the fp is things-to-do
Things to see and do in Czech Republic
Czech Tourist Authority in the USAAddress: 1109 Madison Avenue,
Telephone: +1 212 288 0830.
Czech Tourist Authority in the UKAddress: Prudance place, Proctor way, Luton, LU2 9PE
Telephone: +44 1582 725874
Attractions in Czech Republic
Be enchanted by the capital, Prague
The capital city is an obvious place to start, but you'd be mad to miss it. Soak up the atmosphere in one of Europe's most beautiful and cultural spots with a cruise on the Vltava. Discover its UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town, medieval Charles Bridge and the spire-filled district of Malá Strana, which is home to the world's largest citadel, Prague Castle.
Clamber the Adršpach-Teplice Rocks
If you love rock climbing, you'll love the Adršpach-Teplice Rocks. These unusual sandstone rock formations form the basis of a nature reserve in the north of the Czech Republic, which is also home to contorted canyons and wildlife-filled forests – and make for unique rock climbing opportunities. You'll find many operators in the area.
Cycle and sip your way through Moravia
Hire a bike and pedal your way around the rolling hills, glistening vineyards and historic villages of South Moravia. Sample wines within picturesque surroundings, in places like Mikulov and Valtice, or cycle your way through the stunning UNESCO-listed Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape that was once owned by the principality of Liechtenstein.
Expect outdoor adventure at Krkonoše
Whether you come in summer or winter, a trip to Krkonoše is a must. This lofty mountain range, which skirts the Czech-Polish border and has the highest peak in the country, offers wonderful hiking and cycling during the summer – and even better skiing during the winter. Just don't expect to have it all to yourself.
Explore Bohemia's once-mighty economic centre, Kutná Hora
Explore the ancient silver mine and marvel at the magnificent murals in St Barbara's Cathedral in Kutná Hora. This pretty medieval town and UNESCO World Heritage Site once rivalled Prague and even London in terms of size and importance, and this legacy can be seen in the fine Gothic and Italianate buildings that line the cobbled streets.
Explore the Renaissance town of Telč
The cobbled streets of Telč are one of the most idyllic examples of a Renaissance town in Europe, earning it well-deserved UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town was rebuilt after a fire in 1530, so medieval arcades with their gabled houses surround the picturesque town square.
Explore the fairytale castles of Karlštejn and Konopiště
The Czech Republic is home to an array of picture-postcard castles and two of the finest are within easy reach of Prague. 14th-century Karlštejn is a Disney-esque fairytale castle hidden in a valley between forested hills, while Konopiště is a spectacular Baroque-style château and the last residence of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.
Fall in love with the pretty city of Český Krumlov
UNESCO World Heritage Site Český Krumlov is widely considered to be the Czech Republic's most picturesque town. Wander the ramparts of its fairytale castle, stroll along the banks of the infant Vltava River (or hire a canoe to get even closer), and lose yourself among its medieval back streets.
Find the time to visit pretty Olomouc
The attractive university town of Olomouc is noted for its green parks, baroque churches, sculptures and fountains – not to mention its UNESCO-listed Holy Trinity Column and grand astronomical clock. The surrounding Hana region is strongly agricultural, with many villages holding attractive harvest festivals in late September.
Luxuriate at the famous Karlovy Vary spa
Kick back and relax at the attractive spa resort of Karlovy Vary, which offers hot mineral springs, fine baroque and Gothic architecture, forest walks and a lively cultural scene. Finally, don't miss the picturesque castle at nearby Loket, set high above the River Ohre.
Paddle the Vltava river at Borová Lada
Head to the upper reaches of the Vltava at Borová Lada for an exciting day of canoeing. This section of the river is picturesque, with gentle rapids and weirs, which makes it ideal canoe-touring territory for beginners. Many outfits will rent you canoes and camping gear in this region.
Reflect on the past horrors at Terezín
Learn about a darker period in Czech history at Terezín, a former Nazi concentration camp north of Prague. The Ghetto Museum, barracks and isolation cells, execution grounds and mass graves bring the horrors of the Holocaust to life, ensuring it will never be forgotten.
See more grand designs at Hluboká and Vranov
Both history and design enthusiasts will find worthy excursion to Hluboká and Vranov nad Dyjí. The former is a grand and romantic baroque castle dating back to the 13th century, while the latter is an imposing Moravian château perched atop a giant rock overlooking the town.
See skull sculpture at Sedlec Ossuary
Get the creeps at Sedlec Ossuary, where the centuries-old bones of more than 40,000 people have been crafted into a stunning display of garlands, chandeliers, sculptures and coats of arms. This isn't one for the faint of heart, but there's nowhere else in the world quite like it.
Take a sip at the Pilsner Urquell Brewery
Make a pilgrimage to the birthplace of the world's best beer – the Pilsner Urquell Brewery in Plzeň, just an hour from Prague. It was here that pilsner lager was invented in 1842. Don't miss a guided tour through the medieval tunnels and beer cellars beneath the old centre.
Unearth the natural splendour of Šumava
Pack up your trekking poles and head for Šumava, the country's largest national park. A gobsmackingly beautiful region of forest-clad hills along the border with Austria, the giant park includes scenic lakes, trout streams, areas of virgin forest and important historic monuments.
Unwind in peace at Mariánské Lázně
The Czech Republic is famous for its hot springs, mineral baths and spa treatments, and they are not only to be found in touristy Karlovy Vary. Pretty Mariánské Lázně, in the west of the country, offers equally wonderful spa facilities for a significantly reduced price – as does nearby Františkovy Lázně.
Wonder at the sheer scale of Macocha's sinkhole
Peer into the dizzying abyss of Macocha, a spectacular 140-m (459-ft) deep sinkhole at the heart of the Moravský Kras (Moravian karst) near Brno, a limestone region riddled with caves. Then follow up this adventure with a cruise along an underground river at the nearby Punkevni Caves.