The 33 Most Beautiful Spots In Czech Republic

Český Krumlov is a Bohemian fairy tale town that makes our list of stunning destinations you have to visit in Czech Republic
Český Krumlov is a Bohemian fairy tale town that makes our list of stunning destinations you have to visit in Czech Republic | Photo by Gruescu Ovidiu on Unsplash
Helen Armitage

Brimming with history and natural beauty, the Czech Republic is home to a host of awesome national parks, stunning small towns and medieval castles straight out a fairy tale. Check out The Culture Trip’s round-up of its most scenic spots and we’re sure you’ll agree, the Czech Republic is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe.

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Krkonoše National Park

Home to the Czech Republic’s highest mountain range, the Krkonoše National Park is noted for its unique landscapes and ecosystems ranging from alpine meadows and moorland to high slopes and tundra – so unique, in fact, that the park was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1992. The small town of Pec pod Sn?žkou makes the perfect base for exploring the park’s highest peak Sn?žka: whether visitors take a relaxing cable car ride to the top of the mountain or hike a trail via the scenic valley of Ob?í D?l, they’ll be rewarded with stunning panoramic views across the Czech Republic and Poland.

1. Ceský Krumlov

Historical Landmark, Architectural Landmark

Český Krumlov, Czechia
Vlad Kiselov / Unsplash

Down in Southern Bohemia, lies the fairy tale town of Ceský Krumlov – a town so scenically historic it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Brimming with stunning examples of Renaissance era architecture, the picturesque community wraps around a bend in the Vltava River and boasts the beautiful 13th century castle – a mix of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles – at its core. Beyond its rich history, ?eský Krumlov also has a thriving cultural life that includes an international art gallery, the Egon Schiele Art Centrum, a vibrant culinary scene and annual festivities including a chamber music festival and a river marathon.

2. Karlštejn Castle

Building

Karlštejn Castle, Czech Republic
Photo by Anton Hulenko on Unsplash
Originally constructed in 1348 under the direction of Czech king and Roman emperor Charles IV, Karlštejn Castle is unique amongst the country’s many castles and chateaus in that it was founded as a place for safekeeping the king’s royal treasures, including holy relics and coronation jewels from the Roman Empire. Although reconstructed in the late 19th century, the castle – faithfully renovated by Czech architect Josef Mocker in a purist neo-Gothic style – retains its fairy tale-like charm and is today one of the most visited castles in the country. Tours of its grounds – which include the stately, five-floor Imperial Palace and the Chapel of the Holy Cross, home to 129 panel paintings by Gothic artist Theodoric – are available for visitors.

3. Punkva Caves

Natural Feature

Discovered in the early 20th century by Czech archeologist Karel Absolon, the Punkva Caves – located around an hour’s drive north of Brno – is one of the most awe-inspiring underground cave systems in the Moravian Karst. Visitors can tour the Punkva Caves via a foot walk that takes them past mighty stalagmites and stalactites, including Strážce – Punkva’s biggest stalactite at four meters long. From the stunning Macocha Abyss – a 138-meter-deep gorge and the biggest of its kind in the Czech Republic – a boat trip takes sightseers along the Punkva underground river via sites like the Masaryk Cave, often hailed as the most beautiful cave in the region.

4. Kutná Hora

Church, Market

Kutná Hora, Tschechien
Sebastian Herrmann / Unsplash

Formerly a medieval silver mining town, Kutná Hora – the center of which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 for its historical significance and architectural treasures – is a beautiful community of around 20,000 located some 50 miles east of Prague. Among the town’s many architectural delights are the Gothic-style Cathedral of St. Barbara, construction of which began in 1388 and took over 500 years to fully complete, and the 17th century Jesuit College, home to the Modern art gallery GASK. Just outside the town lies another interesting albeit slightly creepy must-see site, the Sedlec Ossuary – a 15th century chapel featuring a huge chandelier constructed from human bones.

Rešov Waterfalls

Carved by the Huntava stream, the Rešov Waterfalls – a protected area since 1966 noted for its natural beauty and nestled in the southwestern reaches of Nízký Jeseník mountain range – are a series of scenic cascades and rapids and one of the Czech Republic’s most popular tourist destinations. The rocky canyon through which the waterfalls cut their course can be explored via marked trails along the Huntava stream, taking visitors through beautiful undisturbed forest and past the ruins of an abandoned medieval castle.

