The Czech Republic’s main attraction is Prague, but there is a lot more to the country than just capital. There are plenty of things to do but as always, there isn’t always time. Luckily the Czech Republic is a relatively small country, so you can manage to see the essential things in just 7 days. My Czech Republic itinerary consists of all the necessary things you need to see including interesting cities, hikes, castles, and spas.
Czech Republic itinerary
Day 1 & 2 – Prague
Let’s explore Prague! Prague is a nice city, relatively small, so it is fine to spend there just 2 days. And what to do in Prague for 2 days? Firstly, if you want to check out all of the historical sights, try to walk something called the Royal route. The royal route is the route that kings used to take to get to the coronation. On this route, you will see all the historic sights. It starts at something called Pulver tower, which is a very old tower close to the Old town square. Later on, you will go through old streets leading from Pulver tower.
The next stop would be Old town square. The square is pretty big with a lot of restaurants. If you want to eat something cheaper and like a local, this is not a place to go, there are much better options. And what to do in the Old town square? The old astronomical clock should be definitely on your itinerary of the Czech Republic. They play a little theatre every whole hour. And except for them, you should see here the town hall. Then you should go through Charles bridge, where you will see an amazing view of Prague with the river. And if you keep going on the Royal route, eventually you will get to the castle. Where you will also see one of the best views of the city.
2. day in Prague
Spend your second day close to the river, exploring local parks, view towers like the tower Petřín. Petřín is also a miniature version of Eifell tower, so definitely something worth exploring. You can either hike up there or you can take a cable car there. It costs 24 czk and goes very often.
Another thing that you should try to see on your second day should be Wenceslas square, the place where the velvet revolution happened. It is a big boulevard full of shops, but also beautiful buildings. From there, you can finish your second day in Prague in Žižkovská tower, probably one of the highest towers in the Czech republic. Perhaps the best time to go there is during sunset. Žižková tower also has its restaurant. It is a very luxurious restaurant so kind of expensive but also very highly rated.
If you don’t want to visit the tower, you can go to Letná park. Hipster place with lots of greens around you and also a very nice beer. From there you will also have an amazing view of Prague.
Where to find a hotel in Prague?
Generally, Prague isn’t too expensive a city and a very safe place. So the only thing is how far do you want to be in the city center? If you find a place in Letná, there is a lot of hipster-ish places, good restaurants and it is not too far from the center – only about 10m by tram.
You can also find accommodation in the city center, either in Malá Strana or in Staré město. These are within walking distance within all kinds of attractions in the center.
Another great location, also hipster one, is called Vršovice. Vršovice is similar to Letná neighborhood, also a lot of hipster coffee shops and restaurants.
Day 3 – Brno
On the third day, I would move to the second biggest city in the Czech Republic, which should not be missed on your itinerary. During one day in Brno, you can visit a local castle with a museum of Moravia – the region, where Brno is. After that, you can wander around the historical city center or visit the church here that is one of the dominant in the city.
Another interesting thing to visit in Brno is the Villa Tugendhat. It was built in the 1920s and it is the place where it was decided, that the Czech Republic will be divided. Nowadays you can see there a lot of exhibition both artistic but also some with more political dimensions.
Where to live in Brno?
Brno is generally considered as very calm place comparing to Prague, so it is completely possible and recommended to live in the city center, where you will be close to both historical and hipster or modern restaurants with local cuisine.
Day 4 – Český Krumlov
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Český Krumlov is one of the most visited places in the Czech Republic but for a good reason. The city has amazing historical sights. You can come here and spend here day wandering around the historical center and local castle. The Czech Republic has a lot of castles and at least some of them should be on your itinerary. Český Krumlov is a good example of it. you can find here the second biggest palace complex in the Czech Republic, which is also part of UNESCO. It was built in the 14th century and renovated through the time, so it has several different styles from gothic, to baroque.
Another thing to do in Český Krumlov is to walk around where the defense walls used to be. From there, you will see an amazing view of the city with the river Vltava down in the center. And one more interesting sight is a theatre with rotatable audience seats. It is also the best perceived baroque theatre in Europe.
You can get to Český Krumlov from Brno by Flix bus. It is a direct connection so you don’t hate to worry about anything and just stay in the historic city center of the town. There are some nice hotels there.
Day 5 – Pilsen (Plzen)
The next stop on your way should be Pilsen. It is another historical city with different significance. And that is a beer! The world-famous Pilsner was invented in this city, located just 90km from Prague.
You can visit the brewery itself, where they will tell you all about it. The tour is inexpensive, costing just about 10 dollars. You get to know the history of the beer, how and why it got famous and you can taste some of it too.
In Pilsen, don’t forget to visit the main square. In the heard of the city, you can see the highest church in the Czech Republic. But that is not all of it, in the city center you can also get on a tour of Pilsen underground. There you can see streets under the real city, wells, and cellars as well. Lastly, don’t forget to visit the third biggest synagogue in Europe, it is just 10 minutes from the main square.
