In Czech towns and villages, you'll find a simple joy of life. The magic of Prague, the beauty of Český Krumlov, and the lyrical quality of the countryside relieve the heaviness caused by the turmoil that passed through here. Get beyond Prague and explore the country's medieval towns. These rugged woods and hilltop castles will make you feel as if you're walking through the garden of your childhood dreams.
At a Glance
▲▲▲ Prague The Czech capital and one of Europe's most romantic cities, boasting a remarkably well-preserved Old Town with top-notch architecture from every era; a sprawling hilltop castle; a thriving New Town packed with slinky Art Nouveau facades; a historic and well-presented Jewish Quarter; fascinating and inspiring tales from its rocky late-20th-century history; countless lively pubs serving some of the world's best beer; and enough museums, churches, gardens, and other attractions to entertain any visitor.
▲▲ Day Trips from Prague A wide range of easy side-trips, including Kutná Hora, a workaday Czech town with an offbeat bone church, fine cathedral, and silver mining museum; Terezín, a sobering memorial to the victims of the Nazis; Konopiště Castle, the opulent but lived-in former residence of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand; dramatically situated Karlštejn Castle; and the genuinely Gothic hunting palace of Křivoklát Castle.
▲▲ Český Krumlov Charming, picturesque, and popular midsized town huddled under a colorful castle and hugging a river bend in the Bohemian hills, made to order for canoeing, hiking, and people-watching.
▲▲ Olomouc Moravian cultural capital and thriving university city, with a grand square (crowned by Europe's biggest plague column), churches, museums, stinky cheese, vibrant everyday life, and an opportunity to side-trip to the country's top Rococo château in nearby Kroměříž.
▲ Třeboň, Telč, and Třebíč Three different southern Bohemian towns, each with a claim to fame: Třeboň, surrounded by artificial lakes; Telč, with a spectacular main square; and Třebíč, with echoes of Jewish history.
▲ Wallachia Time-passed, mountainous corner of Moravia, with a fine open-air folk museum at Rožnov pod Radhoštěm and a mountaintop retreat at Pustevny.
Slavonice Tiny town hugging the Austrian border, ideal for hiking into a pastoral countryside dotted with evocative, never-used WWII fortifications.
Mikulov Wine Region The Czech Republic's top wine-growing area, with the home-base village of Pavlov (wine cellars and fun water activities), the historical town of Mikulov (synagogue museum), and the impressive castles-and-gardens complex of Lednice and Valtice.