How to experience Czechia beyond Prague

After visiting Czechia’s beautiful cobblestoned capital, venture beyond Prague and peel back more of the country’s layers…

Team Wanderlust
13 October 2023
Promoted by
Czech Republic Travel

Endlessly storied Czechia is at the heart of Central Europe, where history and natural beauty converge. Immerse yourself in the country’s architectural splendour, where the buildings’ diverse styles narrate the country’s layered past. While standout castles will capture your attention, names like Bohemia and Moravia conjure the magic of Eastern and Western influences.

When you venture beyond Prague’s more visited paths, you’ll be rewarded with even more fairytale folk architecture, from picturesque timber cottages amid North Bohemia’s mountains to the charm of Austro-Hungarian-inspired towns. Stroll cobblestone alleys, sip on local artisanal beers, and enjoy your coffee fix in peaceful squares while surrounded by the legacy of literary luminaries.

Escape to the Eagle Mountains, where rolling landscapes offer a refreshing dose of nature. Or submerge yourself in natural mineral waters and hot springs in Czechia’s spa towns. A journey through Czechia will ignite your inspiration, while allowing your mind to unwind.

Marvel at Prague’s historic beauty

The Old Town pier and Charles Bridge, Prague (DaLiu/

Begin your journey in Prague’s historic centre, where tales of kings and thieves come to life in the centuries-old architecture. Dominating the skyline is the majestic Prague Castle, a sprawling complex that has witnessed the rise and fall of dynasties over a thousand years. Explore the castle grounds, where you’ll find St. Vitus Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture.

Wander through the charming streets of Mala Strana, where Baroque buildings and unassuming alleys offer peeks into foliage-filled courtyards. Cross the iconic Charles Bridge, adorned with statues of saints that overlook the Vltava River. In autumn and winter, the stone figures loom through the mist and snow, adding to the city’s enchantment.

As you explore the Old Town Square with its spiky Gothic architecture, don’t miss the Astronomical Clock. Every hour, crowds gather to witness the animated figures amusingly popping out in this historic timepiece, a marvel of medieval engineering. You’ll be surprised at how captivating a clock can be.

Saunter between cafes and soak up the literary atmosphere: Prague is home to literary greats Franz Kafka and Milan Kundera, but also boasts a thriving modern poetry and prose scene which comes to life during Prague’s June Fringe festival. If you didn’t think you were a literary enthusiast, Prague will convince you otherwise, whether it’s appreciating the words of others or perhaps conjuring some of your own.

The city’s pubs are the perfect place to sample the local tipple: Czech beer. Day trips to countryside taverns from Prague offer a more rustic beer experience. But at night, make sure you’re in the city to witness the twinkling lights in the river.

Admire Brno’s rich cultural heritage

Brno (Aleš Motejl)

Explore Brno, the second-largest city in the Czech Republic, recognised in the 13th century by King Wenceslas of the well-known Christmas carol. Whether it’s during winter when the snow is “deep and crisp and even” or under the warming summer sun, Brno’s beauty blends modernist architecture with Baroque styles. Pastel-hued facades harmonise with sleek angular buildings and communist-era blocks, making for an eclectic mix and the perfect setting for some aimless wandering; no plans or fixed routes needed.

Brno thrives in its quirky life out of the spotlight, with a focus on music and food. In the main square, Zelný trh, locals come to buy fresh produce from the city’s famous vegetable market, Central Europe’s oldest continuously operating market. Wine lovers will be happy: Brno is also the gateway to Moravia’s best wineries, with bars offering tastings and chocolate pairings.

The city hosts various festivals, like the multi-genre Uprostřed, which brings free summer performances – from rock to rap to dance – to the streets and squares. Theatre is also a big part of Brno’s cultural scene, and playhouses dot the town so aim to catch a performance when in town. Experience the vibrant nightlife at Jakubské Square, where locals savour craft beers leaning against wooden tables.

Don’t miss the UNESCO-listed Tugendhat Villa, a masterpiece combining contemporary design with envy-inducing views of the city. Linger in Náměstí Svobody (Liberty Square) with its Renaissance buildings and its bustling hub of shops and trams; you’ll be forgiven for taking a moment to watch the world go by here. Overlook the city from the Špilberk Castle viewpoint. Once a prison, its water tanks have now been transformed into the Temple of Stone. Visit the castle itself before heading underground to experience the eery yet fascinating history of Brno’s curious underground cathedrals.

Soak up Olomouc’s Baroque architecture

Olomouc (UPVISION)

Often dubbed the “Czech Oxford,” Olomouc boasts collegiate buildings reminiscent of its British counterpart. But don’t have Oxford on the mind when here; Olomouc is a beauty in its own right. It’s a city of drifting spires, cosy cafes and lively pubs. The vibrant student cultural scene infuses the city with energy and a relaxed ambiance. You’ll quickly feel like a part of Olomouc’s dynamic community.

Savour the local cuisine, from ovocne knedliky (fruit dumplings) to dishes featuring the famed tvaruzky cheese. Expect hearty, flavoursome dishes like goulash with potato dumplings, grilled meats galore and schnitzel with a healthy dose of bacon.

The city’s crown jewels are its 25 Baroque fountains, each a masterpiece of decorative art and engineering. Marvel at the details and grandeur of the Holy Trinity Column, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the city’s astronomical clock rivals that of Prague’s – only its figures were restored in social realist style, which gives it a unique twist. Above all, a must see is the Saint Wenceslas Cathedral, with the highest spire in Moravia.

All around are remnants of the city’s artistic heritage, including the historic palace which the likes of Mozart frequented during visits to Olomouc. Strains of playing drift from backstreets, a reminder that this sometimes-overlooked town has much to offer.

Wind down in the spa town of Karlovy Vary

The Tepla River in Karlovy Vary (Zdeněk Matyáš Photography/

Embrace a leisurely escape in the enchanting town of Karlovy Vary, where the pace of life slows to a gentle meander along its picturesque riverside spa district. This is no ordinary spa therapy; it’s a journey combining history and relaxation.

As the sun rises over Karlovy Vary, set on the edge of the Slavkov Forest, you’ll find yourself inhaling the soothing mist of hot springs. This tradition of “taking the waters” has been a fashionable pursuit for centuries, not only in Karlovy Vary but also in the neighbouring spa towns of Mariánské Lázně and Františkovy Lázně, collectively forming Czechia’s renowned “spa triangle.” In the late 19th century, Karlovy Vary earned the moniker “the largest open-air salon of Europe.”

The town’s wedding-cake architecture, neoclassical facades, and graceful colonnades transport you to a bygone era of elegance and leisure. Discover the golden domes of the Orthodox Church of St. Peter and Paul, the grandeur of the neo-Renaissance Grandhotel Pupp (a haven for Hollywood greats during the annual film festival), and the 14th-century castle tower once frequented by the King of Bohemia. But most of all, take in the healing minerals of the hot springs, and relax…

Feeling inspired?

For more information on travel in Czechia and to start planning your visit beyond Prague, head to

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