Unless you’re a local, when you think of the Czech Republic, you probably think of Prague. While this lovely city is known as the Paris of the East (although many Czechs prefer to be called “Central Europeans”), for its undeniable beauty, it is by no means the only place worth visiting in the Czech Republic. If you prefer the road less traveled, or have already “been there, done that,” here are five off-the-beaten-path destinations for your trip to the Czech Republic.
Visit These 5 Incredible Places In The Czech Republic
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The smallest town in the Western Bohemian Spa Triangle is the perfect place to go for rejuvenation. Františkovy Lázně dates back more than 200 years, but its natural springs have been used for their curative powers since the Middle Ages. Beyond the usual de-stressing you can expect at other spas though, the local mineral springs and natural gas baths have actually been known to heal a variety of physical ailments. The town has done a fantastic job of preserving the unity of its neo-classical architecture, and you will enjoy relaxing in the historic bathhouses.
2. Punkva Caves
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If you have had your fill of visiting cafes and cathedrals, you may want to try exploring the natural domes of the Punkva Caves. One of the most enticing things about this tour is that it’s not only hiking; you can also take an underground river cruise. Aside from the huge stalactites and stalagmites, visitors are also treated to a journey to the bottom of the Macocha Abyss 140 meters down. And, when you’re done seeing the sights, you can exit via the cable car ride back up.
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You have probably heard of Prague’s Bone Church, but tourists with a taste for the macabre also shouldn’t miss Capuchin Crypt in Brno, the country’s second largest city. Beneath the Capuchin Monastery lie the remains of people from the 17th century who were accidentally mummified. The bodies, which were mostly monks’, were laid to rest in this basement without realizing that the geology of the room would preserve them for centuries. Many of the monks still wear their burial robes. While it is definitely a bit morbid and claustrophobic, it is also undoubtedly fascinating if you don’t mind the spookiness.
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To fully appreciate the natural beauty of the Czech Republic, a visit to the Prachov Rocks natural reserve is definitely called for. The sandstone rock formations and towers are great for hiking, climbing, and feeling like you’re in a fairytale realm. The reserve is open to visitors year-round and there are well-marked trails, but you want to be particularly careful in the ice and snow if you choose to come during the winter season.
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You may have heard the popular anecdote that beer is cheaper than water in the Czech Republic. Well, no trip to this country would be complete without an authentic brewery experience. Cerna Hora is a famous Czech beer, and the historic brewery dates back to the 1500s. Visitors can book tours of the brewery to learn the traditional way the award-winning beer is made. Note that tours in languages other than Czech are available for an extra fee. After your tour, you can sample all that Cerna Hora has to offer next door in the Hotel Saldovna Restaurant.
This article was written by Paula Ashlee Berg.