The Czech Republic is fast becoming a go-to destination whenever one visits Europe, whether it is for the first time or multiple visits after. There is something about this country that draws visitors in; it has an old world charm, with its architecture and historical landmarks, but it also has a modern appeal that keeps you wanting more.
For those who are planning to visit, here are the top places to go to.
Prague is synonymous with the Czech Republic; if you mention the country as one of the places you’d like to visit, chances are the first thing they think of is Prague. This vibrant metropolis has a history that spans several centuries.
Prague was the former capital of the Roman Empire and Bohemia in its storied past. This is the largest city in the country and is one of the most culturally diverse; it has a little bit of everything, making it the first choice if a visitor is pressed for time to explore. It is also in the top ten of the most visited cities in the continent. The highlights of a trip include the Prague astronomical clock and castle, Charles Bridge, the old town square, St. Vitus Cathedral, Franz Kafka’s home, the Fred and Ginger dancing House, and the Giant Metronome.
2. Cesky Krumlov
Cesky Krumlov is a town that features a huge Bohemian Castle, built in the 13th century and served as a perfect place for trade. Its location near the Vitava River made it the place to start building. The appearance of the town hasn’t changed much for centuries and the buildings are in good condition despite their years. The cobblestone streets, stucco facades of some of the structures and its general medieval town feel will take you back in time. This destination has plenty of unique shops, restaurants that serve delicious food, and a lost-in-time-charm.
3. Kutna Hora
In 1142, Kutna Hora traces its beginning as a Bohemian monastery, after which, the area began to prosper because of the discovery of a large silver deposit in the town centuries ago. With new found wealth, many beautiful Gothic structures were built.
Some of the must-visit places in this part of the Czech Republic include the Ossuary or bone house, two Goth churches, the Stone Haus, and the Italian Court.
This east side town used to be on the Tristenice Path, an important trade route before. One of the highlights of a trip is a visit to the Litomysl Castle, which follows the renaissance design. Other than the renowned palace, another must-visit attraction is the Portmoneum, which used to be the house of Josef Portmon, an art lover.
Olomouc has a rich past that dates back to Roman times; it was also a former capital of Moravia. It got its name as a corrupted version of its Roman moniker, Mount Julius. One of its most iconic structures, the Olomouc Castle, has a history that goes back to the 12th century. In it lies another noteworthy work of architecture, the stunning St. Wenceslas Cathedral. It also has one of the country’s UNESCO sites, which is the Holy Trinity Column.
6. The Moravian Karst
The Moravian Karst is a geologic phenomenon that is a naturally protected area in the country. Most of the Czech Republic’s noteworthy destinations are cultural and architectural, making this destination unique. Located north of Brno, this series of limestone gorges and caverns are huge and will make visitors use their imagination as to what shapes the limestone take. One of the highlights of the area is the Macocha Abyss, a gorge that is more than 130m deep. Other than the caverns, this attraction also has hiking paths and biking trails that you can explore.
This fourth largest city in the country is famous around the world because it is the namesake and home of Pilsner beer. This Bohemian city is an ideal destination for those who love architecture and design; the notables include the Renaissance-inspired town hall, the Great Synagogue, and St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral.
Telc in the Moravia region was established as a port town for trade among Austria, Bohemia, and Moravia in the 14th century. Its colorful historic center has renaissance inspired structures, making it picture perfect. The redone gothic palace elicits nostalgia and memories of days gone by. Fetching churches and many other architectural beauties make this destination the perfect place to take pictures.
9. Karlovy Vary
For centuries, many believe that this town’s hot spring has healing waters that have the power to heal serious and not-so-serious ailments. Similar to many places like it, this town has been developed to have commercialized spas. It was initially a place for nobles, giving it an ambiance of royalty and opulence. However, many natural disasters that took place over the centuries have left some of the structures in shambles. Fast forward to today, the town managed to retain some of its grandeur and the spa remains open, still claiming some of the miracles that it can do.
From the centuries-old structures and buildings in Prague and Cesky Krumlov to the natural wonders of the Moravian Karst, the Czech Republic is a fascinating country that should be on every itinerary of trips to Europe.