As the saying goes, the world is a book, and those who don’t travel read only one page. The same applies to visiting the Czech Republic and only seeing Prague.
Don’t get me wrong, Prague is absolutely stunning, and its romantic Old Town with Prague Castle and Charles Bridge is a must-see, but if you want the whole story, you need to get out of the capital city and discover the adventures beyond.
There’s a lot of charm to be found in castles, natural wonders, and historic small towns scattered across the country.
Travelling may be more challenging than in Prague, with fewer English speakers, but you'll get an authentic feel for the country and Czechs, more bang for your buck, plus a real sense of adventure.
Read on to discover some of the most beautiful places to visit in the Czech Republic.
This small Eastern Bohemian city is famous for its postcard-perfect Litomyšl castle, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
It also has one of the country’s most picturesque town squares and the annual summer opera festival Smetanova Litomyšl, named after renowned Czech composer Bedřich Smetana.
Picture Renaissance buildings, rows of pastel homes, and monastery gardens.
And the best part, the town is pretty close to Prague. It'll take only about an hour and a half by train to get there. It's a great place for a day trip from Prague to spice up your Czech vacation.
Did you know that Czechs drink the most beer per capita, with about 180L of beer per year per person? Their enthusiasm for beer translated into many world-class beers, including Pilsner Urquell.
Plzeň, also known as Pilsen, is home to Pilsner Urquell Brewery, which has been producing one of the world’s best beers in the Czech Republic since 1842. The brewery offers daily English-guided tours where you'll learn about the Pilsner brewing process and its history.
The highlight is walking through old cellars and beer tasting.
The city also has a pretty historic square dominated by the Gothic church Chrám svatého Bartoloměje.
Czech Switzerland, also known as Bohemian Switzerland National Park, is a scenic region with towering sandstone cliffs, fairy-tale landscapes, quaint villages, and excellent hiking and biking opportunities, all just 90 minutes drive from Prague.
The highlight is Pravčická Brána, the largest natural rock bridge in Europe. It’s a lovely walk up through the forest to reach the rock formations. Once you get to the top, there is also a museum and restaurant inside an impressive historic building called Falcon’s Nest, where you can reward yourself with a meal and drink after your walk.
You have the option to book a Bohemian & Saxon Switzerland guided tour from Prague, which includes hikes to the German Bastei Bridge with a view of the Elbe River Canyon, Sneznik Lookout Tower, and Tisa Rocks, which was a filming site for “The Chronicles of Narnia.”
Also known as Carlsbad, Karlovy Vary is a famous Bohemian spa town in the Czech Republic with a rich history.
The spa thrived, especially in the 19th century when aristocrats from all over Europe came here for spa treatments.
Walk around the spa colonnades and make sure to take a sip of mineral water directly from the hot springs with a traditional ceramic spa cup.
The historic centre is mostly traffic-free, so you can enjoy a pleasant stroll marvelling at tall historic houses with colourful facades. While exploring the main spa promenade, treat yourself to homemade dessert at Cafe Elefant dating back to 1715. Their desserts are going to blow your mind. My favourite is honey cake.
Another popular tourist attraction in Karlovy Vary is the luxury Hotel Pupp, where the American movie Last Holiday was filmed. Just to the right of the hotel, at the end of the little uphill Marianská lane, a funicular departs every 15 minutes to a scenic viewpoint Diana. It's a perfect place to enjoy one of the best views of town.
The town is also home to the annual Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
Besides Karlovy Vary, there are other popular Czech spa towns in this region, Františkovy Lázně and Mariánské Lázně.
Hluboká Castle is considered one of the most beautiful castles in Europe, and rightly so. It's a striking, English-style, romanticized-gothic palace perched on the hill above the town of Hluboká nad Vltavou with amazing views.
The beautiful architecture of this fairy-tale castle was inspired by Windsor Castle in England.
The perfectly manicured gardens and interior are equally as impressive. There are gold ceilings with painted flowers, canvas wall paintings done by French artists, stained glass from churches in Switzerland and incredible paintings from many centuries.
If you like castles, visiting Hluboka is a must.
Just a 15-minute drive from Hluboka, you'll find another Czech gem, Ceske Budejovice.
Wander through the Old Town and pause to sip the locally brewed Budvar beer. The main square, with a perfectly symmetrical square shape, is lined with colourful buildings.
The stunning Old Town Hall from the 16th century and the central Samson fountain from the 18th century are the main attractions.
Keep your eyes peeled for the “lost stone,” only a few steps from the fountain. It's the lone cobblestone in the brick-covered town square, the only remaining stone of the original pavement.
Legend says that if you step on this stone after 10pm, you’ll become lost and won't find your way home until morning.
Attention, nature lovers, Krkonose National Park is not to be missed. It's home to the highest Czech mountain Sněžka, as well as the highest waterfall in the country Pancava Falls.
Take the cable car to Medvědín from a small town called Špindlerův Mlýn. From there, follow the red trail to the Golden Hill to Vrbatova Bouda, where you can try a variety of local specialities and different types of high-quality Czech beer.
