Czech Republic, or Czechia, is a must-visit for those traveling in Central Europe. Few, however, venture outside of Prague. In fact, there are tons of hidden gems to explore and things to do in Czech Republic apart from its capital.
After the collapse of the Habsburg Monarchy, Czechoslovakia proclaimed its independence in 1918. The country then split into two in 1993: Czech Republic and Slovakia. This dissolution is sometimes referred to as the Velvet Divorce, named after its entirely peaceful breakup without any violence.
Here are some quick facts to put this Central European jewel into perspective:
Czech Republic in numbers
- 27,000+ miles of cycling routes
- 25,000+ miles of walking trails
- 200+ castles, chateaux, and monuments
- 104 golf courses
- 40+ protected historical towns
- 33 spas
- 26 protected landscape areas
- 12 mountain ranges higher than 3,000ft
- 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- 6 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves
- 4 national parks
Perhaps you’ve never visited Czech Republic, but you’ve sipped on a Pilsner, gotten your kremrole fix, or watched the epic 600th Anniversary Show of the Prague Astronomical Clock on Youtube.
Or maybe you’ve already crossed it off your list. You’ve strolled down the Charles Bridge, roamed the grounds of Cesky Krumlov Castle, and pranced around Prague’s Old Town Square.
But what about the other many faces of Czech Republic?
Whether it’s your first or fiftieth time in Czech Republic, 2018 calls for a visit because it marks the country’s 100th year of independence.
Things to do in Czech Republic
1. Experience Prague’s coffee scene
If you think Paris is the only city known for its café scene, think again! There’s something called the Prague café phenomenon that has been brewing since the late 19th century.
The Czechs love coffee so much that they’ve dedicated an annual festival promoting the coffee culture: the Prague Coffee Festival happens every October.
2. Indulge in the finer things in life
Have you considered Prague as a luxury destination? It has more than 50 five-star hotels! It’s not just the hotels that are plush, the restaurants are just as fun and opulent.
3. Venture off Prague’s beaten path
Prague is much more than just the Old Town, Charles Bridge, and Prague Castle. Check out the up and coming neighbourhood of Vršovice or Bohemian district of Žižkov. While you’re at it, add the upscale Vinohrady, picturesque Letná, and trendy Holešovice to your itinerary.
4. Escape the crowds in Moravia
In the easternmost part of Czech Republic lies Moravia, a historical region known for its castles and chateaux, vineyards, and peculiar folklore traditions. You’ll find few tourists here. Consider Brno, Olomouc, Kroměříž, Znojmo, and Mikulov as points of interest.
5. Sip on Moravian wines
Czech wines may come as a surprise to some, but its international success and presence are growing. Wines are produced predominantly in South Moravia, where dry and semi-dry whites and rosés are very popular.
The best way to go about wine tasting is to bike from winery to winery. You can also pamper yourself with wine baths in spa towns, parts of Moravia, and even Prague.
6. Treat yourself to spa and wellness
Czech Republic is home to a number of natural therapeutic springs. These hot springs are said to have magical healing powers, curing anything from poor digestion to brain tumours.
Notable spa towns include Františkovy Lázně, Luhačovice, Jánské Lázně, Mariánské Lázně and the most famous Karlovy Vary. Each is characterized by unique natural landscapes and architecture.
7. Immerse yourself in beer
Did you know that the Czechs have the highest beer consumption per capita in the world? While the famous Pilsner beer was first produced in 1842, the first Czech brewery existed way back in 993!
Go brewery hopping to learn about different brewing methods and taste all sorts of beers. Multiple beer festivals also take place throughout the year.
8. Pig out on culinary delights
You probably wouldn’t find Czech cuisine next to healthy eating in the dictionary, but you’ve come to the right place if you enjoy hearty comfort food. They go all out on soups and sauces, meats, and lots of potatoes. Try Czech specialties like kulajda (creamy potato soup) and Svíčková (steak with vegetable sauce). Of course, you’ll be able to devour other Central European food like schnitzel, stuffed dumplings, and goulash.
9. Marvel at world renowned architecture and designs
Czech Republic is one of the few countries in the world where you’ll find a variety of architectural styles all in one place. Get swept away by Gothic cathedrals, Renaissance palaces, and Baroque chapels. Learn about the influential Art Nouveau and modern-age Cubism. Futuristic structures like the Dancing House are also on the rise.
10. Soothe your ears with acoustics
From traditional bohemian, to classical, to jazz, music is a big deal in Czech Republic. It is the birth place of famed composers from the 19th century like Leoš Janáček and Antonín Dvořák. Summer is undoubtedly the best time to visit due to all the music festivals from May to August.
11. Get out stay out
Biking and hiking are huge in Czech Republic. In fact, it’s comprised of some of the most well-marked hiking and cycling trails in the world. Check out the Prague-Vienna Greenways, a 250-mile long path between the two cities. Rafting, golfing, and rock climbing are also sought after by outdoor enthusiasts.
12. Let Bohemia’s natural wonders take your breath away
The Czech countryside is so fairytale-like you’ll have to pinch yourself. Explore the magical Bohemian Switzerland National Park, peculiar rock city of Adršpach, and mythical caves of the Moravian Karst.
The unspoilt beauty of Czech’s landscape has inspired many painters, poets, and even film makers!
Will you be joining Czech Republic’s centennial celebrations in 2018?
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Czech Tourism. All photos are courtesy of the tourism board.
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