Central Europe is changing really fast and I love the way it is becoming. The majority of the big cities in most of the countries are now a cool, hip small versions of Berlin (that’s how they are often called anyway) with the amazing cafe culture, decent street art scene and some great events to attend. And so is Czech Republic too. Big cities there are often in the shadow of Prague (that is an incredible place, no matter what) but the whole country has so much to offer and it’s definitely worth spending more time there and discovering other, than just the capital city, destinations. And since Czech Republic is probably my favourite country here’s my subjective list of cool places to visit in Czech Republic and reasons to include them in your next trip there!
For most of the visitors in Czech Republic this is the only place they see during their trip. And even then they only focus on the historical sights that surely are incredible (after all Prague is known as the most beautiful city in Europe for a reason). But the Czech capital has so much more to offer! From the amazing cafes to great street art scene and controversial sculptures by David Cerny, everyone will find something for their taste in Prague! My favourite places and activities there are:
– Naplavka. In the summertime the banks of Vltava river turn into the major hotspot in the city. Every evening hundreds of people enjoy the warm and long days there, meeting with friends, sipping beer and attending various events (exhibitions, concerts etc). That’s probably the best way to spend any evening in Prague!
– DOX gallery in Holesovice – an independent center for contemporary art that always has some good exhibitions and a really decent gift shop
– view from Letna park – probably the best one in Prague! And Letna itself is a great place to relax in!
– alternative Prague tour where you can see some less known yet extremely interesting spots in the city
– Zizkov with its quirky atmosphere and the biggest number of pubs in Europe. Wandering around the random streets is a pure pleasure!
I spent quite some time there, back in the days when I was really into winter sports and loved seeing nordic combined competitions live. Liberec is this lucky place that has both interesting downtown (with beautiful architecture, museums and another David Cerny’s work – a bus stop right behind the town hall) and an amazing nature just a tram ride away. It’s perfect especially for hiking and skiing in Jizera Mountains and the futuristic building at the top of Jested peak, that serves as a hotel and restaurant, offers some breathtaking views of the area.
Many people say it’s their favourite Czech city after Prague and I surely can see what they mean. Olomouc feels small and cozy but since it’s an important university town there’s always something going on and students make it a very vibrant place. Also, Olomouc is a home to probably the quirkiest Czech attraction – an astronomical clock, similar to Orloj in Prague yet made in the socialist realism style. If you ask me it’s so much better than its more famous brother in the capital!
The post-industrial city is the home of one of the best music festivals in Europe – Colours of Ostrava. In the former steel grounds thousands of people enjoy some most famous artists that play in numerous stages hidden in the corners of the factory. But Ostrava knows how to party all year round. A small street – Stodolni – is famous for its pubs and clubs and it’s basically the place that never sleeps. Also, when you make it to Ostrava be sure to visit nearby Cesky Tesin/Cieszyn, a town divided by the Polish-Czech border that happens to be my favourite place on earth too!
It is mostly know for its famous beer – Budweiser – but there’re more reasons to visit this lovely town. It feels even calmer and quieter than Olomouc but that’s just fine as Ceske Budejovice is a perfect getaway from hustle and bustle of big cities. However, once a year students take over the city and organize Budejovicky Majales – the biggest non-commercial and free of charge festival of live culture in Czech Republic that lasts for few days. The city is also a perfect base to explore beautiful southern part of the country, with picturesque Cesky Krumlov only 20 kms away.
This is probably the most perfect Central European city you can think of! Brno has everything: incredible architecture, vibrant students’ life, excellent cafes, intellectual vibe and this charming spirit that makes you love the place from the moment you arrive. And at the same time it doesn’t feel overwhelming, even if it’s a second biggest Czech city. I fall in love with Brno big time and for me it’s the coolest place in Czech Republic (right after Prague).
There’s one more place worth mentioning here yet I haven’t been there yet (even though it’s always on my list when I go to Czech Republic!). It’s Pilsen – 2016 European Capital of Culture. This year is pretty special for the city, with lots of events and things going on but it’s worth visiting it no matter when! I know I will do my best to finally make it there soon!
Note: This post was written in partnership with Czech Tourism however all the opinions are 100% mine and I really believe you should visit Czech Republic as soon as possible! It’s such a wonderful country and has so much to offer!
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