The Czech Republic is a small landlocked country in Central Europe, home to ancient castles as well as monasteries and impressive historic homes. Not only do the architecture and historical buildings provide cultural sites to explore, but the surrounding natural environment also offers plenty to awe you as well. The forests and mountains of the Czech Republic offer plethora of activities for any visitor who loves the outdoors.
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Prague Castle is a castle complex in Prague that dates all the way back to the 9th century. The castle has been a seat of power for many rulers throughout the centuries, including kings of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperors. Today, the structure is the official residential building of the President of the Czech Republic. The Bohemian Crown Jewels are protected in a secret room within the castle. The Guinness Book of World Records claims that Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world and it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can tour the castle on their own or can participate in a guided tour in several languages.
119 08 Prague 1, Czechia, Phone: +420-224-373-368
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The Charles Bridge is a historic bridge that spans Prague's Vltava River. Construction on the bridge began in 1357 and lasted until the beginning of the 15th century. It was originally called the Prague Bridge or the Stone Bridge. The bridge is a bow bridge with 16 arches. There are three bridge towers and 30 statues stand on the side of the bridge, most of which are replicas of the original baroque statues that were erected around the turn of the 18th century. The bridge connects Prague's Old Town with the Prague Castle and Lesser Quarter area. It is an icon of Prague and a popular photo op.
Karluv most, 110 00 Praha 1, Czechia
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The Adrspach-Teplice Rocks are an unusual set of sandstone rock formations that are spread across 17 square kilometers in northeastern Bohemia. The rocks are named after two nearby towns, Adrspach, and Teplice nad Metuji. The rocks are protected as part of a nature reserve, and visitors can get to the rocks by several well-marked trails. Rock climbing and bouldering are especially popular in the area. For birdwatchers, the site is attractive because it is one of Europe's largest breeding sites of the elusive peregrine falcon. Be sure to pay attention to restricted areas and closed trails as the park staff work hard to preserve and protect the birds, which are protected under federal law.
549 57 Adrspach, Czechia, Phone: +420-491-586-012
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Bohemian Paradise is a protected area and has the distinction of being the first nature preserve in the country. It has grown over the years and now contains more than 180 square kilometers. The area is extremely beautiful and varied, and there are trails that you can walk to access many natural attractions, rock formations, and beautiful areas of the countryside. By car you can travel to a variety of museums, ruins, castles, chateaus, museums, and other interesting sites. One of the most distinctive features of the preserve is the sandstone rock that was used to construct many nearby towns. The rocks offer many vantage points, most of which are only accessible to rock climbers.
A. Dvoraka 335, 511 01 Turnov, Czechia, Phone: +420-481-540-253
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Bohemian Switzerland, also known as Czech Switzerland, is an especially picturesque region in the northwestern part of the country. The park is situated on the Czech Republic's side of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, which straddle the Elbe River. It also extends into the Ore and Lusatian Mountains. The area has two national parks: Saxon Switzerland Park, which is in Germany, and its Czech sister, Ceske svycarsko National Park. The area has many intriguing and beautiful features, including the largest natural sandstone arch in Europe, named PravCicka brana. The highest mountain in Bohemian Switzerland is DeCinsky Sneznik, which features an observation tower. Other sites include rock castles, ravines, scenic overlooks, mountains, and arches.
6.Cesky Krumlov Castle
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Cesky Krumlov Castle is a famous castle and museum located in the center of the city of the same name. The building was constructed in 1240 by the Witigonen family, who were the main branch of the influential Rosenbergs. The castle has been relatively well maintained over the years compared to other European castles from the same time period. The castle and the rest of the historic city center have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The castle's fifth courtyard is home to one of the world's most well-preserved baroque theaters, the Cesky Krumlov Baroque Theatre.
Zamek 59, 381 01 Cesky Krumlov, Czechia, Phone: +420-380-704-721
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The Dancing House is the nickname of the Nationale-Nederlanden building on Prague's Rasinovo nabrezi. The building is easily recognizable due to its distinctive design. It really stands out in the city center as it is a very modern building surrounded by a number of historic ones. The building has impressive, curvy outlines, which has garnered it the original name “Fred and Ginger” after a well-known dance duo. The top floor is the only part of the building open to the public. There you will find one of the best restaurants in the city, the Ginger and Fred Restaurant. The restaurant has a tasty international menu and offers beautiful views of Prague.
