The Czech Republic is commonly left out of the discussion when it comes to the jewels of Europe. It generally takes a back seat when people speak of the romance of Paris, the robustness of Madrid or Barcelona, and the exquisiteness of Venice. The Czech Republic however, does offer a lot and can be just as magical as any other major destination in Europe. One major benefit of not too many people knowing about the Czech Republic is that most of its attractions and sights are not very touristy and still preserve their authentic charm.
Amazing churches, cathedrals and castles
If you are a fan of castles and churches, The Czech Republic is your go-to site for amazing castles from all different points in history. Some are still in use today like the massive Prague Castle which is still the residence of the Czech head-of-state. Some are a bit older and made for attractions such as the fairy tale castle in Cesky Krumlov. Some castles are mere ruins of a long past era and simply punctuate the countryside such as Trosky or Bezdez. One of my favorite castles, however, is the haunting “Castle Houska” which was built on what was believed to be a gateway to hell in the middle of a dense forest. A perfect location for a spooky autumn adventure. You can also include that with a stop in the bone church in Kutna Hora which is made entirely of human bones.
The Czech Republic also has just about every type of landscape that someone would want in a country. If you enjoy skiing in winter or mountain climbing in summer, you simply head north to the Krkonose mountains which are named after the wise old giant that stewards them. His pointy hat, gray beard, walking stick, and seemingly infinite wisdom was the inspiration for Tolkien’s character Gandalf from his Middle Earth series. For easier hiking around the simple countryside through quaint villages and to marvel at the majesty of nature, try heading south to the Sumava region which boasts large dense forests, beautiful small villages with their own history, and small rivers/ lakes to cool off in on a hot summer day. Another part of the Czech Republic that all Czechs know about but few outsiders take the time to appreciate is their lush wine country in South Moravia (The southeast region of the country). You can venture to the Lednice or Palava region to experience true Czech traditional culture in real time as the wine festivals, easter holidays, and lifestyle still hold the same traditions of generations past. It’s almost like stepping back in time and I would argue that Palava wine is one of the best wines there is.
Easy accessibility to get around
What ties all of these places together is their easy accessibility. The Czech Republic has a rail system network connecting the entire country and will have you anywhere you wish to go within a few hours. Also, the tickets are quite affordable as you can cross the country for less than $30. A trip from Prague to Plzen to tour their Pilsner factory where the legendary beer is brewed will cost you only $7 one way. This is also good for touring to other neighboring countries. Prague has daily buses and trains going to Berlin, Dresden, Munich, Warsaw, Vienna, and Budapest, which are less than $40 and take less than 8 hours per trip.
A country worth exploring
The Czech Republic is a vast landscape punctuated by small little secrets that open the country up to a rich history and diverse landscape that are all-but begging to be explored. The country also has bike paths, hiking paths, campgrounds, and tiny pensions peppering the countryside, making it a very explorable country. The meals are hearty, the beer is rich, and the feeling of authenticity is undeniable when taking in the Czech Republic not just as Prague, but as an entire country, culture, and civilization.