Eastern Europe is full of surprises, especially when you come to Czech Republic. With fabulous Prague at its centre, hosting delicious authentic Czech food and the many attractions it has on offer, it’s easy to see why many people flock here, it really is a truly beautiful city. The local Czech people are friendly and warm and coupled with the warming food and beer you can certainly feel at home.
We explored the city mostly on foot as it was very easy to walk around. Public transport is also cheap and easy to use. We did see the normal tourist spots such as the Charles Bridge, the Old Town Square and visited some of the well known parks and viewpoints. This is worth doing and it doesn’t take up much time so if you’re planning to take a long trip we recommend delving a bit deeper into your surroundings.
The local areas in Prague are fantastic. If you like removing yourself from the hustle and bustle of tourist attractions, venture a little further afield and you will find some of the best Czech cuisines and at a very reasonable price! You will also find really authentic coffee shops, wine bars and get a real feel for how the local Czechs like to enjoy their free time. There are also lot’s of music venues to check out, ranging from rock, blues and jazz so you will never be short of some live entertainment. We went to the Jazz Dock in the up and coming Smichov area. Highly recommended and a great way to enjoy the evening on the water. There is also a great traditional Czech restaurant nearby serving amazing food, called Kozlovna Lidicka. This one is not to be missed! But if you want to really treat yourself and you have a bit more to spend, reserve a table on the boat restaurant, Matyilda. We had an amazing meal with fantastic service and for the money, we paid around £35 per head, you will be dining in style!
The best adventures came when we ventured outside of the city, into the surrounding countryside. The national parks here are immense so if you are looking to explore them thoroughly we advise you also stay over in the nearby villages for a couple of nights as well. We went to the Bohemian Switzerland National Park, famous for being the setting of some of the biggest movies, one of which, Narnia. The immense forest and strange rock formations are out of this world and we wished we could have travelled longer around here. Transport to these areas can be tricky. You do have the choice of train, coach or taxi but choices and times are limited. We are already planning our return and we have decided on three local towns that are best to stop over in, to hike into these locations.
Firstly we went to Decin via train and took a taxi to Hřensko. Connections to Hřensko don’t run frequently so hence why we used a taxi to get to the right spot for hiking. If you choose to do this from Prague, always check your return times. This is a remote area and if you get stuck in the forests and mountains in the dark, you’re in trouble. We should really have stayed here a couple of nights to give us more time to get right across this particular area of the park. When we return we will surely do this, heading onto Hruba Skala, (past Turnov,) and finally Brno to visit the Macocha Abyss and Punkva Caves. This is the deepest Abyss in Europe and was only opened to the public in 1920 with the first decent in 1723, so a rare wonder to visit.
There is so much that Czech Republic has to offer and we didn’t even touch on half of it. It has left us wanting to see and experience so much more of this beautiful landscape. We enjoyed the culture, food, music and the local people could not have been more helpful. We can’t wait for our next trip here as we know there are a lot more amazing sights to uncover.
And we actually went to Narnia! 🙂
Marco & Tracy
Top tips for this location:
Summer in the Czech Republic is nice and hot but if you’re deciding to travel in the Autumn and Winter months bring clothes for all weather types. Temperatures can drop quickly.
Taxis can also be tricky so make sure to use Uber or ask at the airport for reliable, genuine taxi companies.
If you’re taking a car to travel across the Czech Republic remember there are toll charges to pass through some areas. Toll cards can be paid for and collected at local garages. We would also recommend checking this thoroughly online to make sure you have the correct allowance.
Public Transportation is very good across the Czech Republic, trains, however, are the best way to travel here to avoid any disruptions on the roads to outlying areas. Make sure and check out your connection and return times as these can differ throughout the year.
If you’re like us and prefer exploring the great outdoors, consider staying over in the nearby towns and villages closest to the National Parks. This will give you more time exploring rather than leave you wondering if you can still catch your return trip back to the city!
Finally, we do recommend that you check out the local areas in Prague for restaurants, drinks and entertainment. We found it was much higher quality and more value for money.