8 Best Places to Visit in the Czech Republic

Formerly known as the Czech Republic, Czechia has almost become synonymous with its capital city of Prague. The Czech Republic has a rich history and culture. It has been influenced by many of its nearby countries and local powers such as Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary. The Czech Republic is small but mighty and packed with plenty of tourist attractions that are ready to be explored. Today, the Czech Republic, or Czechia (its short-form name), is a bustling country with over 10 million citizens.

The country's compelling culture and beautiful sites have attracted many foreigners. There are around half a million ex-pats living in the Czech Republic, which has made the country very English friendly and easy to navigate.

best places to visit in the Czech Republic

Here are some of the best sites and activities for those who are lucky enough to visit the Czech Republic:

1. Český Krumlov

One of the bigger municipalities - Vyšší Brod is on the edge of the mountains. The most famous because of The Cistercian Monastery.

The Ceský Krumlov Castle dates back to the 13th century and is incredibly well-preserved for its age. This is due to the fact that this castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Consequently, much of what stands today has been improved upon in the 17th century. Areas that received renovations include the Rosenberg Ballroom, the Renaissance Hall, the Royal Apartments, and more.

However, the building has always stayed true to its architectural roots and is a powerful display of Czechian history. The Ceský Krumlov Castle is the highlight of the city’s old town center and worth the stop for anyone in the area. It is common for tourists and locals alike to visit the castle as a day trip away from Prague, the city’s capital and a tourist hotspot.

The castle features incredible works such as historic collections of paintings and tapestries, along with fine décor and period furniture. These are located in the castle's old Baroque theater that was built in 1682.

2. Kutná Hora

The Czech Republic has unfortunately been home to many wars, uprisings, and is sought-after territory in general. So the people of this country have chosen to honor their dead in a fascinating way. All across the country, there are a number of locations that are dedicated to preserving the remains of those who have fought and died in war as well as those who were killed by rampant diseases such as the plagues that marred Europe.

The 'Bone Church' or the Gothic All Saints Chapel in the small town of Sedlec is arguably the most famous of these sites. The remains of approximately 70,000 people who died between the 14th and 16th century have been displayed in a variety of fascinating ways. They are honored in coats of arms, chalices, and bells.

This site is beyond profound and shows the powerful spirit of the Czech people and their ability to create beauty out of tragedy while also remembering the dead.

3. Kroměříž

The city of Kroměříž is located on the Eastern side of the country. It is a great way to experience the breathtaking signature architectural style of the Czech Republic. A must-see location in this city is the beautiful Flower Garden, which is also known as Libosad.

This garden is considered one of the best-preserved in the world. Its crisp and healthy plants, shrubs, and vibrant flowers are all displayed in pristine geometrical shapes that highlight the garden's statues, fountains, and colonnades that radiate a true sense of Baroque beauty.

Additionally, the city of Kroměříž offers more architectural grandeur in the form of the Lendnic-Valtice Cultural Landscape. This is an enormous UNESCO-inscribed area filled with elegant palaces, colorful gardens, and more.

4. Karlovy Vary

When it comes to planning an excursion from Prague, the spa town of Karlovy Vary is undoubtedly one of the most interesting options. Located to the west of Prague, getting to Karlovy Vary will give you about two hours of travel, but after visiting this historic spa, you will feel that it was worth it. Karlovy Vary in German is known as Karlsbad.

If you start the visit to the north of the city, from the entrance coming from Prague, the first essential point is the Dvorak Park, where you will find the first colonnades that house sources of medicinal waters. This is the Colonnade of the Park. It is a strange sensation, typical of a spa, to be able to drink directly from a source of naturally aerated water that comes out hot.

Following the walk along the river, you will arrive at a large esplanade where the so-called Colonnade of the Mill is located. A little further on, along the pedestrian street you will find the Colonnade of the Market. At the end of the pedestrian promenade that runs along the river you will reach one of the most significant buildings of this spa town, the Gran Hotel Pupp.

Behind this famous hotel you have an alley from where you can climb the Tower of Diana, either walking or using a rack train. The mineral water with bottled gas from Karlovy Vary, as well as the Becherovka liqueur, is famous throughout the Czech Republic. As a souvenir to buy during your visit, it is typical to buy some ceramic jars with the appropriate handle to test the mineral waters that spring from the springs, as well as the Moser glassware.

