The Czech Republic’s exciting history has created a culture that is unique in Europe; it’s a place where East truly meets West. Once the crown jewel of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it languished as part of the communist bloc before its peaceful liberation in 1989. Since then, the country has swiftly become one of the most fashionable destinations in the world, with celebrated architecture, inspiring landscapes and fantastic experiences that are hard to find in one go anywhere else in Europe.
The majority of first-time visitors to the Czech Republic will begin their adventure in Prague. The City of a Thousand Spires is one of the most beautiful in the world, where gothic architecture soars above streets ringing with centuries of musical heritage from Mozart to Dvorák, who launched his career here. The city overflows with theatres and music venues. With plenty of sights to see, including the historic and atmospheric Charles Bridge and the Old Town Square, Prague should be the start of any Czech adventure. Prague Castle, the largest castle complex in the world, dominates the heart of the city and is almost a town within a town. You can wander here several times during your city break and discover something new every time among the galleries, museums, chapels and the impressive St Vitus Cathedral.
Beyond the capital, the Czech Republic is home to several beautiful and unspoilt national parks. Visit the Bohemian Switzerland National Park, with its sublime sandstone landscapes, and Krkonose National Park, which has the highest mountain range in the country for a true taste of the Czech countryside. And there is plenty more to discover.
While exploring the country, you will frequently come across reminders of its storied history. Jaw-dropping castles will appear as if by magic from among the country’s forests, some clinging precariously to hillsides. Many can be visited on excursions from Prague, and there are lots to choose from, but to pick just one it would have to be Hluboká Castle. One of the most visited in the Czech Republic, it sits above a stretch of the Vltava river and is steeped in royal history dating from the 13th century and King Premysl Otakar II. Today, after several additions and renovations, it is a trophy to neo-gothic style with a facade to rival all fairy tales, with truly spellbinding, English-style gardens. Picturesque villages still embrace ancient Bohemian customs and folklore, and locals are more than happy to welcome visitors with tales of their traditions.
On top of all of this, there is one thing that the Czech Republic (in our opinion) does better than anywhere else in the world: beer. As craft beers and European boutique breweries are becoming increasingly popular among beer connoisseurs, you should try some while you’re here, guidebook in hand.
Tempted by what you’ve read? Need a few more ideas about where to go, what to see and how to go about it? Contact us – we’re always happy to help you choose your dream stay.