The Czech Republic has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. It’s a country of multiple and diverse attractions, from the cheap, delicious beers, lovely countryside, and many famous landmarks. Yet, usually, it’s the lovely city of Prague with its charming city center that looks like it’s been taken from a fairy tale book that takes most people’s hearts.
Many of the famous landmarks in the Czech Republic are located in Prague, like the Prague Castle or the Astronomical clock. Still, plenty of others are spread through the country, like the Castle of Cesku Krumlov and the Holy Trinity Column. Here we will explore most of them, including human-made and natural landmarks.
To create this list of iconic Czech Landmarks and provide the most complete and informative article, we invited a few travel bloggers to pitch in with their favorite Landmarks in the Czech Republic.
Landmarks In Czech Republic – Prague
By Džangir Kolar from Dr Jam Travels
The Prague Castle is the most visited tourist attraction and probably the most famous landmark in Czechia. It should be on your list if you enjoy architecture (the biggest medieval castle in the world), culture, and history (since the 9th century). The castle is atop a hill overlooking the Vltava River with Charles Bridge and the city’s Old Town below.
Castle was built and rebuilt many times. In the beginning, there was just fortification, and later it got a big gothic cathedral and became a place of coronation and seat of the kings. Today is the seat of the president of the Czech republic.
Within the castle grounds, there are many interesting places as the entrance at Hradcanske Namesti, the 600 years old St. Vitus Cathedral (check below), the Golden lane where Kafka lived, the Old Royal Palace, the former prison Daliborka Tower, and many palaces, gardens, and towers.
Entrance to the Castle’s ground is free but some areas are only possible to enter if you pay. To see the interior you have 3 options ranging from 250 to 350 CZK, approx 15 EUR. A guided tour will cost an additional 150 CZK. You can access the castle every day between 6 AM and 10 PM. To visit the free part 1 hour is enough, but touring the whole castle and entering the main buildings should take you about 3 hours.
St Vitus Cathedral
By Jessie Moore of Pocket Wanderings
Located on the Prague Castle complex, the gothic architecture of St. Vitus Cathedral is one of many musings this UNESCO world heritage site has to offer. Boasting stunning views of the city, the cathedral is a must-see if you’re planning a trip to Prague.
Its official name is “The Cathedral of St. Vitus, Wenceslas, and Wojtech”. Astonishingly, it took over six centuries to finish the building, which began construction in the middle of the 14th century and was completed in the late 1920s. A total of roughly 10 architects were involved in the construction of the cathedral, but the French Gothic influence of Matthias of Arras’ work, the original architect, remained throughout every nook and cranny.
St Vitus has extremely deep roots in history that spans religion, monarchy, and even war. Interestingly, it’s known as the final resting place of Ferdinand I, his wife Anna Jagellonská, and their son Maximilián II. It’s also a fantastic spot for art enthusiasts to appreciate the art-nouveau stained glass by Alfons Mucha in the Chapel on St Wenceslas.
Tram lines in the city of Prague make getting to the cathedral fairly straightforward. There are multiple ways to reach the Castle, but most tourists take the tram from Pražský hrad (tram No.22), which leads you to the second courtyard of the castle.
Melissa from Parenthood and Passports
The Astronomical Clock attached to the Old Town Hall in Prague is arguably one of the most famous clocks in the world. The medieval clock can be found at the southern portion of the town hall’s tower and has been a landmark in the Czech Republic since 1410. At the top of each hour, doors on the clock open up to present a procession of the Twelve Apostles of Christ.
Aside from the apostles, there are four figures flanking the clock that are also set in motion at the strike of the hour. These figures are said to represent the sins of vanity, greed, lust, and their ultimate demise of death depicted as a skeleton that toles a bell. The beautiful clock not only tells time but showcases the exact position of the sun, moon, and planets at any given time of day.
One of the most fascinating things to do in Prague with kids, crowds gather around the clock toward the top of the hour to watch the mechanical show. Originally created by clockmaker Mikulas of Kadan and mathematics and astronomy profession Jan Sindel, the clock is now over 600 years old. It has undergone many renovations and reconstructions over the centuries, some caused by damage from uprisings and wars and others resulting from age and the need for restoration.
The Church of Our Lady before Týn
By Kenny from Knycx Journeying
Given that Prague’s Old Town Square is the focal point and centerpiece that captures the old Bohemian essence of Czech’s historic past. The Church of Our Lady before Týn is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the tallest architecture in the area that demands the attention of visitors.
