It may be a beautiful city, but there’s so much more to the Czech Republic than its historical capital, Prague. Bohemia, an ancient region once part of Europe’s Holy Roman Empire, now makes up most of the Czech Republic and is filled with magical forests and fairy-tale castles. Here’s why you should get out and explore Czech Bohemia and how to visit.
The Czech Republic for adventure lovers…
If you’re like me and love an adventure, then the Czech Republic won’t disappoint. From kayaking to skiing, high-rope courses and camping, there’s an activity for everyone, including:
Kayaking – watersports fans can spend a day kayaking down the Jizera river. It’s not quite white water rafting, but a fun experience for people who enjoy a challenge and some exercise with beautiful scenery just drifting by. There are many options you can choose from when renting a kayak or canoe and the easiest way to go about it is by booking online.
Hiking – the heart of Bohemia is filled with hiking routes with spectacular views of sandstone rock formations. There’s also plenty of history and fairy tales to capture your heart and set your mind racing, from bandits robbing the rich, to princes fighting off dragons and princesses making friends with devils.
The enchanted forest of Bohemian Switzerland is an ideal hiking spot and plays host to a remarkable ecosystem with a labyrinth of sandy rock paths, ancient trees and mystical gorges. You won’t have to worry about feeling parched, as there are pubs dotted around for cheap snacks and a beer.
Snow sports – if you’re more of a snow bunny or an après skier but your wallet isn’t Alp ready, this part of the Czech Republic will fulfil you winter wonderland dreams. Popular ski resorts in Bohemia such as Lipno and Kvasejovice are suitable for all abilities and offer ski rental and accommodation.
Top cultural spots in Bohemia
If sports aren’t really your thing, then explore Bohemia’s rich cultural sights, here are my top five picks:
- Sychrov Castle – this beautiful Neo-Gothic style château from the second half of the 16th century will charm you with its beautiful pink exterior, perfectly-preserved interior and magical gardens.
- Trosky Castle – a double towered Gothic castle founded in the late 14th century. The smaller, fatter tower is referred to as ‘Baba’ and the taller tower ‘Panna’. Both offer stunning panoramic views.
- Valdštejn Castle – if you fancy a long walk with a bewitching reward at the end, then this is the castle for you. This half-restored, half-desolate castle dates back to the 13th century.
- Bezděz Castle– put your hiking boots on and prepare for a long, uphill walk. It’s well worth the effort to visit what is sometimes referred to as the ‘King of all castles’. Rumour has it that monks hid treasure here in the 13th century.
- Ještěd – not quite a castle, this cellular tower is still a grand icon of the Liberec area. With a hotel and restaurant, it offers spectacular 360-degree views of the surrounding area.
There are English tour guides if you need them, or you can just roam around on your own!
How to visit the Czech Republic
Now down to the important stuff like how to get to the Czech Republic, where to stay and how to get around. If you’re coming from the UK or any other major European city, check out Skyscanner for flights from as little as £30.
So, you land at Prague airport, what next? Well, there are loads of cheap options for getting around. Car rental costs around £50 per week and provides you with the flexibility to travel when and where you like. You can also travel from Prague to other parts of the country by train or coach for a reasonable price.
Services run to popular destinations such as Liberec, which has all the modern amenities including shopping and a variety of activities like a zoo and waterpark. Turnov is a much smaller, more traditional town with several shops and cafes. However, I would recommend veering away from city life and heading to the countryside.
When it comes to accommodation, Hostelworld provides many options in Prague and the Czech Republic, with prices ranging from as little as £10 a night. The Czech Republic is also very cheap in terms of food and drinks, especially outside of Prague. The average pint will set you back a whole £2 and a meal costs just a couple of pounds more. Vegans beware though, as the Czechs have a very meat-orientated culture.
So, if you’re looking for an inexpensive holiday packed with adventure and old-world charm then Bohemia is made for you. Why not leave your average city break behind and experience an extraordinary journey like no other?