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Czech Republic

Cobbled lanes and medieval wonders against a fiery landscape
If there ever was a country that could transport you back in time as soon as you step foot into it, it’s the Czech Republic.

Known to many as Czechia, the Czech Republic is all of its cobblestoned lanes and archaic architecture but at the same time, it’s so much more. The long-standing country, plumb in the centre of Europe, is part and parcel of the continent’s tangled 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 summer palace. Czech Republic group traveland solo plans are in abundance nowadays, not least because of how traveller-friendly the country is.

The modern country, still holding onto many traditions, is slowly becoming the face of Europe– plan a Czech Republic tour packageand you’ll soon see why!

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

Known to many as Czechia, the Czech Republic is all of its cobblestoned lanes and archaic architecture but at the same time, it’s so much more. The long-standing country, plumb in the centre of Europe, is part and parcel of the continent’s tangled 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 summer palace. Czech Republic group traveland solo plans are in abundance nowadays, not least because of how traveller-friendly the country is.

The modern country, still holding onto many traditions, is slowly becoming the face of Europe– plan a Czech Republic tour packageand you’ll soon see why!

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 Republictake upwards of 8 hours. 

When to go

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

Where to go

A Czech Republic vacationis almost always kicked off with a visit to Prague, the ‘cradle of Czech culture’. The historically significant capital city is dotted with an abundance of Gothic architecture, from the iconic Charles Bridge to the St Vitus Cathedral with its spires 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 on trips to the Czech Republic, the country is both paradise and 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 currency is the Czech Koruna. At the time of posting, the Czech currency to INR conversion is 1 CZK  = INR 3.07.

Temperature

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
The official Czech Republic language is Czech. German and Russian are also commonly spoken. In the 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 climate is continental, 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 travelplans.

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.

View two countries from 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Incredible places to visit in Czech Republic

Prague

The city that served as a haunting muse to Smetana’s MoldauSymphony, Prague is the Czech Republic’s jewel in the crown. The capital city is a potent mix of Gothic compositions, historic art galleries and street culture that gives Rome and London a run for their money. And if there’s anything else that Prague has contributed to the cultural fabric of the world, it’s sterling-grade beer.

Charles Bridge

The capital city features one of the most recognisable vistas in any Czech Republic travel guide– the renowned Charles Bridge over the languid Vltava river leading up to the iconic hilltop castle silhouetted against the sun. The iconic 14th century stone construction usually has half of the world’s population on it with cameras and tripods, though, so if you want to be sufficiently mesmerised by the vista, consider visiting at dawn.

Prague Castle

On the other side of the Vltava river at the end of Charles Bridge is the fairy-tale fortress, the Prague Castle. The exemplary structure is hard to miss even from the heart of the city– its sky-high spires and orderly palaces loom significantly into the city skyline. The castle walls house myriad museums, art galleries and architectural icons that together form a treasure trove of historical and cultural gems. Pick up audio guides to be regaled with stories of 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. Within the rich façade lie the baroque-style silver tomb of 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 construct the structure piecemeal.

Prague Astronomical Clock

An unforgettable addition to Prague’s skyline, the Astronomical Clock went under scaffolds until very recently to be given a facelift of an extent not seen since WW II. The restored clock dates back to 1410 and has seen history, turbulence and strife take place in the streets before it. 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, in MaláStrana, is a tribute to the iconic musician but also a pacifist symbol for youth. For many years, authorities tried to whitewash the wall, but the graffiti and John Lennon’s portrait resurfaced each time. Until very recently, tourists were active in adding their own marks to the wall, but the conversion of the area into an open-air gallery makes it a sight-only experience (that’s still worth having).

Try a Trdelnik

Gastronomes, add this local food item to your list of things to do in the Czech Republic. Trdelnik is a traditional Czech rolled pastry that’s laden with sugar and walnuts, making for the ultimate street snack. Bag a hot one and sit down by Charles Bridge or on the banks of the river to watch the world go by while you indulge in this caramelised goodness.

ČeskýKrumlov

Repackage Prague, with all its icons,into a smaller size, shift it to the South of Bohemia and you’ll have ČeskýKrumlov. The picturesque town is so little you could cross from one side to another in 20 minutes– but those 20 minutes will be the richest culturally and historically. If you’re embarking on a Czech Republic honeymoon package, do ensure this underrated gem is on the itinerary.

