Let’s get one thing straight right from the start: I love historic Prague. It’s absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the 10 most visited cities in Europe, and probably way too busy for anyone who likes a bit of peace and quiet. But there’s more to Czech Republic than historic Prague, and I was lucky to be invited by Visit Czech Republic to go ‘czech’ them out!
Here are some great ideas for alternative city trips in Czech republic, all within one or 2 hours driving from each other. Pick one or two for a long weekend, or just head to all of them if you have a little bit more time. A week should be enough to spend some time in all four.
John Lennon wall, Prague
Did you know Prague is one of the cities with the most vegetarian and vegan restaurants in all of Europe? Neither did I, and I’ve been a veggie for almost 20 years… The days when you could only find dishes with lots of meat and gravy in dark restaurants with all-wooden interiors are also long gone, and hip little restaurants have completely taken over. You can literally find then anywhere. My favorite’s probably Vnitroblock, which is so much more than just a restaurant. There’s also a shop, art exhibitions and a dance studio.
If you want to dig deeper into ‘alternative Prague’, Prague Alternative tours offers a whole range of cool options, from an introduction to Prague’s underground scene, over street art workshops to beer tastings.
Only 2 hours from Prague – by train or by car – Olomouc will allow you to breathe again. Historic capital of the region of Moravia, Olomouc is a university town, lively from September to June, but almost empty in summer, so pick your dates according to what you prefer.
‘Surprisingly majestic’ according to Lonely Planet, Olomouc is filled with lovely squares, impressive churches, refreshing gardens and colorful houses. Just go for a stroll in its cobbled streets, and don’t forget to stop from time to time for some local beer in one of the many pubs. Or try the local cheese, apparently very tasteful but so smelly all I could do was run away from it as fast as I could…
Third largest city of Czech Republic, after Prague and Brno, I must admit between Ostrava and me it wasn’t love at first sight. Then we headed to Colours of Ostrava … A total of 20 stages and over 132 international bands, and a dream setting inside an abandoned coal mine definitely make this festival worth a visit!
Photo credit bottom picture Matyas Theuer
Bigger than Olomouc and Ostrava, Brno is probably your best bet if you want to pick just one of these 4 cities and stay there for a few days. It simply has a bit more to offer. Just strolling through the city center you’ll find heaps of nice places, but here’s a few special activities that you shouldn’t miss!
It might be slightly macabre, but if you dare, drop by at the Ossuary of St. James, Europe’s second largest ossuary. It was established in the 13th century, when cemeteries had become too small for the quickly expanding city, but was only discovered in 2001 during the renovation of a nearby square. The bones of over 50.000 people were placed inside the ossuary, most of the victims had died from the plague and cholera.
If you’re a fan of modern architecture, Villa Tugendhat, by German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, will influence your #HouseGoals for sure. Built almost 100 years ago, between 1920 and 1930, it almost looks as if you could just drop your bags, move in, and be totally in phase with the latest fashion!
Photo credit Milan Jaros
Time for more food and a beer? Go on a food tour, and don’t forget to drop by one of these super cute ice-cream trucks for an all vegan ice-cream. They even won a national ice-cream contest with their vanilla flavour! Delicious!
Don’t go home without having a drink at the coolest cocktail bar you’ve ever seen! At Super Panda Circus, the waiters are all dressed like in a circus, and the menu looks like this…
How it works? You pick the item that corresponds best with your personality, then the flavor you prefer between 2 options. Spot on for every single member of our 6-person group, and definitely one of my favorite activities on this list!
So, what do you think? Did you visit any of these places? Or did I forget anything? Head over to the comments and tell me all about it!!