Once called Czechoslovakia, this tongue-twister of a name then became The Czech Republic but these days people are encouraged to refer to this landlocked country simply as Czechia (pronounced Che-ki-ya). It’s a small country in central Europe, situated southeast of Germany and bordering Austria to the south, Poland to the north and Slovakia to the southeast. Did you know that the Czech Republic is famous for its beer? Czechs consume the most beer per capita in the world. So stop by a hospoda (bar) and join them while on your trip to this European gem.
CZECH REPUBLIC TOP 5 THINGS TO DO
Prague Old Town Square
Old Town Square, (in Czech Staroměstské náměstí), is the central square of the historic part of Prague. This is one of the greatest tourist attractions in the Czech capital that you cannot miss! So while in the Old Town Square make sure you spot the Gothic towers of the Church of Mother of God before Týn, the famous medieval astronomical clock mounted on the Old Town Hall and St. Nicholas Church, a Baroque church built in the 18th century. Then you can have a long alfresco lunch at one of the squares chic cafes.
Prague National Gallery
The second oldest gallery in Europe (after the Louvre), The National Gallery Prague is a state-owned art gallery featuring the largest collection of art in the Czech Republic. Pay a visit on your trip to admire masterpieces of Czech and international fine art in permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Visit one of the greatest Libraries in the world! The Strahov Library is the largest monastic library in the country, with two magnificent baroque halls dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. The library of the Premonstratensian monastery at Strahov is one of the most valuable and best-preserved historical libraries. The oldest part of the library is the Baroque Theological Hall and the main Classicist vaults of the Philosophical Hall date from 1794 and are two storeys tall. Both halls showcase ceiling frescoes by Siard Nosecký and Anton Maulbertsch.
The panoramic view of Prague Castle is pretty spectacular and now this UNESCO World Heritage Site is listed in the Guinness Book of World records as the largest ancient castle in the world. Founded in the 9th century, Prague Castle has been an important symbol of the Czech state for more than a thousand years. The castle is one of the largest complexes in the world consisting of historical palaces, offices, churches and picturesque gardens.
Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape
Lednice–Valtice Cultural Landscape (Lednicko-valtický areál) is in South Moravia
Read more: Top 10 things to do in the Czech Republic
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CZECH REPUBLIC TOP 3 FESTIVALS
Prague Spring International Music Festival
This is a multi-genre festival famous throughout the world and the largest music festival in Czechia. The Prague Spring festival was founded in 1946 by the Czech conductor Rafael Kubelík, who was one of the world’s leading figures of 20th century music. A permanent showcase for outstanding performing artists, symphony orchestras and chamber music ensembles that’s a must-do if you happen to be in Prague during Spring.
Pilsen’s Festival of Freedom
Pilsen’s annual Festival of Freedom marking the West Bohemian city’s liberation by General Patton’s Army in May 1945.
Colors of Ostrava
Colors of Ostrava is a music celebration held every year since 2002 in Ostrava. A multi-genre music festival and the top international music festival in Czechia. The festival runs for four days during the second or third weekend of July. Popular international artists perform each year to an audience of around 40,000 people.
CZECH REPUBLIC BASICS
Language: The official language of the Czech Republic is Czech with 96% of the population speaking this language. Other languages can be heard here, particularly Slovak, German, Polish and Romany.
Currency: Czech koruna.
Visa: Visiting Czechia will usually require a valid passport and visa for anyone that is not from the European Union. Use these free online visa checker and calculator tools so you know if a visa for Czechia is required (which will depend on the country you are from) and if so, how long it will take to process your visa and the cost.
Electricity: In Czechia the standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. You can use your electric appliances in Czechia, if the standard voltage in your country is between 220 – 240 V (as is in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa). Buy a Universal Travel Adapter so you don’t need to keep buying new adapters for each new country you visit.
Lonely Planet Czech Republic: Check price on Amazon
WHAT TO EAT IN CZECHIA
Along with its spectacular architecture and big beers, Prague is also a rich culinary destination with traditional dishes like potato soup, pork roast and apple strudel. Whether sweet or savory, the local Czechia cuisine is extremely pleasing to the taste buds. Some of the most delicious, traditional dishes that you must try when in Czech Republic are listed below.
Palacinky: Czech Republic palačinky are crepe like pancakes rolled with strawberry jam. Served with some whipped cream, fruit, nuts or cream. A slightly thinner version of the French Crepes if savory, they are stuffed with meat, spinach, and cheese.
