I always keep my promises and I promised I would write a megapost to finish the series of posts that I have published on my Instagram and Facebook page.
For those of you who have not read it, a brief explanation: This year marks my 10th Erasmus anniversary in Prague, Czechia. Under normal circumstances, there would be an Erasmus reunion in beautiful Prague. However and while in quarantine mode, I decided to initiate a series of posts on other incredible Unesco world heritage sites in Czechia (because there is so much more than Prague), namely my ultimate romantic choice of Český Krumlov or iconic Kroměříž (try to pronunce this word, it is something like Kromierij) and lastly the wonderful Moravian landscape (I will also talk about it later in this post), which is an ideal destination for a roadtrip: some of the stops I suggested for you were Olomouc, Brno, Kroměříž, Mikulov and Lednice-Valtice. For wine, castle, and low-hill landscape lovers, it is indeed a fairytale roadtrip.
P.S I only include fancy restaurants and hotel tips I do truly know and have been to. It has been a while since I last did this trip, therefore other newer options can be available.
If you wish to know more about Prague, including some of its off the beaten track secrets written by someone who lived in this city for 1 year, you can have a look at my post on it: PRAGUE OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
Roadtrip suggestions in Czechia:
For now, I will share with you some wonderful roadtrips you could think of in the postcoronavirus period. Being a small country with just around 11 million inhabitants, with a different variety of landscapes and located in the heart of Europe bordering Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Poland, Czechia is a perfect country for roadtrips (combining Prague with Vienna and Bratislava is a very common trip, as it is only 4 hours away and there are numerous transport connections available, from trains to very comfortable buses or you can also rent a car).
Roadtrip Suggestions in Czechia
Like in any roadtrip, you should first of all plan according to the number of days available and what your real interests are, as you have so much to see and decide from. I will make 2 proposals (only Czechia) – 1 for a couple of days, including Prague (which I would recommend for first time Czechia travellers) and another one for a longer period, ideally during holiday period.
To drive on Czech motorways, you need to buy a Vignette, like in Austria or other countries.
You can buy the 10-day one for about €12
The Fancy Explorer’s Czechia Road Trips Proposals
- 6 days including Prague.
- Cities visited: Kutná Hora, Češký Krumlov
- Total of kms: 256, 2km
Prague, Kutná Hora and Český Krumlov
Start Point: Prague
4 days in Prague
If it is your first time in Prague, you will surely spend at least 4 days to visit it, for recommendations check my post: PRAGUE OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
Kutna hora center
1 day trip to Kutná Hora (just 1 hour away), 84,2 km
On the 5th day, you could make a 1-day short trip to the Unesco world heritage site of Kutná Hora (just 1 hour away), whose ex-libris is the Gothic cathedral of St. Barbara. It is considered a national treasure and has been denominated as the City of Silver, because of its historic importance for the Czech kingdom and its iconic architecture.
Other Unesco monuments of this city include Cathedral of Assumption of Our Lady and St John the Baptist in Sedlec, the Cemetery Church of All Saints in Sedlec – Ossuary (as the name indicates the decoration comprises mostly of human remainings), Czech Museum of Silver and Silver Mine.
After visiting the monuments, you can stroll around the tiny picturesque cobblestone streets which have many sweet and traditional stores selling all kinds of Czech products: from puppets to jewels in Czech garnet (I bought a very nice ring in one of these stores)
Kutná Hora streets
St. Barbara Cathedral in Kutna Hora
Ossuary in Kutná Hora
Lunch suggestion: DAČICKÝ RESTAURANT
For some Czech traditional food in a very traditional style, Dačický Restaurant should be on your list: You just cannot miss its main attraction: the dessert
Raspberries Aurum Foliatum (yes, you read right: this dessert is decorated with pure gold leaf)
Accomodation: As it is so close to Prague, you could stay in Prague
1 day trip to Češký Krumlov (2 hours away), 172 km
For this 6th day, I propose you to explore the South Bohemian region, namely the wonderful charming town of Češký Krumlov.
As I have already mentioned in my Facebook post, which was also shared on the FB page of Visit Czech Repubic it is a fairytale town and a true gem.
It is a barroque style city and its barroque theater is a truly masterpiece, which you should include on your To visit list. Beyond this theater, the medieval castle and gothic St. Vitus cathedral are also must sees.
Strolling around the city centre and contemplating this Renaissance-barroque atmosphere should also be part of the plan.
You could afterwards stop for lunch, enjoying some traditional Czech food, such as Svíčková (beef with dumplings and red berries sauce), of course with one of its many beer varieties, for those of you who enjoy drinking it. Speaking of beverages, one of the things I really like about Czechia is Kofola, which is in fact a Czech version of Coke (during Communist times obviously Coke was not available for sale and this homemade version contains orange and lemon juice and is incredibly sweet, much sweeter than the real Coke). But whenever in Czechia, it feels good to drink it!
Accomodation: You could either go back to Prague, like I did or you can also stay in this lovely city for a romantic weekend, for example at the fancy Hotel Bellevue.
