Most of the pictures you’ll see of the Czech Republic are from a few small blocks of Prague’s old town. However, there’s so much more to see and so many amazing places to visit in the Czech Republic.
Prague is a must, of course, but we’ve put this guide together to help you dive deeper into all the wonderful destinations in the Czech Republic. If you have a week-long trip in the Czech Republic, you could easily cover 2-3 destinations with time to take in the highlights and still savor the small moments.
Here’s our shortlist of the must-visit places in the Czech Republic!
Best Times to Visit the Czech Republic
Between the charming medieval villages and breathtaking natural landscapes, the Czech Republic is a year-round destination.
Spring is one of the best times to visit. Not only is the weather warm and pleasant, but it’s right at the cusp of the busy tourist season, which means fewer crowds and cheaper accommodation.
The busiest season in the Czech Republic starts in June and lasts until the end of August. Due to the large amounts of international and domestic visitors, the cities and towns can be quite packed and often more expensive than other times of the year.
Summer is also the hottest time of the year, with temperatures hovering between 75 and 85 degrees. Although it doesn’t get too humid, the high temperatures can be too hot for sightseeing.
Fall is another great time to visit. The majority of tourists have returned home, and the weather is still warm enough for sightseeing. There are also numerous events and festivals that take place in September and October, including the Prague Festival and Czech Republic Wine Harvest Festival.
If you don’t mind cold or snowy weather, winter can be a great time to be in the Czech Republic. There are relatively fewer tourists at this time, except for Christmas. The country’s festive and magical Christmas markets are some of the best in Europe, making it a popular choice for a winter holiday.
No trip to the Czech Republic would be complete without a visit to its capital city. Situated on the Vlatava River, Prague is the cultural and architectural center of the country. With world-class museums, awe-inspiring castles, and towering gothic churches, there’s always something to see and do in Prague.
Starting in the Old Town – or Staré Město – you’ll find the historic Old Town Square. At the square’s center is the Prague Orloj, a medieval astronomical clock, which is the oldest of its kind in operation. Once you leave Old Town, cross the iconic Charles Bridge into Hradčany, the castle district of Prague. It’s home to the Prague Castle, which is the largest ancient castle in the entire world and the current seat of the Czech Republic president.
Prague is also a world-class destination for cuisine and entertainment. The sheer number of small cafes, gourmet restaurants, and lively bars are guaranteed to keep you entertained for the whole evening.
2. Český Krumlov
Český Krumlov is located in Southern Bohemia, roughly 100 miles south of Prague. With winding cobblestone streets and Gothic and Renaissance buildings, the entire historic center of this picturesque town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Looming over the city is the Český Krumlov Castle, which dates back to 1240. After Prague Castle, it’s the most visited castle in the Czech Republic. The Lower Castle is arguably the biggest highlight of the Český Krumlov Castle. Here, you’ll find a lookout tower that boasts panoramic views over Český Krumlov. It’s also worth walking across the Cloak Bridge, which sits five stories above the deep Bear Moat.
Stroll around the town and admire the colorful frescoes plastered across the walls of the buildings. You can also get your art fix by visiting one of the many museums and galleries in town, including the modern Egon Schiele Art Centrum (ESAC).
Related: Best Day Trips from Prague
3. Karlovy Vary
If you’re looking for a bit of peace and relaxation, head to Karlovy Vary, the most famous spa town in the Czech Republic. It’s located in Western Bohemia, just a few miles from the German border. There are plenty of thermal baths and wellness centers dotted around this small but charming city center.
The mineral water in Karlovy Vary is taken from an underground spring and is known for its healing effects. It’s believed to aid digestive problems, metabolic disorders, and diseases of the locomotive system. You can try some yourself by sipping the water from the 1st Karlovy Vary mineral spring in the center of the city.
Karlovy Vary also hosts the annual Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in July. Attracting thousands of visitors each year, it’s one of the most important film events in Central Europe.
