The number of foreign tourists who come to the Czech Republic is increasing every year. Many tourists who have visited the Czech Republic once return there again and again. People fall in love with this country at first sight, and this love can last a lifetime. Tourists come to the Czech Republic for the sake of unique historical and architectural monuments, magnificent nature, real Czech beer, balneological and ski resorts.
Geography of the Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is located in Central Europe. The Czech Republic borders Slovakia to the east, Germany to the west, Austria to the south, and Poland to the north. The total area of this country is 78,866 sq. km, and the total length of the state border is 2,310 km.
In the west of the country in Bohemia, there are low mountains – the Krkonose, which are structurally included in the Sudetenland mountain range. It is in the Krkonoše that the highest Czech peak is located – Mount Sněžka (1602 m). In the east of the country in Moravia, the terrain is hilly with low mountains.
Several large rivers flow through the territory of the Czech Republic – Elbe, Vltava, Morava, and Odra. Some Czech rivers are an important part of the local national parks of the Krkonoše, Šumava, Podiya, and “Bohemian Switzerland”.
According to itypejob.com, the capital of the Czech Republic is Prague, which is now home to about 1.3 million people. Archaeologists believe that the first Slavic settlement on the territory of modern Prague appeared in the 6th century AD.
The official language in the Czech Republic is Czech, which belongs to the subgroup of West Slavic languages.
About 30% of the population of the Czech Republic are Catholics (Roman Catholic Church). Another 2% of Czechs are Protestants, and more than 32% of the Czech population do not believe in God.
State structure of the Czech Republic
According to computerminus.com, the Czech Republic is a parliamentary republic in which the President is the formal head of state, but his powers are significantly limited. The Prime Minister has significant powers, however, he is appointed by the President and approved by the Parliament.
Legislative power belongs to the bicameral Parliament, consisting of Poslanecká sněmovna (200 deputies) and the Senate (81 people).
Until 2013, the President of the Czech Republic was elected by the Parliament of the country, but now it happens by popular vote.
Climate and weather
The climate in the Czech Republic is temperate continental with rather hot summers and cold snowy winters. In the west of the country, the average annual air temperature is +7C, and in southern Moravia – +9C. In Prague in July, the air temperature can reach +33C, and in the west of the country in February it can drop to -17C.
In winter, there is a lot of snow in the mountains of the Czech Republic, and this guarantees a long ski season.
Average air temperature in the Czech Republic:
- January – -3С
- February – -2С
- March – +3С<
- April – +8С
- May – +13С
- June – +16C
- July – +18С
- August – +17C
- september – +14C
- october – +8C
- November – +3C
- December – -1C
Rivers and lakes
Several large rivers flow through the territory of the Czech Republic – Elbe, Vltava, Morava, and Odra. In addition, there are many natural small lakes in the Czech Republic, as well as about 150 artificial lakes.
Around the 4th century BC. Celtic tribes settled on the territory of modern Czech Republic, but after a few centuries they were supplanted by Germanic tribes. The Slavs appeared in the Czech Republic at the end of the 5th century AD.
In the 9th century, the flowering of the Czech Republic begins, which is associated with the rule of the Přemyslid dynasty. The Czech state manages to actually maintain its independence, although it was in vassal dependence on the Holy Roman Empire.
In 1085, the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV granted the Czech prince Vratislav the right to use the royal title. However, the independence of the Kingdom of Bohemia was proclaimed only in 1212.
From 1419 to 1436, the religious Hussite wars continued in the Czech Republic, as a result of which the Hussite religion was recognized by Catholics as one of the religions in this country.
Since 1526, the Habsburgs became kings of the Czech Republic, and thus this country became part of the Holy Roman Empire. By the way, the Czech Republic was part of Austria until 1918.
After the end of the First World War in October 1918, a single state was formed from the Czech Republic and Slovakia – Czechoslovakia.
As a result, the so-called. “Munich agreement” in 1939, Czechoslovakia was occupied by German troops. The Germans turned the Czech Republic into the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.