ČeskýKrumlov Castle

ČeskýKrumlov’s horizon is dominated by an eponymous castle in true Renaissance style. Completed in the 13th century, the castle was given a facelift under the Rožmberk and Schwarzenberg in the 16th and 18th centuries. To enter, 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 there on last-minute holidays to the Czech Republic.

ČeskýKrumlov Old Town

The storybook atmosphere of ČeskýKrumlov is further amplified in 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 after 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 for those looking for adventure as they visit 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 that 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 toursare incomplete without a day or two spent in Kutná Hora. The idyllic town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that once rivalled Prague in importance. Today, the medieval city is chock full of historic sights and sounds that one must experience when in the heart of Europe.

Sedlec Ossuary

Towards the northeast of the town centre sits the Sedlec Ossuary, a bone church constructed using the skeletal remains of nearly 40,000 people. As grotesque as that may sound, the result is a strange yet enthralling display, spearheaded by the massive chandelier that contains one or more of each bone in the human body. The bony coat of arms represents theSchwarzenbergs, 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 stunning views of the town and surrounding areas.

Czech Museum of Silver

Silver ore has been monumental to the enrichment of this little town; it’s only fitting, then, that an entire museum be dedicated to the element within the Hrádek. 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 that begun work in the 1300s. The new name was coined by Wenceslas II in favour of the Florentine craftsmen brought in to kick-start the trade. 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

Key Karlovy Vary in your Czech Republic holidaysplan for a rejuvenating break in a medieval landscape. As one of the country’s spa towns, Karlovy Vary’s streets are still dotted by grand 19th-century spa edifices. Russia’s Tsar Peter the Great himself was once a regular patron to this town, indulging in treatments back in the 18th century.

Try one of the legendary spas

Karlovy Vary is home to many spas that would rank high on a luxury Czech Republic holidaysplan. 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 on an ‘outpatient’ basis.

Carlsbad

The spa town in western Bohemia is chock full of thermal springs gushing clear warm water with healthy properties. It’s often referred to as the jewel of the West Bohemia spa triangle, and has delivered treatments and therapies to some of the most prominent European figures through history.

Becherovka

A prominent feature in all spas and treatments in Karlovy Vary, Becherovka is a herbal liqueur that is rich and bitter to the taste. The formula of the liqueur is one of Czech Republic’s best-kept secrets. The cult digestive drink can be consumed as is, or mixed with a tonic or 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 atmosphere of 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.

VřídelníKolonada

The spa town is most known for its distinctive colonnades, of which one is the VridelniKolonada.Often considered the symbol of Karlovy Vary, the modernist glass and metal structure houses the most popular hot spring in the 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 is located in the mountain range of the same name. The park is home to complex ecosystems that data back to the glacial ages. For the adventurer, the park presents a smorgasbord of mountain slopes, ridges, waterfalls and carpeted meadows to experience. The marked hiking trails are perfect for those dipping their toes in the sport.

Within the confines of the national park sits the Snow Mountain, which is the highest peak in the Czech Republic. Naturally, then, the park doubles up as a prime winter sports stop– sporting enthusiasts can look forward to slopes of differing grades, and a complex network of cross-country tracks.

Punkva Caves

One of the best-known labyrinths in the Moravian Karst, the Punkva Caves are 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. From there, visitors typically like to board a boat and float along the subterranean Punkva river.

The massive rock cathedrals comprised of age-old stalagmites and stalactites are a definite must-see during more intensive Czech Republic travel packages.

Třebíč

Třebíč is a Moravian city most defined by its near-perfect Jewish Quarter, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Quarter dates back to the 14th century and is one of the best-preserved ghettos in the world, only 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 will likely be passed over in all-inclusive holidays to the Czech Republicfor the country’s more dazzling options, it remains that the city is worth dedicating a day or two to.

Telč

If it seemed that the Czech Republic had exhausted its World Heritage quota so far, think again. Telč is a UNESCO Heritage city than 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 Telč’s defensive moat.

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 peacefully reside outside the boundaries of urban civilisation. Of all the magnificent landscapes the country has to offer, a good chunk of them appear within this national park.
For an adventure-packed day, climb up and down the rock formations, take the walking trails to higher vantage points, and hike through forests and cliffs at your leisure. The national park may be far from the larger cities, but it definitely warrants a 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.

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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