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Bohemian Like Me: A Guide To Visting Czech Republic

The rich history and culture of the Czech Republic makes it a fantastic location for any traveler wishing to see more of the world. Expect medieval style cities and towns, gothic architecture, gorgeous green areas and penchant for excellent beer. All of which you can find out more about in my post below.


When visiting the Czech Republic, the city of Prague is a great place to start.

Getting there and away
The country known as the Czech Republic is a place bordered by Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, and Hungary, which means you can choose to fly direct to Prague or travel overland from any of these countries. Something that makes it an excellent destination on a road trip tour of Europe.

It's not too hard to get from one country to another either on the European continent because all the surrounding counties, as well as the Czech Republic, are part of the schengen agreement. What this means is that you can travel easily from one to the other across their borders.  

Also if you are traveling from the US, you don't need a visa unless you plan on staying within a schengen country for more than 90 days. Although, if you do plan on doing this it is worth using a schengen flight reservation visa service. The reasons being that they will be able to reserve flight dates for you without booking them in full, something that you will need to apply to for your visa.

Prague Accommodation
Prague is the capital city of the Czech Republic and is probably the most famous place there as well. In fact, it is popular with many different types of tourist because of its low prices compared to the rest of Europe and its stunning city architecture.

When visiting this city, there is a range of accommodation to choose from including budget choices like the Hotel Relax Inn which offers clean rooms and the use of a swimming pool for as little as $21 a night.

Of course, if you want to stay in an even more central location on a tiny budget then picking a hostel like the Clown & Bard or the Franz Kafka are probably your best bet. You can even splash out on a double room if you like. Although the price difference between that and the more budget hotels is pretty negligible.

However, not everyone will want to keep to a strict budget when visiting the city of Prague, and if this applies to you, you will be happy to discover that there are some excellent high-end options available as well.

One such option is the Mandarin Oriental, a hotel that is part of the worldwide luxe chain. There a room will set you back over $300 a night, but for your money, you can expect the most attentive service, a beautifully designed pool and spa, and a location that is within walking distance of the Castle.

Another option to consider is the Four Seasons Hotel on eleslavínova 1098/2a. Expect similar prices to the Mandarin Oriental here, as well as large luxurious rooms and suites as well as flat screen TVs, and marble bathroom to give you that real feeling of opulence.

Prague Food
Of course, as a large and bustling city, there are plenty of gastronomic experiences to have in Prague. One that you should definitely not miss is the Czech Slovak Restaurant Lounge Bar where they serve traditional food with a modern and classy twist.

One of the stars of the menu is the venison goulash, and the 7-course degustation menu that comes with accompanying wine is also pretty popular.  



 

Although, if you are looking for somewhere to grab a quick and hearty snack for lunch or a light dinner then the weirdly named Sad Man's Tongue Bar & Bistro may be more suitable. In fact, you may be surprised to learn it's a 50s style diner that often has live music acts to entertain you while you dine. It's loads of fun though, and well worth a visit during your stay in Prague.

Also while not very Czech, a visit to the fabulous Da Tarquinio is a great idea. It's an Italian style bakery, and that means all sort of delicious and reasonable price treats including individual pizza bread, as a well as tasty sandwiches, Italian desserts and pastries, and ice creams.



 

Oh, and don't forget that the Czech Republic prides itself on brewing delicious beer.  A good thing too as they have the largest beer consumption per persons than any other country in the world. Of course, they won't mind too much if you decide to have a taste of the brewing fare that is on offer. Be sure to give Staropramen a go, as its a light and fruity beer that goes great with cheese or just a midday snack!

Prague Sites
Once you have found a suitable place to lay your head for the night and have refueled, you will want to explore the sights of the historic and captivating city.

First on your list should be the stunning Castle at 119 08 Prague 1. Initially built in the 9th century the castle complex has had some pretty important residents including Roman emperors, the kings of Bohemia, more rennet Czechoslovakian politicians. You'll find a mix of two distinct architectural styles within the complex including Baroque and Mannerism, and classical concerts regularly run in the grounds too.




You can, of course, explore the inside of the castle as well, although the ticket situation is somewhat confusing. Basically, it works like this. The complex is split up into different areas, and you need to buy a ticket for the specific area that you wish to visit. Such a ticket is valid for two days, and you can get groups and family tickets which can bring the cost down a little. Do be aware though that there are quite a few rules for visitors when touring this thousand-year-old building, so it's best to check them out first before you go.

Another stunning piece of architecture that you won't want to visit during your time in Prague is the Church of Our Lady before Týn. This is a Gothic style building built in the 14th Century and so is steeped in history. Although, you might be surprised to discover that it is much more lavish on the outside that it is inside. In fact, you not allowed to take photos inside at either, so this may be a site where a walk around the grounds is enough.



 

Lastly, when it comes to visiting the city of Prague, be sure that you don't miss the rather fabulous Astronomical Clock on Staroměstské nám. 1. It was recently fully renovated from its tradition medieval state and is a real sight to behold. Of course, to climb the tower and see the inner working fo the clock from the inside you will need to buy a ticket! Go for the mobile one that allows you to skip the queue!  

Český Krumlov

While Prague is the Jewel in the Czech Republic's crown, no trip to this region would be complete without visiting the land once known as Bohemia, and the perfect place to do this is in Český Krumlov. While smaller than Prague, Český Krumlov is no less interesting as it's jammed packed full of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque buildings.

 

Visit the castle which dates back to 1240, and that you can tour both inside and out. There you can view many of the ornate and opulent rooms, as well as get a glimpse into the historical life of the castle from the perspective of the Schawardburg family. You can even visit the stables and experience what the life of royal steed was like!


Alternatively, if you are looking for something a little more modern amongst all that history you can visit the Egon Schiele Art Centrum at Široká 71, 381 01. This is a gallery that is dedicated to Austrian painter Egon Schiele and his artwork and sketches, although the building itself is a renovated 16th-century brewery. There are usually a range of different exhibitions on offer and there too, as well as a cafe so you can make a good afternoon of touring the place.



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There is another museum that you should make the time to visit as well it is the one dedicated to moldavite named Vltavínů. Moldavite for those that aren't in the know is mineral found in asteroids and has many uses. A topic you can find out more about by interacting with exhibits in this weird but wonderful curiosity.

Lastly, when it comes to accommodation in Český Krumlov, there ain't quite as many as you would find in Prague. They are also a little more expensive as well, with most coming in at just under $50 a night.

However, many of them are in historic buildings which more than makes up for the increased price. While some are run out of local people homes where you can expect some yummy Czech breakfast before you start your day of exploring and soaking up all that genuine Bohemian culture in the south of the Czech Republic.  


This is a contributed post.


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