5. Karlovy Vary

Natural Feature, Architectural Landmark, Building

Karlsbad, Czech Republic
Leonhard Niederwimmer / Unsplash

Put simply, Karlovy Vary is the jewel of Western Bohemia. A beautiful spa town nestled in the heart of a verdant valley, Karlovy Vary’s treasure trove of stunning architecture and vibrant culture have made it the second most visited spot in the whole Czech Republic. Just walking its streets – home to imposing colonnades and stunning churches like the late 19th century Byzantine-style Orthodox Church of St. Peter and Paul – is a joy alone, though the town’s annual events like Food Festival and the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will thrill any visiting culture vultures.

6. Hruboskalsko

Natural Feature

Sunset and striking rock formations at Hruboskalská, Czechia
Jan Baborák / Unsplash

Located in a region of the Czech Republic known as ?eský ráj (or ‘Bohemian Paradise’), Hruboskalsko is an extraordinary rock formation featuring hundreds of lofty sandstone towers gradually eroded over the course of time. With some rock towers reaching as high as 55 meters, Hrubskalsko is a popular destination for climbers but visitors who prefer a less daredevil approach can head to the Hlavatice Lookout Rock where a spiral staircase will deliver them safely to the top of the tower and reveal stunning views of the surrounding area. Towards the southern edges of Hruboskalsko lies the 16th century Renaissance-style Hrubá Skála Chateau, now home to a luxury hotel.

7. Konopište Castle

Building

Nestled on the edges of Benešov, Konopište Castle was originally founded as Gothic fortress to defend the town from attack but is most recognizable in its current Baroque style – the result of renovations during the 18th century. Perhaps best known as the former residence of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne whose assassination in 1914 started World War I, Konopišt? Castle offers tours of the duke’s private chambers, while the surrounding land – home to a rose garden, a lake and several free-roaming peacocks – is perfect for a peaceful, scenic stroll.

Podyjí National Park

Spanning an area of just 24 square miles, Podyjí National Park might be the Czech Republic’s smallest national park but it’s by no means lacking in beauty or diversity. Nestled on the edge of the Austrian border, the park is a forest valley in an otherwise treeless stretch of Southwest Moravia through which the Dyje River cuts a meandering path past blooming meadows, deep ravines and dramatic cliffs. One particularly scenic way to enjoy Podyjí National Park, and one that budding wine connoisseurs will especially like, is to take a trail between the town of Znojmo and Šobes Vineyard, one of Moravia’s oldest wine-producing locations.

8. Vyšehrad, Prague

Ruins, Building

Two young people talking on a terrace, Vyšehrad, Prague
Photo by Petr Urbanek on Unsplash
Legend has it that Vyšehrad, a historical fort located atop a rocky hill overlooking the Vltava River, was the oldest seat of Czech royalty and while this myth remains unsubstantiated the site certainly is old, dating back to the mid-10th century. Wandering the grounds of Vyšehrad today – home to the rare Romanesque-style Rotunda of St Martin dating back to the 11th century and the beautiful Basilica of St Peter and St Paul – is like stepping back in time, while catching the sun as its sets over Prague Castle across the river is truly a sight to behold.

9. Bohemian Switzerland Park

Park

The striking natural rock arch of Pravcicka Gate in Bohemian Switzerland National Park, Czechia
Yves Alarie / Unsplash

Considered one of the most beautiful natural areas in the country, this national park is home to breathtaking ravines, deep valleys, steep footbridges and unusual rock labyrinths. There is a river crossing so when the terrain gets a bit less accessible, you can jump into a small boat and a gondolier will take you to the other side and you can carry on exploring. The park’s Prav?ická brána (a stone arch) was used for essential scenes in the film Chronicles of Narnia. Recommened by Diana Bocco.

Sudetes

A mountain range loved by hikers, the Sudetes are also popular with winter sports enthusiasts. The range cuts through Germany, Poland and Czechia and offers visitors a range of things to see and do. With sandstone cliffs, mountain lakes, valleys and forests. The Sudetes are home to caves, gorges and a variety of wildlife just waiting to be discovered. Recommened by Diana Bocco.

10. Tel

Historical Landmark, Architectural Landmark

Telč, Czechia
Tomasz Anusiewicz / Unsplash

Tel is a tiny 13th century town with a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site center square that features colorful Baroque and Renaissance houses. A popular stop for people heading to Southern Moravia, Tel is also home to a 17th century Renaissance château and a number of beautiful hills and open spaces that are ideal for hiking. Recommened by Diana Bocco.

Šumava National Park

One of very few UNESCO protected biosphere reserves in Europe, Šumava offers nature trails (many of which include exhibits and information points so you can learn more about the area), rough camping spots, ski trails, and boat rental to explore the three rivers that cut throughout the park – one of them being the long and majestic Vltava River, which also runs through Prague. Recommened by Diana Bocco.

