Spa in Mariánské Lázně, Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a fascinating place to visit, especially since it has only been a country in its own right since 1993. Use an
InterRail Czech Republic Pass to find out more about this Eastern European country.
Prague: Europe’s fairy-tale capital
Step into Prague (Praha) and you’ll feel like you’ve tumbled into a fairy-tale. From the right bank of the River Vltava admire glittering views of Charles Bridge, joining the two parts of the city with Prague Castle towering high above all other architecture. As well as absorbing the great visual splendours, there are cafés, bars and restaurants aplenty. Prague was once home to the writer, Franz Kafka, who lived in Josefov – the Jewish quarter. The informative Franz Kafka Museum, located in the old town, provides an insight into the renowned author's life and works. More things to do in Prague
From the main train station it is about a 20-minute walk to the right bank of the river. The Franz Kafka Museum is a 5-minute walk from the Malostranská metro station.
Caving, hiking and biking
The Moravian Karst located in the east, includes around 1,110 caverns and gorges. 4 of these fascinating cave systems are open for public tours and exploration. You’ll get a glimpse of limestone columns, an underground river and wild stalactite formations. The Czech Republic is a nation of keen hikers, so join the locals on one of the many hiking trails around the country. Stretching from Prague all the way down to Vienna (Austria) are 400 kilometres of excellent hiking and biking trails, known as the Prague-Vienna Greenways.
To reach the Moravian Karsts it is best to take the train to Blansko and from there take a short taxi journey to the site.
Home of pilsners
Plzeň is a buzzing student town famous for creating pilsner beer, all the way back in 1842. Visit the Pilsner Urquell brewery to find out how they make the stuff and more importantly savour a few refreshingly cold glasses in the Na Spílce pub within the brewery. Later in the evening move on to Plzeň’s favourite music venue, Anděl café music bar, which is usually banging out music from talented touring Czech bands. By day this place is a hip ‘n’ happening café.
The Pilsner Urquell Brewery is a 10-minute walk from Plzeň’s main train station and the Anděl bar is a 15-minute walk from the station.
What better way to see a country than from 4,000 metres above, whilst hurtling downwards at almost 300km/h. Skydiving is an experience you’ll never forget and why not try it in the Czech Republic. There are a number of sky diving centres located around the country. If you prefer keeping your feet firmly on the ground that’s possible too. Although not quite comparable to the Alps, the Czech Republic has mountains dotted all over with good conditions for winter sports. The Krkonoše mountains have a number of top resorts with good downhill runs and cross-country trails.
The Krkonoše mountains (depending on where you go) are covered by a mixture of train and bus route.
The Czech Republic was not blessed with just one fairy-tale city, but two! Českŷ Krumlov is the country’s second tourist-puller and it’s easy to see why. The River Vltava majestically weaves through the little town, uniquely cutting it into two and of course a must-see is the remarkable medieval castle that adorns the hillside. Another city worth a visit, though quite different in style, is the spa town of Mariánské Lázně. It’s lined with luscious green mountains and its inners are laced with elegant buildings and pretty parks. The top attraction is the collection of 100 mineral springs.
The best way to reach Českŷ Krumlov is to take the train to nearby České Budějovice and then take a bus into the town. Mariánské Lázně can be reached by train and then it is a 10-minute walk into the centre.
Prague fringe festival
- 24 May - 1 June, 2013
This fringe festival is modelled on the successful Edinburgh fringe festival and brings together more than 200 artists of music, dance, theatre and comedy.
The festival is held in venues across the city, which are within walking distance of the main train station or can be reached by metro.
- 20-22 June, 2013
This 3-day festival is one the music highlights of the summer with some international acts and plenty of Czech bands in full swing.
The festival can be reached by metro from the centre of the city.
Olomouc beer festival
- 26-29 June, 2013
Each year Olomouc hosts the Czech Republic’s biggest beer festival. Spread over 4 days, there’ll be unlimited beer, Czech cuisine and a selection of local and international bands attending.
From Olomouc’s main train station it is best to take a short taxi journey to the festival.