Nestled in the middle of Central Europe, the Czech Republic (or Czechia, as it’s alternatively called) is full of amazing places to discover, from bustling city break destinations to smaller, hidden gems that are further off the beaten track. It’s also super easy to reach from other European destinations as part of a wider trip!
Fancy a visit but not sure where to start? Sarah from A Northern Explorer put together this a guide for us, exploring Prague and beyond:
The Czech Republic’s capital city, Prague, is a hugely popular European travel destination, packed with a gorgeous cityscape of golden coloured architecture, buzzing streets, and a rich history to discover. Oh, and the beer is pretty good too.
But why exactly should you choose the Czech capital as the next place to tick off your bucket list?
For the sights:
From grand architecture and historic landmarks to cityscape views, Prague is full of outrageously picturesque sights that will have your Camera Roll struggling to fit everything in. If you can face setting your alarm for such a sickening hour, head down to Charles Bridge at dawn to beat the crowds and enjoy watching the sunrise over the city. Alternatively you can go there at sunset if, like me, the only place you like to enjoy the sunrise is in bed while asleep… After that, why not explore Prague Castle for even more amazing views and head down to the John Lennon Wall for a photo against the many layers of colourful graffiti.
For the beer:
It’s no secret that Czech beer is very good stuff, and there’s plenty of it to choose from too. Grab a pint of local Pilsner at one of the many famous beer gardens dotted around the capital, including Letna Beer Garden which offers some pretty amazing views of the city. There’s plenty more to choose from, too – I satisfied my sweet tooth with some really nice cherry beer. (It was a bit like Dark Fruits but nicer – and not out of a plastic cup in a muddy festival field…)
If you fancy really immersing yourself in beer culture, why not head to a Beer Spa? That’s right – you can literally soak away your troubles in a bath of sweet sweet ale…
For a sweet treat or two:
You can’t visit Prague without trying Trdelnik, a sugary sweet chimney shaped pastry that’s sold on pretty much every street in the city. Ice cream filling optional, sweet tooth mandatory.
Explore a hidden gem – Cesky Krumlov
Prague isn’t the only place to Czech out (Ha! Bet you’ve never heard that one before!) on your visit to this spectacular country. The Czech Republic offers a wealth of other hidden gems within easy reach of its capital city.
One example is Cesky Krumlov, a gorgeous historic town about two hours away from Prague. It seriously looks like it’s come straight out of a fairytale. Cesky Krumlov might be small, but it’s packed with stunning views, picturesque walks, and riverside eateries to enjoy. Interested? Here are some of the best things to try in this pretty town:
Explore the winding, cobbled streets
As soon as you step foot into Cesky Krumlov, you feel like you’ve walked back in time, or into a fairytale. A network of golden, cobbled streets will take you through the town, with various shops and bars dotted along the way for you to stop at. It feels a bit like strolling through a Czech version of York’s famous street – The Shambles.
Go river rafting (or walk round on foot)
One of the best ways to spend a sunny afternoon in Cesky Krumlov is to go for a ride down the river, whether that’s in a canoe, kayak, or in a punt on one of the river tours that run through the day and into the evening. In winter the weather gets pretty chilly (catch the city under a layer of snow – it’s beautiful!) – so swap the boat ride for a walk and take in the lovely views by foot.
Take a tour around the UNESCO listed Cesky Krumlov Castle
One of the main features of this town’s stunning landscape is Cesky Krumlov Castle, a UNESCO listed complex that is one of the most important monuments in Central Europe. There are a number of tours on offer that will guide you through the Castle while teaching you all about its rich history, with countless breathtaking views of the town along the way.
Enjoy a bite to eat by the riverside
After a long day exploring everything Cesky Krumlov has to offer, why not stop for a drink and a bite to eat by the river? There are plenty of places to choose from to suit every budget and food preference, and you couldn’t ask for a better backdrop. I went to a Vegetarian restaurant called Laibon that was right next to the river, very reasonably priced, served tasty food, and had the friendliest staff I’ve ever encountered.
Why not head to the small town of Kutná Hora from Prague. Most famously home to Seclec Ossuary – a church made entirely of bones (yep!) – this beautifully sinister sight is the perfect day trip.
Northern Czech Republic
If you’re travelling to or from Berlin on your Interrailing trip, you can’t miss the views from the train window! The Elbe Valley has some of the Czech Republic and Germany’s best views. We’re talking sparkling clear water, fairytale castles and quaint towns. Make sure you sit on the riverside seats on the train to take it all in!
If you fancy planning your own adventure via train through central Europe, why not take a look at our custom route builder. Alternatively, take a look at our most popular routes for a bit of inspiration!
Euroventure are the backpacking experts. Travelling Europe can be daunting, but we can help you get started. We’ve got everything covered – whether you just want to buy an individual travel ticket or fancy a fully guided a group tour. Check out our ultimate guide to travelling Europe to get some ideas, or read our destination guide to see where your next adventure should take you!