5 Amazing Cities of the Czech Republic You Must Visit
You may not have heard of the city of Liberec. Located in the North East of the Czech Republic, this relatively unknown city has several interesting sights from baroque architecture, a giant’s tea party to an alien spaceship. Stroll into the town center and be dazzled by its incredible town hall. Finished in 1891 this building resembles the iconic town hall in Vienna. Close by is an odd bus stop. The bus stop is under a shelter which appears to be a table upon which large items of food have been laid. It is a tea party for a couple of giants! They must have just left though as I did not spot any oversized creatures during my visit.
My final weird and wonderful destination was Ještěd. I climbed into a cable car and ascended into the mist. Upon arrival, I was above the clouds and stood outside a giant metallic structure. It appeared out of this world, and I believed it was a spaceship for aliens. I later discovered that Ještěd Tower on the mountain peak is actually a hotel, restaurant and TV tower. Liberec is a truly weird, wacky and wonderful day trip.
Pilsen is a great little city often missed out when people visit the Czech Republic. There are lots of things to do in Pilsen to keep any visitor busy for a few days and at the end of each day treat yourself to a glass of Pilsner, the beer made famous by this town.
If you are a beer enthusiast, then the Brewery Museum will be your first stop where you can enjoy learning about the history of the beer followed by a tasting. Nearby is the Pilsen Historical Underground tour where you’ll be required to don a hard hat and weave your way through small passages and exhibits to learn about the history of the city. You’ll also get a free beer voucher at the end of the tour which you can cash it when you head for a traditional Czech dinner at one of the many cozy, local restaurants.
Pilsen is home to some spectacular religious buildings and many parks making it a lovely place to wander during the summer months. While Prague becomes full to bursting with tourists, Pilsen remains relatively calm and affordable and makes a great stop on your trip to the Czech Republic.
While the Czech Republic is home to many stunning castles and gardens, on my recent visit one, in particular, stole my heart: Lednice Park. Tucked away in the southeastern Czech Republic, not far from the Austrian border, this park and its neo-gothic castle were once the summer palace of the Liechtenstein family, rulers of present-day Liechtenstein up the other end of Austria. Surrounding the castle is a sprawling English garden-style park, complete with a lake, boat rides, and a minaret watchtower.
My visit was in late October, so all the trees were a riot of color, from reds to oranges to yellows to greens. But visit instead in spring or summer to see the formal gardens in all their glory, or in winter for the chance of snow. Entrance to the park is free, while there are different options for tours of the interior of the castle (mainly over the summer season). The park is situated within an hour’s drive of both Brno and Vienna. And best of all, if you’re traveling with a dog like I am, they’ll be welcome too.
One of my favorite places to visit in the Czech Republic was the sandstone “Rock Town” which towers over the town of Tisa. This popular hiking destination is found in the Bohemian Switzerland national park just over an hour drive North West of Prague.
These sandstone formations were formed on the ocean bed millions of years ago. As the earth moved the rocks cracked allowing the weather to erode the surrounding soil leaving a diverse landscape of rock walls, arches, spires and towers naturally carved into strange but recognizable shapes. There is a small fee for entry to the park, I recommend paying an extra 50c to get a map which details the official names of each formation; the mushroom, shoe, elephant, chapel and more.
The forested circular route starts with spectacular views out across the Czech and German countryside, the path then heads down the back of the walls through crevices and over boulders, to the sculptural area of the park. The changing landscape keeps the walk interesting while the well-maintained path with handrails and stairs make the walk accessible for anyone with a moderate level of fitness.