The town of Karlovy Vary may be known for its fine resorts but it also remains one of Europe’s most prominent glassmaking centers. Although this may sound like a dated industry, glassmaking has continued to thrive in Europe for over 150 years. The Karlovy Vary Moser Visitor Center is a part of the Moser glassworks, which dates back to 1857.

This center illustrates the importance of decorative glass and the way in which it has been incorporated into Czech, and global, design and culture. At the Moser Visitor Center, you can get a firsthand look at glassblowers at work on the factory floor as well as learn about the history of glassmaking.

Additionally, if you take the tour, you will be led through the Glass Museum. You can view over 2,000 examples of glass creations that are incredibly complex yet delicate that are truly awe-inspiring. This site is perfect for those who love to get to know a country through its art as well as love some exploration and adventure.

5. Hluboká nad Vltavou

Czech people are outdoor-lovers. Most of the locals love to escape the towns and European cities. They travel to go hiking or skiing in the beautiful natural mountains and lakes which are dotted around the country. Perhaps this love of exercising in the outdoors explains the heavy local diet of meat and dumplings, washed down by gallons of delicious locally-produced beers.

Hluboká is a beautiful place and the 19th century chateau is imposing with the authentic luxurious rooms, but it’s rather for those who are interested in the things like that. There is also an important gallery of the Czech medieval painting and sculpture having some of the most beautiful pieces of the European art.

The core part is the biggest national park in Czechia and extensive parts of this area have lower level of the protection. The area creates a huge protected area together with Germany. It's one of the very few places in Czechia where you really feel like in a wildlife.

This part of the country is specific. Forget the classic Czech cultural landscape, where you basically see from one municipality to another. Even historically, Šumava was one of the least populated areas in the country, not only due to its remoteness, but also due to its relatively harsh climate. So most people live on the edges of the mountains.

6. Pilsen

Sušice, is the closest bigger town to Šumava mountains. It's called 'The Gate of Šumava'.

In traditional Czech cuisine, game, deer, roe, fallow deer, hare, fishes is the most common trout or carp (Christmas eve traditional food). It is necessary to mention the popularity of mushrooms in the Czech cuisine in various sauces, soups, including pickled mushrooms. Also fried cheese with potatoes is very popular.

Various kinds of dumplings are the most popular side dishes in Czechia. They can be breaded, not breaded, potato and filled dumplings, including sweet filled dumplings with fruits - the most popular are plum or strawberry dumplings with cottage cheese, butter, and sugar.

Soups has an important role. They are many kinds of soups: beef, chicken or vegetable broth with noodles, liver or nutmeg dumplings, potato soup in many local varieties (e.g. Kulajda is a traditional soup containing cream, spices, mushrooms, egg (often a quail's egg), dill and potatoes or kyselo, made from rye sourdough, mushrooms, caraway, and fried onion.

Garlic soup (česnečka), served in the restaurant as some others in the loaf of bread, cabbage soup, pea, bean, lentil soup, goulash soup, pork tripe soup, tomato, mushroom, onion soups cannot be forgotten.

Original snacks of the Czech cuisine are above all pastries (salty and sweet as rohlíky, koláče and buchty), Czech potato pancakes, Czech finger sandwiches, Prague ham: a type of brine-cured, stewed, and mildly beechwood-smoked pork boneless ham, Shpikachki (špekáčky) - type of sausage, made from finely cured mixture of pork and beef with smoked bacon, pickled sausages (called utopenci, which means drowned) and fishes (zavináče), cheeses and vegetables (well known Znojmo pickled cucumbers), beer cheese, ripened cheeses (well known Olomoucké tvarůžky etc.).

Almost inherent beverage in Czechia is beer, but also Moravian (South-Eastern part of Czechia) wines.

7. Ostrava

Take a solo trip outside of Prague and discover the neglected city of Ostrava. Czechia’s third largest city is always in the shadow of the more glamorous capital but has its own unique charm. Fantastic restaurants, friendly people and a very low cost of living make this a great off-the-beaten-track destination for solo travellers.

8. Prague

And of course, no tourist attraction list for the Czech Republic is complete without Prague. As avid traveler Jeremy Wien describes the city, "The beauty and history of Prague are an incredible combination; walking in this city is a magical experience. Practically speaking, it's also much more affordable than most other major European cities."

Prague earned the title of "city of a thousand spires". Its thousand-year-old skyline has beautiful views of domed churches and old towers that combine to make Prague one of the world's architectural gems. Wenceslas Square is one of the best areas to display the city’s combination of Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance, and Art Nouveau styles.

Kalyan Panja