Our dear friends! Below, I have put together for you 5 reasons (with attached videos and photos for illustration) why I believe you should not miss out on the opportunity to visit our lovely country this year. Check them out and let me know your opinion!
1. Spirit, history and a magical atmosphere like nowhere else
This year the Czech Republic celebrates its 100th birthday. However, one hundred years of the existence of an independent Czechoslovak state (and later the Czech Republic) means very little compared to the 1100-year history of Prague: our capital. Centuries-worth of history took place in the streets of this beautiful, vibrant city and the most important medieval kings, princes, dukes and emperors passed through and visited.
It’s no surprise that Prague was included in UNESCO’s World Heritage list as early as 1992. It is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. People love it for the striking panoramas on both banks of the Vltava River, its townscape of burgher houses and palaces punctuated by towers, and its individual buildings. The historic centre represents a perfect manifestation of medieval urbanism. The city as such has been spared from any large-scale urban renewal or massive demolitions. Thus, its overall configuration, pattern and spatial composition has remained the same over time. The city’s historic centre also represents one of the most prominent global venues as concerns creative works in the field of urbanism and architecture. Prague building styles span generations, philosophies and beliefs. Prague’s development is documented in the architectural expression of many historical periods and their styles. The city is rich in outstanding monuments from all ages of its history.
OK, so that was what UNESCO has to say about Prague. But what is life like in this city of a hundred spires? Thanks to the city’s unique character, Prague has a kind of magic you can’t find anywhere else in the world. You can feel it absolutely everywhere. Yet, the city is definitely not an open-air museum, but rather it’s full of life! Likewise, there are also many other towns and sites throughout the Czech Republic like Telč, Český Krumlov, Kutná Hora or Jindřichův Hradec that have this special kind of atmosphere and are also worth visiting. All these five-star historic venues can be visited in many different ways depending on your personal taste and style. But no matter what way you choose to travel, the thousand years plus of history will surround you every step of the way and make your trip unique and unforgettable.
2. Breath-taking nature, national parks and nature reserves
The Czech Republic’s location in the heart of Europe means it has a very pleasant climate and nice weather from May to October. It also tends to have beautiful, snowy winters from December to March. This makes it a perfect destination for nature lovers, as there are many natural parks and nature reserves that offer superb hiking trails. The most popular ones include Bohemian-Saxon Switzerland in northern Bohemia and Czech Paradise in north-central Bohemia. The first one is located right at the border with Germany and is super-famous for its sandstone arch and Narnia-like scenery. The second one is just one hour away from Prague. Czech Paradise is a unique mixture of lush pine forests, incredibly beautiful sandstone rock labyrinths and majestic castles. Both areas offer more than just a day spent in nature. You can stay overnight in one of the romantic, mountain or piedmont villages with traditional timbered houses situated in very peaceful, rural surroundings. You can then wake up in the morning to roosters crowing and announcing the new day in your temporary mountain home. Other great outdoor locations are the Krkonoše Mountains, where you can climb the highest peak in the Czech Republic called Sněžka. There is also the romantic Šumava region in the south of the country with its expansive, breath-taking Lipno Reservoir and the original, old-growth, mountain forest called Boubín.
3. Beer, beer and more beer (and some other local gastronomic treats)
The Czech Republic is truly a beer-drinking nation. Lager-style beer was invented here in the town of Pilsen (Plzeň in Czech). This city offers one of the best beers in the world: Pilsner Urquell, which is still produced in the local brewery. You may have also heard about the dispute between the American Budweiser and the original Budweiser which hails from České Budějovice (referred to in German as Budweis, hence the US brand name) in the south of the Czech Republic. After tasting them both, I assume you will have a quick opinion on which one is better. Yet, drink-wise, the Czech Republic is not only about its world-famous beer brands. It is a country with thousands of smaller breweries and micro-breweries. Beer is not just a drink for Czechs. It is a true part of the culture here. The most important decisions are made over a glass of beer. When sitting in a pub and sipping a perfectly tapped beer, every Czech immediately becomes a knowledgeable ice-hockey coach, football expert or even president or prime minister. Czech pubs have always been a place where people meet to exchange their views and opinions. By the way, did you know that beer is cheaper than water here? Moving on though, you can be sure that Czech people also love good food. When visiting different parts of the country, you will taste local specialities: like fish in southern regions, or sauerkraut soups in the East.
4. Get out of the city, relax and have fun
Although the Czech Republic does not have sea access, and thus is not primarily a destination for relaxing on the beach, it also offers many sports, water attractions, outdoor programs and high-adrenaline activities. Would you like to enjoy a day outside the capital city, Prague, the way local people do? How about relaxing on a private motorboat on Slapy Reservoir, formed by a dam on the Vltava River? You can bet that diving off your boat and taking a swim is a great way to enjoy a hot summer day. Then have a sip of an ice-cold Czech beer. This is what many Czechs do when they want to escape the heat of the city and cool off. Is that enough action for you? No? So why not try tandem skydiving? The Czech Republic has a long tradition of this adrenalin-sport activity, and you can even earn your skydiving licence here for a very reasonable price. If you are not much of an adrenalin junkie and would like to try something more relaxing, you can go fishing, cycling, canoeing or water-skiing and wakeboarding. All these activities can be easily organized, since they are very popular in the Czech Republic.
5 Do it all, enjoy time with your friends
This fifth reason to visit the Czech Republic is the most important! It is actually the reason why I recommend the Czech Republic to travellers as a perfect holiday destination. This reason is that YOU CAN TRY EVERYTHING. Holidays in the Czech Republic usually consist of a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. You can find yourself hiking deep inside a nature reserve and end up visiting a beautiful medieval castle that you suddenly happen upon along the way. In South Moravia, you can spend the whole day cycling through regional vineyards and visit incredibly beautiful chateaux featuring imitations of Greek temples and hunting lodges; the latter are part of the UNESCO-protected Lednice-Valtice Complex. When all this makes you tired, you can freshen up and recharge your batteries the best way possible: by enjoying an evening in one of the hundreds of small, family-run wine cellars in the area. The region is famous for excellent wine it produces. You can taste locally-produced wines and chat with the very people who make them. Or you can taste the best local wines at the unique Valtice Chateau the Best Castle in the World for wine-lovers.
Also note that sightseeing does not have to be boring in the Czech Republic. My advice is as follows: spend your mornings sightseeing in historic town centres, when you finish enjoy a great, tasty lunch, and in the afternoon relax by the lakes and rivers sipping an icy-cold beer from the deck of your rented motorboat and then have fun fishing for a pikes and zanders.
For all these reasons – and also because it is very safe (and inexpensive) – the Czech Republic is definitely a place you should put at the top of your bucket list for 2018. When you decided to visit, contact us at CZEXPERIENCE to help you make your travel plans.
I’m sure you won’t regret it!