Best Places to Visit in the Czech Republic
- Prague is one of Europe's most beautiful cities. Historic Prague (The Old Town, Lesser Town, and New Town) is well preserved and has been designated a World Heritage Site by Unesco. Historic Prague owes much of its dramatic architecture to the Holy Roman Empire, particularly to the reign of Charles IV during the Middle Ages.
The Charles Bridge shown above (currently open but undergoing renovation), connects the Old Town (to the east) with the Lesser Town to the west. The view shown, looks along the bridge over the Vltava river towards Mala Strana (Lesser Town) and then uphill to Prague Castle and the St. Vitus Cathedral, a complex which dominates the city's skyline. Many of these attractions date from the 14th century when they were built byCharles IV, Holy Roman Emperor.
- The Castle is a popular attraction and you should make time to see it, along with its palaces and the cathedral.
- Consider taking a river cruise to see Prague's beautiful sights from the Vltava.
- The Bridge is an attraction in itself and usually lined with performers during the day.
The Old Town includes the famous Our Lady of Tyn church, as well as the equally famous City Hall Tower. Both attractions can be found on the Old Town Square.
· The City Hall's clock tower is an elegant, "astronomy/zodiac-related timepiece that has become synonymous with the image of Prague. The clock dates from the 15th century and has an amazing movement that includes the 12 Apostles (doors above top clock), as well as an animated skeleton of Death that tolls the bell (right side upper-dial) in a dance with the three figures (representing sins) at various levels on the sides of the clock.
The Old Town Square and the Wenceslas Square (a grand boulevard really) in the New Town (southeast of the Old Town) are the two most popular meeting places in the city. The Old town is filled with colorful buildings, good restaurants, and is quite interesting. Head to the New Town for fine shopping, leading hotels, the Central Train Station and the National Museum.
- Ceské Budejovice
- A famous "brewing" town, Ceské Budejovice was a Hapsburg favorite and is a pleasant place. Stop to see the architecture and have a brew (but not if you are driving).
- Cesky Krumlov
- A UNESCO World Heritage site, Cesky Krumlov is the premier Eastern European medieval town. Its site on the Vltava River is an appropriate setting for its 13th century castle and modestly sized but architecturally rich Old Town,
- Karlovy Vary
- One of the best of the Bohemian Spa towns.
- Kuntna Hora
- Kutna Hora was a royal center of the Hapsburg Empire and, also, its mint ( local silver mines helped here). Kutna Hora is known for its two majestic cathedrals - Church of St. Barbara and the Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlek.
- Kutna Hora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- If you plan to travel in Eastern Bohemia, you might consider visiting Brno and Olomouc , as these are the two most interesting towns in the eastern portion of the Czech Republic. Students of design flock to Brno to the the Tugendhat Villa by Mies van der Rohe, while Olomouc attracts many for its famed Holy Trinity Column (Zahner) in a style known as Olomouc Baroque that dates from the early 18th century.
City of a hundred spires
For centuries, Prague has been a centre of culture, architecture and enlightenment. Today, she's full of tourists getting snap happy and attempting to see her marvels in one or two days. That's impossible, but if you are only here for a limited time, there are some places you must visit. Charles Bridge, of course, will link your walk from Old Town Square and the Astronomical Clock to the wonders of the Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral. The Art Nouveau wonders of the Municipal House are right by the Powder Tower, and nearby Wenceslas Square has the statue of the sainted man himself and the golden domed National Museum, on the steps of which Jan Palah burned himself alive. Also, the Jewish area has various synagogues and the cemetery.
The Klementinum dates to 1232. The building was used as a Jesuit college until 1773 when it was given to Charles University. An important astronomical
Old Town Square
The indisputable heart of Prague. This vast open space is flanked by a pleasing blend of carefully restored architectural styles: Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque
Nusle Bridge spans a valley just south of the centre on the main road out of Prague towards Brno. It's length is earmarked at one end by the Corinthia
11 Golden Lane
The phrase 'picturesque street' might have been invented to describe this tiny cobbled lane with its miniature workers' cottages - now shops
Cesky Krumlov (Czech Republic)
The main river that twists around the town offers plenty of amusement in the summer with many a canoe or raft tackling the small rapids that run through it. Opt for the canoe if you want a bit more of a challenge or a free shower.
Kutna Hora (Czech Republic)
A macabre, yet strangely fascinating, sight is the ossuary in Sedlec, 3.5 kms from Kutna Hora. The bones have been transformed into real works of art such as a chandelier and a coat of arms.
Terezin (Czech Republic)
Time is better spent in Terezin than in Litomerice. The Jewish Ghetto museum exposes all the atrocities committed during the Holocaust and it can be very difficult holding back tears when looking at the childrens' paintings depicting their dreams.
Plzen (Czech Republic)
Whilst the medieval underground corridors are rather exciting to explore, especially when there's a special exhibition on making it the equivalent of a ghost train ride, the real attraction is the beer
Prague's Jewish Quarter (Czech Republic)
The Charles Bridge and castle in Prague are enticing, yet the Jewish cemetary and the Pinkas Synagogue with the names of Jewish people covering the walls, are highly moving.
Brno (Czech Republic)
Brno's Capucine Monastery exhibits the bodies of monks that have been left to dessicate naturally yet their bodies are surprisingly well-preserved.
Karlstejn Castle (Czech Republic)
Karlstejn Castle is just 55 mins from Prague by train and then a 25 min. walk. The inside of the castle is nothing to rave about but it holds a replica of the crown jewels that supposedly contained a thorn from the crown of thorns on Jesus' head.