CZECH REPUBLIC TRAVEL GUIDE CONTENTS
At a Glance
Czech Republic Quick Information
Electricity Socket: 230V AC electricity. Power outlets are usually two-prong round sockets. To avoid the hassle of having to buy new adaptors for everywhere you go, we recommend picking up a Universal Travel Adaptor before you leave.
Visa: As the Czech Republic is a part of the Schengen Zone, most tourists don’t need a visa to travel here if their trip is less than 90 days, however, it is recommended that your passport be valid for up to six months after you plan to leave. Normal Schengen visa requirements apply to other foreign citizens.
While there is no need to apply for a tourist or business visa for this period, if EU nationals know they will be staying longer than the 90 day period, they must register with the local authorities beforehand.
Safety: While traveling in the Czech Republic is very safe, we always recommend to be cautious and vigilant when you travel, especially in big cities like Prague. Pickpocketing and bag snatching are probably the most serious threats that you could come across here but as long as you are aware of your bags when in big crowds or on public transport, this shouldn’t be a problem.
One of the biggest problems in the Czech Republic, again more so in Prague, is actually tourists who get drunk and do stupid things. As Prague is a hot spot destination for stag parties and hen dos, just be cautious of your surroundings and aware of people you come across. As always, no matter how safe a country is, we always recommend getting travel insurance. We recommend going with World Nomads, due to the large number of sports and activities that they cover.
Language: The official language in the Czech Republic is Czech with a lot of the older inhabitants also being able to speak Russian and German. If you can’t speak any of these languages, however, there’s no need to panic, quite a lot of people have a high proficiency in English in most towns. During our road trip, we did encounter some difficulties when it comes to the language. We recommend downloading Google Translate to help you out in deciphering menus as most of them are written out only in Czech.
Don’t fret though! If the place has no English menu, chances are, you’re in for some really good food! Just use Google Translate to help you understand what to order (be warned for some hilarious translations). Based on our observations though, a lot of the younger generations speak good English, but we always recommend giving the local language a go. It will really be appreciated!
Transportation: The Czech Republic is a small country and public transport is really good. In Prague, the public transportation (streetcars, subway, buses) is very cheap. If you are exploring the whole city, you can opt to buy a day pass which can allow you to easily navigate the city. Apps such as Uber and Liftago can allow you to easily order a private car which is very reasonable compared to other places in Europe. The cabs tend to be overpriced so I recommend avoiding them if you can.
When exploring the other parts of the Czech Republic, you can opt to rent a car or to ride a bus. While we highly recommend renting a car and traveling around if you have the time, the buses in the Czech Republic are really cheap and efficient.
Czech Republic Trip Planning
Like most countries in Europe, you can visit the Czech Republic at any time of the year and have a fantastic time. In fact, you can get completely different insights into the country depending on the season, so it’s worth coming back for more! In fact, although I absolutely hate the cold, our next trip back to the country will have to be during Winter time as I can only imagine what some of these places look like covered in snow! For a complete list of the best places to visit in the Czech Republic, take a look at our full guide.
Typically, the weather is similar to other parts of Europe and it can be broken down into three tourist seasons:
Low Season (Jan-Feb) – The weather is very cold in winter so the perfect time for travelers who love to dress up warm and escape the crowds. Bear in mind that attractions in smaller towns may be closed in this season.
Mid Seasons (March & April, Oct & Nov) – With cooler weather, the shoulder months make for the best exploration; another time to avoid the huge crowds that Summer brings. Spring is also the blossom season when the fruit trees are in full flower, so coming here in April is considered to be the prettiest month.
High Season (May-Sep, Dec) – As the weather is all sun from June to August, tourists flock here in this season, especially at weekends and over the holidays. Although it can rain, this doesn’t stop the crowds of thousands that you’ll come across at all major tourist destinations.
Yes, many cities in Europe are break-your-bank expensive, but the Czech Republic is thankfully not one of them. Based on our experience, the Czech Republic’s basic accommodation, transport, food and, of course, beer is affordable.
