The Czech Republic sometimes falls below the radar, but it is a scenic, culturally rich country that makes it a fascinating visit. Whether you’re going for the scenery or the castles, you will be enchanted. The country is home to picturesque national parklands and historical landmarks that you can’t see anywhere else.
Some travelers like to take the 21-hour road trip to Czech from Spain. If you are a resident of the EU, EEA or Switzerland you won’t need a visa for this. It’s more convenient to have a car when exploring – have a look at carrentals.co.uk for the best deals on hire cars if this idea appeals to you.
Once you get to Czech, these are some of the top places you will want to learn all about.
1) Karlštejn Castle
Built in the mid-1300s under the instruction of Roman emperor and Czech king Charles IV, Karlštejn is an exceptional part of Czech history and one of the best spots to visit. This castle was constructed to safeguard the royal treasures, and it includes Roman Empire coronation jewels and holy vestiges.
The castle was renovated in the 19th century by local architect, Josef Mocker. Mocker endeavored to keep the castle just as it was in previous centuries. Visitors can tour the Imperial Palace, which boasts five floors. The castle grounds are beautiful throughout the entire year, and the chapel houses over one hundred paintings by Theodoric, a Gothic artist.
2) Kutná Hora
Situated about 50 miles to the east from Prague, this silver mining village of medieval times is worth visiting for its gorgeous architecture.
One of the most iconic buildings in Kutná Hora is the Cathedral of St Barbara, which took over 500 years to construct. It was started in the late 1300s. The Jesuit College, built in the 17th century and now home to the art gallery, GASK, is also well worth a stop.
Not far from the village is another fascinating, if macabre, site – the Sledic Ossuary. The chapel features a massive chandelier made out of human bones!
3) Krkonoše National Park
Krkonoše National Park boasts the loftiest mountain range in Czech and has a diverse array of scenic landscapes. You will see meadows, moorland, tundra, and high inclines. Its diversity earned the park its title of UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (1992).
The village of Pec pod Snežkou is the ideal place to stay if you would like to explore the park. From there, travelers can take a charming hiking trail or a cable car up the park’s tallest peak, the Snežka. At the top, you will be greeted by panoramic views of Czech as well as Poland.
4) Podyjí National Park
Located near the border of Austria, this park is fairly small, but there is much to see. A total size of only 24 square miles, the park is a forested valley. A river runs through the grounds (the Dyje), and there are cavernous ravines and atmospheric stretches of cliffs.
The best way to approach Podyjí is to take the route between the Znojmo village and Šobes Vineyard – one of the area’s most ancient wineries.
5) Punkva Caves
Last, but not least, the Punkva Caves are a testament to Czech’s natural beauty and well worth a visit. The site is about an hour away from Brno and is one of the most impressive cave systems in Moravia.
Visitors will enjoy a foot trail that shows huge stalagmites and stalactites, the 138-metre deep Macocha Abyss, and a boat ride on the underground Punkva river that goes past the area’s most striking cavity, the Masaryk Cave.