Vepřo-knedlo-zelo: This dish truly represents the Czech cuisine, and has been categorized as the “National dish”. The name of this Czech national dish translates simply as pork roast with bread dumplings and sauerkraut.
Gulas: Traditional guláš (also known as ‘Goulash’) is a hearty meat stew served with a dark red sauce and heavily seasoned with paprika. Throughout history, this dish with Hungarian origins has become one of the most common meals in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
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: These Czech dumplings are made with flour, yeast, egg, salt, and milk and are boiled and then sliced. This is a traditional Czech side dish and served with meat dishes or other main courses like Gulas mentioned above.
WHERE TO STAY IN CZECHIA
The Czech Republic is a reasonably affordable place to visit. Finding excellent accommodation in the Czech Republic is really easy because there’s so many options whatever your budget.
Hostels and dormitories make travel to the Czech Republic affordable for backpackers and any travelers on a shoe-string budget. Whether you’re a backpacker, flash-packer or a luxury vacationer, Czechia will not disappoint you. A basic hotel room in the Czech Republic can cost less than 100 euros.
If you’re looking for accommodation that includes luxury amenities and comforts then there will be endless options to choose from in the big cities and popular tourist hotspots like Prague and Brno. Whatever month you choose to visit the Czech Republic, it’s wise to book your accommodation in advance. Don’t wait until you arrive to see what’s available or you may be disappointed to find that all the best places to stay have been snapped up already. The Czech Republic and particularly Prague is an extremely popular year-round destination for business travelers and backpackers.
Jetset Bunny recommends using Booking.com for the best accommodation deals in the Czech Republic. However, if you are backpacking in the Czech Republic or traveling on a tight budget then Hostel World is another great option. Staying in hostels makes travel in Czech Republic very affordable and is also a great way to meet new travel buddies where ever you go.
PLAN YOUR TRIP
BEST TIME TO VISIT THE CZECH REPUBLIC
The best time to visit Czechia is in May and June or September and October when the weather is reliably sunny. It is also less crowded at these times than the summer months of July and August which are high season and can be very hot, more expensive and crowded.
CZECH REPUBLIC TRAVEL BUDGET
The Czech Republic is generally an affordable destination for travelers on all budgets. The cost of your trip to the Czech Republic really depends on the level of comfort you want. If you are backpacking and planning on staying in dormitories, hostels and eating fast food then budget between 50 to 100 euros per day. If you prefer to stay in 3-4 star hotel rooms and eat in mid-range restaurants you could spend anywhere between 100 to 200 euros per day. If you want to enjoy luxury 4-5 star accommodation and gourmet restaurants then budget at least 200 to 500+ euros per day.
IS THE CZECH REPUBLIC SAFE FOR FEMALE TRAVELERS?
Safety does not need to be a huge concern for women travelers in the Czech Republic which is considered a generally very safe country to visit. As with any country you visit, always be extra careful when walking alone or at night. Some parts of the Czech Republic aren’t as safe as other areas so do your research before you go and avoid these places. Based on many years of travel in Europe I would never leave home without insurance and recommend checking out the travel insurance plan that World Nomads can offer you a few weeks before your Czechia trip.
CZECHIA VISA CHECKER
CZECH REPUBLIC FLIGHT DEALS
CZECH REPUBLIC TOURS & ACTIVITIES
CZECHIA PACKING TIPS
Packing for a trip to the Czech Republic, like most other places in Europe, is a breeze. You really don’t need as much travel gear as you may think for a trip to the Czech Republic.
That said, the gear you do bring on your trip should be the very best option available for you and that doesn’t always mean the most expensive. Jetset Bunnies around the globe are always discovering the latest and the greatest in travel gear for women and this is where we share our awesome finds with you.
If you’re visiting the Czech Republic during the warmer months it will be much easier to travel light. Pack mainly lightweight and breathable clothing but still be prepared for cold mornings and evenings depending on the month you visit. You’ll need to wrap up warm between November and February. So pack a warm sweater, waterproof coat, gloves, scarves and a wooly hat if you’re traveling during winter.
Other essential items to pack for a trip to the Czech Republic include, most importantly, 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. Read our related blog post with advice on how to choose the best backpacks for women travelers. Smaller items to pack include a padlock, sleep sheet and a money belt to keep important documents close to you.
So if you’ve found your travel inspiration, figured out the practicalities and got the travel gear it’s time to stuff it all in a bag and go right? Well, no, hold your horses, you see there’s an art to packing which we have (almost) perfected. Hop to our Travel Packing Tips for all of the latest on this topic.