When enthusiastic travelers go about planning a European journey, popular cities like Rome, London, Barcelona, and Berlin frequently make it onto their trip’s itinerary. However, one unique destination in Eastern Europe is often overlooked, even though its heritage sites, cobblestone streets, and magical countryside beg to be explored.
The enchanting Czech Republic has an abundance of exciting things to offer globetrotters. Rich in culture, architecture, and delectable cuisine, Czechia draws people in with its medieval charm and diverse landscape. And it isn’t just the country’s capital of Prague that holds the most beauty. If you’re still not convinced that it should be number one your list, check out the below five surefire reasons why Czechia is an unforgettable, must-visit destination.
Castles, castles, and more castles!
You can’t talk about Czechia without drawing attention to its unbelievable castle statistics. The country boasts a whopping 2000 of these gorgeous stone fortresses which are spread throughout its lands. In other words, you’ll be hard pressed not to stumble upon a few towering castles during a casual day stroll or night out.
Among the most famous of these is the Prague Castle, which lies in the city’s center along the gorgeous expanse of the Vltava River and has a cumulative area of 70,000 m². Founded in in the 9th century, the castle is home to one of the oldest church structures that still stands today: St. George’s Basilica.
Aside from Praugue Castle, some other notable ones outside of the city include Hluboka, Rabi, and Lednice Castles. Czechia’s castles vary in size, style, and age, but each are grand examples of the country’s unique medieval culture and all are undoubtedly worthy of a quality photoshoot.
Its world-renowned spa towns
One thing that many people don’t know about the Czech Republic is that it’s one of the world’s best known spa destinations and contains many towns with strong spa cultures that date all the way back to the 1500s. These sites look otherworldly within the surrounding landscape, filled with healing thermal springs and multi-coloured buildings.
The most famous of them all, Karlovy Vary, has been visited by thousands of Hollywood stars over the years and is home to one of Europe’s most anticipated annual events, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. In fact, American tourists may recognize the town as the filming location of the iconic casino scene in the 2006 blockbuster hit, Casino Royale. It was here in Karlovy Vary’s Grandhotel Pupp that James Bond took on the villainous Le Chiffre in a high stakes game of No-Limit Hold’em, one of poker’s many variants enjoyed on the big screen by actors and actresses.
Nowadays visitors can book a luxurious spa day in the same place where many notable names in the movie business and beyond have been known to relax. Other spa towns include Mariánské Lázně and Lipová-lázně which offer a variety of the same services ranging from saunas to mineral baths, deep tissue massages, and holistic health treatments. The bottom line: Czechia is your one-stop-shop if you want to be pampered at some of the best spas the world has to offer.
Its central location in Europe
If you look at a map of the European continent, you’ll quickly see that the Czech Republic is situated smack dab in its center, an ideal location for travelers looking to hop from one country to another without being inconvenienced. A direct neighbor of Germany, Poland, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary, Czechia’s transportation system is efficient, accessible, and can easily take you to many desirable locations for a cheap price. Trains and buses run frequently and can be caught directly from the capital, taking tourists to nearby cities like Krakow and Berlin within just a few hours.
Bustling cities and picturesque landscapes
So far you’ve heard a lot about the attraction-filled, fairytale like city of Prague, Czechia’s number one tourist destination, but the Eastern European country also boasts miles of luscious countryside not far from the hustle and bustle.
If you’re looking for a break from the city, consider staying in one of many well-preserved Czech towns for a night. Full of lakes, valleys and fields of vegetation, these locations are perfect for hiking and exploring nature. These quaint scenes of greenery can be found just a short drive away from Prague – perfect for a relaxing day trip. Who knows, maybe you’ll even stumble upon a castle or two in the middle of the wilderness.
Your wallet will thank you
For budget travelers looking to enjoy a fun-filled, diverse holiday without breaking the bank, Czechia is an ideal location. Known for having some of the lowest prices in Eastern Europe, visitors can stretch their currency further than ever, as accommodations, dining options, and transportation fees are all refreshingly low. After all, Czechia contains dozens of beautiful landmarks and, because walking around to view them is always free, it’s a great option for the money-conscious traveler.