Built in the 14th century, this Gothic-style church is uniquely recognized by the two recognizable black twin spires of different sizes. The pointy “horns” thus gave the church a nickname of the “Devil Church.” The church originally served as the Old Town Church, dating back to the 11th century. It has been undergone several renovations by different architects, and the current look was basically completed in the 17th century, with its interior decorated and reworked in a Baroque style. It is also believed that the Týn church towers were the inspiration of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle.
Unlike many other cathedrals, which usually have a welcoming front door on the façade, finding the entrance of this church is not that easy because it was built on the side behind the Týn School, which stands at the front of the cathedral.
The Old Jewish Cemetery
By Rachel Heller from Rachel’s Ruminations
Prague’s Old Jewish Cemetery is well known for its unusual appearance, with the gravestones packed close together, almost piled on top of each other. There’s a reason for this: over the centuries, the cemetery filled up. Unable to get permission to expand, the Jews of Prague simply reused the same plot of land. They would remove the stones from the graves, add a layer of dirt, use that to bury bodies, but replace the removed stones on top and add the new ones. The result is about 12,000 gravestones crowded together on a piece of land that is significantly higher than the surrounding city blocks.
The graves date from 1439 to 1787, and many are carved prettily with Hebrew lettering or decorative images. The graveyard is now part of the Prague Jewish Museum, extending across several other properties: five synagogues and a ceremonial hall in the old Jewish Quarter. All of the museum buildings and the graveyard can be visited on a combined ticket. Read more about the Prague Jewish Museum here.
By Jessica Schmit from Uprooted Traveler
When in Prague, you can’t miss the Charles Bridge, a medieval stone arch bridge crossing the Vltava river in the heart of the city. Given its position as the main pedestrian route linking the Old Town Square with Prague Castle, Charles Bridge is just a short walk from some of the other popular sites in the city.
King Charles IV originally commissioned the bridge in 1357, after its predecessor, the Judith Bridge, was destroyed by floods in 1342. The bridge was originally constructed in the Gothic style and was intended to function as a venue for knight tournaments. Eventually, with an influx of Catholic influence in the 1700s, the once-spartan bridge was eventually adorned with 75 larger-than-life Baroque statues that create an alleyway along the bridge’s exterior. Not only is the bridge itself a site worth exploring, the area surrounding it, the Historic Center of Prague, is so charming and well-preserved, but it’s also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Perhaps, unsurprisingly, the Charles Bridge is a popular destination for tourists, with a healthy mix of visitors, locals, and street performers flooding the bridge during the day. If you’re looking for the best time to see the bridge, come early in the morning- you’ll have the bridge all to yourself and be able to drink in the beautiful view of the Vltava River and the city of Prague.
By Dymphe from Dymabroad
One of the most enjoyable landmarks in the Czech Republic is the Dancing House. This is another building you can find in the capital of the country, in Prague. More specifically, you can find it in the area of New Town next to the Jirásek Bridge.
The building has become very famous for its design, which gave it its current nickname. The designer Vlado Milunić, together with Frank Gehry, designed the building in 1992 and the design is very unique. It stands out against the older buildings next to it. In comparison to those buildings, this building is very modern, and it features a lot of glass and asymmetric elements. The houses next to it have Art Nouveau, Gothic, and Baroque architectural styles, which are much more traditional.
Furthermore, the original name for the building was Fred and Ginger, named for two famous dancers, but this name isn’t used much anymore. The house is not listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Landmarks In Czech Republic – Castles and Palaces
Cesky Krumlov castle
By Lori Sorrentino from Travlinmad.com
One of the most important historic sites in the Czech Republic, indeed in all of central Europe, is the State Castle of Cesky Krumlov. Located in the South Bohemia region, the castle sits high on a hill above the Vltava River overlooking the enchanting fairytale town of Cesky Krumlov.
Getting there is quite easy. Most visitors come from Prague using the excellent bus service. Others get shuttled from their riverboat cruise on the Danube River in Austria or take the bus from Vienna. Driving is always an option. The roads are excellent and well-marked, although parking in Cesky Krumlov can be challenging.
Dating to the 13th century, the castle was declared a National Heritage Site in 1989. In 1992 the entire castle complex made the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The castle is architecturally fascinating with Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque elements. Take the one-hour tour through the castle chambers and exhibits in the castle museum to maximize your time.
