Guide of Prague
Václav Štorek

Trips around the Czech Republic

1. Český Krumlov and České Budějovice

Český Krumlov Two South Bohemian pearls on the Vltava
1/ A picturesque Renaissance town of Český Krumlov was for its unique preserved architectural wealth inscribed on the list of the UNESCO World Heritage (1992). It is situated on the river Vltava. Left bank is occupied by the castle of Český Krumlov which is the second largest one in the Czech Republic consisting of 5 courtyards and 300 rooms and by the castle garden. On the other side there is the city itself with a charming square and the church of St. Vitus. The city is a living gallery full of small pubs, cafes, restaurants and shops.
2/ On the way back we will stop in the capital city of South Bohemian Region. České Budějovice offers one of the largest square-shaped squares in the Czech Republic with a huge Samson fountain in the middle. Another highlight is the Town Hall. You might taste the Budweiser beer there as it is brewed in this city.
Location: 180 km / 3 hour drive south of Prague
Option: Most visitors prefer to spend all the time just in Český Krumlov.

2. Kutná Hora and Chateau of Žleby

Church of St. James Silver city and romantic aristocratic residence
1 / Kutná Hora was the second richest and most powerful city after Prague in the Kingdom of Bohemia as a result of silver mining. The irregular ground-plan, cobblestoned streets and highlights as the Gothic Cathedral of St. Barbara or the Italian Court were the reason why the city was put on the list of the UNESCO World Heritige (1995). Outside the city centre we will visit a rarity – the Ossuary, a bone chapel where all the decoration was exclusively made of human bones. They were shaped into a chandeliar, monstrances, chalices, pyramids and even a coat-of-arms of the Shwarzenberg family. The bones of approximately 40 thousand people symbolize transience of human life and the inevitability of death.
2/ The Castle of Žleby was founded in the 13th century. The last general reconstruction was carried out by the Auersperg family in the 19th century when it was turned to a comfortable chateau in the style of Historicism.
Location: 80 km / 1 hour 15 min. drive east of Prague
Option: Most visitors prefer to spend spend all the time just in Kutná Hora.

3. Spa city of Karlovy Vary

Church of SS Peter and Paul Power of Nature and historicism of the 19th century
1/ The most famous Czech spa city situated in a valley on the river Teplá surrounded by forests. Founded by Charles IV already in the 14th century. Not only 12 mineral springs are much-sought-for but also the „13th spring“ which is a herbal liqueur Becherovka (visit to the Becherovka Museum with tasting possible). Enjoy walking under colonnades, tasting water with curative effects in special cups, absorbing relaxing atmosphere, admiring architecture of the 19th century. In Karlovy Vary the distinguished „glass of kings“ Moser is manufactured (Visit to the Moser Museum possible). Follow footsteps of famous personalities such as Russian Tzar Peter the Great, German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe or Polish composer Frederic Chopin who came here for treatment and entertainment.
2/ If you do not want to spend too much time in the museums we can continue to Loket which is a small German looking town with a castle and museum of torture at the top of a hill. The movie James Bond – Casino Royal was filmed there.
3/ On the way back it is highly recommended to make a stop in Chyše where we can have a dinner and taste beer from a local microbrewery. Next to the restaurant there is a chateau.
Location: 130 km / 2 hour drive west of Prague

4. Koněprusy Caves and Castle of Křivoklát

Castle of Křivoklát Two pearls of Central Bohemia - combination of nature and history
1/ The Koněprusy Caves are situated in the nature reserve of Bohemian Karst. They developed in 400 million year old limestones. Learn how stalactites, stalagmites, columns, chimneys, roses and other formations look like. The accessible part is 600 m long and sightseeing tour lasts about one hour.
2/ The State Owned Castle of Křivoklát was built in the 12th century but it was significantly reconstructed under the Jagiellonian rulers. The Late Gothic chapel, Royal and Knight´s Halls and monumental fortification are from that period. A part of the tour is also the Fürstenberg library with 52 000 volumes and prison with torture instruments. In the tower prison the alchemist Edward Kelley was kept. The castle is protected as the national cultural monument.
3/ On the way back to Prague we will make a stop to have a look at the summer residence of Czech presidents in Lány and we will see a grave of our first President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1850-1937).
Location: 40 km / 1 hour drive southwest of Prague
N.B.: The caves are closed from November to March. Stable temperature in caves is 11°C. Have appropriate clothes, please.

