Did you know that the Czech Republic has over 2,000 castles to explore, making it the country with the highest density of castles? If that sounds fascinating to you, uncovering this magnificent country's hidden treasures will leave you with many questions.
Which beer should I try first? How do I travel from Brno to Plzeň in the most convenient way? Should I hire a Czech tour guide or not? If the tabs on your computer are piling up, travel fatigue is sure to kick in. In that case, this article should hopefully end your sorrows.
We explored the Land of the Bohemian Crown to present you with the best-of-the-best, do's and don'ts, how to get around, and when the best time to visit Czechia is.
Travel Secret: Czechia? Not the Czech Republic? Since 2016, the official short name of the country has been changed from Czech Republic to Czechia for practical reasons, and to promote the country's national identity.
Czech Republic Unveiled: Secrets & Numbers
Home to 10.8 million people, the Czech Republic isn’t the biggest country in Europe. Still, it definitely has a lot of fans! In 2019 alone, over 37.2 million visitors (including same-day visitors and overnight tourists) were in a Czech fever, wanting to see the country.
During the pandemic, numbers did decline. However, experts say that by 2024/25, tourism will reach pre-Covid numbers again, with an estimated 44 million visitors by 2026.
So tourism is a big thing in the Czech Republic? It is! The country's tourism GDP (7.8%) underlines that! This begs the question: which country is Czechia's biggest fan? We have the numbers.
Who Loves The Czech Republic The Most?
Out of the 10.8 million foreign tourists, these countries visited Czechia the most.
- Germany - More than 2 million Germans swarmed the country in 2019, topping this list by far.
- Slovakia - Another neighboring country, 750,000 Slovakian travelers crossed the border to see Czechia.
- Poland - Wonder how many Polish adventurers made a journey to Czechia? 673,000 to be precise.
- China - In 2019, 612,000 visitors found their way into the country.
- USA - Finally, the United States rounds up this list with 584,000 visitors.
Urban Riddles: Czechia’s Secret Cities
Everyone knows Prague (of course, it’s beautiful!). But the cities on this list are equally unique and should not be missed on your bucket list!
- Prague - This city probably needs no introduction. As the heart of the country, The City of a Hundred Spires is by far the most beloved travel destination of all the Czech Republic. With a rich history, world-class museums, the stunning architecture of Prague Castle, and delicious Czech cuisine, Prague has it all.
- Travel tip: Can't get enough of this city? Then check out our Prague Tourism guide!
- Český Krumlov - A UNESCO World Heritage site, and for many, considered a hidden gem, this charming fairy-tale town is perfect for enjoying the country’s architectural heritage and tasting the local breweries.
- Brno - Czech Republic's second-largest city Brno blends in historical charm and modern innovation with seamless style. Considered the Czech Silicon Valley for many, the town also features a beautiful castle and the Tugendhat Villa, another UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Plzeň - The birthplace of the Pilsner beer, the fourth-largest city of Czechia is also perfect for strolling through the city's center, or visiting world-class museums like the Museum of West Bohemia.
Travel tip: If you're a film fan visiting the city in September, check out the Pilsen International Film Festival!
- Karlovy Vary - Looking for the most relaxing place in the entire republic? Well, you found it! Known for its hot springs, the city offers endless possibilities to relax at spa resorts and enchant yourself with baroque architecture and picturesque pavilions.
The Hidden Natural Wonders of the Czech Republic
From scenic Bohemian forests to picturesque Moravian vineyards, the countryside of Czechia is full of hidden treasures to uncover. Don't miss out on these 4 places!
- Bohemian Switzerland National Park - This park is a natural wonderland full of breathtaking scenery captured in 700 km2. Known for its unique sandstone towers, incredible viewpoints, and countless hiking trails, this is an oasis for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts.
- Podyjí National Park- Despite being the smallest national park in Czechia, Podyjí is not short of beautiful things to see. Walking alongside the steep cliffs of the Dyje River valley (maybe you’ll spot otters and beavers!) or wandering through ancient woodlands is a must. But most importantly, don’t let the park's size fool you! This park carries an enormous aura.