11. Olomouc

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark

Although not well-known to foreign visitors, Olomouc is one of the most charming towns in Czechia. Located right on the Moravia river and founded on the ruins of a Roman military camp, Olomouc is home to several historic religious buildings, including the early 12th century Saint Wenceslas Cathedral and Saint Maurice Church, home to one of the largest and oldest church organ in Europe. Recommened by Diana Bocco.

Adršpach-Teplice Rocks

Also known as the Teplice Stone Town, this is an area in northeast Bohemia well known for its unusual formations and great walking paths that cut through labyrinths of rocks. Thousands of years of erosion have created smooth rocks and strange formations that almost look man-made. Expect unusual natural bridges and tunnels, gates cut into the rocks and narrow pathways through mountains of rocks — not for the faint of heart but highly rewarding if you dare to explore. Recommened by Diana Bocco.

12. Lednice

Architectural Landmark

Lednice, Czechia
Elimende Inagella / Unsplash

The entire town of Lednice has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Home to the largest urban park in the country (which expands over 200 km²), impressive artificial castle ruins and one of the largest palaces in Czechia. Recommened by Diana Bocco.

13. Mikulov Wine Trail

Winery

A nature trail that cuts through vineyards might sound impossible, but this is exactly what you’ll find if you head to the Mikulov wine region in South Moravia. The trails (available for both hikers and bikers) cut through picturesque towns, the Pálava Hills area, and even the Nové Mlýny water reservoir. Recommened by Diana Bocco.

14. Hluboka Castle

Architectural Landmark

Hluboka Castle, Czechia
Nick Night / Unsplash

While most visitors to the Czech Republic head to Prague castle or even Karlštejn castle, the country has many other majestic castles worth a visit. Just 90 minutes from Prague is Hlubova castle. Although it was first built in the 13th century, its current Romantic Neo-Gothic look comes from the final additions, conducted in the 18th and 19th century. Hluboka castle is unique because it contains almost all its original furniture and décor, and guided tours allow you to see all of it, including the state of the art 18th century kitchen, the chateau armoury, and the winter garden (where parts of the Underworld movie were filmed). Recommened by Diana Bocco.

Trosky Castle

Sometimes castle ruins are just as magnificent as intact castles, and this is especially true in the case of Trosky castle. Sitting on the top of basalt volcanic plugs not far away from Hruboskalsko Rock City, Trosky is a 14th century marvel and well worth the steep hike up. The castle has been abandoned since it was burned down in 1648 during the Thirty Years War. The castle has been left alone and it has now become an important part of the magnificent landscape. Recommened by Diana Bocco.

Orlické Mountains

Located right on the border with Poland, the Orlické Mountains are renowned for their primeval forests and winding high rivers that offer plenty of opportunities for adventure lovers to explore. A large part of the mountains are wild, with so much nature to cover, you’ll find that most tourists stick to the paths, meaning you’ll have plenty to explore in complete solitude if that’s what you want. Discover endangered species of blue butterflies, stumble upon bell towers and lost villages in the misty hills of Orlické. Recommened by Diana Bocco.

Beskids

The Beskid Mountains have drawn attention from far and wide (including the New York Times) as a place well worth visiting. Located right on the eastern border of the country, this is where you’ll find some of the most impressive mountains it has to offer. However, in addition to that, the area is protected because of its miles of primeval forests and pastures, which are home to numerous species of endangered plants and animals. We can’t promise that you’ll run into a lynx or a bear, but it’s always a possibility. Recommened by Lani Seelinger.

15. Ríp Mountain

Natural Feature

Rising out of the flat farmland, Ríp holds a very special place in the Czech national consciousness. According to the Czech legend, the Czech founding father chose this land as the place to rule over once he found ?íp and deemed it a suitable place to defend a fortress from. It’s only a short drive outside Prague, so it’s a great place to come for a short hike that will end with a gorgeous view over the beautiful Czech countryside. Recommened by Lani Seelinger.

16. Prague Botanical Gardens

Park

Prague Botanical Gardens, Czechia
Tamara Shchypchynska / Unsplash

If you want to enjoy what nature has to offer but you don’t have time to leave Prague, the Botanical Gardens will completely satisfy your need for flora. You can spend hours exploring the various gardens and collections, whether the Japanese Gardens or the Mediterranean or Turkish collections. However, that’s not all that awaits you, the Botanical Gardens also includes the vineyards which were planted in the 13th century by King Vaclav II, and the Troja Chateau, which the vineyards have always been associated with. Recommened by Lani Seelinger.