Jiraskovo nam. 1981/6, 120 00 Nove Mesto, Czechia, Phone: +420-605-083-611
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Hluboka Castle is a historic castle in Hluboka nad Vltavou. It is thought by many to be one of the country's most beautiful castles. Castles have stood on the site since the late 13th century and these have been rebuilt several times. The current appearance comes from a 19th-century reconstruction under Count Jan Adam of Schwarzenberg. The chateau was built in the style of England's Windsor Castle. There are several tour options, including the Representation Room Tour, a tour of the private apartments, and even a tour that climbs the chateau tower. The tower climb is not available during bad weather.
373 41 Hluboka nad Vltavou, Czechia, Phone: +420-387-843-911
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The Prague Jewish Museum is one of the most popular museums in the city. It has one of the world's largest collections of Judaica, which includes approximately 100,000 books and 40,000 other objects. The museum also has a very extensive archive of Jewish history from the communities in the Czech Republic and Moravia. Tours with certified guides are available for both groups and individuals. Tours can be scheduled in English, German, French, and other languages, depending on guide availability. Audio guides in a variety of languages are also available for rent. The museums reservation center can assist with information about sites throughout the Prague's Jewish Quarter.
U Stare skoly 141/1, 110 00 Stare Mesto, Czechia, Phone: +420-222-749-211
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Josefov is a town quarter and small area of Prague that was the city's former Jewish ghetto. The area is completely surrounded by Prague's old town. There has been a strong Jewish community in Prague since the 10th century. Over time the community became most settled and concentrated within this walled ghetto. The community even has their own flag, a yellow Star of David on a red background. Many interesting cultural sites are concentrated in the community, including Franz Kafka's birthplace, a Jewish Town Hall, and synagogues ranging from the 13th to 19th centuries. The oldest surviving Jewish cemetery, which was used between the 15th and 18th centuries, is also located in Josefov.
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Karlstejn Castle is a large Gothic-style castle from the mid-14th century. It is one of the most well known and most frequently visited castles in the country and has served as a safe place to store the country's imperial regalia, holy relics, crown jewels, and other royal treasures. The castle sits above a village of the same name about 20 miles away from Prague. The castle can only be visited on guided tours. There are basic and exclusive tour options ranging from 40 to 100 minutes in length. If you hope to take part in the Exclusive Tour and visit the Chapel of The Holy Cross, you must make advance arrangements.
267 18 Karlstejn, Czechia, Phone: +420-311-681-617
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Konopiste Castle is a three-story chateau located about 50 kilometers from Prague. The chateau is famous because it was the final residence of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. The archduke's assassination in Sarajevo was a major catalyst that served to trigger World War II. The castle's museum has the bullet that killed the ruler on display and the castle itself is open to the public for touring. Visitors can see the residential rooms of Franz Ferdinand as well as many of his hunting trophies, armor, weapons and more. Tours are only available during the warm months.
256 01 Benesov, Czechia, Phone: +420-317-721-366
13.Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape
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The Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape is a cultural and natural landscape that encompasses nearly 300 square kilometers in the Valtice and Lednice areas near Breclav. The area is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While there are interesting sites located throughout the area, the main attractions are the village of Hlohovec, Chateau Lednice, the village of Lednice, and Chateau Valtice with its town. Additionally, there are many small and larger residential pavilions in the Lednice-Valtice area. Many of these were the hunting lodges or chateaus of various rulers or other members of the elite. A variety of garden follies are scattered throughout the area as well, especially near Lednice Castle.
691 44 Lednice, Czechia, Phone: +420-519-340-986
© Moravian Gallery
The Moravian Gallery, located in Brno, is the country's second largest art museum. It was created in 1961 and its collection is located across five separate buildings. Prazak Palace houses the museum headquarters as well as both temporary and permanent exhibitions. The Governor's Palace features an art exhibit from Gothic times to the 1800s on permanent display. The Museum of Applied Arts has a permanent exhibit of glass, porcelain, ceramics, metal, furniture, textiles, and more from the Middle Ages until the present. The JurkoviC House is an art nouveau villa that features a reception and social areas as well as an exhibition hall dedicated to the work of architect Dusan JurkoviC. The last section of the museum, the Josef Hoffmann Museum, is the childhood home of architect Josef Hoffmann, which has been restored to much of its turn-of-the-century appearance.
Husova 536/14, 662 26 Brno, Czechia
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The National Gallery is a state-owned art museum in Prague, housing the country's largest collection of art. The collections are not all contained in a central building. Rather, many items are on display in a variety of historic buildings and sites throughout the city of Prague as well as other places. The Veletrzni Palac houses the largest collection of art from the National Gallery, including its collection of modern art. It is one of the largest art museums in all of Central Europe. The collection contains works by many international artists, such as Monet, Picasso, Rodin, Van Gogh, and Klimt as well as many Czech and Slovak works.
