The ancient land of Bohemia makes up the western two-thirds of the Czech Republic. Some
other places of interest in Bohemia are-
This fashionable town is the closest the Czech Republic has to a glam resort, but
Karlovy Vary is still glam with a small ‘g’. Well-heeled hypochondriacs from Germany, Austria,
Russia and, increasingly, Arab nations make the pilgrimage to try to enjoy courses of ‘lymphatic
drainage’ and ‘hydrocolonotherapy’ – all activities that should be outlawed under several
international agreements. If you’re really keen to discover the dubious pleasures of a steam
inhalation session or a sulphur bath, you’ll need to make a prior appointment. If not, there’s
good hiking in the surrounding hills, and a busy arts and entertainment programme. Sample the
tepid mineral-rich water on offer, or just have a drink at the riverside cafés. In our opinion,
a beer or a coffee is a better option than the sulphurous gunk everyone else is sipping on.
After the quaintly contrived elegance of the West Bohemian spa towns, the rugged
blue-collar energy of Plzeň comes as a welcome relief. The capital of West Bohemia has authentic
industrial credibility as the home of the Skoda Engineering Works and as the original source of
Pilsner beer. Workers the world over are especially pleased with that last fact.
As the country’s fourth-largest city, Plzeň’s gritty suburbs sprawl across the surrounding hills,
but at its heart lies a spectacular old town square wrapped in a halo of tree-lined gardens.
A lively student population ensures the town’s pubs provide many opportunities to sample Plzeň’s
heritage as the original fountain of eternal golden froth. A varied programme of music and arts
allows you to feed your soul as well as quench your thirst, and excellent museums cover
everything from Pilsner to Patton.
As the birthplace of one of Europe’s finest brews, in České Budějovice they
take their beer very, very seriously. The town’s original brewery supplied the Holy Roman
Emperor back in the 13th century, and now the town’s namesake Budvar lager (the original and
The town’s main square is one of the largest in Europe; elegant arcades radiate to streets
filled with lively bars – the ideal spot to sample the town’s amber gold. Near the river, urban
order is abandoned and the austere lines of the main square dissolve in a charming labyrinth of
narrow lanes and winding alleys. The town’s industrial suburbs now sprawl across the plains of
South Bohemia, but its historical heart retains the laid-back appeal of the simple brewing town
it used to be.
A Unesco World Heritage Site, Český Krumlov has become the Czech Republic’s second busiest tourist town after Prague.
Visit in summer and it may feel like a theme park, with street performers punctuating every
corner, and tour buses overwhelming the car parks. But come a few months either side of July and
August and the narrow lanes and footbridges will be (slightly) more subdued and secluded. Here
you can rent canoes, rafts or rubber rings for some fun on the river.
Crowned by a spectacular castle, and centred on an elegant old town square,
Český Krumlov is a pocket-sized Prague. Renaissance and baroque buildings enclose the
meandering arc of the Vltava river, housing riverside cafés and bars.
In the region of Moravia, eastern part of the Czech Republic, there are countless
numbers of interesting places having great charm for the foreigners thanks to its individuality.
Despite having a population of less than 400, 000, Brno behaves like the cosmopolitan
capital it is (ie of Moravia), and stately boulevards and parks give it an almost Parisian air.
This vaguely Gallic ambience is further enhanced by a population with contagious enthusiasm for
caffeine, chat and culture, which they energetically bring to life in the city’s cafés and bars.
With an array of excellent galleries and museums, a brooding castle fortress Brno is
equidistant from Prague, Budapest and Vienna making it a good hub to discover the three Eastern
Unspoilt by modern buildings and surrounded on three sides by medieval fish ponds, the
pristine town square is precisely separated from the modern part of town. Strolling across the
narrow bridges under the imposing gates is like time-travelling to the heart of the Renaissance.
Inside, the square does not disappoint with a grand array of façades, covered arcades and
walkways and the beautiful Water chateau. Park yourself with a good book and a glass of Moravian
wine at one of the cafés on the square and you’ll remember all over again just why you like to
centre is the largest historic preservation zone outside Prague, and its cobblestoned
streets are lined with majestic cathedrals and grand palaces. In 2000, the Holy Trinity Column,
which was erected in the early 18th century, was added as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Olomouc has always been a centre for education and culture and the rich schedule of festivals
means that you stand a good chance of one being in progress, no matter what time of year your
visit occurs. The festival calendar includes the largest beer festival in the country, the
International Organ Music festival (Sep. - Oct.), and the ten-day city festival in late June.
Despite its fascinating history and great beauty, you won't find the crowds of tourists that are
so common in more famous destinations. It's a real living, breathing Czech city, with 1000 years
of history and the vibrant, youthful energy of a university town.