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Eastern Europe is a destination that has been intriguing many travelers over the past couple of years, with more and more people recognizing it as a destination of undeniable natural beauty, a unique culture, stunning architecture, and prices that don’t make your wallet cry.
Perhaps one of the main reasons that heads have been turning East, is because of the beautiful Czech Republic cities that have adorned our TV screens, having been featured in the popular Outlander series, the Jack Ryan series, and the hit Netflix movie starring Chris Hemsworth, Extraction II – to name a few.
As such, the Czech Republic is currently one of the most popular Eastern European destinations. But the question remains, where should you go when you visit the Czech Republic? Prague is the most obvious Czech destination, with over 90% of visitors only visiting this city.
But there are more stunning cities in the Czech Republic that are off the beaten track, and well worth visiting. Here are some of our favorite cities in the Czech Republic!
- The Most Beautiful Czech Republic Cities
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The Most Beautiful Czech Republic Cities
Whether you’re looking for stunning architecture, jaw-dropping nature, or somewhere off the main tourist trail, be sure to check out the following cities…
1. Cesky Krumlov: The Medieval City
Ceský Krumlov is a charming small city in South Bohemia, Czech Republic. Once a seat of noble families, Český Krumlov is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can explore its well-preserved medieval center and ancient castle.
It’s one of the best cities to visit if you want a quiet, relaxed vacation, as there are plenty of bars, cafés and boutique shops to explore.
The great thing about Cesky Krumlov is that its architectural heritage has remained in tact thanks to its peaceful evolution for more than five centuries.
The main highlight of the city is the Castle, which was once the home to the Rosenberg dynasty for 300 years beginning in the early 1300’s.
The best way to experience the castle is through a private guided tour where you’ll walk the cobble stone streets, see historic sights and learn about the history of Cesky Krumlov. Click here to get your tour tickets.
When the Rosenberg’s moved to Cesky Krumlov the town was blessed with many improvements to the city. Elaborate buildings were structured, commerce and culture flourished, and the town grew in importance.
The town’s architecture still reflects this period of influence, so it is like stepping back in time when you wander through the old town. In the early 1600’s the Rosenberg’s were forced to sell the city to the ever-growing Habsburg empire.
This slowed the relatively rapid expansion of Cesky Krumlov as the Habsburg’s did not have the grand visions for city like Rosenberg’s did. Most of the imprint of the Rosenberg’s is still noticeable, so the city is small, picturesque, and it’s history is celebrated.
Cesky Krumlov is a great place to experience a traditional Czech festival.
During the summer there are festivals on a regular basis that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the local culture and mingle with the natives. Before you visit, we suggest looking up the festivals schedules, so you can plan to be in Cesky at the right time.
And if you’re interested in a European River cruise, we visited Cesky Krumlov on our 8-day Danube River cruise with Avalon Waterways.
2. Kutna Hora: The city of the bone church
There are a handful of mysterious churches in Europe that house an incredible amount of human bones.
The Chapel underneath the Church of All Saints in Sedlec, just 2km outside of Kutná Hora is by far the most impressive. In the late 1200’s the Priest of the Sedlec took a trip to Palestine (the Holy Land), and brought back with him a small amount of the earth.
He sprinkled this over the cemetery in Sedlec, and from that day on everyone in the area wanted to be buried there. When the plague destroyed much of the population in the 1300‘s, there became less and less room in the cemetery to bury people.
In the early 1400’s the Church of the All Saints was built in the middle of the cemetery, which required many of the tombs to be dug up.
The Ossuary (or Chapel) below the gothic church is where bones were stacked and stored because they could no longer fit in the cemetery. In the 1800’s a professional woodcarver was employed to sort all of the bones, and the result is astounding.
He created a room decorated with what is believed to be approximately 50 000 human bones. Not only is it decorated, the detail and extravagance of the decorations are beyond belief. A day trip from Prague is easily doable to explore this Medieval city. You can get your tickets here.
Sedlec doesn’t have much to offer tourists other than the Church, but Kutna Hora is only 2km away, and is a great medieval town to visit.
In the late 1400’s Kutna Hora was a miners settlement with abundant deposits of silver ores. It quickly became a royal town which competed with Prague in terms of wealth.
Thanks to Kutna Hora’s silver riches, the Bohemian King became one of the richest rulers in the 14 and 1500’s. When the deposits of ore became depleted, the Kutna Hora royal mint was closed.
Nowadays the town is not quite as important as it once was, but it is a picturesque medieval town and well worth the visit.
3. Plzeň (Pilsen): The city of Beer
Did you know that the Czech’s are probably most famous for their beer? Many travelers are under the impression that if you are a beer lover, you should visit Germany.
While Germany has a storied history when it comes to beer, the history of beer in the Czech Republic is just as important and possibly even more fascinating.
Believe it or not, the Czech’s are the biggest consumers of beer per capita in the world. If you like beer, Pilsen is the city for you!
The Czech’s created the world’s first pale lager and named it Pilsner. It was named after the city it comes from, and it is a great feeling to enjoy a Pilsner in Pilsen.
Pilsner Urquell Brewery is one of the most popular exported Czech beers, and their brewery in Pilsen is a lot of fun to visit. Grab your beer tickets here.
Beer is not the only exciting thing about Pilsen, the fourth largest city in the Czech Republic. No other city in Europe can pride itself on:
The highest steeple in Central Europe (130m) on the Cathedral of Bartholomew
The second largest Synagogue in Europe, and the third largest in the world.
Their historical underground tunnels extending 20km under the city in several levels. They were once used as storage and a hideaway in times of danger, and can be visited by tourists.
Aside from its beer culture, Plzeň is also known for its stunning architecture, with numerous buildings and monuments showcasing Gothic, Renaissance, and Art Nouveau styles.