- Beskydy Mountains - Did you know that the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, grew up in a small town (Příbor) in the mountains? These are just glimpses of the many secrets these mountains behold. It is on you to uncover them.
- Lipno Dam - Located in the South of the Czech Republic, this dam is perfect for relaxing picnics with the family or any water activity you can think of, ranging from swimming, surfing, and kayaking.
Czech Republic’s Liquid Legacy: Where To Find The Best Beer & Wine!
One thing’s for sure: Czechia wouldn’t have the highest beer consumption per capita if their beer was terrible! Want to convince yourself? Here are some of the beer spots you should definitely check out!
For Beer Enthusiasts - Naz Dravi!
- Pilsner Urquell Brewery in Plzeň - The brewery that has been shaping beer culture since 1842 is open for you to visit (and taste!). Take a guided tour and learn from the beer masters how to craft one of the most influential beer brands in the world.
- U Fleků in Prague - If listening to live music while enjoying a cold lager beer and mouth-watering Prague cuisine sounds like your thing, visiting this decade-old brewery is dobrý nápad (a good idea).
- Starobrno Brewery in Brno - Known for its decade-long tradition (they've been brewing beer since 1325!), you can taste various samples of the Starobrno beers in one of the oldest breweries in Central Europe.
For The Wine Lovers
Yes, Czechia is mainly known for its beer production. But if beer is the Prague of Czechia, then wine is the Brno of the Czech Republic. If you love wine, don't miss these places:
- Moravia Wine Region - Stretching from the South of Morava to the West of Brno, this region is known for its excellence in white wine, scenic hills, charming valleys, and beautiful countryside. This is the most attractive place for tasting wine, for sure!
- Pálava Wine Region - Pálava is not only known for its signature white wine (a golden yellow) but also for cycling lanes and historical towns and castles. Want to take a relaxing dip? Pálava also has many lakes around the region, such as the Nové Mlýny.
- Litoměřice Wine Region - Located in North Bohemia, you can enjoy excellent white wine while strolling alongside the Elbe River. Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, they have it all.
Alcohol tip: In the Czech Republic, be careful when trying absinthe. Many places serve a version without the usual herbs and anise, which is typical for the alcohol. Seek out specialized absinthe bars for an authentic experience.
Czech’s Culinary Delights
Delicious drinks aren’t the only highlights of the country. Here are some of the must-try dishes for your Czechia trip!
- Svíčková na Smetaně - a classical Bohemian dish, the slow-cooked, tender beef and dumplings are served together with a creamy vegetable sauce. The dish is famous for playing with contrasts, mixing ingredients like lemons with cranberries and sugar.
- Trdelník - This sweet pastry made of yeast dough is famous for its cylinder-shaped form, and its caramelized crust lets you spiral downwards into the sweetness of Czechia's core.
- Hovězí Guláš - Also called Czech Beef goulash, this dish is known for its intense and hearty flavor. Despite the popularity of goulash in Central Europe, this particular version comes from Hungary. The stew made of beef, onions (essential!), and an array of spices that will give you a taste of Czech's culinary heritage.
- Pečená Kachna - This Czech roasted duck is patiently roasted in the oven until golden brown, sprinkled with seeds and marjoram, and served alongside cabbage and potatoes. Served on various occasions throughout the year, this is a quintessential dish of Czech cuisine.
- Knedliky - These traditional bread dumplings are comforting in their taste and versatile in their use. More so, they are an integral part of the culinary heritage of Czechia.
Cooking tip: Want to know the Knedliky secret recipe? Then check out this (delicious) video to make Czechia bread dumplings yourself.
Seasonal Secrets: When To Visit The Czech Republic
Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Czechia has them all! Now the question is when's the best time to visit? Here’s what we found:
- Spring (March-May): The transition from winter to summer is the most suitable time for visiting the country. Consistently pleasant weather (around 9 – 20° C), fewer crowds, and blossoming flowers sound like your thing? Then this is the time to visit.
Don't forget: T-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, light sweaters and a light-weight coat for the evenings.
