Things To Do In Czech Republic
A landlocked country in central Europe, the Czech Republic is a beautiful amalgamation of architectural treasures, lovely mountains and temperate forests. Bordered by cities like Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Poland, the Czech Republic was once a Celtic land, later conquered by Romans and then Germans. Today you will find footprints of each of these rulers here, in the cobbled ancient streets and serpent claw-footed benches by the promenade, footbridges as well as palaces. For a traveller, there can be no land more intriguing and wonderful than the land of the Czech Republic. There is so much to do here, from admiring historical buildings of Prague to seeing a fairytale town come to life in Cesky Krumlov. Read on to mine more details.
Prague is the capital of this country and also holds the honour of being the capital of the erstwhile Roman strong hold here. It is a city that straddles two worlds, the ancient and the modern. With its beautifully haunting architecture and gothic cathedrals, Prague is a historian’s dream. One of the most fascinating walks here is through the Old Town Square where you will get to see the famous Astronomical Clock. Then you can take a stroll across Charles Bridge (some might remember it from the 2011 movie Rockstar). You will also love a cultural refreshment tour at the old Jewish Ghetto (quarter), which is a predominantly Jew locality know as 'Josefov,' where the Jews were ordered to settle in the 13th century. And the most imposing of them all is the Prague Castle.
Enjoy a Fairytale in Cesky Krumlov
Cesky Krumlov is not too far from Prague and is a 4-hour journey by road, at most. But it is a far cry from the ancient gothic beauty of Prague. Cesky Krumlov is a brilliant burst of love and magical fairytales come to life, like one of those towns you instantly fell in love with in Disney movies. Cesky Krumlov is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and boasts of a Gothic castle, lovely gardens and a tower so tall, you would find yourself hauled back in the tale of Rapunzel. You will find yourself just strolling down the town and identifying places from your imaginary fairytale world, castles from Beauty and the Beast and gardens from Hansel and Gratel.
Explore the Bohemian Culture
Did you know that the Boho culture that has the world in its grip right now actually originated in the western parts of the Czech Republic? The Bohemians were a tribe named after Bois and practised a very unconventional way of life with arts, music, brilliant colours and spiritual goals. The 'adventurism, solo-travelling and wandering' concepts come from Bohemians, as do the idea of vagabonds. Now, the Czech Republic is a centre of Bohemian delight, one that you can enjoy by taking the Bohemian State of Mind Tour in Prague, walk through the Duke of Bohemia and discover other elements of this culture, its art and architecture, finishing with a pint of local beer. You can also visit the Bohemian Switzerland National Park, hike and enjoy coffee at Bohemian Coffee House.
Visit Kutna Hora
Kutna Hora was once a town that was rich because it was home to silver mines. And the wealth it contributed funded the brilliant structures of Prague and elsewhere. Today, most of this town is a proud UNESCO World Heritage site and is an 80 km drive from Prague, ideal for a day trip. Some of its glorious attractions include the former palace of Vaclav IV (the Bohemian King), St. Barbara’s Cathedral and the Modern art gallery GASK. You must keep a day aside to soak in the beauty of Kutna Hora.
Go Undergound in Telc
This is one of the most unique things to do in the city of Telc, something you wouldn’t be able to do anywhere else. Telc is renowned for its underground network of tunnels that are a maze built in ancient times to preserve food, work as cellars and shelter during times of invasions. The town itself is like a storybook outside and makes for a quiet labyrinth underground. You can engage a guide, take a nice headlamp and set about exploring the underground of Telc. Again, the entire town of Telc falls in the category of UNESCO World Heritage site and that should make your visit even more special.
Relax in the Spas of Karlovy Vary
Karlovy Vary is a lovely city in the Czech Republic known for its line of thermal waters and healing springs. People from all over come here not just for relaxation but also to cure ailments, from skin diseases to indigestion to brain tumours. Some of the mineral-rich springs here are now modified into resorts and you can avail spa-treatments built around them. There are five colonnades around, that each have a different set of properties you can take advantage of. Buy a cup and walk around to drink from the springs you like, nibble on spa wafers and enjoy. On the side, you can also go sightseeing and stumble upon sites that were used as filming locations for James Bond’s Casino Royale instalment.
Shop till you Drop
The Czech Republic is a great place to pick up souvenirs and mementoes. From ink drawings and scribblings of the Prague Castle by local roadside artists to custom jewellery and Bohemian head gears and dresses, Kafka-inspired merchandise and Charles Bridge T-shirts, you will find your hands full in Prague. For shopping, you must pick up glassware and Christmas decorations as well as wine glasses and bottles of vintages from Karlovy Vary. Wooden toys are also very famous in the fairytale town of Ceský Krumlov, as are graphite and charcoal pencils. For beer lovers, you will find many flavours and brews to pick from to take back home.
Eating, Drink and Make Merry
The Czech cuisine is highly influenced and inspired by German, Hungarian and Slovakian food habits. You will find that the locals love eating pastries, cakes, flaky strudel and goulash. Pork pies are all the rage here, as are cabbage dishes. You MUST try the delicious and soul-stirring Česnečka (garlic soup), curling with steam and flavoured with meat, cheeses and of course - garlic. Burgers are also a famous dish here, called Karbanátek locally. For drinks, choose local beers and if visiting Plzen then ensure you drink lots of it. Pilsner Breweries is one of the oldest breweries around here.