The tour finishes with a climb up 162 steps to the top of the castle tower with breathtaking views and a view of the castle moat to see where bears have been continuously kept since the 16th century.
A visit to this enchanting castle should absolutely be on everyone’s bucket list for the Czech Republic.
By Samantha from The Wandering Wanderluster
When thinking about the Czech Republic, most people automatically associate it with Prague, its beautiful fairy-tale capital. But here’s a fun fact, the Czech Republic is known for having one of the highest densities of castles in the world – in fact, there are over 2000 of them! Perhaps the most famous is Karlštejn castle, a gothic hilltop fortress located just 30 minutes by train from Prague!
This popular day trip from Prague is a must! Not only is Karlštejn a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it is one of the most important landmarks in the Czech Republic. Built by Charles IV in the 14th century, the castle acted as the King’s countryside residence and a treasury for all his religious artefacts, holy relics and royal crown jewels.
Today you can trek uphill whilst admiring its gothic façade and spires and enter its central courtyard and ramparts for free. However, if you have the time, it’s worth booking ahead and joining a tour of its interior to visit the main attraction, the stunning Chapel of the Holy Cross, where you can admire the biggest collection of Gothic paintings in the world!
By Martina and Jürgen from PlacesofJuma
The beautiful neo-Gothic Hluboká Castle is a must-see landmark on a trip to the Czech Republic. This white fairytale palace is located in the village Hluboká nad Vltavou, about 30 kilometers from the famous medieval town Cesky Krumlov. It is, therefore, one of the most visited castles in South Bohemia.
The snow-white facade and the many turrets, which give Hluboka Castle a dreamlike ambiance, are particularly beautiful. Walking through the picturesque gardens, you almost feel like taking back in time and also the pompous 140 rooms and 11 towers are breathtaking to see!
The oldest part of the chateau, which was founded by the kings, dates back to the 13th century, but actually, this castle got its current shape in the middle of the 19th century, when Johann Adolf II of Schwarzenberg and his wife Eleonore had the chateau completely rebuilt.
Hluboká Castle is also an ideal day trip destination when visiting Prague! Either you book a guided tour or you come by rental car. For sure, all history and castles fans will get their money’s worth here.
Opening hours are daily from 09:00 am -5:00 pm – admission: is 8,- Euros per person.
By Megan J. Anderson from Packing up the Pieces
Tucked away in the Czech Republic’s overlooked South Moravian region is the stunning Lednice Palace. This chateau is in the middle of the country’s largest wine-producing region and is easiest to reach by car. With adorable wine immersed villages like Mikulov and Znojmo close by, combine a stop at Lednice Palace on a road trip through the diverse countryside of the Czech Republic.
The chateau and land were first mentioned in the year 1222, but the palace as we see it today started construction in 1846. Prince Alois II of Vienna had the chateau rebuilt around this time in an English Neo-Gothic style to use as a summer palace because Vienna would not do for his guests.
The Lednice Palace is surrounded by gardens and bike trails and is part of the Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The exquisite countryside connects the two palaces to create one of Europe’s largest artificially created landscapes. To best enjoy the 283.09 km² natural park, rent a bike and pedal a section of the increasingly popular Mikulov Wine Trail.
Landmarks In Czech Republic – Others
Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, Brno
The Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul is the most famous Czech Landmark in Brno, the second-largest city. Located in Petrov hill (also called Petrov Cathedral), this cathedral was originally built in the 14th century on a Romanesque rotunda site from the 12th century. It was later expanded and rebuilt several times, with its iconic 84 meter-high towers being designed by architect August Kirstein in 1904/05 in a gothic revival style.
The Cathedral’s interior is mostly Baroque, with a highly decorated 11-meter altar carved by Josef Leimer in 1891, showcasing St. Peter and Paul as the main feature. The crypt sometimes also serves as an occasional venue for chamber concerts, exhibitions, and lectures. In addition, it is possible to ascend the 130 steps of both towers to enjoy the wonderful views of Brno and its surroundings.
One of the unique characteristics of this Cathedral is that it rings the bell at 11:00 instead of 12:00. According to legends, during a siege to Brno, the Swedes promised to call out the attack if they hadn’t succeeded before 12 noon. So, the citizens of Brno decided to ring the bells one our earlier, fooling the Swedes to retreat.
Karlovy Vary Spa Town
By Jane and Duncan from To Travel Too and Staycation Australia
The spa town of Karlovy Vary, a few hours north of the capital Prague in the Czech Republic, is one of the foremost spa towns in the Czech Republic.
