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The French may have Paris, but the Czechs have Prague—and there's a centuries-long debate over which is Europe's most beautiful capital city. For many, Prague’s gothic architecture, imposing castles, and stone bridges spanning the Vltava River make it the hands-down winner. And the bounty of Czechia doesn't end there: the country's two historic provinces are filled with countryside villages, lauded beer and wine producers, and more.
When is the best time to visit?
Summer is the high tourist season throughout Europe, and the Czech Republic is no different. If you come to Prague in July or August, expect massive crowds in the narrow streets of its historic center and seas of selfie sticks on the city’s famed bridges. A great alternative during these months is exploration beyond Prague to Český Krumlov and the less-visited countryside.
Fall and spring visits to Prague are much more enjoyable—the spring months (March-May) are especially ideal, with pleasant weather and lower prices on flights and lodging. Winter gets very chilly in central Europe, though Prague does offer fun holiday festivities.
Where should you go?
You’d be remiss not to visit the capital. All the rumors of Prague’s jaw-dropping beauty are true. The towering Prague Castle dominates the skyline, and a stroll across iconic Charles Bridge is mandatory. The Old Town Square is a sight to behold as well, and there are amazing restaurants in this historic district (try the goulash).
If there’s one place to rival the beauty of Prague, it’s Český Krumlov. On its surface, this city in south Bohemia resembles a beautiful model village. Also situated on the Vltava River, its Old Town features historic buildings in the gothic, renaissance, and baroque architectural styles, spanning from Medieval times through the 17th century.
How many days do you need?
You can experience Prague’s highlights in three or four days. With a week you can really get to know the hidden corners of the city and enjoy its museums and historic sites. With a little over a week, you could visit Prague and travel to Český Krumlov, located about two hours south of the capital.
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