The Fancy Explorer’s Czechia Road Trips Proposals
- 4 or 5 days
- Cities visited: Olomouc, Kroměříž, Lednice-Valtice, Telč
- Total of kms: 332,4
Start point: You could start in Brno (even if you fly to Prague, it is just 2h away)
After spending some time in Brno to visit the second biggest city in Czechia, I would go straight to the picturesque student town of Olomouc (also an Unesco World heritage city), where I have lived for 6 months and can recommend staying for 2 days
2-day trip to Olomouc – It is only 1 hour away from Brno, 79, 4 km
Olomouc City Hall
Olomouc is a small student town with a lot of personality, this is that I feel after having lived there for 6 months.
The main monuments which I recommend visiting are its ex-libris the Holy Trinity Column, which is the largest group of Barroque statues within a single sculpture in Central Europe. Its height is 35 metres and its lower part includes a chapel.
Other monuments include the Town Hall, which is located on the main square (Horní Namestí), the set of 6 Barroque fountains, the Archbishop´s Palace (one of the most important pre-Barroque buildings in Moravia region).
After visiting the most important monuments, you could also stroll around the very narrow streets, discovering many typical artisan and manufacturers shops, where you can buy from Bohemian crystal to a wide range of cheese variety ( do not forget to taste Olomoucké tvarůžky an unique typical quark cheese produced in the Haná region in Czechia).
Lunch suggestion: My choice of all time will be Moravská restaurace. The decoration is very stylish, with typical Moravian wood adornments and is the place for MEAT lovers. Steaks cannot be missed, as well as some typical Czech fancy food, such as veal with wild mushrooms or something more traditional like pork meat and dumplings. Service was very attentive and friendly.
Unfortunately while searching for this post, I read Villa Primavesi (Art nouveau villa of Otto and Eugenie Primavesi, which is decorated with many paintings by Gustav Klimt, since Klimt produced many works of art for this family) restaurant closed. I had sometimes lunch and dinner at this fancy and wonderful place. Being an art nouveau villa with a very beautiful garden, in the Summer months you could enjoy your meal outside and was a popular spot for celebrations. Apparently now only the villa keeps open for visits: Villa Primavesi.
Coffee cake break: La Fée is a very charming café with a really cute decoration and some of the very best homemade cakes. And of the course their coffee is really good (you know how important that is for me). If you do not like coffee, their homemade lemonades are delicious.
It is definitely worth stopping by, even if it is a short break
Accomodation: With a central location and including a spa, Theresian Hotel & Spa would be a very good option.
Before continuing towards the South, I would stop by the marvellous Unesco town of Kroměříž and would take a walk at its castle, especially at its gardens. You can read this post at my Facebook or Instagram page.
2-day trip to Lednice-Valtice – It is only 1h30 min from Olomouc, 125 km
As a last stop, you could stay and spend 2 days at the Versailles landscape of Czechia – Lednice Valtice
Lednice-Valtice complex is the ultimate expression of Barroque castle construction, for that reason it is also considered the Versailles landscape of Czechia and has also been characterized as the Garden of Europe.
This complex is constituted by the ostentatious neo-Goethic Chateau Lednice and Valtice Chateau, which was the residence of the Austrian and Moravian Lords of Lichtenstein. Beyond its architectonic beauty, there is a long tradition of winemaking in this region.
After a very long stroll throughout this complex, you can finish your stay by pampering yourself at a spa hotel in Lednice.
Accomodation: Just 5 min on foot from the centre and featuring a spa, Spa Resort Lednice would be the perfect spa relaxation time you would just need before hitting the road again.
1-day trip to Telč – It is only 2h away from Lednice-Valtice, 128 km
On your way back to Prague, you could stop by at a very romantic town, also Unesco heritage site called Telč (picture above)
Telč Main Square
In Telč, you can visit its landmark, which is its gothic castle and enjoy a stroll at its city centre or park to recharge your batteries off all the way back to Prague.
For me these are the 2 roadtrips which I would definitely recommend doing, because I think they really give you an insight into Czech culture and landscape (not to mention the most iconic Unesco world heritage sites would be all visited).
Another region of Czechia which is not included in these proposals is a Spa area which involves cities like Karlovary Vary or Marianské Lazně (my favourite), but to be very honest no matter how pretty they are (especially Marianské Lazně), I would not spend 2 or 3 days just to discover this area.
On the other hand, I prefer visiting country landmarks rather than Spa towns. In anycase I have also included some spa suggestions in the roadtrip proposals. One thing though the Spa areas are known for is their traditional Czech waffles (in my Prague post I also mention them). There are many flavours, personally I like hazelnut and chocolate. If you have the chance of eating one still warm, while enjoying their thermal water, it is the best treat you can have 😊
As you could see, Czechia offers a wide range of possibilities and many interesting places. The choice of the roadtrip will always be done first and foremost according to your personal interests. As you know, I am foodie and castle lover, so I could not find any better trip than the Moravian one (Roadtrip 2). If you are more into sports or hiking, other destinations can be included in your itinerary, such as the Czech-Swiss national park.
Which one will you pick? Let me know your thoughts
Let us take time during this confinement period to plan our trips well ahead and carefully, right?
See you around fancy travellers and more importantly, stay safe!