Staromestske nam. 12, 110 15 Praha 1 - Stare Mesto-Stare Mesto, Czechia
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The National Museum in Prague is a state-owned museum designed to preserve, organize, and display historical and natural scientific collections. Founded in 1818, it today has more than 14 million items spanning the fields of history, natural history, science, art, music, and librarianship. The collection is housed in dozens of sites around the city and other places, however the main building is located on Wenceslas Square. This beautiful building was built in the late 1800s by well-known Czech neo-renaissance architect Josef Schulz. One could spend a large amount of time attempting to visit all of the buildings and exhibits of the National Museum and exploring their unique collections.
Vaclavske nam. 68, 115 79 Praha 1, Czechia, Phone: +420-224-497-111
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The National Theatre in Prague comprises three elements, the opera, ballet, and drama. The three ensembles rotate their performances between the historic building of the National Theatre, the Kolowrat Theatre, the Theatre of the Estates, and the New Stage. Each company performs works ranging from traditional and classical acts to modern artists. The full calendar of events and ticketing information can be found on the theatre's website. Guided tours of the National Theatre, New Stage, and the Estates Theatre can be arranged by Prague City Tourism for individuals only on the weekend. Larger groups can take advantage of a larger range of tour options.
Narodni 2, 110 00 Nove Mesto, Czechia, Phone: +420-221-714-161
18.Old Town Square
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Prague's Old Town Square is a historic square in the city's Old Town quarter situated between the Charles Bridge and Wenceslas Square. A variety of historical buildings line the square, representing a range of architectural styles. The Gothic Church of Our Lady before Tyn is one of the community's main churches. The towers of the church loom 80 meters above the square. The Old Town Hall with its astronomical clock is located on the square as well, as is the St. Nicholas Church. The center of the square has a statue memorializing martyred religious reformer Jan Hus. Several other memorials can be found in the square as well. Each Christmas and Easter, markets resembling those from medieval times are held in the square and are quite popular among visitors.
Staromestske nam., 110 00 Stare Mesto, Czechia, Phone: +420-221-714-444
19.Prague Astronomical Clock
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The Prague astronomical clock is a medieval astronomical clock in the country's capital. The clock was installed in 1410 and is the third oldest such clock in the world and the oldest one that is still functioning today. The clock is mounted on the Old Town Hall's southern wall in Prague's Old Town Square. There are three main components of the clock: An astronomical dial, which shows the positions of the sun and the moon and other significant astronomical information, an hourly show of figures of the Apostles and others, including a figure of Death, as well as a calendar dial, which represents the months.
Staromestske nam. 1, 110 00 Stare Mesto, Czechia, Phone: +420-236-002-629
Time zones: AK, GMT, MN, Central, FL, CA, Chicago, Eastern, OH
20.Prague Municipal House
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The Prague Municipal House is a civic building near the Powder Gate in the capital city's center. The building is home to Smetana Hall, which is a popular concert venue. The building is designed in the art nouveau style and features interesting art on the exterior, including a mosaic titled Homage to Prague, which can be seen just over the entrance. The concert hall has a glass dome and artwork by several artists, including Alfons Mucha, Max svabinsky, and Jan Preisler. In addition to being used as a concert hall, ballroom, and civic building, the building has cafes and restaurants offering a range of refreshments. Only a small portion of the building is open to the public but there are guided tours available, which give a more in-depth look.
nam. Republiky 5, 111 21 Stare Mesto, Czechia, Phone: +420-222-002-107
21.Prague River Cruise
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Prague Boats is a company offering boat cruises along the Vltava River in Prague. The company has a range of sightseeing cruises from the river, offering one of the most relaxed ways to see all of the sights of the city. Tours range from a 1-hour tour that passes many of Prague's historic attractions to a 3-hour cruise with all-inclusive gourmet food offerings and music. Tour guides offer information about history as well as the present use of many of the buildings. The tours are offered in eight languages, making it widely accessible to many visitors. The boats are also available for private events, weddings, and parties.
