About Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a small country in Central Europe which has evolved into one of the most loved destinations for travelers visiting Europe. The historical buildings, ancient castles and monasteries provide travelers with numerous sites to explore.
The lush green surroundings, forests, and mountains are a treasure trove for the nature lovers and offer an array of activities to those who love the outdoors. Czech countryside has some of the best conservational areas and national parks and the capital city Prague is a treat with it’s chic cafe culture, top restaurants, shopping and sightseeing opportunities.
Czech Republic Travel Info
Language: The official language of Czech Republic is Czech with 96% of the population speaking the same. Although, communicating in English will not be a problem in most places and to some extent in German too. You will find older people fluent in German and Russian.
Currency: Czech koruna.
Visa: Czech Republic is a member of Schengen Agreement, which provides free visa to travel to any EU country including the ones, not a part of Schengen as well as those approved by Schengen like America, New Zealand, and Australia for 90 days. Citizens of South Africa, Asia, and Russia, need to apply for Schengen Visa before going to the Czech Republic.
Electricity: Czech Republic operates on 230 V electricity supply, with a frequency of 50 Hz. Associated plug types are C, E and F. I recommend bringing a Universal Travel Adapter so you don’t need to keep buying new adapters for each country you visit.
Czech Republic Festivals & Celebrations
Pilsen’s Festival of Freedom: In 1945, Pilsen, the biggest town of Czech Republic got independence from the US. Each year, in May, the locals celebrate this freedom with a parade of historical army equipment, and the surviving soldiers come to attend it. “Roll out the Barrel” is sung and crowds cheer for the singers. The best beer in the world is also tasted on this occasion.
Spring Music Festival, Prague: Rafael Kubel, a Czech conductor, initiated the first spring festival in Czech in 1946. Currently, this is the best and the grandest music festivals of Czech Republic. The event happens across the city with a large number of musicians from contemporary to classical music being attracted by it.
Wiener Festwochen: This festival began in 1951 in Vienna when the city was occupied by the Allied forces. It was started with the aim of integrating the national landscape with culture and art. Today, this open-air festival becks about 180,000 visitors to witness Czech Republic’s music, arts, theater, fine arts, dance and much more.
Safety In Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is among the top ten safest countries in the world and so safety is not really a concern for people traveling to the Czech Republic. Apart from the occasional few minor bag snatching and pickpocketing incidents, the Czech Republic is generally a very safe country to visit. Based on my own travel experiences around Europe I wouldn’t leave home without travel insurance no matter how safe the destination I’m visiting is. You can still miss flights, lose your luggage or break a leg, especially if you’re as accident prone as I am. For this reason I recommend checking out the travel insurance plan that World Nomads can offer you a few weeks or months before you plan to visit the Czech Republic.
Top Things To Do In Czech Republic
Visit the Prague Castle
This sophisticated and extraordinary castle dates back to the 19th century and has been the seat of power for a number of Rulers for centuries some among them being the Holy Roman Emperors and Kings of Bohemia. The complex now houses the President of Czech Republic. In the castle, the Bohemian Ancestral gems and Jewels are kept safe in one of the secret rooms. The Prague castle is listed in the Guinness Book of World records as the largest ancient castle in the world and also as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Walk the Charles Bridge
Charles Bridge runs above the Vltava River in Prague and was under construction from 1357 up to the 15th century. Originally, it was known as the stone bridge or the Prague Bridge. It is a bow bridge having 16 arches. Three bridge towers and 30 statues adorn the sides. The old town of Prague is connected to the Prague Castle through this bridge. It is one architectural wonder that must be visited while in Prague.
Wander around the Old Town Square
The old town square of Prague is a historic square in the city which is located between the Wenceslas Square and the Charles Bridge. All over the square, you will find a number of historical buildings in different architectural styles. It also has one of the main churches of the community, the Gothic Church of our Lady. The church tower is 80 meters high. A spectacular astronomical clock is located on the square along with a statue of Jan Hus, a martyred religious reformer.
Explore the Bohemian Paradise
Bohemian paradise is the country’s first nature preserve and is spread across an area of 180 sq kilometers. This protected area is varied and gorgeous. There are numerous trails that you can walk to come across the many natural attractions, beautiful countryside and rock formations. If you travel by car, you can see a number of museums, ruins, chateaus, castles and many interesting sites. There are a few vintage points that are accessible only to rock climbers.
Cesky Krumlov Castle
This well-known castle and museum is situated in the center of the city of Cesky Krumlov. In 1240, the castle was constructed by the Witigonen family who were associated with the powerful Rosenbergs. As compared to the other European castles of its time, this castle is comparatively well preserved and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fifth courtyard of the castle houses a well maintained baroque theatre called the Krumlov Baroque Theatre.
Stop at the Jewish Museum, Prague
The museum houses the largest collections of Judaica in the world and is the most famous museum in Prague. It has nearly 100,000 books and 40,000 other artifacts. The museum archive is rich in Jewish history from Moravia and Czech Republic. Guided tours are available in English, French, German and other languages.
Visit the Lednice-Valtice Cultural landscape
This is a lush green cultural landscape that covers about 300 sq kilometers in the Lednice and Valtice area around Breclav. The area is safeguarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has many interesting sites. The main highlights are the village of Hlohovec and Lednice and Chateau Lednice and Chateau Valtice. It also has a number of small and large residential pavilions which were earlier used as hunting lodges by various rulers.