Take a stroll through the streets of Telč’ and you’ll feel as if you stepped foot inside a fairytale world. As you pass by pastel-colored homes and Baroque buildings, you’ll see why Telč’ is known for its unique style of architecture. Even if you just visit for a half-day trip, it’s still fascinating to walk along the small alleys admiring the colorful buildings and structures around you.
At the center of the town is the Telč’ Castle, a 17th-century Renaissance building and designated UNESCO World Heritage site. Inside the castle, you’ll find lavish ceremonial halls, frescoed ceilings, and an extensive collection of Italian Renaissance art.
As the country’s second-largest city, Brno is a wonderful place to visit if you’re wondering where to go in the Czech Republic. Its historical center is small and compact, which means most attractions and historical buildings can easily be reached on foot.
The most visited site is the Špilberk Castle, which was once the seat for Moravian rulers and the King of the Holy Roman Empire. It was later converted into a prison, although it’s now a museum and restaurant. If you’re looking for a unique activity, spend the day in the dark cellars of the Brno Underground. This complex system of corridors and tunnels was used in the middle ages to store food, beer, and wine.
Culturally, Brno also has several noteworthy attractions, including several historically important theaters. The Reduta Theater is the oldest theater building in Central Europe, while the Mahen Theater was the first theatrical building to use Thomas Edison’s electric lightbulbs!
6. Bohemian Switzerland National Park
With lush green forests and otherworldly rock formations, Bohemian Switzerland National Park is a must-see for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s the youngest national park in the country and the easiest to reach by car or train from Prague.
Hikers are spoiled for choice with it comes to nature trails. Make the leisurely trek from Jetřichovice to Mariina Skála for sweeping views over the national park. More advanced hikers can choose to visit the Pravčická Gate, the highest rock bridge in Europe. If you prefer to peddle your way around Bohemian Switzerland, you can cycle down the Elbe Cycle Route, which runs along the Elbe River up to the German border.
Summer is the best time of the year to see the park in full bloom. However, visiting in winter also has its advantages. A short hike through the snow-covered forests and frozen waterfalls is a magical sight to see in the middle of winter.
7. Kutna Hora
Despite its small size and population, Kutna Hora was once one of the wealthiest cities in the region. During the 13th century, Kutna Hora was known for silver mining and supplied approximately one-third of all silver produced in Europe during the middle ages.
Nowadays, it’s known for the beautiful Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec, which was the country’s fifth UNESCO World Heritage Site. Don’t forget to wander into the on-site ossuary. A unique chapel made entirely of human remains. It is believed to contain between 40,000 and 70,000 different skeletons. Check out the center chandelier, which was constructed using one of every bone in the human body.
The city is dotted with several other significant works of architecture, including St. Barbara’s Church, the Italian Court, the Gothic Stone House, and the Plague Column.
The Moravian town of Třebíč has grown significantly since the end of World War II. This quaint, riverside town is known for its picturesque setting and small, cobbled old town. However, most visitors come to Třebíč to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Jewish Quarter and St. Procopius Basilica.
The St. Procopius Basilica was built in the 13th century as a Benedictine monastery. This Romanesque and Gothic style building has a stunning vaulted ceiling unique to buildings from this period.
The Jewish Quarter dates back to the 14th century and is a compact labyrinth of over 120 homes. Although many of the buildings were renovated after the war, it’s still a charming neighborhood with picturesque squares, tall lookout towers, and a number of synagogues.
The village of Holašovice is one of the most historically fascinating things to see in the southern Czech Republic. During the bubonic plague of the 1500s, the entire population was wiped out – except for two people. The town’s population grew several years later, thanks to German and Austrian settlers. However, Holašovice was soon abandoned at the end of World War II, leaving many of the buildings to crumble into ruins.
Things started to change when numerous buildings were restored in the mid-1900s. It now has a population of around 150 full-time residents. If you want to see traditional homes, farmyards, and churches, add Holašovice to your itinerary.
