The Czech Republic, or Czechia as it is more often known, is a landlocked country in eastern Europe home to many beautiful landscapes, medieval squares, majestic castles, Baroque churches, and a rich cultural legacy that dates back centuries. Even though Prague is the first stop on many tourists’ European itineraries, the Czech Republic is home to some of Europe’s most beautiful undiscovered secrets. Here is my selection of the greatest and most beautiful sites to visit in the Czech Republic, ranging from the often-overlooked Renaissance-style villages to the bustling capital.
01 Charles Bridge in Prague
The most significant and beautiful river crossing in Prague is the Charles Bridge, and no trip to the city would be complete without walking over it (Karluv Most). This historic bridge was constructed across the Vltava River in 1357, and its 520 meters of length are adorned with many beautiful sculptures and other attractions. The most well-known statues on the bridge are those of its namesake, Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, and the country’s most renowned saint, John of Nepomuk, who was ironically drowned in the Vltava.
02 St. Vitus Cathedral (Saint Vitus’s Cathedral)
St. Vitus Cathedral, located inside Prague Castle, is most famous for housing the Bohemian Coronation Jewels and for being the last resting place of St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of the Czech people. There is a lot of history in the church. In 925, Prince Wenceslas erected a chapel there, and as Prague grew in stature, the chapel was transformed into a basilica after the Prague bishopric was created. In the years between 1344 and 1419, while the cathedral was being transformed into a Gothic masterpiece, it saw another phase of enlargement during which the St. Wenceslas Chapel was constructed. Renovation and restoration work continued in the late 18th century, with neo-Gothic touches being included wherever possible.
St. vitus cathedral tickets & opening hours: www.hrad.cz
03 State Castle and Chateau Český Krumlov (Castelo de Cesky Krumlov)
Cesky Krumlov Castle, which overlooks the city that bears its name, has been exceptionally well kept despite its antiquity. The Rosenberg Ballroom, Renaissance Hall, Royal Apartments, and Chapel of St. George are all examples of 17th-century architecture found in this UNESCO World Heritage Site, which dates back to the 13th century. The castle also has an impressively preserved Baroque theater. It was constructed in 1682 and is currently utilized for important events.
Other attractions include exquisite furnishings and fittings from bygone eras and significant collections of paintings and tapestries. Forty structures, including castle courts and gardens, make up the Cesky Krumlov Castle complex. Visitors might spend days exploring the gardens, but those who only have a limited amount of time can take advantage of guided tours offered in English.
04 Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul
The stunning Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, one of the most significant national monuments in the Czech Republic, stands high above Brno’s historic district. The cathedral was built on the site of a Romanesque chapel that was constructed in the 11th century and enlarged to include a crypt and basilica, both of which can still be seen today. After being destroyed by fire in the 16th century, the church was reconstructed as a Gothic cathedral in the 18th century, and its interior is a Baroque masterpiece by architect Moric Grimm. The Kapistránka pulpit is one of the building’s most famous elements, and the crypt has not just graves but also pieces of the old city walls that surrounded Brno.
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05 Sedlec Ossuary
Sedlec, home to the Gothic All Saints Chapel, sometimes known as the “Bone Church,” is a prime example of this phenomenon. Curious visitors to the Sedlec Ossuary will be rewarded with the opportunity to see the terrifying artistic displays of armor, chandeliers, chalices, and bells made from the bones of those who perished between the 14th and 16th centuries. The same effect was achieved at the Brno Ossuary, where the bones of around 50,000 people were discovered heaped in archways. The Schwartzenberg Tomb, a massive tomb devoted to one of the country’s most powerful families, is a bit less eerie yet striking for its size alone.
06 Karlovy Vary
A trip to Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, or its more common German name, Karlsbad, is a must for anybody seeking a genuine European spa experience. Karlovy Vary was founded in 1358 and has since been frequented by many of Europe’s most illustrious citizens, including Peter the Great and many of the world’s greatest musicians and authors, such as Beethoven, Chopin, and Goethe. There are 13 major springs in the area and many more little ones.
07 Czech National Library, Clementinum
Prague is home to three of Europe’s most beautiful and historical libraries. The Czech National Library, the city’s biggest, can be found in the beautiful Clementinum (Klementinum), which is located in the heart of old Prague, just close to the Charles Bridge. One of the biggest collections of medieval Baroque architecture in all of Europe, this complex is worth seeing for a number of reasons. The frescoed ceiling of Library Hall is a major tourist attraction, and the Astronomical Tower, from which visitors may take in breathtaking panoramas, is also located here.
08 Museum of Glass MOSER (Glassworks of Karlovy Vary)
Karlovy Vary is known for its luxurious spas, but it has also been a major hub for the glass industry in Europe for more than 150 years. The Moser Visitor Centre, located in the heart of the Moser glassworks that opened in 1857, makes for an interesting day trip.
The industry is generally regarded as one of the world’s foremost producers of ornamental glass because of the expertise of the local glassmakers it employs. Visitors may see the history of glassmaking at the Glass Museum, observe glassblowers at work on the factory floor, and admire over 2,000 exquisite glassworks in the Glass Gallery during one of the facility’s guided tours. Tours may be taken with a guide who speaks English.
09 St Barbara’s Cathedral, Kutná Hora
The St. Barbara Cathedral, with its Baroque architecture, is a must-see. The mining business that helped pay for its construction in 1338 is shown in the church’s elaborate paintings alongside religious subjects like the mural The Vision of St. Ignatius. Both the Stone House, which delves into medieval life, and the Czech Museum of Silver have displays on the medieval mining business. Visitors go on guided excursions six stories down into a medieval mine, where they traverse deep tunnels and wind around water shafts. In addition to the gothic Sedlec Ossuary and the Italian Court (Vlassky dvur), which was formerly the seat of Bohemian King Vaclav IV, tourists may also see the historic mint in the town.
10 Bohemian Paradise
Bohemian Paradise (Cesk ráj), located in Eastern Bohemia, is widely considered to be one of the most stunning regions in all of the Czech Republic. The gigantic rock formations that stick out of the earth like spikes and pillars in this region of extraordinary natural beauty are the result of thousands upon thousands of years of weathering and erosion. Kost Castle and Trosky Castle are only two of the numerous historic castles in the area. Start your exploration in Turnov, where you’ll find the Bohemian Paradise Visitor Center with a wealth of travel tips and maps of the area.
How about exploring the most beautiful places in Czechia? Our list of the 10 most beautiful places in Czechia will surely give you an idea of what you’re missing. The Czech Republic is one of the world’s most intriguing getaways, renowned for its natural parks, stunning preserves, and attractive towns. The Czech Republic is dotted with castles that exhibit exquisite splendor, but Prague Castle’s most well-known, which has been a source of national pride since the 9th century. Being the site of so many priceless artifacts, this foreign getaway should be on the itineraries of any history buff.
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- Charles Bridge in Prague
- St. Vitus Cathedral (Saint Vitus’s Cathedral)
- State Castle and Chateau Český Krumlov (Castelo de Cesky Krumlov)
- Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul
- Sedlec Ossuary
- Karlovy Vary
- Czech National Library, Clementinum
- Museum of Glass MOSER (Glassworks of Karlovy Vary)
- St Barbara’s Cathedral, Kutná Hora
- Bohemian Paradise