When traveling around the Czech Republic, you could budget for as low as 1,800 Kč per day ($80) very easily with accommodation being the largest expense. This budget is lower end, taking into account staying in hostels, self-catering or eating at local spots, using public transport, and with minimum sightseeing admissions. For a guide to different types of travel, here is a rough break down of costs:
Budget: 125-310 Kč ($6-14)
Mid-Range: 2,500-3,600 Kč ($115-160)
Splurge: 5,900+ Kč ($270+)
Food (Typical Meal For One)
Lunch specials: 310 Kč ($14)
Restaurant (3-courses): 640 Kč ($30)
Very nice restaurant: 1,100+ Kč ($50+)
Tram/metro/bus: 24-32 Kč ($1-1.50)
Train: 330+ Kč ($15+)
Taxi: 150+ Kč ($7+)
What to Pack for Traveling the Czech Republic
For the Czech Republic, you will need a variety of clothes to suit all weather conditions much like the rest of Europe. Even in the Summer, you could come across a few bouts of rain and particularly windy days that can make it surprisingly cold.
Make sure to bring lots of things that you can layer if you get cold but that would also be suitable to wear alone for the warmer days. For a complete guide on what to pack for Europe, check out our full article. There are loads of hiking trails all around the Czech Republic so bringing a sturdy pair of shoes is essential to really get to see what this country can offer.
Best Things to Do in the Czech Republic
Relish at the Beauty of Prague
Prague is one of my favorite cities, if not my actual favorite, in all of Europe. Dubbed the cradle of Czech culture, Prague is definitely a fascinating city, home to a near-intact medieval town which is full of stunning Gothic architecture and a growing foodie scene. Filled to the brim with must-see sights, the 14th-century Charles Bridge, 9th-century Prague Castle, and the astronomical clock just to name a few, Prague is a city that will transform you back to a time that was simple and simply magical.
Yes, Prague can be quite touristy and yes, the Vltava River with the castle towering in the background is one of the classic sights of world travel, but my favorite thing about this city is that it is just as beautiful and breathtaking covered in snow as it is in the blazing hot Summer.
Explore Bohemian Switzerland National Park
Out of our entire trip around the Czech Republic, our time in Bohemian Switzerland probably has to be the most memorable. There are just so many things to see and do in the area! We explored Bohemian Switzerland with the guys from Northern Hikes and saw incredible things from the beautiful Tisa Rocks, Elbe River Canyon, and Pravcicka Gate. Up to this date, the sunrise that we saw there was one of the most beautiful mornings we’ve had in a while.
Discover Charming Brno
Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic where tens of thousands of students attend university and are the chief architects for the lively cafe and club scene. Although bustling in places, what is quite charming about this city is that it still manages to retain a kind of lazy ‘nothing to do here’ type feel to it. With colorful leaning townhouses, popular museums, some of the best restaurants in the country, and a microbrewery thrown in for fun, Brno is a quaint and lovable place to visit.
Mix with the Locals
It’s always great to mix with the locals wherever you travel but the people in the Czech Republic are particularly friendly. Not only will they show you the best spots for culture and authentic Czech cuisine but they will share a beer or two with you and invite you out the next day for a personal tour with them. I found that wherever you go in the Czech Republic, people want to help and they love to socialize so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation or make friends on your travels. Trust me when I say that they’ll be friends for life!
Explore the City of Liberec
If you’re looking for a small yet charming city to explore, the city of Liberec is located not far from Prague and is a breath of fresh air. Although it is a city, it is still surrounded by nature and has heaps of things to do. Sat on the foot of the Ještěd Mountain, this city has beautiful architecture, hipster cafes, and a wide array of things to do from hiking to rock climbing.
Feast your Eyes on Český Krumlov Castle
A small town in the South Bohemia region, Český Krumlov is a city that is dominated by a 13th-century mammoth of a castle. A pretty epic sight to see in itself, the castle boasts Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements, as well as an 11-hectare garden which is pristine, an original 17th-century baroque theater, and a towering belltower where you can see sweeping views of the stunning old town. If this isn’t reason enough to visit, the city is also notable for its plethora of shops and restaurants, picturesque architecture, and river-side picnic spots.
