The Czech Republic is a perfect destination for all of your clients, whether they are couples, families, or traveling with friends. They’ll love discovering this country bursting at the seams with ancient castles, stunning chateaus, and beautiful historical towns.
Occupying a relatively small area of about 31,000 square miles, the country boasts an impressive fourteen UNESCO sites, as well as hundreds of other interesting sights and scenes. Here are the top ten must-see places you’ll want to include when planning your clients’ next trip to the Czech Republic.
The capital city and the main focus for visitors, Prague has something to offer to everyone thanks to its history of more than a thousand years. The most famous sights include the Astronomical Clock on the Old Town Square and Prague Castle with its beautiful views of the city and the meandering Vltava River. To enjoy Prague a bit differently, plan a visit to the ballet at the National Theatre or take in an exhibition at one of the many galleries, like the National Gallery with its amazing Gothic panel paintings or the DOX Gallery with its contemporary independent art. Wildlife and history lovers will enjoy a stroll through nature over ancient paintings at the zoological garden, one of the best-rated zoos in the world.
The town of Cesky Krumlov is in South Bohemia, nestled among the beautiful curves of the Vltava River which winds its way through the historical city center and alongside the chateau, a UNESCO site. Even though the city is quite popular with tourists, visitors will certainly find a quiet place to enjoy the beauty of the medieval town’s cobbled streets and roofs covered with fired red tiles.
A splendidly preserved medieval town only an hour away by car or train from Prague, Kutna Hora has a history rich in silver mining, the most desirable metal centuries ago and one that was vital to the economy. It was so important economically, in fact, that the silver coin minted at that time – tolar – is the source of the name of the most frequently used currency today: the dollar. Visitors can discover even more fascinating history during a tour of a medieval silver mine. After the tour, explore GASK, a modern gallery with a unique and interesting collection and a huge children’s art playground.
Brno, the capital of Moravia and the second-largest city in the Czech Republic, is in the southeast of the country. The city will surprise visitors with its pleasant cafe culture and the quantity of functionalist buildings from the first half of the 20th century. A must-see is Villa Tugendhat, designed by famous architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. We recommend booking a tour on the website in advance. Travelers will love the lifestyle in Brno: Moravia is known for the quality of its white wines, and Brno for its nightclubs. Sounds like an ideal combination.
Karlovy Vary, a spa in the west of the Czech Republic, was the playground of European kings and nobility 200 years ago, and it is still popular today. Go for a treatment or simply to relax. Schedule a visit for the first week in July, and visitors will get to experience the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, the only A-list festival in the Czech Republic which is visited by world-famous film stars every year.
Kromeriz is another UNESCO-listed town, located north of Brno in Moravia. The exquisite archiepiscopal castle and its gardens are the big draws here. The Chateau Garden surrounding the castle is beautiful, highlighted by the Flower Garden — a uniquely Baroque gem of garden architecture that was recently restored. The Baroque garden is so authentic that it is the setting of many historical movies and TV series.
North of Kromeriz is Olomouc, a university city with much to offer visitors, yet one that is still just off the beaten path for tourists. From Prague, it is about 2.5 hours by direct train, and it is well worth visiting for a weekend to discover some of the most beautiful churches in the Czech Republic. Moreover, there is another UNESCO site at the square in Olomouc — the Holy Trinity Column, the high point of Czech Baroque sculpture.
Bohemian Switzerland lies north of Prague towards Dresden near the German border and is one of the smallest national parks in the Czech Republic. Their visitors will find rock walls perfect for climbing, deep forests and along scenic valleys, as well as the largest sandstone arch in Europe.
Castles and Chateaus Near Prague
There are three impressive medieval castles worth visiting that are just under an hour from the center of Prague. The first is Karlstejn Castle, which has been looming over the Berounka River for more than 600 years. It used to protect the crown jewels of the Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Bohemia, and today — after booking a tour in advance — visitors can admire the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a jewel of Gothic art that represents the idea of heaven prevalent during the time of its creation. South of Prague, near the city of Benesov, there is Konopiste Chateau, which used to be a private residence of Franz Ferdinand, the assassinated heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. He was a passionate hunter, and the walls of the chateau are covered with thousands of trophies. Krivoklat Castle is located in the heart of the Krivoklatsko Protected Landscape Area, which used to serve as a private hunting ground of Czech kings. There are exciting medieval fairs at the castle courtyards which entice both the young and young at heart.
Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape Area
Our last tip is another UNESCO site, the Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape Area. It is located in South Moravia, near the border with Austria, and it includes the towns of Lednice and Valtice (each with their own unique chateau) and the surrounding countryside. The House of Liechtenstein, the former owners of the chateaus and estates, transformed the landscape around the Dyje River into a vast park where they built numerous chateaus, towers, and structures to spend their time at and enjoy the countryside. We recommend renting bikes to take advantage of the extensive cycling trails throughout this picturesque area.
Central Europe comprises the Visegrad Four — the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. Visitors to the region will experience impressive UNESCO monuments, world-famous spas, authentically preserved historical towns, places of natural beauty, and centuries-old traditions. Together these distinct and alluring countries provide a unique and immersive European experience to entice and delight your clients.
New York Jewish Travel Guide