What to attend: The Prague Spring International Music Festival (Pražské Jaro) for all music enthusiasts is an excellent place to start.
- Summer (June-August): With longer days and warmer temperatures (24 – 26° C), more people seem to stream into the country. This time is ideal for visiting the many lakes of the Republic or for outdoor activities.
Don't forget: Sandals, swimwear, sunglasses, sunscreen!
What to attend: Love lavender? Then the Lavender Festival in Bezděkov should be on your list for your summer trip!
- Autumn (September-November): With the summer days slowly fading, temperatures get more pleasant (13 – 24° C), and the country reveals all of its beauty. Lesser crowds are a big pro. However, it does get chilly during the end of Autumn and rainfall is not uncommon.
Don't forget: A light jacket, layers of clothing, and waterproof shoes for seasonal rainy days.
What to attend: There is an array of things that you should check out when visiting Czechia in September, the Prague Grand Prix or exploring majestic castles such as Český Krumlov are a great place to start.
- Winter (December to February): Temperatures drop, especially at the beginning of the year (2 – 9° C). However, festive Christmas markets make up for the chilly weather. This is the perfect time to get into the steamy waters of your favorite spa or visit Špindlerův Mlýn for skiing and snowboarding in the Krkonoše mountains.
Don't forget: Thermal underwear, thick socks, gloves, and insulated boots should do the trick.
What to attend: Any Christmas market that you can find! And if you’re a fan of Gingerbread, then the Pardubice (Gingerbread) Festival should be on your list.
Getting Around In Czech Republic Made Easy
Now that you know where to go, and what to eat (and, of course, drink!), let’s look into the different ways of traveling around the country. Spoiler: they’re all very convenient!
- Extensive Train System - Due to systems such as the České dráhy that connect major cities and towns with each other, riding the train makes for seamless travel.
- Rental Car - Want to have convenience on your side? Then rent a car, and your journey from Prague to Brno or Český Krumlov to Plzeňwill be filled with personal stops for appreciating the Czechian landscape with many chances to explore the country at your own pace.
- By Walking - Many cities like Prague, Brno, or Český Krumlov are famous for their narrow streets, ideal for exploring the city on foot. If you're a hidden gem hunter, this might be your best chance to dig out treasures of the country. PS: if you're a bicycle enthusiast, many rental shops in the city offer another convenient way of exploring!
- Ferries and Boats - Taking a ferry to cross iconic rivers like Vltava is one of the most stylish and convenient ways to go from A to B.
Travel tip: You’re a tech-guru but don’t know which travel app is fitting for Czechia? Then check out these Czech travel app essentials!
Cultural Do’s & Don’ts - Navigating Czech Customs
Visiting Czechia means you're set up for an adventure! Want to focus on the adventure aspect and not worry too much about running into awkward situations? Stick to these rules:
Travel tip: Trouble pronouncing Dobré ráno (good morning)? This language video will help you learn the basic phrases.
Travel tip: When you go to exchange money, pay close attention to the exchange rate of the exchange house (especially the ones with “zero commission”). If you’re withdrawing cash from an ATM, always make sure to decline (!) the conversion, as it can result in money loss.
Safety: Czech Republic Edition
Czechia is definitely a beautiful country…but is it a safe one as well? Yes, it is! Especially in comparison with other cities, Prague holds up very well with a crime index of 24.64, much lower than cities like Paris, Berlin, or Rome.
Does that mean that nothing can happen to you? Yes, if you consider these everyday tips:
- Pick-pocketing- It is a thing everywhere, unfortunately. So look after your belongings and be careful if someone wants to see your passport without a legitimate reason.
- Be Aware of Drink Spiking - This can happen, unfortunately, so stay with your immediate circle when going to nightclubs and watch your drink.
So, is the Czech Republic also safe for solo female travelers?
Yes, it is! According to many Global Peace Indexes of the last years (including 2020 and 2021), Czechia earns a continuing top 10 spot!
If you're still here, you're as much of a fan of Czechia as we are! Make your next step towards your Czech travel adventure now by hiring a Czech tour guide, working on your itinerary, and making your travel dreams come true.