Wander Around Šumava National Park
Want to climb on the green roof of Europe? Then head over to Šumava National Park and get climbing! In the South Bohemian regions of Czechia, you will find the most extensive forest landscape in Central Europe full of emerging peaks and canyons, crystal-clear glacial lakes, and mysterious peat bogs. As you can imagine, this harmonious landscape is teeming with a diverse range of plant and animal species, not to mention an eerieness of what it contains that we don’t even know about.
Standing in the mountains looking out over the stunning roof of green, you can’t help but feel quite insignificant in this world yet immensely grateful that you’re a part of it at the same time. Experience the feeling for yourself the next time you are in the Czech Republic!
Enjoy Winter Sports in the Krkonoše Mountains
If you enjoy Winter sports, a trip to the Czech Republic isn’t complete without having a go at skiing and snowboarding near the mountains in the Krkonoše Mountain Range. We spent a few days in the town of Špindlerův Mlýn and loved the overall vibe! Surprisingly, the town had heaps to do regardless if it was nearly Autumn when we were there!
What to Eat in The Czech Republic
Traditional Czech cuisine is the type of warm and hearty food that your Grandma would make you; I’m talking potatoes, meat, vegetables, and gravy kind of meals, ones that will make your insides warm and your belly full for days.
Pair this with a beer because beer is cheaper than water in the Czech Republic (that’s probably why it has the highest beer consumption per capita in the world!) and you can enjoy some of the most flavorful dishes that you’ll ever experience. With so many delicacies to try, we’ve narrowed down our top few choices that you can’t miss:
Vepřo-knedlo-zelo You can’t get more traditional than the Czech classic vepřo-knedlo-zelo. Like most dishes in the Czech Republic, this meal is heavy on the meat and potato as it is made up of roast pork, bread dumplings, and stewed cabbage. The simplicity of this dish is no indication for the flavor that it provides, so even if you don’t particularly fancy it, order it and let it blow your mind.
Svíčková This dish is a favorite of ours and was ordered on almost a daily basis as we just can’t get enough of it! It is a roasted sirloin served with a creamy sauce and is served with a small dollop of whip cream (or just plain cream) and some cranberries. It is usually served with bread dumplings and is nothing short of delicious!
Guláš This dish may have originated in Hungary, but goulash has become a staple dish in Czech cuisine. Made with fewer vegetables and much more meat than Hungarian goulash, this dish is packed full of tender beef, chicken, or pork pieces. Found in every restaurant all over the Czech Republic, tuck into this stew and bread dumplings covered in gravy and you’ll never want to leave
Smažený Sýr You can’t go wrong with fried cheese, especially when it is served with fries, salad or a bread roll. Although quite far from the traditional belly-warming Czech meals, this dish is getting more and more popular throughout the country but is particularly prevalent in Prague. Sold by street vendors throughout the city, cheese lovers can seek out this breaded Eidam cheese which is a gooey, cheesy, rich, comforting and utterly delicious piece of heaven.
Pecena Kachna Another crowd pleaser is the roast duck leg which is usually served with bread dumplings and stewed cabbages. From experience, every time I order this dish, I get a juicy duck leg roasted to perfection! It is usually my go-to order when I’m really hungry!
Ovocné kynuté knedlíky When we first stumbled upon this dish we were very confused as to why it was served as a main dish rather than a dessert or as a breakfast meal. Essentially a large dumpling filled with fruit (we tried blueberry) served with whipped cream. Tom who has a massive sweet tooth, demolished this dish in minutes!
Places to Stay in the Czech Republic
There are endless accommodation options to choose from in the Czech Republic. From AirBnBs, Bed and Breakfasts, to quality luxury hotels, the options are endless. If you’re heading to Prague, you can check out our full article on where to stay in Prague.