Short Breaks In The Czech Republic
For many people, a short break in the Czech Republic means a few days in Prague. There is certainly a lot to do in the capital city: historic buildings; art and architecture; local and international food and shopping; and a lively nightlife. However, the Czech Republic offers many other possibilities for your visit, with an abundance of history, traditional culture, and varied countryside.
The country has plenty of interesting towns, starting with Brno, the country’s second city, with its hilltop castle and other historic buildings. Another possibility is Kromeriz, whose UNESCO listed castle boasts art treasures and extensive, beautifully laid out, gardens.
If you want an active break, the mountains offer skiing, hiking and other sports. Elsewhere, there are national parks and open countryside where you can walk, cycle, or visit caves. Another possibility is a spa visit: the Czech Republic has a surprising number of therapeutic springs, some of which have been in use since the 15th century.
Traditional culture is much in evidence. Open air museums display medieval buildings and local handicrafts, and most towns and cities will provide the opportunity to experience the loud and colourful Bohemian folk dancing and music. You will also want to try the hearty local cuisine: soups, stews, and dumplings, with traditional beer and spirits.
If you are looking for other kinds of entertainment, the Czech Republic excels in music of all kinds. These include classical and rock concerts, opera and ballet. A number of international film festivals also take place every year.
Things to Do and See
Buildings and Architecture
With the Czech Republic’s main cities and towns hundreds of years old, they are filled with a refreshing brand of architectural structures and buildings that is not seen outside of this part of Europe. Medieval castles, churches, bridges and town squares can be found in cities and towns across the country, spread out amongst the hills and forests.
The origins of national music, dance, and costume can be traced back to over 1,000 years ago. As such, displays with either a historical significance or for purposes of exhibition, can often be seen, with the participants dressed in the traditional national folk costume like that pictured here.
The Czech Republic has the largest average level of beer consumption per person in the world, so it should come as no surprise that beer is something of a national delicacy, with a myriad of brands and flavours available by the bottle, or jug, if you prefer! Every year during the month of May, Prague is host to the Czech Beer Festival, which entices thousands of visitors from all over the world in search of the ultimate European beer festival experience.
Prague In Winter
With the winter snowfall, Prague is magically transformed by the enveloping white blanket of snow, perfect for a romantic weekend break away. If visiting during December, there is also the added attraction of the Winter Markets and the magnificent Christmas decorations that dominate the squares of both the Old and New Towns of Prague, creating the perfect setting for a Christmas shopping trip.
Skiing and Winter Sports
During the European winter months, the Czech Republic is an ideal destination for a number of winter sports. Of course the more mainstream, popular activities such as skiing and snowboarding are on offer – with the Krkonoše Mountains home to some of the best slopes in the country – but if you are feeling adventurous, you could also try out bobsledding or cross-country skiing.
While what typically draws people to this historic European country is its medieval-feel cities (Prague is one of Europe’s most visited), regions such as Šumava, Ceský ráj, and the Krkonoše Mountains offer spectacular natural scenery in which to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, camping, horse riding, and mountaineering.
Being a landlocked country, Czech cuisine is dominated by a variety of meat dishes: pork, beef, chicken, duck, rabbit and game, which can be accompanied with dumplings to serve up a meal that is typically associated with this region. For those looking for something different, they are also well catered for in restaurants, which also provide a generous and tasty selection of soups, cheeses, sweets and desserts.
Where to Go
The Czech capital is one of Europe’s top cities and most frequently visited destinations – and with good reason! With both a stunning Old Town, and modernised New Town, visitors to Prague are able to enjoy a varied short break, striking their ideal balance between exploring, relaxing and shopping if so desired.
With a rich history that stretches back over a thousand years, Prague is filled with both grand and subtle reminders of the past, including Europe’s largest castle, the Charles Bridge, and the Old Town Square and its attractions.
- Eat your way through the national dishes
- Visit snow covered Prague during winter
- Go hiking or skiing in the Krkonoše Mountains
- Sit outside in one of the old squares enjoying a Czech beer
- Enjoy a show with traditional folk music and dress