5. Castle of Český Šternberk and Chateau of Konopiště

Chateau of Konopiště Two noble residences in Central Bohemia
1/ The private Castle of Český Šternberk is closely linked with the noble family of the Sternbergs who have owned the castle for centuries. The castle above the river Sázava was founded in the 13th century. Despite the main function of the castles was defence and fortification this castle is used as a residence.
2/ The State owned Chateau of Konopiště is known as a luxurious family seat of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand d´Este who was assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914 and this event became a pretext to declare the WWI. This chateau is a residence par exellence: richly ornate parlours and halls, historical weapons and thousands of hunting trophies. Curious stories about the life and love of the Austro-Hungarian successor to the throne Franz Ferdinand and about the then ruling dynasty of the Habsburgs. In the vicinity of the chateau there is a rose garden.
Location: 50 km / 1 hour drive southeast of Prague

6. Plzeň (Pilsen) and Brewery Pilsner Urquell

Gate of the Pilsen Brewery
City of beer in Western Bohemia
The capital of West Bohemian Region famous for beer production. We will visit the Pilsner Urquell Brewery which was founded in 1842. The city itself is much older, it was founded already in the 13th century. In the centre there is the Beer Museum and the largest synagogue in the Czech Republic. We can get closer to heaven in the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew and to hell in the underground corridors and cellars.
Location: 100 km / 1 hour 15 min. drive southwest of Prague

7. Tábor and Chýnov Cave

Tábor Town Hall
Hussite tradition and secrets of the underground
1/ Tábor is the second biggest city in Southern Bohemia. It was a centre of the Hussite revolution in the 15th century. „God´s Warriors“ fought against the Catholics (100 years before Martin Luther) and their commander Jan Žižka was never defeated. In the city there is an interesting church with a diamond vault in the presbytery, the Hussite museum and underground corridors which are open to public. We might also visit Klokoty, a place of pilgrimage, which was earlier a centre of a sect of Adamites.
2/ The Chýnov Cave was discovered in 1863. The principal wealth of the cave is not stalactites and stalagmites but colourful walls and ceilings. The sightseeing tour is 220 m long and it takes about 40 minutes. We might also make a stop in Chýnov cemetery to see the unique collection of sculptures made by a Symbolist sculptor František Bílek.
Location: 100 km / 1 hour 30 min drive south of Prague
N.B.: The caves are closed from November to March. Please, have appropriate clothes, the temperature is between 5-9°C in the underground.

8. Concentration Camp of Terezín and City of Litoměřice

Gate of the Small Fortress Place of sorrow and suffering
1/ Terezín (in German Theresienstadt) was founded as a garrison city on the Ohře river in the 18th century and it was named after the Empress Maria Theresa. During the WWII it became the Nazi Concentration Camp and the Small Fortress was turned into a prison of the Gestapo. We can visit the Small Fortress and the National Cemetery, the Jewish Museum, the Magdeburg Barracks (replica of accommodation in the camp), the Jewish Cemetery and the crematorium.
2/ Litoměřice is a charming city on the other side of the river Elbe in the region known as the Garden of Bohemia. A seat of a Bishopric, a place associated with a Czech romantic poet Karel Hynek Mácha and opportunity to have a dinner.
Location: 65 km / 1 hour drive northwest of Prague
Option: Most visitors prefer to spend all the time just in Terezín.

