A Visitor’s Guide To The Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a fairly modern country that was created following the collapse of the Communist Czechoslovakia in 1993, but its history is a much more distinguished one. The territory that makes up the modern Czech Republic has its roots in the medieval Kingdom Of Bohemia, which went on to be one of the most important countries in the region for many centuries. It was also an area which saw a significant amount of conflict, which means that today the country has the highest density of castles in the world, while another claim to fame is that the country’s people have the highest consumption of beer per capita in the world.
The US State Department believes that the Czech Republic is one of the safest places in the region to visit, but does note that its open border policy to citizens of neighboring countries does mean there is a potential for terrorist attack, and advises visitors to be vigilant.
Top Sights To Visit In The Czech Republic
Prague – This beautiful historic city was founded in the ninth century, and lies on the banks of the Vltava River, boasting attractions such as the world’s largest medieval castle, the stunning astronomical clock and the remarkable ‘Dancing House’ which is a wonderful modern building.
Krkonose – The highest mountain in the Czech Republic is located in the north of the country, and is popular for hiking in the summer while in the winter its slopes are among the most popular skiing destinations in the country.
Cesky Raj – A short distance from Prague, this beautiful area of the country is a treasure trove of historic castles and ruins, with the impenetrable Trosky Castle a particular highlight that is perched on a small volcanic plug with steep rocky cliffs on all sides.
Karlovy Vary – This historic city is famous for its spas that are situated around the hot springs in the area, while the beautiful colorful buildings are also particularly attractive.
The Town Center Of Kutna Hora – This historic town was once one of the most important in the country with a significant silver mining industry, and it is this wealth that helped construct stunning buildings such as the St Barbara’s Church, which began construction in the fourteenth century.
Holasovice – A historic village dating from the thirteenth century, the population in this area was of German heritage which can also be seen in the style of the architecture, and the village has now been renovated after it was abandoned by its German residents following World War II.
Karlstejn Castle – Located on a rocky hilltop to the south west of Prague, this superb castle was designed to offer the luxuries of a palace while still being an effective defensive fortification.
Litomysl Castle – This remarkable Renaissance castle took nearly fifteen years to complete in the sixteenth century, and is impressive both for its luxury as it is for its scale, and has led to the town center being acclaimed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Brno – The second city of the Czech Republic is home to many government departments along with the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul and the historic Spilberk Fortress, it is also one of the cultural centers of the country, with theater and fireworks festivals amongst the annual events.
Olomouc – Famous for being home to the largest Baroque sculptural group in the world, the Holy Trinity Column which stands at the center of the city, Olomouc is a lovely historic city to explore with grand buildings and charming cobbled city streets.
Where To Stay In The Czech Republic
Art Deco Imperial Hotel – Within the grand and impressive interior of the hotel visitors can relax in luxurious rooms that have been sumptuously decorated, while its central location is perfect for an enchanting day exploring the sights of the city.
Elite Hotel – Within walking distance of the main sights in Prague, visitors can enjoy facilities such as a sauna and jacuzzi, while the rooms are well priced and comfortable, with well designed luxurious bathrooms.
Grand Hotel Brno – Occupying a prominent location within the city center, this hotel gives guests large spacious rooms with plenty of space to relax, while it also has facilities such as a casino, bar, sauna and a fitness center.
Hotel Vista – A good choice for those who are exploring the city on a budget, this hotel provides visitors with pleasant affordable rooms along with a sauna and bar, and a terrace restaurant that offers some delightful views over the city.
Humboldt Park Hotel And Spa – Located in a historic manor house within the city center, guests at the hotel can enjoy the luxuries that were once afforded to the elite of the city, providing stunning rooms along with an indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi and steam room.
Hotel Palatin – A nice base from which to explore the city, visitors are provided with affordable but comfortable rooms in a pleasant area of the city, while also offering facilities including an attractive indoor swimming pool and a television in each room.
Hotel Ruze – This beautifully designed hotel has a lovely location overlooking the river, and has spacious and luxurious rooms with a lovely bathroom, and access to leisure facilities including an indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi and a fitness center.
The Old Inn Hotel – Offering guests pleasant accommodation in a nice central location, this hotel has tastefully designed rooms that are comfortable and affordable, while its lovely rustic style restaurant is well worth trying.
The food in the Czech Republic includes dishes that have been prepared in the area for several centuries, and many of its culinary influences have been taken from the surrounding countries, as well as being designed to make good use of what is produced locally. Meat plays an important role in Czech food, and the traditional Bohemian Platter will often have five or six different types of meat served with bread, cabbage and dumplings. Another popular dish is Rizek, which involves slices of beef or pork that are covered in a mixture of egg, flour and breadcrumbs before being deep fried and served with vegetables. The Czech Republic is also well known for its desserts, with fruit dumplings and cakes being particularly popular.
Beer is one of the most popular drinks in the Czech Republic, and there are breweries documented in the country over a thousand years ago, with the majority of beers on offer today being light lagers, with Pilsner Urquell and Budvar being the most popular brands.
Currency And Visa
The Czech Republic has a policy of open borders along with many European countries known as the Schengen Agreement, and visitors to these countries can stay for up to ninety days without having to arrange a visa. For those taking a longer tour of Europe or staying in the Czech Republic for longer, a visa in advance will need to be arranged. The local currency is the Czech Koruna, and visitors from the United States will usually be able to exchange each US Dollar for around nineteen Koruna.