I recommend trying a traditional dish - Czech beef goulash with dumplings, if available.
After that, continue along Buchar's path directly to the waterfall.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is easy to reach from Prague. The pretty town of Kutná Hora proudly boasts St. Barbara cathedral, built in 1388, the nearby Sedlec Ossuary, also known as “Bone Church,” and a silver mining museum.
The ossuary is a small chapel decorated floor to ceiling with human bones. The shapes, chandeliers, and sculptures are strangely, hauntingly beautiful, adding up to a breathtaking and spooky atmosphere.
The silver mine was so productive in the past that Kutná Hora used to be Bohemia’s second most important city after Prague.
The cobbled city centre is stunning, with a panoramic promenade, pretty pastel houses and many traditional Czech restaurants.
Český Krumlov is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the Czech Republic. It’s rare that a place not only lives up to its hype but exceeds it.
The town used to be the official residence of the Rožmberk (Rosenberg) family for about 300 years.
Its landscape resembles a fairy tale movie set, with Český Krumlov Castle perched on a hill encompassed by the winding Vltava River.
The medieval streets inside a small village are beyond charming and definitely worth adding to your Czech Republic itinerary. You can visit on a full-day tour from Prague with a local guide.
With pastel pink-and-yellow historic buildings, green rolling hills and a picturesque square with St Wenceslas church, Mikulov is the quintessential Moravian town.
Historically, Mikulov was the centre of Moravia’s Jewish community, growing to a population of several thousand at one point. You can tour the Jewish Quarter and the Jewish cemetery, one of the largest in Central Europe.
Mikulov is also surrounded by multiple small wine villages. The best time to visit the local wine cellars is in autumn during grape harvesting.
In early September, Mikulov’s renowned wine harvest festival Palava Vine Harvest kicks off the season with traditional music, historical costumes, a parade, folk dancing, and lots of local Riesling.
This Moravian wine tour combines a visit to Lednice Castle, Mikulov, Valtice and top Moravian wineries.
Brno has a different feel from Czech or Moravian cities. It's a buzzing student town and the second-largest city in the Czech Republic.
With the Czech Republic’s largest student population, Brno has a great nightlife scene and cool bars. Add a few microbreweries and trendy cafes to the mix, and you have a great spot to spend a weekend.
Brno was one of the leading centres of experimental architecture in the early 20th century. The Unesco-protected Vila Tugendhat is considered a masterwork of Functionalist design.
The town also hides an underground labyrinth, a subterranean collection of human bones from several centuries.
Olomouc is a charming town with beautifully restored baroque houses.
The major attractions are the country’s largest Holy Trinity column, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, six baroque fountains, the Saint Wenceslas Cathedral and Archdiocesan Museum.
Look out for the local astronomical clock on the tower of the Old Town Hall. It's similar to Orloj in Prague. The clock was built in the 15th century and still works today! It’s a great opportunity to witness its sophisticated engineering.
Sternberk Castle is another great place to visit, only a 20-minute drive from Olomouc.
The town and castle of Kroměříž make for a perfect half-day excursion from Olomouc.
The main attractions are the Kroměříž Castle and its enormous 58-hectare Gardens, both registered as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The castle used to be an archepiscopal summer residence.
The gardens feature lakes, exotic trees, sculptures, bridges and pavilions, ideal for a walk or picnic.
The pleasant town square and streets filled with little bakeries offer a perfect complement to the grandeur of the archbishop’s estate.
Lednice is another popular destination for travellers. The main draw is the castle with its huge gardens, a massive greenhouse filled with exotic plants and even a 200-foot-tall minaret out back!
The dining room alone, with blue-and-green silk walls, makes it worth visiting. Another impressive place inside the castle is the library, with a spiral wooden staircase made from a single piece of wood.
A horse-drawn carriage ride and a romantic boat ride are available and are a great way to see the grounds.
The small UNESCO-protected town of Telč has one of the most spectacular town squares in the Czech Republic, with well-preserved Renaissance and Baroque architecture.
The best thing is to wander around the square and marvel at baroque houses with their brightly coloured yellow, pink and green facades.
Telč continues to remain somewhat off-the-beaten-path, and it’s about a two hour drive from Prague.
The Moravian Karst is the largest karst in Central Europe and one of the top natural wonders in the Czech Republic. It's a protected nature area and home to incredible rock formations.
You'll find plenty of caves, gorges, sinkholes and underground rivers here. The main tourist attractions are Punkva Caves and 123 meters deep Macocha Abyss.
To get the most out of your adventure, take a boat ride through the underground maze-like network of Punkva Caves. There are also several hiking trails and cycling routes if you want to explore the area more.
With its unique landscape and stunning nature, Moravian Karst is one of the best places to visit in the Czech Republic.
There is also an option to go on a tour of Punkva Caves and Macocha Abyss with a local guide.
Last Updated 28 August 2023