17. Holašovice

Architectural Landmark

First mentioned in 1263, Holašovice has a lot of history behind it. Essentially just a tiny village full of white walls and quaint red roofs, it might not look like much until you hear more about it. It is built in a style called South Bohemian Folk Baroque, and it is uniquely well preserved for buildings, let alone whole villages, in this style. Plus, it survived two occurrences that could easily have wiped it out: first the plague epidemic in the 16th century that left only two of its inhabitants living, and then the communist regime in the 20th century that led many people to desert their farms, leaving the village abandoned. It was restored beginning in 1990 and placed onto the UNESCO list in 1998. Recommened by Lani Seelinger.

18. Prague’s Historical Center

Building

Nighttime shot of Charles Bridge and the Vltava River in Prague, Czechia
Azamat Esmurziyev / Unsplash
Prague, of course, needs no introduction, and its UNESCO-listed historical center is what draws its millions of visitors to the tiny, unknown country of which it is the capital. The area’s first buildings appeared around 800, and it has seen continuous development since then. It experienced the most growth in the 14th century under the reign of King Charles IV, who bestowed his own name on the Charles Bridge, part of the Old Town and now the only stone bridge running across the river. The city’s whole center is part of its UNESCO listing, so while you’re wandering around and flitting in and out of pubs, know that you’re doing it on historically-sacred ground. Recommened by Lani Seelinger.

The Jablonec Nad Nisou Reservoir

Sometimes, human intervention can create the perfect place to enjoy nature’s wonders. The Mseno Resevoir in Jablonec Nad Nisou is one of these places, where a dam built in the early part of the 20th century is now a gorgeous spot for swimming, running, beach volleyball, and numerous other active endeavors. The calm water seems to stretch on for ever, reflecting the day’s weather and sometimes even freezing over enough for ice skating. Bring some sausages to grill and grab a beer, because you’ll never want to leave. Recommened by Lani Seelinger.

Divoká Šárka

Divoká Šárka is a wonderful retreat for the Prague visitor without enough time to venture outside the city. If you take one of several trams to its terminus, you’ll get off at Divoká Šárka, the entrance to a large park which feels a world away, although you’re still within the limits of the country’s biggest city. There are hills and valleys, and while it’s lovely any time of year, it’s best on hot summer days when you can use the exceedingly refreshing swimming hole. Recommened by Lani Seelinger.

Třebíč

The two UNESCO items located in the Moravian town of Třebíč largely reflect the character of most of the Czech lands in the last millennium. One is the Basilica of St. Procopius, built in 1240-1280, the style of which toes the line between Romanesque and Gothic. Třebíč’s other property on the list is the Jewish Quarter, placed there because it is one of the best preserved Jewish ghettos in Europe. Together, they offer testament to how diverse the Czech lands tended to be, both culturally and religiously speaking. Recommened by Lani Seelinger.

Villa Tugendhat

The Villa Tugendhat, built in 1928-1930, it was one of the first structures built in the modern style in Europe. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed it on commission by the Tugendhat family, a wealthy Jewish family living in Brno, the city where you can find it and the second largest in the Czech Republic. The family was unfortunately forced to escape to Switzerland in 1938, and the villa suffered under the hands of first the Nazis and then the communists. You can now visit and have a tour, or if you’re interested in the whole story, Simon Mawer has brilliantly brought it to life in his book The Glass Room. Recommened by Lani Seelinger.

Zelená Hora

What you’ll find at Zelená Hora is the Pilgrimage Church of Saint John of Nepomuk, a unique architectural wonder built in honor of one of the Czech Republic’s hometown saints. He was martyred by being drowned in the Vltava River that runs through Prague in 1393, but he received his early education in Zelená Hora. Construction on the church started when the Catholic Church started his beatification process in 1720, and the style is mainly Baroque with some Gothic touches. The most interesting part of it, however, is its shape, which combines circular elements with the repeating appearance of things in sets of five, because of the five stars that crowned him in the sky on the night of this death. When viewed from above, the church and its surrounding buildings look like a star. Recommened by Lani Seelinger.

Kroměříž

Even if you think you’ve seen enough castles and gardens to last a lifetime, Kroměříž will still wow you. The castle was actually mainly a residence for bishops, although the Leichtenstein family also had a hand in its development. The landscape, which includes both a magnificently manicured (and colorful, if you come at the right time) Baroque garden and a sprawling English garden, are highly enjoyable to walk through on a nice day. When you’re in the town, you can also enjoy the beautiful town square and the numerous good pubs that surround it. Recommened by Lani Seelinger.

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