Practical info about Plzen
It is easiest to find accommodation in Pilsen right in the city center. The city is inexpensive and at the same time, the core of the city is close to the train station and bus stations as well.
However, to get here from Český Krumlov, you will need to change the trains in Prague and since Pilsen is close to Prague, it can be considered as an ideal day trip. Financially it will be still less expensive to overnight in Plzen though.
Day 6 – Karlovy Vary
After all, that adventure, let’s get some rest in one of the Spa towns. The Czech Republic has a great tradition of spa towns and at least one of them should be on your itinerary. Karlovy Vary is perhaps the most famous one and most visited one.
Make sure, that you walk the city center with a lot of neoclassical buildings. You can also visit here famous hotel Thermal. It is one of the most famous buildings in the whole city for its extraordinary architecture.
Another thing is that from Diana observer tower you can see the whole city in all of its beauty. The extraordinary thing here is also a museum of glass with some art pieces made entirely of glass. But mainly, relax and enjoy local healing springs. If you are a luxury traveler, there is a lot of fancy hotels, that are offering special treatments.
Day 7 – Bohemian Switzerland
You should also see some of the country’s nature and the Czech Republic has a lot of great places for hiking. One of them is called Bohemian Switzerland and it is located just about 2 hours from Karlovy Vary. On your last full day, you should consider to go and see some of its beauty.
Bohemian Switzerland has a lot of rocks, and you can hike all around them. There are different tracks with different difficulties. But most of them are going around the most wanted sight and that is called the Pravčiská arch gate. Which is also a rock, but formed the way it looks like a gate.
You can also catch a boat tour here on the local river. It is just a small boat but the view is fantastic and you will see a lot of nature around it.
Practical info about Bohemian Switzerland
There are some hotels inside of the national park, but if you want to be sure, you can get accommodation in the closest town called Děčín and take a tour or go for a hike from there by yourself.
If you are traveling to Germany afterward, you can catch a train in Děčín, that goes to Germany – most often Berlin, sometimes even Hamburg. Otherwise, you can also get from here to Prague.
How to get around the Czech Republic?
The Czech Republic is a small country and it is relatively easy to get around it. A lot of the places that I mentioned can be done as day trips, but that would also mean that you would have to spend a lot of time on buses or trains. It is entirely up to you if you decide to do it, but before you decide, you should still know more about the options.
Busses in the Czech Republic are probably the cheapest option that you can get to. They are on time and go even in the winter very regularly. There are several bus companies in the Czech republic that you can use. One of them is just regional buses that are funded by the country budget. They are probably the less comfortable ones and you cannot book a ticket there. But it works just fine and is probably less expensive from all of the other options.
The next option would be Flixbus. In the Czech Republic, it is relatively new, but they are an international company with a relatively good reputation and it is easy to book the tickets online.
And the last option would be a Student agency. It is a Czech company and very similar to what Flixbus is doing. They are about the same expensive as Flixbus and have a lot of regular connections between different towns in the Czech republic.
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Even though the buses are less expensive, they might not be always comfortable. Trains in the Czech Republic might be a little bit more expensive (we are talking only about an extra dollar or two). There are a lot of connections between towns that go regularly and very often. And most of the stations are located just in the city center.
I would certainly recommend reserving a seat with the tickets because some of the connections are very crowded and you might have to stand the whole time, which is not comfortable at all.
Renting a car can be very cheap and comfortable. Generally, the prices are about 10 dollars per day + cost of fuel. The bad thing about renting a car is the fact that some of the roads in the Czech Republic don’t have the best maintenance. For example, the route from Prague to Brno is famously known for constant renovation and you can spend a lot of time there is a traffic jam.
Other than that, cars in the Czech republic are alright to use as long as you are driving carefully. Roadtrip can be a very nice way of exploring the country.
Couple rules here: highest speed in the city is 50 km/h, the highest speed outside of the city is 90km/h. On the highway, the minimal speed is 110km/h and the fastest is 130 km/h. Stay safe!
When to visit the Czech Republic?
I would say that it is possible to visit the country all year round, most of the roads are prepared for snow and rain. And with the careful driver still easy to go around. But it also depends on what do you want to see.
If you are a fan of castles, some castles are maintained during winter and therefore are not opened. The most famous ones like Cesky Krumlov or Karlstejn are open all year round though. If you like hiking, it is better to come during the summer to make sure that you get the best weather.
But summer is also the main season and a lot of people will be outside of Prague on their vacation, so there will be probably a lot of people on hiking trails and in castles. However, there are fewer tourists in summer than there is in the wintertime. In the winter every one wants to see Christmas markets in Prague.
Autumn and spring are the main shoulder season. Both of them can be very rainy and muddy. But I would say that for example April or September can be optimal weather to come to the Czech Republic, with nice temperatures and low prices.
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