When people think of Pilsen, they often think of the beer. While the city was indeed the origin of the Pilsner-style beer, it’s also a beautiful place full of life, history, and culture.
One of the biggest attractions in town is the Gothic St. Bartholomew Cathedral. Its 335-foot tower is the highest spire in the country. Pilsen is also home to the second-largest synagogue in Europe – the Moorish Revival Great Synagogue.
Of course, no trip to Pilsen would be complete without a brewery tour and beer tasting. The Pilsner Urquell Brewery dates back to 1842 and is famed for creating the first pale lager. You can also visit the Gambrinus brewery or take a Plzeňský Prazdroj brewery tour to learn more about the history of beer making in the Czech Republic.
11. České Budějovice
České Budějovice is easily one of the most important cities in the Czech Republic. Although it’s the country’s political and commercial capital, České Budějovice is far less touristy than Prague.
Like other big cities in the Czech Republic, České Budějovice has no shortage of monuments, churches, and medieval buildings. The 16th-century Black tower is the most popular landmark of the city. You can climb to the top for dramatic views over the Old Town and Hluboka chateau.
One of the most popular attractions is the Budvar Brewery, which is synonymous with the Budweiser brand of beer. In between sampling the different types of beer available, it’s recommended to book a brewery tour. Beer lovers and history buffs alike are guaranteed to discover something new about the city’s rich history while exploring this brewery’s inner workings.
12. Bohemian Paradise
If you’re eager to spend some time in the great outdoors, make sure to head to Bohemian Paradise in the northeast Czech Republic. As the country’s first nature reserve, it’s 70 square miles of rolling hills, tree-lined forests, and underground caves. It’s also impossible not to notice the massive sandstone rock formations, some of the most recognizable features of the park.
The Prachov Rocks are some of the most spectacular natural landmarks in Bohemian Paradise. Formed more than 60 million years ago by wind and rain, these towering spires have been the backdrop for many blockbuster movies.
Visitors should also stop by the Hrubá Skála area. At the top of these volcanic rock pillars is the Hrubá Skála Castle, which dates back to the mid-1300s. It’s now a hotel and spa and offers sweeping views from almost every room in the chateau. In the area, you’ll also find a few more of the best castles in the Czech Republic, like Kost Castle.
Hiking is one of the best ways to explore the park. There are numerous trails (marked with different colors for different fitness levels) to choose from. The Dneboh Loop is an intermediate four-hour trek that takes you across planked bridges, towering ladders, and narrow passages. You can also make the hike from Turnov to Hrubá Skála, where you’ll be rewarded with a visit to the infamous Hrubá Skála as the end.
Best Travel Insurance
Before getting on that plane, make sure you have travel insurance. It is always better to have it than need it. We’ve been traveling the world for over ten years and have tried numerous different travel insurance companies. Our favorite is SafetyWing.
For our first few years, we were spending a fortune, but now finally, there is an affordable travel insurance option. For the past three years, we have been exclusively using SafetyWing. Their insurance plans are affordable. You can add dates, buy family plans, and more. Click here to view plans and rates.
For an upcoming trip, we have that is two months long. Our rate is $90 per adult, and the children under 10 are free, so it is $180 for our family of 4! Most people just need a one-week policy. One week would cost us $12 per adult. This is $12 well spent.
You can check all the benefits online here and review your plan documents. Here is a quick rundown of what is covered by SafetyWing Travel insurance:
- Coverage if you are in an accident or get sick while outside of your home country and need medical assistance
- $250,000 max limit on medical with a $250 deductible
- $50 co-pay for urgent care (not subject to deductible)
- $1,000 emergency dental coverage (not subject to deductible)
- $100,000 emergency medical evacuation (not subject to deductible)
- $5,000 trip interruption (not subject deductible)
- $100 a day after a 12-hour day
- Lost checked luggage $500 per item (no subject to deductible)
They even have plans that include travel within the US. Most other companies do not have any coverage plans that include US travel.