While most visitors to the Czech Republic are familiar with Prague, the country has a diversity of places that are worth extending your trip for. Many Czech cities and towns offer historic and cultural treasures that rival those of the capital, and the countryside in Bohemia and Moravia is beautiful. To help you get some ideas of where to travel besides Prague, below is a list of the best places to visit in the Czech Republic.
The capital of the Czech Republic needs no introduction. Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and its stunning castle and historic squares draw visitors from all over the world. Prague’s great architecture, lively pub scene, and iconic bridges make it one of the best places to visit in the Czech Republic, and a must on any trip.
Often called “Prague in miniature”, Olomouc has a pretty old town and lots of historic charm. Less crowded than Prague, Olomouc is popular with visitors that want the same experience without the tourist throngs. The highlights include the 18th century Holy Trinity Column, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and St. Wenceslas Cathedral, a stunning neo-Gothic church.
The second largest city in the Czech Republic, Brno is often overlooked in favor of other places in the country. But it’s worth a trip for its cultural heritage, including Spilberk Castle—a 13th century fortress that is now a museum—and the beautiful Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. Lovers of modern architecture will also enjoy visiting Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Villa Tugendhat (also called Tugendhat House). Built in the 1920s, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For those that want to escape the urban bustle and get out into the countryside, Cesky Raj (which means “Czech Paradise”) is just the place. With lots of hiking and cycling trails, and an abundance of beautiful natural scenery, Cesky Raj is a great place to get into nature. The area is also well known for its sandstone rocks, historic castles, and garnet stones. If you travel to the Czech Republic in the winter months, Cesky Raj is a good place to ski, too.
With a castle almost as famous as the one in Prague, Cesky Krumlov is certainly one of the best places to visit in the Czech Republic. Located in Southern Bohemia, its fairytale ambiance and colorful buildings make visitors feel as if they’ve entered another world. The town itself is a UNESCO protected site, and rivals the castle in terms of its beauty.
A historic spa town, Karlovy Vary has long been on the list of places for visiting royalty and European aristocracy to visit. As a result, the town’s historic architecture features highlights from many European and international styles, and its colonnaded walkway with spa water is known throughout the region for its healing properties. Karlovy Vary is also famous for its spa wafers—delicious sweet treats—as well as Becherovka, an internationally known herbal liqueur.
For beer lovers and others visiting the Czech Republic, Ceske Budejovice is one of the best travel destinations in the country. Steeped in history and famous for great Czech beers like Budvar, the town is a true gem.
If you plan to stay overnight, below is a list of the best hotels in Ceske Budejovice. They range from budget hotels to four-star and luxury, but they all offer high quality accommodation for the price.
Best Budget Hotel in Ceske Budejovice
Hotel Zatkuv Dum
Address: Krajinska 41, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
The 3-star Hotel Zatkuv Dum is located right in the heart of the city center. The property features 10 rooms as well as a cafe and restaurant. Standard room rates start at 1100 CZK per night.
Best 4-Star Hotel in Ceske Budejovice
Clarion Congress Hotel
Address: Prazska Trida 14, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
The Clarion Congress hotel is situated in the center of Ceske Budejovice. It is a short walk from the main market square in town. The 205 guest rooms are spacious and decorated in calm, neutral tones. Standard room rates start at 55 euros per night.
Best Luxury Hotel in Ceske Budejovice
Address: Namesti Premysla Otakara II 90/28, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
The Grandhotel Zvon is arguably the best hotel in Ceske Budejovice. In business since 1533, it is also one of the oldest and most established hotels in the city. The 26 guest rooms and suites feature modern decor with historic touches, and many rooms have views overlooking the beautiful square. Standard room rates start at 65 euros per night, but online discounts are regularly available.
The best castles in the Czech Republic are located all throughout the country. From the famous castle in Prague’s Hradcany area to the beautiful chateaux in the countryside, there is no shortage of historic fortresses to see when you are visiting Bohemia and Moravia.
Below are a few of the best castles in the country:
The most famous Czech castle is Prague Castle. Located high on a hill in the heart of the city, the castle complex is home to the beautiful St Vitus Cathedral, many historic buildings, and even a toy museum. Visitors can take tours or explore the castle with an audioguide.
Another hilltop fortress, Karlstejn is one of the prettiest castles in the Czech Republic. Built in the 14th century by Charles IV, its stunning buildings are home to the famous Chapel of the Holy Rood, which features a myriad of precious and semiprecious stones on its walls.
Konopiste Castle is the historic home of Frans Ferdinand d’Este, the archduke that was killed at the start of World War I. The castle’s rooms are full of his hunting trophies, which number in the thousands. The grounds are also gorgeous, with pretty gardens, plenty of wildlife, and a peaceful lake.
Cesky Sternberk Castle
Built in the 13th century, the stunning Cesky Sternberk is truly one of the best castles in the Czech Republic. The architecture and interiors range in style from Gothic to Baroque, as the buildings were built and renovated over the centuries. Highlights include the beautiful Chapel of St. Sebastian and the Louis XVI furniture.
Cesky Krumlov Castle
One of the best known Czech castles outside of Prague is located in the storybook town of Cesky Krumlov. The colorful castle dominates the town’s landscape and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can tour the castle and its grounds. Seeing the interior is worth a trip, if only to see the sumptuous Baroque theater.
Vilemov and Zleby Castles
These two neighboring chateaux are often overlooked by visitors, but they are among the best castles in the Czech Republic. Vilemov is a beautiful building set in pretty grounds, and Zleby’s expansive collection of medieval armor is one of the biggest in Europe.