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Travel Directory / Europe / Czech Republic

Czech Republic Travel Guide

Czech Republic is a land-locked country found in Central Europe. It is bordered with Germany to the west, Poland to the north, Slovakia to the east and Austria to the south. The Czech Republic was part of Czechoslovakia until the "Velvet Divorce" in January 1991 which split the communist state into the Czech and Slovak republics. This was when tourism in the country slowly picked up because of the new found democracy and new president Vaclav Havel.

Tourism in the country is largely focused on its capital, Prague and the country's historic regions of Bohemia and Moravia. The country has a rich cultural heritage evidenced by its myriad of galleries, museums and concert halls. Some of its famous citizens include classical composer Dvořák and writers like Kafka. The country also boasts of 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well as fascinating castles, old churches, chateaus, monasteries and other architectural treasures.

Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is situated on the banks of Vltava River and has always played an important role in Europe's history. It is noted for its numerous Baroque, Gothic, Romanesque and Cubist architectures and has been called the ‘Paris of the East' since the fall of communism in the country.

Some of the key places to visit in the city is its historical center which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Prazky hrad (Prague Castle), Karluv or the Charles Bridge which offers view of the Vlatva and gave Prague its reputation as a "fairytale city"'. The Mala Strana found beneath the castle, is a mix of winding road, palaces and old artisan houses from the 17th and 18th century. The Stare Mesto or old town with its huge clock found in the town hall and Gothic Tyn Church and the Jewish town with its cemetery and synagogues.

Just outside Prague, grim reminders of World War II remain in the Terezin camp which is now a museum. You can also pass by the silver mining town, Kutna Hora, with its towering Gothic Cathedral St. Barbara which is also a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Aside from historic architectural buildings the Czech Republic can also boast of its magnificent canyons and steep volcanic rock formations in a densely forested area, the Krkonoše Mountains National Park which offers hiking and a lot of snowboarding, cross country and downhill skiing facilities. The Spindleruv Mlyn, by River Labe banks, is the most popular mountain town in the park.

Though not really a beer country, the Czech Republic is home to two towns that became famous for its brewed alcoholic beverage. Of course who can forget the local beer of Ceske Budejovice (Budweis), whose wealth was founded on silver mines, Budvar or Budweiser which is the town's claim to fame. Then there's the town of Plzner, the second largest city in Bohemia, which is home to the famous Pilsner beer. Beer has been brewing in this town since 1295 but it was only was established during the year 1842. Guided tours to the Plzensky Prazdroj brewery for the curious tourists are available.