When most people think of the Czech Republic (short: Czechia), they only think of Prague, but there is much more to this country in the center of Europe. It is a country with a rich history and has many castles and charming medieval towns like Cesky Krumlov. And of course, there are also other cities like Brno that are ideal for a short trip to the Czech Republic.
While the country is often associated with its beer, it also has fantastic wines. There are many wineries to be visited, so wine lovers are bound to have an amazing time. Be sure to taste Pálava wine – the white wine grape variety was developed in Moravia in 1953 by crossing Müller Thurgau and Gewürztraminer.
Adventure lovers will love the hiking trails, the Via Ferrata, and exploring the caves of the Moravian Karst like the Punkva Caves.
For the longest time, the country was the one maybe on my list of countries I’ve visited, as I technically, very likely crossed the border to the Czech Republic while hiking. However, I did not see anything in the country, so I always felt the need to remedy the situation. I did not get to do so for more than a decade, but when I did, I spend 10 days there and could not help but wonder why I did not visit the country sooner.
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Places to see in the Czech Republic
NATURE & more
Things to know before you visit the Czech Republic
The official language is Czech. However, there are twelve minority languages including German, Polish, Hungarian, and even Vietnamese.
If you only speak English, you will able to able to get by if you stick to Prague or Brno. However, it is a good idea to download Google Translate if you leave the cities behind as not everyone is able to speak English. Consider learning a few Czech words and phrases like ‘dobry den‘ (hello) and ‘dekuji’ (thank you).
The currency is the Czech crown or Czech koruna (CZK). As of October 2022, 100 CZK equals 4.07 EUR, 3.99 USD, or 6.21 AUD.
Credit Cards & ATMs
When it comes to credit cards, Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted, while AMEX tends to be less accepted. If you stick to the cities, you will rarely need any cash, as even small shops accept credit card payments. Once you explore more remote areas, it is beneficial to have some cash on you, as the acceptance of card payments varies.
It is easy to find an ATM in the Czech Republic, but if you want to avoid extra fees, you should withdraw your money at the ATM of Raiffeisen Bank, CSOB, or KB (komercni banka). Be sure to let your own bank do the currency conversion, or there is a good chance you will end up with an unfavorable conversion rate.
The plugs in the Czech Republic are type C or type E. The voltage is 220V and the frequency is 50Hz. Therefore, international travelers from the USA and other countries with a lower standard voltage need a voltage converter.
The Czech Republic is part of the Schengen area, which means citizens of EU countries, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein do not require a visa if they plan to spend no more than 90 days in the country.
Citizens of most other countries have to obtain a short-term visa that is valid for up to 90 days. There is a visa exemption for citizens of some countries including the USA, the UK, Australia, and Canada. Check the website of the Czech foreign ministry for the full list of countries included in the Schengen-visa-free regime. Citizens of these countries can stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days with a time frame of 180 days.
The Czech Republic can be considered a safe destination and is therefore also ideal for solo travelers. As everywhere else, it is always good to take measures to avoid pickpocketing and to use common sense in every situation. That way, you’ll have a hassle-free vacation.
When to visit the Czech Republic
There are plenty of things to do in every season, so the best time to visit the Czech Republic depends on what you want to do while there.
Should you want warmer temperatures, May to September are the perfect time for your trip. However, you should keep in mind that the months June to August are the peak season, which means everything is more expensive and crowded.
Therefore, the shoulder months, May and September, are ideal if you want good weather, but fewer crowds. These months are particularly ideal if you are planning a city trip to Prague.
If you love wine, you should contemplate a visit in September, so you can attend one of the big wine harvest festivals. The three Wine Harvest Festivals to visit are those in Mikulov, Znojmo, and in Melnik. You might want to combine that visit with a stop at the National Bank of Wines in the cellars of the Valtice Chateau. Here, you can sample the 100 best wines of the Czech Republic.
Winter sports lovers can go skiing, but the real highlight of winter is the Prague Christmas Market, which is one of the best Christmas Markets in Europe.
Things to do in Czechia
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