When it comes to beauty and romance, Prague could give Paris a run for its money. With its idyllic riverside location, its lavish fairytale architecture and an unforgettable skyline dotted with medieval church spires and opulent domes, this beautifully preserved historical city manages to charm everyone who visits. Pack your itinerary with visits to the haunting Prague Castle, the spectacular Charles Bridge, and the fascinating Franz Kafka Museum. Once these main attractions have been ticked off the list, save a bit of time to get lost in the maze of cobbled lanes and hidden courtyards filled with baroque chapels, unexpected gardens, and quirky bars serving some of the world’s best beer. But it is not just exquisite architecture and tasty ale that make Prague one of the most popular destinations in Europe, it is the hedonistic, whimsical and excessively quirky attitude of the locals that convinces visitors to return to the magnificent “City of a Hundred Spires” time and time again.
is a compact, photogenic town with obvious tourist appeal. Best explored on foot – you can traverse the town in just 20 minutes – Cesky Krumlov is packed full of Renaissance and Baroque architecture, as well as historic sights, lively bars and sidewalk cafes. A must-see is the 13th-century Cesky Krumlov Castle, which boasts a large and lovely garden and an original 17th-century Baroque theatre. Make sure you climb up to the castle’s bell tower, where you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the old town and the nearby river. Although quite a distance from Prague (about 3 or 4 hours if travelling by train or bus), an excursion to Cesky Krumlov will be well worth the effort.
Located a mere 2 hour journey from Prague in the West Bohemia region of the Czech Republic, Karlovy Vary is a magical town famous for its rejuvenating hot springs and its collection of over two hundred 16th-century spa houses. Visitors can explore the sprawling colonnades, admire the architecture and sip from regenerative springs said to cure many an ailment. Not-to-be-missed attractions include the Moser Museum and Glassworks Factory; the Dvořák Park with it’s Snake Spring and plentiful trees; and the Mill Colonnade, a 17th-century colonnade housing 5 of Karlovy Vary’s 13 major springs. Feel like a little escape? Venture up to Deer Leap Lookout or the Diana Observation Tower to gain some perspective on the town, its river and its spectacularly scenic location amongst the hills.
The UNESCO World Heritage town of Telc was founded in the 13th Century on the border of the Czech Republic’s provinces of Moravia and Bohemia. Telc is accessible by bus from Prague, or by train from a number of other locations. It is a small, compact town – ideal to walk around – and the central Heritage Square, with its charming stone ponds, is home to some of the country’s best-preserved Baroque and Renaissance buildings. Be sure to visit the elegant Telc Castle – built in a Gothic style in the 14th century, and then renovated in the 16th century along Renaissance lines – which offers daily tours through the ornate halls, stately courts and lavish gardens.