The Czech Republic is a relatively small country in the European Union, with a land surface of 78, 866 square kilometers and a population of roughly 10 million. However, strong essences are kept in small bottles, hence the Czech Republic can be best described as a historic jewel located at the heart of Western Europe, boasting its impeccably preserved medieval towns, majestic palaces and castles, top notch spas and beautiful touristic resorts, not to mention the country’s scenic national parks.
Truth be told, despite having a relatively low profile from a globe trotter’s point of view, the Czech Republic has a lot to offer especially if you like beer. Because world’s finest beer is made in the Czech Republic, yes indeed, and I am talking about Budweiser folks. Are you interested just yet?
Now, the beating heart of the Czech Republic is the culture crammed capital and main city Prague, a unique place which is dubbed as being the city of a thousand spirits, and I am not talking about alcohol again,don’t worry. Prague is home for beautiful cathedrals and churches whilst its cobbled streets, lanes and beautiful bridges dating back to the medieval age are all overshadowed by a castle which looks like it was teleported here from a fairy tale by Disney or something.
Add to all these a pinch of fine restaurants, ancient monuments, bustling markets and old breweries, not to mention a fine selection of jazz clubs and you’ll understand why visiting Prague will make for an experience to remember.
However, if you’re just a city slicker who doesn’t like to explore the great outdoors, well, you don’t know what you’re missing. The Czech Republic harbors a number of extraordinary attractions for outdoors enthusiasts, just a short drive from Prague actually, and I am talking about the world renowned springs at Karlovy Vary. Or, why not, the humongous Karlstejn, an incredibly beautiful Gothic castle, not to mention Kutna Hora, the horror church built using human bones. Or, last but not least, Plzen, the city who gave the world pilsner beer.
The Czech Republic was formerly part of the communist republic of Czechoslovakia but after the Velvet Divorce that took place in 1993, Slovakia and the Czech Republic split up and the latter has emerged way more popular in terms of attracting tourists from all around the world. And its appeal is truly understandable, considering the country’s natural assets, like the epic wine growing county of Monrovia, which boasts its lush rolling hills, being the definition of vineyard country or cities like Olomouc and Brno, where traditional spirits and foods are attracting gourmets even from France, which is the world’s food and wine capital.
Krkonose boasts its snow capped mountain scenery, not to mention the eerie rock formations you can admire in Cesky Raj, or Sumava National Park’s wild forests and, last but not least, the impeccably preserved medieval town of Cesky Krumlov which is proudly listed on Unesco’s World Heritage Site.
Obviously, the Czech Republic is way more than just the sum of all its natural beauty, cities and incredible sights, being a proud nation with a friendly and forthright people and even if it’s relatively petite as far as countries go, it will leave a strong impression especially if this is the first time you’re travelling to Europe.
And while natural beauty and the country’s medieval atmosphere are as unique as they get, visiting the Czech Republic is a fine opportunity to enjoy the country’s hearty cuisine and excellent beer. The Czech food is dominated by meat, served with potatoes and bread, sometimes dumplings and lots of sauces. Germany, Hungary and Austria really influenced the Czech cuisine, in a big way actually but that’s a great thing in my view. Specialties include roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut, thick beef stews served with a rich onion base and bread dumplings, deep fried Edam cheese served with fries and tartar sauce, pancake made from baked potato, breadcrumbs, garlic and egg, pot roasted beef tenderloin and veggies served with cream cheese sauce and cranberries, steak tartar seasoned with egg yolk and above all else, everything tastes better with a bottle of Budweiser Budvar, arguably the best beer in the world.