand 19th-century spa edifices.

Try one of the legendary spas

Karlovy Vary houses many spas that would easily rank high as part of any luxury Czech Republic holidays plan. Indulge in all-inclusive spa treatments, or get expert consultations from a resident physician to begin revamping your lifestyle. To experience a quick spa getaway without spending weeks in treatment, sign up for health treatments as an ‘outpatient’.

Soak in thermal springs

The spa town in western Bohemia is full of thermal springs with clear warm water, and apparently has health benefits. The town is often called the jewel of the West Bohemia spa triangle, and has been a hub for treatments and therapies of prominent European figures and celebrities throughout history.

Becherovka

The main feature in all spas and treatments here, Becherovka is a herbal liqueur that is rich and bitter to the taste. The formula to manufacture it is all hush-hush and one of Czech Republic’s best-kept secrets. 
It is said that more than 20 types of herbs and spices are used in creating this potent drink! The cult digestive drink can be consumed as is, or mixed with a tonic or a mixer to dilute the taste. The Jan Becher museum explains all things Becherovka– except, of course, the actual recipe!

Visit the glass factory

Bohemia has produced a great number of glassmakers but none as well-known as Moser. The handmade Moser crystal has more than 160 years of history to its name and is considered a luxury crystal today. In the glass factory, experience first-hand the idea that goes behind glass production and the history of the Moser crystal. The museum exhibits a range of crystal antiques, while the shop is the perfect spot to pick up a crystal ware for yourself.

Vřídelní Kolonada

The spa town is most known for having many distinctive colonnades, of which one is the Vridelni Kolonada. Often considered the symbol of Karlovy Vary, the modernist glass and metal structure houses the most popular hot spring in town. Nearby, a massive geyser gushes to a height of 12 metres and requires a separate pavilion of its own. On a cold day, do stop by the colonnade to warm up and get a few photos while you’re at it.

The Krkonoše National Park

A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Site, the Krkonoše National Park has something for every kind of traveller. For the adventurer, the park presents a plethora of mountain slopes, ridges, waterfalls and carpeted meadows to experience- think skiing, treks and just the vast beautiful outdoors! And for a more relaxing experience, go on leisurely hikes through marked hiking trails.
Within the confines of the park sits the Snow Mountain, the highest peak in the Czech Republic. Naturally, the park doubles up as a prime winter sports stop– sporting enthusiasts will have a field day, discovering slopes of differing grades, and a complex network of cross-country tracks! 

Telč

If you assumed the long list of Czech UNESCO World Heritage Sites comes to an end here, think again. 
Welcome to Telč, a UNESCO Heritage city that sits on the border between Bohemia and Moravia. The façades that line the square will either make you stop and stare, whip out your camera, or do both in that order. Today, the Renaissance and Baroque-style buildings are home to cafés, burger houses and people.
To the north of the main square, a sequestered lane leads to the Small Gate which in turn opens up into a massive English-style park complete with duck ponds that once functioned as part of Telč’s defensive moat.

Třebíč

Housing one of the world’s best-preserved ghettos, Třebíč packs in plenty of history. It’s famous for its Jewish Quarter (UNESCO World Heritage Site) that dates back to the 14th century, just a 5-minute walk away from the city centre. The St Procopius Basilica is yet another UNESCO World Heritage site in the same vicinity.
While Třebíč might not be featured in most all-inclusive holidays to the Czech Republic, it remains that the city is worth dedicating a day or two to.

Bohemian Switzerland National Park

With all the cultural and historical artefacts dotting the map of the Czech Republic, one could almost forget the nature that surrounds the area– almost. The Bohemian Switzerland National Park is a gentle reminder of the fascinating flora and fauna that lies just outside urban civilisation. Of all the beautiful landscapes that the country has to offer, a good chunk of them appear within this park.
For an adventure-packed day, climb up and down the various rock formations, take walking trails to higher vantage points, and hike through forests and cliffs at your leisure. The national park is far from the larger cities, which is exactly why you should take this trip if you have the time. 

Brdy Mountains

Brdy is a mountain massif stretching southwest of Prague in the Czech Republic. The mountain range houses untouched wilderness plumb in the centre of Bohemia, indeed the centre of Europe. This happens to be the only barren area in Bohemia that you can legally visit, so make the best of it.
The natural rise and fall of the terrain made it perfect for the military training once held there, and for its hiking heydays in the 19th century. Today, the military is gone but what remains is a protected, barren landscape that’s sure to stay in your mind for years to come.

The Punkva Caves

The Punkva Caves make you feel like you’re in one of those Hollywood adventure movies, discovering an exotic land. Hop onto a boat and float along the Punkva River, that flows through the cave. One of the best-known labyrinths in this region, the cave system is a natural limestone wonder. The cavernous network of channels, stretching for a kilometre, leads to the bottom of the Macocha Abyss, which is a 140-metre deep sinkhole.
The massive rock cathedrals, comprising of age-old stalagmites and stalactites, are a definite must-see. Plus, if you’re interested in caving / professional diving and you’re looking for more intensive Czech Republic travel packages , Punkva makes it on top of your list.

Top things to do & experience in Czech Republic

Nobody wants to be a tourist. Here are curated experiences in art, music, food, culture and communities
to help you have an authentic and memorable trip.

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