Attractions in the Czech Republic start in Prague, but they don't end there. The Czech Republic is home to plenty of attractions outside of its capital city. The following places of interest will show you the country's regions and allow you to discover its history and charm. Some of these destination cities are within day-trip distance from Prague, but others may require more travel time, so plan your trip accordingly.
If you're driving through the Czech Republic, don't miss these top stops, which include castles, spas, and towns unchanged since medieval times.
1. Popular Prague: Prague is, undoubtedly, the Czech Republic's top attraction. The city is a stunner with its “thousand spires,” historic squares, and gigantic castle complex. There are also plenty of things to do in Prague, which make it attractive for more than simply sightseeing. A visit to Prague is a must, but don't forget about the Czech Republic's other cities and towns.
2. Convenient Castle Karlstein: It's easy to hop over to Karlstejn Castle from Prague using the country's rail system. The castle once protected the crown jewels of Bohemia, and a tour of the castle will show you where they were kept and how the inhabitants of the castle lived.
The town is situated at the castle's base, and you'll walk through it to get to the medieval fortress.
Don't forget to check out the shops here; you'll find souvenirs to be cheaper than they are in the city, though have plenty of cash because open currency exchanges can be difficult to find if you travel in the off season.
3. Irresistible Cesky Krumlov: Cesky Krumlov is one of the Czech Republic's jewels.
Tucked into two bends in a river—the castle on one side, the town on the other—this destination is so picturesque you'll be unable to contain your oohs and aahs. Be sure to climb the Renaissance tower for incredible views of the countryside, take a tour of the castle complex and grounds, and visit the shops and eateries in town.
4. Bustling Brno: The capital city of Moravia, Brno is a major metropolitan area, which means you'll find plenty of events to attend and sights to see. Some attractions of interest are the Capuchin Crypt and Monastery and Spilberk Castle. The Tugendhat Villa, a 20th-century architectural masterpiece, is also an UNESCO-protected site you'll want to see while you're here.
5. Venerable Karlovy Vary: Karlovy Vary is one of the Czech Republic's most famous spa towns. Visitors there to relax—and patients there on doctors' orders—drink and bathe in the medicinal waters that course naturally through the ground in the area and bubble up in Karlovy Vary just as they have done for generations.
6. Astounding Cesky Sternberk: This powerful Gothic fortress dominates a hill overlooking the village below and has been owned by the same family for centuries. A tour will take you through some of its rooms, and afterward you can enjoy the idyllic grounds of the fortress with their natural beauty.
7. Romantic Marianske Lazne: Before Karlovy Vary was the spa town of choice, Marianske Lazne, or Marienbad, attracted a host of famous 18th- and 19th-century celebrities. Regulars take the waters using specially made mugs with spouts from which they sip.
8. Budweiser's Ceske Budejovice: The medieval city of Ceske Budejovice maintains the Baroque architecture that replaced former buildings at its height of prosperity. Ceske Budejovice is famous for being the birthplace of the original Budweiser beer, and though Plzen is the more popular of the Czech Republic's beer pilgrimage locations, Ceske Budejovice is the more picturesque of the two.
9. Tantalizing Telc: Telc's Baroque-style houses on its main square create a lovely welcome for visitors to this World Heritage protected site. Tour the Telc Chateau to see its rich interiors, which were decorated with no expense spared.
10. Delicious Znojmo: Znojmo has more than a charming town core to tempt you. Interestingly, it's famous for two foods: pickles and wine. Be sure to try the famous pickles from Znojmo, which are the best in the country, and don't miss the wine, either. Here, it's inexpensive, plentiful, and high-quality whether you choose red or white varieties.
This list of attractions in the Czech Republic don't encompass every castle, village, or city worth visiting, so don't limit your exploration of this country to these 10 items. The Czech Republic's World Heritage sites, its chateaus, churches, and historic towns each have something different to offer, and each will have unique appeal for the open-minded traveler.