After the end of World War II, socialist Czechoslovakia was formed. In 1968, the Warsaw Pact countries were forced to send troops to Czechoslovakia in order to support the socialist system in it.
In November 1989 in Czechoslovakia there was a so-called. “Velvet Revolution”, which removed the Communist Party from power. Vaclav Havel became president of Czechoslovakia.
On January 1, 1993, two new independent states appeared on the political map of the world – Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
In 1999, the Czech Republic became a member of the NATO military bloc, and in 2004 it was admitted to the EU.
Culture of the Czech Republic
Czechs are proud of their traditions and carefully pass them on from generation to generation. So, in one of the Moravian villages of Vlcnovo, the “Ride of Kings” festival is still held every year, during which local boys and teenagers ride horses decorated with colorful ribbons throughout the region. At the same time, the riders themselves are dressed in traditional folk costumes. The boy-king is guarded by two bodyguards with sabers.
The fact is that in the Middle Ages in Moravia (and in the vicinity of the village of Vlchnovo) local princes often traveled, who for the peasants were real kings.
Czechs love to celebrate Walpurgis Night (from April 30 to May 1). Sometimes the Czechs call this holiday “Witch Burning Night”. Of course, no one has been burning witches in the Czech Republic for many centuries. Now, in order to maintain this ancient custom, the Czechs set fire to brooms and throw them into the air (to see how witches used to fly in the air).
Czechs believe that at midnight on May 1, treasures can be found. However, at this time, the forces of evil are capable of harming a person. Therefore, treasure seekers on the night of May 1 need to have a fern leaf on their heads (on their faces).
In recent years, the Czech Republic has begun to pay more attention to healthy eating and various new recipes. However, traditional Czech recipes are still very popular in the Czech Republic.
We advise tourists in the Czech Republic to definitely try the following local traditional dishes:
- “bramborová polévka” – potato soup;
- “zelná polévka” – sauerkraut soup;
- “kuřecí polévka” – chicken noodle soup;
- “hovězí guláš s knedlíkem” – beef goulash with dumplings;
- “pečené kuře s brambory” – fried chicken with potatoes;
- “knedlíky” – dumplings are made with a variety of fillings;
- “jablečný závin” – apple strudel;
- Medovnik” – cake with honey.
The traditional Czech alcoholic drink is beer. As in some other European countries, beer in the Czech Republic began to be brewed in the early Middle Ages in monasteries. Now Czech beer is famous all over the world.
Sights of the Czech Republic
For lovers of attractions, the Czech Republic is an ideal country. There are many different attractions in the Czech Republic, and it is difficult for us to choose the best of them. Nevertheless, in our opinion, the top ten attractions in the Czech Republic include the following:
- Castle Hluboka nad Vltavou. Hluboka Castle was built in the second half of the 13th century. Hluboka Castle received its current magnificent neo-Gothic appearance thanks to the Schwarzenberg family, who owned it since 1661. Today the castle houses a museum.
- Castle of Cherven Lhota. Chervena Lhota Castle in South Bohemia was built during the Renaissance. It is located on a rocky island in the middle of the lake. The castle is connected to the ground by a narrow stone bridge. Chervena Lhota Castle got its name from its red-painted walls.
- Castle Karlstejn. Karlštejn Castle was built in 1348 by the Czech king and Roman emperor Charles IV. Once upon a time, the treasures and regalia of Czech kings were kept in this castle.
- Caves in the Moravian Karst Nature Reserve. The territory of the Moravian Karst Nature Reserve is about 92 sq. km. There are about 1,100 gorges and caves here.
- Geopark “Czech Paradise”. In the north of the Czech Republic, there is the Bohemian Paradise geopark, which has a large number of mineralogy, paleontology and archeology monuments.
- Vysehrad Castle. Vysehrad Castle, as historians believe, was built on a hill above the Vltava in the 10th century. According to legend, it was in Vyšehrad Castle that the Czech princess Libuše foretold the future greatness of Prague.
