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Die Karlsbrücke in Prag, Bild: Robert Ivaysyuk / shuttertstock

Czech Republic – the cuisine of Bohemia and the charm of Prague

Wait and see and drink beer! This comes very close to the philosophy of life of the people in the Czech Republic. They had to exercise patience and humility for a long time before the tender buds of the “Prague Spring” developed into a blossom of freedom. At that time, in the spring of 1968, a “socialism with a human face” was supposed to emerge, but with the so-called “Manifesto of Two Thousand Words” the hope for an end to Soviet influence sank. The troops of the Eastern Bloc destroyed all dreams. This period of history has long been a thing of the past – Czechoslovakia gave rise to Slovakia and the Czech Republic. And this, in contrast to the armed conflicts in Yugoslavia, was done peacefully. Today, peace has returned to Prague, the historic heart of the Czech Republic. Wait and drink beer – the latter can be enjoyed in the capital’s cosy pubs.

Czech Republic, Trdelnik
Trdelník – A traditional Czech pastry, Image: LALS STOCK / shutterstock

Many holidaymakers say goodbye to the beautiful and old city on the Vltava after their stay with the feeling that this metropolis is still allowing itself a breather after the time of political turmoil and oppression. A certain melancholy has settled over Prague, and the familiar silhouette with the pointed towers and the aging bridges over the wide river are by no means a contradiction to the architectural playground of the “Dancing House”, which has become one of the city’s greatest attractions. The builders got their inspiration from the legendary dance couple Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. The glass Ginger snuggles up to her dance partner Fred and his “hat” is a tubular construction borrowed from Greek mythology and the head of Medusa.

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At the foot of the “Dancing House” the tram still twitches. If you want to explore Prague at a leisurely pace, you should buy a ticket for the “tram”. Its route length is more than 140 kilometres. Of course, as a holidaymaker, you should stroll through the famous Wenceslas Square, which is now lined with restaurants, hotels and boutiques and is basically more of a boulevard than a square. It got its name from the Czech national saint, Wenceslas of Bohemia. Wenceslas Square is the epitome of historical events in this country, not only for the Czechs.

The castle in Český Krumlov, Image: Veronika Galkina / shutterstock

The Old Town Square with the Týn Church, the Kinsky Palace, the House of the Stone Bell and the Town Hall is the traditional meeting place of the inhabitants of Prague, and it is here, in addition to the Baroque Hussite Church of St. Nicholas, that the birthplace of the writer Franz Kafka is also located. There is really no shortage of sights in Prague , but if you want to fortify yourself after an extensive visit, you will also get your money’s worth in this metropolis. For example, in the Deminka restaurant, where you can take a seat at wooden tables and be served everything that makes up Bohemian cuisine under the stucco-decorated ceilings: garlic soup, goulash and dumplings. In the pubs, by the way, you shouldn’t be surprised if you get a glass of beer without having ordered it. This is so common – even in the evening restaurant with the strange name “Zum ausschussenen Auge”, which resembles a witch’s house from the outside.

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And if you leave the slightly dusty charm of the city of Prague here and there, you will soon find yourself in an idyllic nature with hills that turn into mountains here and there, with green valleys, dense forests and pointed rocks. If you hike there, you can’t really get lost, because the Czech Republic can rightly boast of having one of the best hiking systems in the world. In the Giant Mountains, the source of the Elbe beckons, in the west, holidaymakers walk in the footsteps of former precious metal miners and in the wonderful landscape of South Moravia, fine wines mature.

Historic towns, picturesque villages and well-preserved castles line the tourist routes of the Czech Republic. They are all worth staying there for more than just a flying visit.

Travel information Czech Republic

Capital Prague
Form of government Parliamentary Republic
Parliamentary democracy
Currency Czech koruna (CZK)
Area approx. 78,866 km²
Population approx. 10,578,820 (2016)
Languages Czech Republic
Electricity grid 230 volts, 50 Hz
Area code +420
Time zone UTC+1 CET
UTC+2 CEST (March to October)