Czech Republic - Bohemia

The Czech Republic is a country of fascinating contrasts, which its inhabitants are proud of. Along the way, we not only discover opulent castles and traditional colourful squares, but also get to know modern and contemporary culture. In addition to the villages and towns, we also find an abundance of natural beauty. The rolling landscape with its ancient forests and various parks invites you to leave your camper, car or motorbike behind and go on foot or by bike into the nature. This road trip takes you through Bohemia, which covers about two thirds of the Czech Republic. We start in Bohemian Switzerland and then head for the Giant Mountains, Kutna Hora, Český Krumlov and Karlsbad, among others. The beautiful Prague cannot be missed either.


Total distance of the route: 1104 km

Bohemian Switzerland

We start our road trip in the village of Hřensko, just across the border from Germany. This immediately brings us to one of the most beautiful natural parks in the Czech Republic. The Bohemian Natural Park was named a national park in 2000 and has an extraordinary landscape with pine forests, deep valleys and some impressive rocks. One of the most fascinating places in the park is the Pravčická brána. This unique natural phenomenon is the largest natural sandstone bridge in Europe. The Edmunds Gorge is also considered a very beautiful spot in the park. The Kamenice River flows through the gorge and can be crossed by boat. The rock walls are covered with moss and often a low mist hangs in the gorge, which creates an enchanting atmosphere. A little further on, we come to a group of sandstone rocks, the Kyjovsky skalni hradek, from which there is a beautiful view of the forest.


In the nature park, it is best to put the camper van, car or motorbike aside for a while in order to explore on foot. There are numerous walks that take you past all the beauty.


Next, we drive to Liberec, the capital of North Bohemia. Liberec is beautifully situated in the Iron Mountains, close to the border triangle with Germany and Poland. As the former textile capital of the Czech Republic, Liberec has a rich history and architecture. Therefore, there are numerous hidden gems worth visiting. A city walk is perfect to discover them. Edvard Benes Square in the centre is the lively heart of the city. It is surrounded by several colourful buildings with shops and restaurants. The eye-catcher in the square is the Town Hall, which was designed by a Viennese architect and is just a small copy of Vienna's Town Hall. Moreover, you can climb the 61 m high tower for a wide view of the city and the surrounding mountains. Other historical buildings not to be missed are the F. X. Šalda Theatre, Hotel Praha and the former North Bohemian Museum. Masrykova Street, a stately tree-lined avenue, also has a number of beautiful buildings. The most beautiful is without doubt the former Franz Joseph bathhouse, which today houses the Regional Art Gallery. If you follow this tree-lined avenue from the centre, you will reach the oldest botanical gardens in the Czech Republic and the Liberec Zoo.

Bohemian Paradise

Český Ráj, also called the Bohemian Paradise, is a protected area in the north of the Czech Republic. It consists of a vast forest with several hills along which you can find brooks, spectacular rocks and high rock pillars. The many rock formations were created by centuries of erosion and often stand together. Because of this, they are also called rock cities that suddenly appear in the landscape. The most touristic attractions are the rock towns Hrubá skalá and Prachovské skály. You will find rock labyrinths with very narrow paths leading to some beautiful views. The most popular hiking and cycling routes in the area run along these special rock formations. There are also a number of castles and fortresses in the park that you can visit. The Bohemian Paradise gives you a nice mix of the rough nature of the Czech Republic and the ancient history of the country.


Moreover, four different rivers meet in the area, making it very popular among water sports enthusiasts. Malá Skála is the ideal destination for those who love canoeing, rafting or rock climbing.

Krkonoše Mountains

This beautiful natural phenomenon forms the natural border between the Czech Republic and Poland. Each year, many tourists come to the Krkonoše Mountains, also called the Krkonose Mountains National Park, for the beautiful nature. There is an extensive network of cycling and hiking trails, and in winter, there is plenty of skiing and cross-country skiing. The absolute highlight is Sněžka. At 1602 m, it is the highest mountain in the Czech Republic. You can climb the mountain on foot or by cable car. Either way, it is a must because from the top you get a great view of the surroundings. Moreover, you are just on the border with Poland, so you can also take a look across the border. 


A nice attraction east of the Giant Mountains that should not be missed now that we are in the neighbourhood are the rocks of Adršpach. The narrow, high rock formations have been given special shapes by erosion. There are also two beautiful waterfalls, and you can take a boat trip deep between the rocks on the Adršpach lake.

Kutná Hora

After a walk among the rocks of Adršpach, we head towards Kutná Hora. On the way, we pass Kunĕtická Hora Castle, which stands high above the surrounding area. The 15th-century castle was completely destroyed by fire during the Thirty Years' War and remained a ruin for a long time. Only in the 20th century was it rebuilt, which took more than 60 years. Today, it is a museum where various wall paintings from the original castle are on display.