Visit the National Gallery in Prague
The National Gallery owns the largest art collection in Prague and is a state-owned museum. It is not just the central building that holds the entire collection, but several items are displayed in a number of historical sites and buildings throughout the city. The Veletrzni Palace houses the largest art collection. The museum is among the largest in all central Europe and contains work of eminent artists like Monet, Rodin, Van Gogh, Picasso and many more.
The Prague Municipal House
In the city center of Prague, near the Powder gate is the Prague Municipal House. The building houses the Smetana Hall, a renowned concert venue. The design is the nouveau style of art and features beautiful art including a mosaic titled reverence to Prague on the exterior. There is a glass dome and intricate artwork in the concert hall. Along with the concert hall, the building has a ballroom, civic building, restaurants, and cafes. Only a portion of the building is open to public.
This is the country’s largest monastic library with two extraordinary baroque halls dating back to the 17th century. Visitors are not allowed inside the halls as the level of humidity caused by the breath of the visitors was threatening to the frescoes. Historical curiosities are also on display here. The interiors of the two-story high Philosophy hall was constructed to fit around the floor to ceiling shelves that had been imported from a monastery in South Bohemia.
Other than these top things to do in the Czech Republic, there is so much more to see and experience in this amazing country. Be prepared to be flexible because sometimes other travelers that you meet on your travels will have the best suggestions for things to do in the Czech Republic that are off the beaten path.
What To Eat In Czech Republic
Along with its splendid architecture and the most loved beer, Prague is also a rich culinary destination. You can taste it’s diverse flavors in the traditional dishes like potato soup, pork roast and apple strudel. Whether sweet or savory, the local Czech Republic cuisine is extremely pleasing to the taste buds.
Palacinky: Palacinky tops the must eat list of Prague. This is a slightly thinner version of the French Crepes, but the batter and method of preparation is different. They are rolled and filled with jam, fruit, nuts or cream. If savory, they are stuffed with meat, spinach, and cheese.
Vepřo-knedlo-zelo: This traditional Czech dish is made from roast pork, stewed cabbage, and bread dumplings. In Czech Republic, you will find dishes mostly heavy on meat and dumplings, and this dish provides a perfect balance with a moderate amount of fiber.
Gulas: Gulas originated from Hungary, yet it has been adopted as an integral part of the Czech cuisine and has become a staple food choice. It’s typically made of beef, along with pork or chicken as alternative ingredients. Meat is stewed and loaded with lots of gravy and served with bread dumplings.
Smažený sýr: This one is for the cheese lovers. Cheese balls are deep fried and served with fries, bread roll or salad. The entire package will send you to cheese paradise. This is a crispy, cheesy, street food sold all across Prague
Knedliky: This is a traditional Czech side dish of dumplings that are served with meat dishes or other main courses like Gulas mentioned above. If it is made with sweet fillings like jam or fruit, you can have it as dessert.
Where To Stay In The Czech Republic
The Czech Republic can be quite an expensive place to visit. Finding excellent accommodation in the Czech Republic is easy but finding affordable accommodation, if you’re on a tight budget, is the hard part. Luckily Czech Republic hostels and dormitories make travel here more affordable for backpackers and any travelers on a shoe-string budget.
Don’t wait until you arrive to see what’s available or you may be disappointed to find that all the best accommodation options have already been snapped up. The Czech Republic is a very popular year-round destination with business travelers and sight-seeing tourists alike.
Jetset Bunny recommends using Booking.com for the best accommodation deals in the Czech Republic.
If you’re backpacking in Czech Republic or traveling on a tight budget then Hostel World is another great option. Staying in hostels makes travel in Europe much more affordable and is also a great way to meet new travel buddies.
Czech Republic Trip Planner
Best Time to Visit Croatia
The best time to visit the Czech Republic is between April and October, this is if you want mild, reasonably warm or if you’re lucky hot weather. If you want to see the Czech Republic with hot weather and blue skies then aim to visit between June and September.
Czech Republic Travel Budget
The Czech Republic can be an expensive city but it’s still generally an affordable destination for travelers on a tight budget. The cost of your trip to the Czech Republic really depends on the level of comfort you will want while here. If you’re backpacking and planning on staying in dormitories, hostels and eating fast food then budget between 35 to 50 euros a day. If you prefer to stay in 3-4 star hotel rooms and eat in mid-range restaurants you could spend anywhere between 50 to 100 euros per day. If you want to enjoy luxury 4-5 star accommodation and gourmet restaurants in places like Prague, Brno and Ostrava then budget about 250 euros plus a day.
- Budget: €35 – €50
- Mid-range: €50 – €100
- Splurge: €150 +
Meal For One
- Budget: €8 – €25
- Mid-range: €25 – €60
- Splurge: €60 +
Czech Republic Packing Guide
Packing for a trip to the Czech Republic, like most other places in Europe is easy, just remember to pack lightweight and breathable clothing for Summer trips and warm, waterproof clothing for trips in Autumn and Winter (and Spring too).
Be prepared for the weather to get quite cold during the winter. You will need high quality thermal wear and scarves, woolly hats, gloves and a thick winter coat won’t go a miss either. If you forget to pack something you can buy anything you need while you’re in the Czech Republic. Prices are generally higher in smaller boutiques than they would be online so expect to pay a premium if you don’t have the option of ‘shopping around’ due to time restraints on your trip.
Other essential items to pack for a trip to the Czech Republic include a good quality travel backpack. Choose the brand carefully and make sure you find the right size backpack for your torso. Believe me, doing this will make all the difference and prevent major backache. Smaller items to pack include a padlock, sleep sheet and a money belt to keep important documents close to you.
For the full list of everything you need to pack for a trip to the Czech Republic check out the Jetset Bunny Ultimate Europe Packing List For Female Travelers.