Czech Republic Travel Guide
The central European land of the Czech Republic shares borders with Poland, Slovakia, Austria and Germany and like its neighbors offers a history and culture rich in tradition and stunning architectural design.
Tourism in the Czech Republic centers around the magnificent castles, churches and buildings that either clustered together or sprinkled around the landscape offer beautiful tourist attractions and places of interest to travelers.
St. Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle is the most important as well as being the largest church in the entire capital. It is the burial place of kings, the place were coronation ceremonies took place and the home of the Czech crown jewels, the largest and 4th oldest castle in all of Europe. The building dates back as far as 929 (although there was extensive work to it through the ages as well), and it offers stunning views, artwork, stained glass windows and architectural features that should not be missed.
Those traveling to the Czech Republic will be amazed at the amount of castles in the country, and the Castle District in Prague is where many go to see the multitude of buildings, churches and castles along with little stores, lookouts and a history of the city all conveniently laid out in the heart of the metropolis.
Charles Bridge connects the Old Town with its houses, churches and the oldest working astronomical clock in the world to Lesser Town, a highly historical part of Prague full of renaissance houses, baroque palaces, delightful squares and quaint restaurants and shops. The bridge itself is historically important as those visiting the Charles Bridge Museum will see, and it is filled with musicians, artists and vendors to make the crossing a tourist attraction in itself.
For tourists to the Czech Republic who like the mystery of the secret service, the KGB Museum is a must-see. Many priceless exhibits were saved from destruction when the former Soviet Union broke up and today the pieces are in this museum. The curator is by all accounts a major reason why people go to this museum, as you are given a thorough history of all of the exhibits and learn some of the secrets of the spy trade to boot.
Also in Prague is the Gastronomical Museum where the history of food is traced back from the Stone Age to present day. Learn how cooking has changed, how utensils were invented and the history of table manners all in a fascinating walk through time.
The southwestern castle city of Cesky Krumlov offers Czech Republic travelers more historical monuments to discover in the UNESCO World Heritage Site city. Built in the 13th century, the city boasts gothic, renaissance and baroque architecture with its town center nestled into a horseshoe shaped bend in the river. Czech Republic travelers can enjoy Cesky Krumlov Castle, complete with its 15th century frescoes, a rococo garden, interior bridge and refurbished fountain.
The Czech Republic tourism opportunities don’t stop there however, as Cesky Krumlov is also home to the Regional Museum, where historical artifacts, paintings, sculptures and old books are on display. For those visitors wanting a little something different, be sure to check out the Museum of Torture Instruments, where the medieval devices are displayed for a not so pretty look back into the past.
The town is also a mecca for festivals, like the Five-Petaled Rose Festival held each June. Here, tourists can take in jousting, folk theater, fencing demonstrations and historical dances whilst taking in the scenery and the culture of the region.
Karlovy Vary located 130 miles northeast of Prague offers tourists to the Czech Republic a relaxing spa atmosphere and the benefit of 12 natural hot mineral springs. The hot springs have been thought throughout time to heal all matter of ailments and are still a draw to this day. Along with the spa springs are many colonnades that offer visitors interesting architecture and designs along with being a decorative accent to the springs themselves. The Market Colonnade, for example is a wooden structure meant to be a temporary fixture but 100 years later, it has been refurbished and is now a major tourist attraction. The Mill Colonnade has 124 Corinth style columns and houses an orchestra pit along with 5 mineral springs.
Karlovy Vary also offers travelers to the Czech Republic the home of Moser Glass, which is manufactured in town as well as ample shopping opportunities for porcelain and liquor that is unique to the area as well as the country.
The Czech Republic is a historically rich country and one that offers green rolling hills and lovely vistas to complement the architectural designs of the towns. For those vacationers that long for the history of European countries or those who wish to revel in the spas, this country is a great destination to consider.