After a stop at the castle, we continue to Kutná Hora, also called the 'silver city' or the 'national treasury'. Between the 12th and 16th centuries, a lot of silver was extracted from the mines under the town. This gave Kutná Hora great wealth, which is still visible in the precious historical buildings, such as the impressive St Barbara Cathedral and the Cathedral of Our Lady. Other attractions are Palackého Náměstí Square and St. James' Church with the highest church tower in Bohemia. Finally, do not miss the Ossuarium. In this chapel, the bones and skulls of some 40,000 people have been used by an artist to decorate the space. A bit macabre and bizarre, but quite impressive.


When you think of the Czech Republic, the first thing that comes to mind is probably Prague. The capital has been a popular city trip destination for years and cannot be missed on our road trip. Prague is considered one of the most beautiful European capitals with a uniquely preserved historical centre. That is why the city has been on UNESCO's World Heritage List since 1992. 


The 'city of a hundred spires', as Prague is sometimes called, has many impressive buildings, imposing bridges and modern architecture. The list of must-see places in Prague is actually endless; you can easily spend three days here and not have seen anything yet. The beautiful monuments such as Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, Charles Bridge and the Astronomical Clock all demand a visit. Apart from the well-known must-sees, you should also stroll through the districts of Vinohrady, Vyšehrad or Karlín. Here you will find some beautiful parks and plenty of restaurants and nice boutiques. Finally, you cannot miss a visit to Josefov, the Jewish quarter. The different synagogues, Franz Kafka's birth house and the old Jewish cemetery make the district a special place.


Just under three hours from Prague, we arrive in Telč. This small town is known as the most beautiful medieval town in the Czech Republic and when you arrive at the square in the centre, you will immediately see why. The elongated square is surrounded by lovingly restored houses in all sorts of pastel colours that make you feel as if you are in a fairy tale. Around this wonderful square are several nice shops where you are sure to find a nice souvenir. Afterwards, you can choose a table at one of the cosy terraces to enjoy the city's cosy atmosphere. 


From the centre, you soon reach the picturesque Renaissance castle. Not only the exterior but also the interior of this complex is worth seeing. Inside, the halls and living quarters are full of splendour, and outside, the castle gardens with their hundreds of years old trees are very beautiful to stroll through.

Český Krumlov

On the way from Telč to Český Krumlov, we pass by České Budějovice. This is the largest town in South Bohemia, but it is not very well known to tourists. The suburbs are not so special, but you can certainly visit the historical centre and also the Hluboká castle just north of the city is worth a visit.


Next we drive on to the Venice of the Czech Republic. Český Krumlov is situated in a loop of the river Vltava and is included in the Unesco World Heritage List. After Prague, this town is the biggest crowd-puller in the Czech Republic and especially in the summer months it is very crowded. The hotspot is without a doubt the Krumlov Castle. Thanks to the three influential families that inhabited the castle throughout the centuries, the castle grew into a structure that is a combination of different styles.


While in the city, take some time to visit Lipno Lake, 25 km from the centre. This reservoir is about 40 km long and a real paradise for water lovers.


After visiting all these medieval towns, we head back into the countryside. Before we arrive in Pilsen, we take the time to drive through the Bohemian Forest. Together with the German part, this National Park is one of the biggest forests in Central Europe. That is why it is also called the green roof or the green lung of Europe. Walk along the glacial lakes or climb the mountain tops for a magnificent view. 


Once you arrive in Plzeň, you will see that the economic boom that the city experienced as the central commercial city of Western Bohemia has led to fascinating architecture. In the old town, typical pastel-coloured mansions in Baroque and Renaissance style still stand. The best place to admire the architecture is the Republic Square, in the centre of the city.  


Furthermore, as the name suggests, Plzeň is the birthplace of Pilsner beer. The local cafés and restaurants serve the best European beers. Today, the city is also home to one of the world's most famous breweries, the Pilsner Urquell Brewery. If you are a beer lover, a visit and a tasting are indispensable.


The last stop on this Bohemia road trip is Karlsbad, better known as Karlovy Vary. For centuries, tourists have come to this town for the healing power of its water. Due to the development of volcanic rock, the salty and sulphurous water from numerous hot springs bubbles to the surface. As a result, there are many baths and spas, and the town has been famous as a spa town since the 16th century. The location of the resort is also perfect for unwinding. In a green valley between the hills along which the small river Teplá flows, Karlsbad is perfect to end our journey through the Czech Republic.