A Quaint Trip to the Czech Republic
By Asiya Nayeem
In the Czech Republic, it feels like an adventure every day. The Czech may be modest but their views and attractions speak for themselves, from lush mountains to ski over to historically gorgeous towns to wander through. The Czech Republic is rich with castles, as any place with a royal lineage rightly would be. The people are just as wonderful as their country, with traditions and festivities as unique and cheery, as you would want your travel to be. The place ranges from a historic must-vist to a fairytale run to a nature’s lover delight, allowing every kind of traveller to fit right in. There are just too many places and things for a tourist to immerse themselves in here, enough for monthlong vacations.
The prettiest and most happening city in the Czech Republic has more things to do than you can fit into your trip. With its romantic structures and historic sites, we recommend you only take your significant other here. Start from the famed Powder Tower and take your walk towards the House of the Black Madonna where you can get a bite to eat and marvel at the unique architecture. You also won’t want to miss Old Town Square, where you can tour various churches, and art and cultural museums or the famed Pinkas Synagogue. End your tour with a stroll over the Charles Bridge just in time for sunset. You can also book tickets to an opera or ballet performance at the Muncipal House.
Step into a fairytale town in Telč. This UNESCO heritage town is painted in pastel hues, almost like it was straight out of a Grimms storybook. Take a walk through the town to gaze at the houses, all of which are consistent in style and grandiose. Don’t miss a chance to visit the Telč Chateau and take a tour through the Golden Hall, where you can view ancient portraits and valuable carvings in the panels of the coffered ceiling.
Who said the Czech Republic doesn’t offer everything? This national park is a nature lover’s wildest dream. Take a boat tour through the scenic Kamnitz Gorge or take in the views of the Růžovský Vrch mountain. You can finish your exploration of the park with a fun hike up to Pravčická Brána, the natural stone arch that boasts a stunning view.
Go back in time to this city that has maintained its old world charm since the 17th century. Kroměříž is a historic town with enough heritage charm to make you want to spend your entire trip here. The Kroměříž Castle is lush with Rennaissance beauty and covers miles with its gardens. The town’s complex architecture is also seen in its churches from Kostel Svatého Jana Křtitele to St Moritz.
Sneak into the calmest part of the country. Karlovy Vary is one of the oldest and grandest spring towns in the world, with around 13 large and 300 smaller hot springs that have existed for the past six centuries. If you want to step out of the warm waters, the quaint town offers several churches to visit as well as the well-known Jan Becher Museum, where tourists can explore the historic liquor cellars.
The Czech cuisine is a lot about soups and sauces. One such is the kulajda, a creamy potato soup with a poached egg garnish. The Czech Republic has a lot of options in sauces as well, and they prefer it sweeter. These single ingredient sauces are paired with traditional dumplings, which are cooked in different ways. The country loves its meats and it is apparent with the numerous dishes that contain beef. A speciality dish that is considered grandma’s well-loved platter is svickova, a well-cooked beef with a vegetable sauce that is rich and sweet, made for special occasions like weddings and Sunday lunches. Another favourite is the roast duck that, you would find, is a staple in almost every menu. If you’re feeling daring, try tatarak, which is raw, minced beef with a raw egg on top. Around the dish is an array of condiments and a tray of bread. You’ll have to mix the condiments with the meat yourself and spread it on the bread slice. Get a unique experience and just forget about how uncooked it is.
The country has borrowed a lot of its tastes from its neighbours and one such dish is the goulash. The dish is originally cooked like a soup but the Czech make a stew out of it, serving it with dumplings. The country has a sweet tooth, and from this preference comes many innovative desserts. Get addicted to the vetrnik, a choux pastry that bursts with vanilla flavour and is topped with caramel fondant. One of the classics the country loves is buchty, sweet yeast dough buns that taste like fairy tales and pair well with your morning coffee. Like every place, the Czech Republic has its local street dessert too, the trdelnik, a pastry that is rolled on a stick and cooked on a flame while it is garnished with sugar and spice. But these are just a few; from kolac to the strudel, we can go on about the Czech treats that will make your mouth water.
Best time to visit: May, September
Climate: Humid summers, Cloudy winters
Must-visit: Prague, Bohemian Switzerland, Pilsen, Brno
Round-trip rate: Starts at INR 19,390 (ex-Delhi)
Apply for a visa 15 days prior to your trip