If you head to the center of town by the Tepla River, you will notice onlookers crowded around what looks like a fountain. This fountain is known as the Hot Spring Colonnade. A natural phenomenon that was first incepted in the 16th century.
The temperature of the hot spring is 73.4 degrees centigrade, it spurts out 2,000 litres of mineral water per minute to a height of 12 metres. As you move towards the fountain you can feel the effects of the hot springs on your skin.
You can taste the mineral springs at various temperatures during opening hours of the Colonnade just behind the fountain.
The local mineral waters and gases are used for healing, treating diseases of the digestive track, metabolism disorders and oncologic diseases. The mineral waters are supplied to the local spas throughout Karlovy Vary.
Karlovy Vary is one of a group of eleven European spa countries that have been nominated as a transnational serial property to UNESCO for inclusion on the World Heritage List.”
Holy Trinity Column, Olomouc
By Veronika Primm from TravelGeekery
The Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc just celebrated 20 years on UNESCO World Heritage List. It’s located in the historical city center of Olomouc, Czech Republic’s 6th largest city situated in the East of the country.
The column was built in the 18th century after a 2-year long plague in a period of a unique devotion to Christianity and the creation of many outstanding Baroque buildings and sculptures. The minute you see it, you’ll understand why it’s such a landmark. It’s so big that even a small chapel could be built into its base. The column is adorned with 18 sculptures of saints, 12 light-bearer figures, and 12 relief busts of the apostles. On the very top, you can find a large sculptural group of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and the main Holy Trinity sculpture.
There’s a highly visible golden cannonball inside the column – it’s there to commemorate attacks of the Prussian Army in 1758. The Holy Trinity Column was spared thanks to a brave act by locals, who marched to the Prussian General to plead to spare the column.
The city of Olomouc itself is beautiful and well worth visiting. The historical city center encompasses the Upper Square, where the column is located, and the Lower Square right next, with plenty of small winding alleys running in all directions.
You can travel to Olomouc comfortably by train from Prague, it only takes 2 hours and 15 minutes. To get to the center – either walk or hop on a tram.
By Rachel Heller from Rachel’s Ruminations
Telč is a small town in south-central Czechia, to the southeast of Prague. Like many towns across Europe, it is centered around a central square, or, in this case, more of an elongated triangle.
What makes Telč special, though, is its historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The houses date originally to the Middle Ages but were updated in Renaissance and Baroque styles later. Today, beautifully preserved, they present an absolutely charming sight. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder, each painted in soft pastel colors, some facades have trompe-l’oeil details while others are covered in sgraffito: colored plaster instead of paint. Each building’s front extends over the sidewalk in graceful arches, creating an arcade so pedestrians can walk along, sheltered from rain or sun.
The UNESCO designation also includes the gothic St. James Church, where you can climb the tower to get a bird’s-eye view over the rooftops of the colorful Renaissance buildings.
Terezin Concentration Camp
By Nicole from Go Far Grow Close
Terezin is a small town founded in the late 18th Century and is 45 minutes outside of Prague. The town and the buildings are largely unremarkable in architecture or style. However, from 1941 to 1945, the Nazis converted it into a walled ghetto, concentration camp, and as a transit depot for Jews en route to Auschwitz and other extermination camps all over Europe. Over 155,000 Jews ended up there. Of those, approximately 34,000 died from malnutrition, disease, and abuse even before they were sent to extermination camps.
In addition, just outside Terezin, the Nazis converted an existing fortress into a prison where socialists, communists, and war resistors were housed and brutalized. The conditions in Terezin prison were horrific.
Today, Terezin has reverted back into a normal town but has kept its horrible legacy alive through its buildings, museums, and memorials. You are welcome to walk the streets, explore the buildings, and visit the museums at your leisure to learn about its terrible past.
One of the hardest exhibitions to view is in the Ghetto Museum. Jews of all ages lived in Terezin, sometimes for months at a time. Jewish children were not allowed to have a traditional education, but were allowed to draw. The museum displays these drawings which are absolutely haunting to see.
The camp also allowed music, band, drama, and other art forms for all Jews, and many of these works were also on display. They are chilling to observe, knowing that most everyone who produced them died soon thereafter.
