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Enjoy authentic experiences in the Czech Republic’s most distinctive regions
Paid by Czech Tourism and the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Chicago
When it comes to traveling to the Czech Republic, Prague is by far the most popular destination.
But with 13 regions in addition to the capital city, there are so many different landscapes, cuisines, historic sites, customs and stories to explore.
Seeking out traditional experiences and crafts from every corner of the country can lead to a deeper appreciation for the Czech Republic’s history, traditions, and vibrant culture.
There’s a good reason Prague is the most popular destination in the Czech Republic--there’s so much to see and do. Prague Castle contains multiple museums, gardens, and churches within its grounds, making it a dynamic attraction
For more royal history in Prague, visit the storefront for Bohemia Paper. They use specialty handmade papers and engraving processes dating from the first Czechoslovak Republic to create stationery used by the likes of Queen Elizabeth II and Madonna.
Venture outside the city to discover a world of natural beauty, fascinating history, colorful towns, and incredible museums.
Prague is just the beginning of what the Czech Republic has to offer.
The town of Karlovy Vary is a must-visit destination. It has been a popular resort town since the 19th century, thanks to the area’s hot springs. Today, visitors can enjoy the ornate architecture of the grand hotels and unique spa treatments.
Karlovy Vary is also the home of Moser Crystal. Known for their highly decorative colored glassware, they’ve produced products for countless important dignitaries since 1857. Their factory museum in Karlovy Vary also offers tours of the glassworks.
For more Czech Crystal, head to the Crystal Valley in the northern part of the country, near Liberec. It's home to some of the oldest and most renowned glass institutions. Another important glassmaker here is Preciosa, best known for their jewelry.
Delve further into the Crystal Valley’s traditional arts at the Museum of Glass and Jewelry in Jablonec nad Nisou. It displays exhibits on costume jewelery, Bohemian glass, and much more, all housed in a beautiful Art Nouveau building.
Glass isn’t the only kind of crystal Czech is known for–the country is also famous for producing some of the world’s highest-quality garnets, prized for their deep red color and sparkle-producing inner glow.
Granát Turnov, located in the Northeast part of the country, is a collective of jewelers that is the largest producer of Bohemian garnet jewelry in the world. Visitors can watch them hand-grind and set the stones at their shop above Turnov Square
If these natural gemstones have you curious about the geology of the Czech Republic, plan a hike in Bohemian Paradise. The protected landscape is known for distinctive sandstone spires as well as calm ponds, castle ruins and dense forests.
The Czech Republic also has many well-preserved castles, such as Hluboká Castle in České Budějovice. It was originally built by Ottokar II, King of Bohemia, in the late 13th century but it has been rebuilt and expanded several times since then.
Ottokar II is also famous for his contributions to the country's brewing history. He granted České Budějovice the right to brew beer, launching a tradition carried on by Czechvar Brewery which has been brewing its famous pale lager since 1895.
The Czech Republic isn’t just known for beer. Slivovitz, or plum brandy, is another popular drink they’re known for. Rudolf Jelinek is a distillery that has been crafting spirits with fruits grown around the Vizovice Highlands since 1894.
While you’re in the area, stop by Kroměříž to learn more about Czech history. Get lost in the Baroque Kroměříž Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is best known for its labyrinthine Pleasure Garden out front.
From crystal and plum brandy to castles and natural reserves, no matter where you explore or what you discover in the Czech Republic, it’s bound to be steeped in rich history and deep tradition.
This story was paid and controlled by Czech Tourism and the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Chicago. It has been produced to reflect Lonely Planet’s high-quality storytelling, but it may not reflect our editorial views.
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