- Konopiste Castle. This castle is located 50 kilometers from Prague. It was built in the 1289s in the style of French fortresses with round towers. Konopiste Castle was once the last residence of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
- “Singing Fountains” in Prague. The Singing Fountains were built in 1891. Later, the Czech engineer Frantisek Krzhizhikovy made them lighting. Now the “Singing Fountains” are one of the most favorite places for recreation of the inhabitants of Prague.
- Charles Bridge in Prague. The Charles Bridge across the Vltava was built in the 14th century. The bridge is decorated with 30 statues that were erected by various universities, religious orders, archbishops, princes, etc.
- St. Vitus Cathedral. The construction of St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague lasted from 1344 to 1929. It is considered one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in the world.
Cities and resorts of the Czech Republic
The largest cities in the Czech Republic are Brno, Pilsen, Ostrava, and, of course, Prague.
The Czech Republic is known for its ski resorts with well-developed skiing infrastructure. The most popular Czech ski resorts are Harrachov, Jablonec nad Jizerou, Rokytnice nad Jizerou, Spindlerov Mlyn, Pec pod Snezkou, Hruby Jeseník, Velké Losiny, Boží Dar, and Liberec. Due to the large amount of snow, the skiing season in the Czech Republic lasts from December to April.
Tourists come to the Czech Republic not only to admire the sights of this country and go skiing at local ski resorts. There are a large number of mineral springs in the Czech Republic, and, as a result, tourists also come to this country very often for the sake of balneological resorts. Karlovy Vary has a reputation as a world-class balneological resort.
Other popular Czech balneological resorts are Marianske Lazne, Frantiskove Lazne, Jachymov, Teplice, Luhacovice, and Poděbrady.
Tourists from the Czech Republic usually bring dishes, porcelain, Bohemian glassware, ceramics, jewelry with semi-precious Czech garnet, Czech beer, Becherovka liqueur, plum brandy, which is made in South Moravia, as well as Czech waffles (from Karlovy Vary) and chocolate.
Many shops are open on Saturday mornings.
Some shops are open 24 hours a day.
Most restaurants and bars in the Czech Republic are open from 09:00 to 23:00 (or later).
Ukrainians need to obtain a visa to enter the Czech Republic (the Czech Republic is part of the Schengen zone).
The Czech crown is the official currency of the Czech Republic (CZK). 1 crown = 100 hellers. All major cards are accepted, including Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
The import and export of currency in the Czech Republic is not limited, but more than 10 thousand euros must be declared. Customs regulations in the Czech Republic are the same as in other EU countries.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Address of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Ukraine:
Index – 01901, Kiev, st. Yaroslavov Val, 34a
T: (044) 272-21-10
F: (044) 272-62-04
Email. address: [email protected]
Address of the Embassy of Ukraine in the Czech Republic:
Postcode – 160 00, Praha 6, Charlese de Gaulla 29
T: (+420) 227 020 200 F: (+420) 233 344
address: [email protected]
112 – All emergencies
150 – Fire brigade
155 – Ambulance
158 – Police
The difference with Ukrainian time is -1 hour. Those. if in Prague, for example, in the summer it is 9:00 am, then in Kyiv it is 10:00 am.
Tips in restaurants in the Czech Republic are already included in the bill, but it is still customary to leave 10% of the bill for “tea”. In taxis, tips are usually 5-10%.
To enter the Czech Republic, medical insurance for 30 thousand euros is required. Before traveling to the Czech Republic, doctors recommend getting vaccinated against tick-borne encephalitis.
Violent crimes against foreign tourists in the Czech Republic are rare. Foreigners in the Czech Republic should beware of pickpockets, who are quite “professional” there. If something is stolen from you, the Czech police are unlikely to be able to help you. Therefore, prevention is the best defense against pickpockets. It is better for tourists to leave important documents in the hotel safe. Do not carry large amounts of cash with you, and be careful in crowded places (for example, Wenceslas Square in Prague).
In the mountains of the Czech Republic in winter there is a danger of avalanches, so skiing, of course, is necessary on safe, specially equipped ski slopes.