In the Czech Republic you will find one of Europe’s most fascinating capitals; Prague, as well as mystical castles and impressive monasteries nestled amid the mountains and the blanketed forests which adorn the east. The south of the country abounds in small medieval towns, whilst the west of the country boasts many natural spas. As a jewel of central Europe, this country is a joy to visit and is undoubtedly best explored with a hire car.
Czech Republic Tourist Board: The official website for the Czech Republic National Tourist Office – a useful resource for planning your trip to the Czech Republic.
Know Before You Go: Travel advice for the Czech Republic from FCO.
Things to see and do
- Venture to the town of Cesky Krumlov; featured on the UNESCO World Heritage List, this is widely considered to be the prettiest town in the country. The attractive Vltava River, fairytale castle and medieval streets will be sure to win your heart.
- The Bohemian Switzerland National Park in the north of the country makes for a stunning day out. Filled with rocky gorges and crevices, stone castles and bridges interspersed with green forests and fantastic viewing points, it’s an area not to be missed.
- Plan to spend a day visiting the UNESCO listed Litomyšl Chateau where you can tour the grand interior and then spend some time admiring the attractive gardens and grounds.
- Travel to the Sumava Forest on the south west border and hike through this mammoth national park uncovering lakes, streams and historic monuments among the trees.
- Visit the The Kateřinská cave complex and awe at the largest cave which is comparable in size to a basketball court. During the summer months, it is used as a concert hall for classical music. Punkevní caves nearby are best explored via boat on the underground river.
- Uncover everything that the capital city of Prague has to offer including the old town and the Jewish Quarter filled with synagogues.
- If you only visit one castle during your time in the Czech Republic, make it Karlštejn Castle. The perfect example of a medieval fortress complete with moats and towers, it’s an ideal visit to get an insight into the country’s history.
- Make your way to the Moravian wine region and then arrange to hire a bicycle so you can whizz through the vines and drink in the views on two wheels.
- Visit the west of the country and treat yourself to some spa treatments at the natural thermal springs and mineral baths; Karlovy Vary is a popular choice.
- Another UNESCO listed town, Kutná Hora is a must visit. Explore the ancient silver mines and awe the impressive Santa Barbara Cathedral before wandering the cobbled streets.
Festivals and events
- The Beltine Festival of Celtic Culture in Bohemia is unarguably one of the largest celtic showcases in central Europe. Enjoy period dress, musical performances, handicrafts and plenty more. (April)
- Currently in its 67th year, the Prague Spring International Music Festival is well known in central Europe and presents orchestra and chamber concerts amongst much more. (May)
- The Summer Shakespeare Festival is held in Prague each June and features open air performances of Shakespeare’s many famous plays. As the largest and best known of its kind, it’s a great event in the annual calendar attracting fans from around the world. (June)
- Held in the grounds of Sychrov Castle, the Highland Games last for three family fun filled days with various sporting events, games and demonstrations on offer with camping nearby. (August)
- Summer Folk Dance Week is held in Tabor and features Czech and Moravian folk dances. The event offers a fantastic view of traditional culture. (August)
- A smaller version of the spring festival, The Prague Autumn International Music Festival offers a second opportunity to watch musical performances from worldwide musicians. (September)
- In many countries, September is the month of harvest and one of the many events to be enjoyed is the Mělník Wine Harvest Festival. Attracting around 30,000 people, this weekend festival is especially popular. (September)
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