Fairytale towns, architectural treasures and the best beer in Europe
Travel to Czech Republic
Buried in the heart of Central Europe, Czech Republic (also known as Czechia) is a land of cultural riches, architectural treasures and natural beauty. Outside of Prague, the Czech Republic is an underappreciated gem, offering much outside its beautiful but crowded capital. Remarkably, this fascinating country has stayed off the tourist radar, which gives you the chance to be richly rewarded if you decide to travel to Czech Republic and wander off the beaten path. Expect to be delighted by pretty spa towns, castle ruins, historic breweries and unique festivals you won’t find elsewhere. For the curious traveler, the Czech Republic presents a unique opportunity to visit popular tourist attractions one day and discover little known marvels the next – and without the high price tag.
The Czech Republic is synonymous with its fairytale capital (and one of Europe’s best preserved cities), Prague. Nicknamed “the handsomest city of Europe”, it’s easy to see why this magical metropolis has enchanted famous poets, writers, and musicians alike since the 18th century. Few cities can match Prague’s Old World charm and eclectic blend of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque era romance. Filled with art, history, mouth-watering beer, wild nightlife and an emerging foodie scene, no other place in Europe has become popular so quickly.
For many, it’s hard to break from the alluring spell of Prague with few tourists ever making it outside the city. However, curious explorers willing to venture beyond the city’s limits will find themselves richly rewarded with immersive cultural experiences – and for cheap. Choose to travel like a local and you will witness both picturesque second-tier cities as well as quiet towns that exist oblivious to the endless crowds of tourists pouring into Prague. It’s off the beaten path in these less touristy areas where you will find the vibrant Czech spirit, and at its heart, the people’s simple joy of life.
Located in the heart of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, Czechia has seen a long history of epic battles and triumphant dynasties on its land. As a result of this turbulent history, a legacy of picturesque castles and aristocratic villas remain, but this time for all people to enjoy. Everywhere you look there seems to be a chateau neatly erected into the peaceful countryside or a fortress perched strategically high upon a hill.
With over 2,000 castles dotted around the country, let your imagination run wild as you explore medieval towns, rugged woods and hilltop fortresses. The beauty of the Czech countryside will make you feel as if you’re walking through the secret garden you once fantasised about as a child.
Folklore & Festivals
Although a rapidly developing member of the European Union, Czech Republic is a country steeped in rich tradition. A country influenced by a mix of both pagan and Christian customs, these are preserved by folklore groups which celebrate their traditions during regional competitions, folklore events and other festivals throughout the country. Each region has its own distinct traditions, offering a fascinating insight for the traveler looking to delve a little deeper into the culture.
Cultural displays are the most apparent in the districts of Moravia and South Bohemia, where a flourishing folk culture is on full display during the summer festival season. During this time, local communities break out into traditional celebrations allowing onlookers to enjoy the beauty of folk songs, dances and costumes. You’ll even find one of the oldest and largest folk festivals in Europe at the Strážnice International Folklore Festival, where people come from all over the world to Strážnice on the last weekend in June to enjoy the world of folk.
The Czech Republic has a bona fide beer obsession with two major claims to fame. Responsible for inventing the world-renowned Pilsner Urquell lager in 1842, and having the highest global per capita beer consumption, it’s clear that the Czechs love their beer. Excitingly, in recent years the world-renowned brands have been matched or even outshone by regional micro-brews that are catering to renewed interest in traditional brewing techniques. Whilst you’ll find Pilsner Urquell on tap in every pub around the country, expect to now see a wider variety of ales and other micro-brews available for your good health.
Official Language: Czech
Population: 10.6 million
Currency: Crown (CZK)