Sedlec Bone Church, Kutna Hora
By Corinne Vail from ReflectionsEnroute
The Sedlec Ossuary, or Bone Church, a world heritage site, is located only about 80 kilometers from Prague. It’s an easy drive if you have a car, but if not taking the train will get you there just as quickly. Trains leave about every two hours from the Hlavní Nádraží station in Prague.
Once you arrive at the church, you do need to buy a ticket to enter (90 CZK for adults and 60 for children). The church is not very large, but it is striking. Immediately you will begin to encounter all kinds of skulls and bones.
The church contains the remains of at least 40,000 people, and the way they are displayed is pretty amazing. They are incorporated into the decorations. There is a bone chandelier, bone coat of arms, as well as many hanging decorations – all made up of human bones.
The original church was built in the 1400s, however, the bones didn’t become prevalent until after one of the Cistercian monks came back from the Holy Land bringing with him some blessed earth from Jerusalem. This made the church a popular place to be buried, and especially during the plague wars, more people came to be buried in the cemetery than there was space.
Then in 1870 a local wood carver was given the task of trying to figure out what to do with all the bones piled up in the church. That’s when he designed and made all the elaborate bone decorations for the church.
Sedlec Bone Church is unique, and a bit macabre, but no matter what, is a fantastic place to visit.
Pilsner Urquell Brewery
By Megan J. Anderson from Packing up the Pieces
One of the Czech Republic’s most popular landmarks is located a little over an hour away from Prague in the town of Pilsen (Plzeň). Here, you’ll find the iconic Pilsner Urquell Brewery. The most famous brewery in the Czech Republic can be reached as a day trip from Prague via a guided tour, car, or a quick train ride. Both major bus companies, Flixbus, and Regiojet, offer multiple departures daily.
Pilsner Urquell Brewery is famous for creating the pale and light style of lager beer known as pilsner. The brewery started out as a collective of townspeople who had a love for beer, which started as far back as 1295. However, it was around 1840 when the talks of an actual brewery would come to take form. In the year 1842, Josef Groll produced the first batch of Pilsen from the Pilsner Urquell Brewery.
Today, it’s possible to tour both the Pilsner Urquell and Gambrinus Breweries. The classic Pilsner Urquell tour provides an insight into the history, a look into the bottling plant, and a walk below ground into the ice cellars. Here, sip on the perfect glass of unpasteurized, unfiltered, golden glass of Pilsen. The tasting room is 50 meters below ground and is enjoyed next to wooden storage barrels.
Natural Landmarks In Czech Republic
By Raluca from Travel With A Spin
Bohemian Switzerland National Park offers several hiking experiences for all levels and rock-climbing opportunities. But the first choice for most visitors is the trail to Pravcicka Gate, the largest natural sandstone arch in Europe. Most people can go through the path, as it is on the easy side, and the reward is pretty amazing.
The trail starts in Hrensko, a village less than two hours by car from Prague, making it an amazing day trip. Hiking up from Hotel Mezni Louka to the arch and back takes around three hours. Even if it’s a pretty easy path, though it’s not proper for persons with disabilities as the last part gets a little bit steeper. Beautiful flowers, strange sandstone formations, dense forests, and viewpoints will make for pleasant stops on your way up.
At the end of the trail, you’ll get to Pravčická brána or Pravčická gate, a 16 meters high sandstone arch and the symbol of Bohemian Switzerland National Park. It was also used as filming location for the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Right next to it stands a rustic chateau built in the 19th century, Falcon’s Nest. From beneath the arch one gets spectacular views over the entire area. However, make sure you have 3€ on you, as in order to get close to the arch one has to pay this small fee.
By Mal from Raw Mal Roams
Sněžka Mountain is the highest point in the Czech Republic, measuring over 1,600 meters above sea and one of its most prominent natural landmarks.
Sněžka is also the highest peak of the Karkonosze Mountains that sit on the border with Poland. It is the place where both Polish and Czech outdoor enthusiasts come for hiking getaways.
There are various hiking trails for climbing the summit varying in difficulties. The green and yellow trails start from a Czech town, Pec pod Sniezku, and take about 3.5 hours. For those that want to get to the summit faster, there is a cable car from Pes pod Sniezku all the way to the top.
On the Polish side, the whole area is protected under the Karkonosze National Park, and trails start from a popular touristic town of Karpacz and take from 2.5 to 3 hours.
At the top of Sněžka, there is the iconic round building of the meteorological observatory, a chapel, and a café where you can buy a hot drink and a snack. The summit is famous for being very windy, and you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views stretching over both neighboring countries.
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