Dvorakovo nabrezi, Stare Mesto, 110 00 Praha 1, Czechia, Phone: +420-724-202-505
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Prague Zoo is a zoological park in Prague's Troja district. The zoo has approximately 4,200 animals from nearly 650 species. The zoo has directly contributed to the conservation of many endangered and threatened animal species, including the Przewalski's horse. Some of the animals on display include elephants, gorillas, hippos, giant salamanders, big tortoises, lemurs, a wide variety of monkeys, and many other animals. There is a children's petting zoo, where you and your kids can get close to a variety of domesticated animals and even pet them. The children's zoo features a pond, a creek, and a realistic rustic farmhouse with stables and sties full of friendly animals.
U Trojskeho zamku 3/120, 171 00 Praha 7, Czechia
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Veveri Castle is a castle located about 7 miles from Brno on the River Svratka. The castle is thought to have been founded in the mid-11th century as a hunting lodge, and has since also been used as a prison, a military center, and a residence. The castle is presently undergoing reconstructions and each year more of it is open for visitors. Throughout the year, many social and cultural events, art exhibitions, music concerts, wine tasting events, and more are hosted at the castle. Tours of the interior and exterior of the castle are available, including a behind-the-scenes look at the architecture and history of the building. Tours range from 30 to 60 minutes in length.
664 71 Veverska Bityska-Brno-Bystrc, Czechia, Phone: +420-549-420-164
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Vysehrad is a historic castle fort overlooking the Vlatava River in Prague, which was most likely constructed in the 10th century. Inside the castle is the Vysehrad cemetery, where many famous historic Czechs have been buried, in addition to the Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul. Some claim that Vysehrad was the first settlement in the area that later grew into Prague, but that claim is yet to be proven or disproven. Visiting the castle provides one with magnificent views of the city as well as a look at many hidden architectural treasures, including the cemetery, the basilica, the rare Romanesque Rotunda of St. Martin, and some of the original statues that once lined the Charles Bridge.
V Pevnosti 159/5b, 128 00 Praha 2, Czechia, Phone: +420-241-410-348
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Wenceslas Square is one of Prague's main city squares. The square has been the site of many significant historic events and is often the setting for concerts, celebrations, demonstrations, and other public events. The square is, in reality, more like a long rectangle. Several important buildings face the square, including the Czech National Museum. Other important buildings on the square include the Lindt Building and the hotels Evropa, Adria, and Julis. The square is named after Wenceslas I, Duke of Bohemia and there is a statue of the duke on the southeast end of the square. The square is the perfect place for meeting friends, shopping or just killing time and people watching. There is practically always something going on.
New Town, 110 00 Prague 1, Czechia
25 Best Things to Do in the Czech Republic
- Prague Castle, Photo: Courtesy of pyty - Fotolia.com
- Charles Bridge, Photo: Courtesy of dimbar76 - Fotolia.com
- Adrspach-Teplice Rocks, Photo: Courtesy of luckakcul - Fotolia.com
- Bohemian Paradise, Photo: Courtesy of knik - Fotolia.com
- Bohemian Switzerland, Photo: Courtesy of karlosxii - Fotolia.com
- Cesky Krumlov Castle, Photo: Courtesy of sangriana - Fotolia.com
- Dancing House, Photo: Courtesy of Rey Kamensky - Fotolia.com
- Hluboka Castle, Photo: Courtesy of NoraDoa - Fotolia.com
- Jewish Museum, Photo: Courtesy of Davide Gammone - Fotolia.com
- Josefov, Photo: Courtesy of Petr Bonek - Fotolia.com
- Karlstejn, Photo: Courtesy of valeryegorov - Fotolia.com
- Konopiste, Photo: Courtesy of wildman - Fotolia.com
- Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape, Photo: Courtesy of msanca - Fotolia.com
- Moravian Gallery, Photo: Moravian Gallery
- National Gallery, Photo: Courtesy of artush - Fotolia.com
- National Museum, Photo: Courtesy of Christoph Lischetzki - Fotolia.com
- National Theatre, Photo: Courtesy of Ivo Brezina - Fotolia.com
- Old Town Square, Photo: Courtesy of dimbar76 - Fotolia.com
- Prague Astronomical Clock, Photo: Courtesy of ekaterina belova - Fotolia.com
- Prague Municipal House, Photo: Courtesy of GoneWithTheWind - Fotolia.com
- Prague River Cruise, Photo: Courtesy of rh2010 - Fotolia.com
- Prague Zoo, Photo: Courtesy of dudlajzov - Fotolia.com
- Veveri Castle, Photo: Courtesy of vrabelpeter1 - Fotolia.com
- Vysehrad, Photo: Courtesy of r andrei - Fotolia.com
- Wenceslas Square, Photo: Courtesy of ekaterina belova - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of QQ7 - Fotolia.com