The Great Synagogue is one of the most famous landmarks in Plzeň, and is the third-largest synagogue in the world.
The city also has several museums and galleries, including the Museum of West Bohemia and the Patton Memorial Pilsen.
If you are interested in learning more about the history of Czech beer, you may find this interesting:
When you travel to the Czech Republic, you are likely to come across a beer called Budweiser Budvar.
Budweiser was one of the first internationally well-known Czech beers that is believed to have begun being brewed in the 1400‘s.
It became popular in the 1700’s when King Ferdinand of Bohemia had Budweiser delivered to his Palace because he loved it so much. Budweiser Budvar was soon labelled the ‘Beer of Kings’ after King Ferdinand named it the beer of choice in the royal court.
Does the name sound familiar?
The American ‘Budweiser’ was created in the 1800’s with the tagline ‘King of Beers’. Coincidence or Rip-off? Well, the Czech’s and the American’s have been in and out of court many times disputing it.
Czech Budweiser is still one of the largest selling beers in the Czech Republic, and I am not afraid to admit that is far more sophisticated than the American Budweiser.
You will see Budweiser Budvar sold all over the Czech Republic, and it is a fun story to share when tasting Budweiser Budvar for the first time.
4. Prague: The Capital City
Of course, we cannot skip Prague off this list. As the capital of the Czech Republic, Prague has a rich and fascinating history.
It’s one of the largest cities in Europe (7th to be exact) and is famous for its Renaissance, Gothic, and Baroque architecture, as well as it’s musical history and delicious food.
The oldest building in Prague is Vyšehrad Castle, which was built on a commanding right-bank hill.
In the medieval period, Prague became an important center of trade and culture, and it was the seat of the Přemyslid dynasty, which ruled over the Czech lands for several centuries.
Today, Prague is known for its rich cultural life, stunning architecture, and historical monuments, making it a popular destination for tourists from around the world.
Some other top attractions in Prague you cannot miss are the Prague Castle, and the mediaeval Charles Bridge Tower, and the Old Town which has been recognized by UNESCO. Don’t miss a chance to cruise down the Vltava River or swing by the famous Dancing House.
5. Karlovy Vary
Located in the Western Bohemia, is Karlovy Vary, also known as Carlsbad, is a picturesque city that’s famous for its mineral hot springs.
This spa town is the perfect place to soak in the healing waters and experience the rejuvenating effects of the thermal baths.
Aside from its spa culture, Karlovy Vary is also known for its stunning architecture from the Colonnades, with numerous buildings and monuments showcasing Baroque and Art Nouveau styles.
The town is an ideal base for exploring the surrounding natural beauty of the Ore Mountains and Slavkov Forest, which offer scenic hikes and outdoor activities.
Karlovy Vary also hosts several international film festivals throughout the year, including the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, which attracts celebrities and movie buffs from around the world.
Liberec is a cute city that’s known as the gateway to the Jizera Mountains.
The city offers a unique blend of history, culture, and outdoor activities, making it an ideal destination for visitors of all ages.
One of the main attractions in Liberec is the Ještěd Tower, a futuristic-looking structure that was designed by architect Karel Hubáček.
You can take a cable car to the top of Ještěd Mountain to enjoy stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
The city also has several museums and galleries that showcase its rich cultural heritage, including the North Bohemian Museum and the Regional Art Gallery.
For those who love the outdoors, Liberec is surrounded by natural beauty, with numerous hiking trails, ski resorts, and other outdoor activities available.
The second-largest city in Czech Republic is Brno. One of the main attractions in Brno is its stunning architecture, especially the Špilberk Castle, which dates back to the 13th century.
The city is also home to several museums and galleries, including the Moravian Museum and the Brno City Museum.
Brno is also known for its lively cafes, bars, and restaurants, where visitors can enjoy delicious local cuisine and drinks.
The city hosts several cultural events throughout the year, including the Ignis Brunensis fireworks festival which draws visitors from around the world.
For those who love the outdoors, Brno is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery, including the Moravian Karst, with its famous underground caves.
Nestled on the Moravia River, is the architectural gem of Olomouc. Some of the most beautiful buildings and monuments in the country reside in this city, including the 18th century Holy Trinity Column, the Mausoleum of Yugoslav Soldiers, and Saint Wenceslas Cathedral.
Be sure to check out the astronomical clock and baroque fountains of the main square.
Olomouc is also known for its thriving arts and culture scene, with numerous galleries, museums, and theaters to explore.
You can enjoy traditional Czech cuisine and drinks at the many cafes and restaurants in the city, or take a stroll in one of the city’s beautiful parks.
There is so much to see and do here, it’s worth spending a few days soaking it all up.
9. Ceske Budejovice
Ceske Budejovice, located in the south of the Czech Republic, is a charming city which is also known for its beer culture.
Visiting the local brewery is one of the best things to do in the city. You can take a tour and learn about the brewing process, as well as sample some of the delicious local brews.
Ceske Budejovice also has a beautiful historic old town with picturesque buildings and cobblestone streets. Take a stroll through the town center and admire the architecture.
Alternatively, you can climb The Black Tower, an iconic landmark of Ceske Budejovice. Climbing to the top offers stunning views of the city and surrounding area.
Ceske Budejovice has two rivers, canals, and plenty of bridges to explore. Relax on one of the riverfront walkways or take a boat tour.
All in all, the Czech Republic is a unique country with a fantastic history.
If you are planning to visit the Czech Republic, make sure you take a few days to visit one, or all of the cities we suggest. We know you will not be disappointed!
More Eastern Europe Travel Guides
Thinking of visiting other parts of Eastern Europe? Then you may find the following guides helpful.