10 Must-Visit Czech Towns (besides Prague)Written byRenata Jirasova02 Sep. 2016
„Where are you from?“ „From the Czech Republic“. „What? From where???“ „From Prague“.
„Oh, I see! Now I understand. Prague is an independent country, right? “No, Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic, formerly of the Czecho-slovakia“.
„Oh... I see, so you are from Czecho-slovakia....“. „No, I am from the Czech Republic. Czecho-slovakia was divided into two states in 1993“.... :-).
Now maybe you smile or shake your head but this is my typical conversation with locals when I am abroad (and not only Americans or Asians react this way. Sadly, also some Europeans don´t know a geography well). They have heard about Prague but the term „Czech Republic“ isn´t too familiar to them. Other Czech cities are almost totally unknown for most of foreigners. And that´s a pity because there are so many historic, picturesque places value to visit in this small Central European country!
So If you are going to my native country, don´t stay just in Prague. Rent a car and visit also other towns. You may be surprised how marvellous are other places in Bohemia and Moravia (the Czech Republic consists of these two regions - Bohemia and Moravia).
10 TIPS what else (beside Prague) you should definitely visit:
1. Kutná Hora
Kutná Hora, also called „the City of Silver“ is a remarkably enchanting, historic city located about 80 km to the east of Prague. You need at least one full day to see all interesting places which Kutná Hora offers: e.g. the magnificent gothic Saint Barbora's cathedral, the bizzare Ossuary „Kostnice“ (the church located in a cemetery and decorated with sculptures of human bones), the Italian Court, the Museum of Silver, the Medieval Silver mine and many others. The city centre is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.St. Barbora Cathedral, Kutná Hora
Ossuary "Kostnice", Sedlec near Kutná Hora
2. Žďár nad Sázavou
Žďár nad Sázavou is a small, peaceful city located about 160 km to the south-east of Prague. The city centre isn´t interesting but definitely what you must definitely see is the Roman-Catholic Pilgrimage Church or St John of Nepomuk, built 1720-1722 in the Zelená hora (Green mountain) by the famous Czech-Italian architect Jan Blazej Santini-Aichel. Santini combined the Barock style with Gothic elements. The Church is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Due to the longer distance from Prague, you won´t find here any crowds of tourists. Pilgrimage Church or St John of Nepomuk, Zelená hora, Žďár nad Sázavou
3. Český Krumlov
Located in the south of Bohemia (about 174 km out of Prague), there is no wonder that Český Krumlov is one of the most popular trip destinations in the Czech Republic. The town, surrounded by the Vltava river and dominated by the majestic castle on the hill, is a unique architectural jewel whose importance is underlined by the inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1992.
Above the Vltava River has developed a unique urban buildings, especially from the 16th century, along with an extensive castle and chateau, which is after the Prague Castle's second largest castle complex in the Czech Republic. The historical seat of the Rosenberg family includes a variety of chateau buildings, the famous Hall of Masks, a unique Baroque theater, the chateau garden with a Rococo fountain and the summer residence Bellaria with a revolving auditorium - scene seasonal theater performances. Castle in Český Krumlov, for public open from April to October.
Located on the south-east of Bohemia, 160 km out of Prague, Telč is a city with a beautiful historical square, lined with Gothic and Renaissance houses with arcades and richly decorated gables. Since 1992 Telč is listed in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This city isn´t so touristic like e.g. Český Krumlov. You will feel there a unique fairytale atmosphere and at least for a while you will return to the Renaissance. Telč, a view from a balloon flight
Renaissance square in Telč
5. Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad)
Located on the west of Bohemia, 130 km out of Prague, Karlovy Vary is considered to be one of the most beautiful spa cities in the Central Europe. Colonnades with the mineral springs, remarkable monuments, green parks... All these attributes create a charming spa ambience. Many tourists are also arriving here annually in July to see the famous Film festival.Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad)
Colonnade in Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad)
The charming Moravian city Kroměříž (located 270 km to the east of Prague and 66 km out of Brno) is among the cities that we often see them in cinemas and on TV. E.g. some scenes from the Oscar-winning Amadeus (directed by Miloš Forman) and the movie Immortal Beloved were filmed in the town´s main landmark - the Baroque Bishop´s Palace. Kroměříž is famous also because of the beautiful Flower Garden which is listed in the UNESCO World heritage since 1998. Flower garden in Kroměříž
7. Lednice and Valtice
These two picturesque wine-making towns are situated in Moravia, at the boarder with Austria and Slovakia (about 260 km out of Prague, 110 km of out Vienna and 94 km out of Bratislava). In the middle of Lednice and Valtice is spread the unique area called „The Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape“ which consists of two big castles with royal gardens, several small castles, chapels, temples, ponds, minaret and many other remarkable monuments. This complex is registered in the UNESCO World Heritage List.The chateau in Lednice-Valtice area
Thanks to a long history of this small town, visitors can admire many valuable monuments. The most important ones are inscribed on the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Site - the Basilica of St. Prokop, the Jewish quarter and the Jewish cemetery. Trebic is located in Moravia, 182 km to the south-east of Prague and 136 km away from Vienna. Basilica of St. Prokop, Třebíč
Crypt of Basilica of St. Prokop, Třebíč
Harrachov is located 130 km to the north of Prague at an altitude of 686 m above sea level and is one of the most important winter sports centers in the western part of the Giant Mountains. If you go to this mountain city don´t miss to visit the marvellous Mumlava waterfalls, which can be reached along the river Mumlava (take good shoes!). Its height is s up to 8 meters and width is 10 meters. In every season Mumlava waterfalls look differently, so whether you arrive at any time, you will discover this splendid place in a unique appearance.Mumlava waterfalls, Harrachov
Mumlava waterfalls in winter
Due to the picturesque farms, built in 70´s of the 19th century in the South Bohemian rural Baroque style, Holašovice belongs to one of the most beautiful villages in the Czech Republic. The village is located on the south of the Czech Republic, 150 km out of Prague and is listed in UNESCO World Heritage list since 1998.South-Bohemian Baroque rural buildings, Holašovice
And one extra TIP for people who prefer to stay in Prague: