Guide to the Czech Republic, outside of Prague!
When you think of the Czech Republic you probably only think of Prague.
It is an incredible city, but this country offers much more beyond it.
My oldest brother Jeff lived there for two years serving a mission
and lived all over the country. We went to all corners of the
country and saw my brother speak Czech with people he
loved. The experience just cemented the CZ in my heart.
There are a few reasons to put the Czech Republic high on
the list for your next vacation…not just Prague, but the entire
country. It’s such a great destination as it’s inexpensive and
also very accessible since it’s so centrally located in Europe.
I have a Prague guide coming soon, (and we’ll be there again next month!!)
but for now…here’s a guide to the Czech Republic – outside of Prague! If I missed anything you can look at Prague Here’s Tourist Guide for more information.
(Thanks to my brother Jeff for helping me with this because of his recent stag weekend in Prague!)
First, we’ve narrowed down the best 3 towns to visit in the CZ outside of Prague:
?eský Krumlov – Truly the most charming town ever! It is a must-see that I loved so much. It’s about 2 hours driving from Prague, and it’s so worth visiting. It looks like it’s been pulled straight out of a fairytale.
?eské Bud?jovice – This town is right nearby ?eský Krumlov, only about 20 minutes driving. The original Budweiser brewery is here, did you know it was invented in the CZ? Even though we don’t drink beer it is still really cool to see. It’s also funny here because they say in a store, Czech beer is even cheaper than water!
Karlovy Vary – Last but not least, my favorite of all! This tiny spa town is the most amazing place to check out. It is the other direction from Prague (less than 2 hours to the northwest in the West Bohemia region), so it could even be a day trip. It is famous for the thermal springs running all through the town, bringing resort visitors to aid in health and relaxation for centuries. There is even a famous geyser called Pramen V?ídlo that you can go see! The iconic Hotel Pupp is here and SO worth seeing, and my family stayed in a darling place called Hotel Romance that I still remember so well. PS… if you’ve ever seen the movie “Last Holiday,” most of it takes place here in Karlovy Vary and shows the town off!
Other great sights outside of Prague:
? Karlštejn: an amazing castle right outside of Prague
? Kutna Hora: Nearby Prague as well, and has a scary but interesting skeleton church.
? Hluboká Castle is near Bud?jovice and really amazing…like you won’t believe it.
As for Czech food: Dining is relatively inexpensive here compared to
the rest of Europe. I’ll share some specific restaurants in Prague in
another post, but some general foods to try in this country include:
? Dumplings (“knedliky”) were my very favorite. They can be savory as a side dish, or sweet with fruit filling. They are delicious! Don’t miss these.
? To try a lot at once you can order something like a “traditional Bohemian platter” at a restaurant which will be made up of things like bread, bacon, beer sausage, smoked meat, roast pork, roast duck, red and white cabbage, and of course potato dumplings.
? Czechs love their Svi?ková, a unique combo of meat with sauce and whipped cream. It sounds weird but we had a local make it for us and it was surprisingly good!
? Guláš is a bit like Hungarian goulash and very hearty.
? A safe order at any Czech restaurant is Smažený Sýr: basically fried cheese garnished with potatoes + tartar sauce (best to order with baked potatoes.)
? Carp fish is a local favorite, but I don’t recommend it ;) Locals traditionally buy a live one before Christmas, keep it in the bathtub, then eat it on the holiday! Haha, so nuts!
? You will find Grilované Klobásy (grilled sausages) at lots of food stands in touristy areas. They smell amazing and taste even better!
? Sweet Czech Pancakes are called “Pala?inky” and there are a lot of other types of traditional Czech cakes “kola?s” which can have all different fruit and cream fillings.
? As mentioned above, also be sure to try traditional fruit dumplings for dessert…best thing I had in this country. They are called “ovocné knedlíky.” Yum!
? “Mattoni” sparkling sodas…all of the flavors are delish!
? And of course beer is some of the best here, for those who drink :)
My brother also gave a few basic phrases in the Czech language which can be helpful:
– Hello = Ahoj! (“ahoy!”)
– Good day/ Hello = Dobrý den (“dobree den”)
– How are you = Jak se máš? (“yahk seh mawsh”)
– Please / You’re Welcome = Prosím (“pro-seem”)
– Thank you = D?kuji (“d-ye-koo-yoo”)
So – there is a taste of the CZ! Thanks to my brother Jeff for helping me
remember so many of the great things about this country outside of just Prague.
Also thank you to my new friends at Travel Ticker who are partnering on this post.
Check out their great website because right now they are offering a chance for travel
lovers to pursue their dreams by helping fund them! So go enter & you can visit the CZ!