9. Třebíč

Synagogue Jewish Heritage
Třebíč is situated in Bohemian-Moravian Highland. There Jewish and Christian cultures met uniquely. Thanks to this the city was inscribed on the list of the UNESCO World Heritage in 2003. Among the highlights there are the Jewish Cemetery, the Rear Synagogue which houses a small museum and precise ceramic model of the Jewish Quarter and the Romanesque-Gothic Basilica of St. Procopius. On the other side of the river we will admire the Charles Square, the church of St. Martin with a big clock, of which hands are 3 m long, and so called Painted house.
Location: 175 km / 2 hour 30 min. drive southeast of Prague

10. Jičín and Prachov Rocks

Prachov Rocks City of Albrecht of Wallenstein and Rock Town
1/ A pleasant walk through the Prachov rock town in the region called Bohemian Paradise. Rock formations originated from the remnants of a sandstone plateau, broken up by ravines and gullies. It is characterized by slim towers and pillars with striking vertical cracks and corners. Highlights are views of the landscape from numerous viewpoints.
2/ Jičín is a small town on the edge of the Bohemian Paradise. It has a well-preserved historical centre, built around a rectangular square with a regular Gothic street layout, remnants of fortifications and arcade Renaissance and Baroque houses.The town is also connected with the popular fairy-tale character Rumcajs.
3/ On the way back we can make a short stop to have a look at the monumental Castle of Kost.
Location: 100 km / 1,5 hour drive south of Prague

11. Chateau of Sychrov and Bozkov Caves

Sychrov French beauty and mysterious underground
1/ Sychrov is a unique example of the 19th century romantic residence. It is closely linked to the French history because it was owned by the noble family of Rohan. The Rohans lived originally in Bretagne, they were among the 10 most influential families in France and even direct cousins of French Kings. In the chateau there is a vast collection of French portraits, among others. Sychrov was also frequented by the Czech composer Antonín Dvořák.
2/ The Bozkov dolomite Caves are the only accessible caves in Northern Bohemia. A tour reveals various dripstones of different size, colours and shapes and the largest underground lake in the Czech Republic.
Location: 100 km / 1 hour drive northeast of Prague

12. Třeboň and Jindřichův Hradec

Jindřichův Hradec Two residences of the Lords of the Rose
1/ Třeboň is a spa city situated in Southern Bohemia in a basin with hundreds of fishponds. The carp from Třeboň is a Czech national Christmas meal. In the 17th century a local chateau became a residence of the last member of the Rožmberk noble family Peter Vok.
2/ Jindřichův Hradec is a small charming city with the 3rd largest chateau in the Czech Republic. It is famous for the Tapestry workshop, the Krýza Nativity Scene – the largest mechanical creche in the world (registered in the Guiness Book of Records) and the 50th meridien which is marked on the ground.
Location: 150 km / 2 hour drive south of Prague

13. Spa City of Mariánské Lázně and Monastery of Teplá

Mariánské Lázně Spa and spiritual mystery
1/ Mariánské Lázně (Marienbad) is the second biggest spa of the West Bohemian Spa Triangle. It was a popular destination of the English King Edward VII who visited this city 9 times. The city is a real textbook of the 19th century architecture including neo-Classical, neo-Romanesque-Byzantine, Eastern Orthodox, neo-Renaissance and neo-Baroque styles.
2/ Teplá is a premonstratensian monastery with the second largest monastery library in the Czech Republic. It was founded by Beatified Hroznata in the 12th century. Time of prosperity which lasted several centuries was interrupted by the WWII and again in 1950 when during the „Action K“ the monastery was occupied by the Communist Secret Security.
Location: 170 km / 2 hour drive west of Prague

14. Spa City of Františkovy Lázně and Cheb

Cheb Spa and German-like city in Bohemia
1/ Františkovy Lázně (Franzensbad) is the smallest spa of the West Bohemian Spa Triangle. It is a perfect example of the neo-Classical and Empire architecture. A symbol of the spa is a metal statue of František (Little Francis). Touching him is an integral part of the spa treatment.
2/ Cheb (Eger) is a city in Western Bohemia with typical German architecture. During the Thirty Years´ War in 1634 it became world famous when the commander of the Imperial troops Albrecht of Wallenstein was assassinated here. His stuffed horse is kept in the Municipal Museum till today.
Location: 180 km / 2,5 hour drive west of Prague

15. In the Footsteps of SS Wenceslas and Adalbert

Břevnov Czech Heaven

Location: 25 km / 30 min. drive northeast of Prague

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