Your first stop is Karlovy Vary, not far from the German border. Due to the proximity to Germany and the historical past as part of Bohemia, many locals also speak German. Karlovy Vary is one of the most famous spa towns in the world. It’s fairly small, with about 50,000 residents. Nevertheless, you can spend two or three relaxing days here.
The highlight of the small town is the Diana funicular. The two small trains take tourists up the nearby mountain, from where you’ll have a wonderful panoramic view.
The renowned hot springs are located at the Market Colonnade and the Mill Colonnade. Both buildings are Swiss style wooden structures. You’ll see them right away when walking through the old town. Here, you can also taste the incredibly healthy water, which has healing properties. But be warned: the water doesn’t taste good.
While exploring the city, you will pass another world-famous location: the Grandhotel Pupp, which was founded in 1701, and served as the location for the James Bond film Casino Royal. This small place has a lot to offer.
If the Grandhotel Pupp is too fancy for you, we recommend staying over night in one of the Karlsbad hostels. You can get a bed in a 4-person dorm for €25 a night.
The tour continues to the city of Pilsen, which you can reach within a one-hour drive south. There is a direct bus connection for only €5. Pilsen is not only the fourth largest city in the country, but also an important commercial hub for Bohemia. The fact that the city shares its name with the famous beer brand is no coincidence either.
It’s clear that the city’s name is eponymous to the Pilsen beer. Beer lovers are sure to get 100% of their money's worth here, but travelers who aren’t particularly fan of beer can also learn a lot on a tour of the cellar brewery. The historic cellars from the 14th century are worth a visit, as is the beer museum in the old town.
In recent years, Pilsen has increasingly become the less touristy alternative to Prague. The city is just as historical, just as charming, and mostly without the swarm of tourists.
You can spend the night in one of the guesthouses in Prague. You can get a double room for about €32 a night.
We continue on to the southern part of Bohemia and its most important city, České Budějovice. Similarly to Pilsen, the city is also pretty small. Nevertheless, the old town center is very charming and invites you to stroll around. The houses in the old town are in baroque style and painted in soft pastel colors. There are plenty of small cafes where you should definitely stop for a sweet treat in the afternoon.
The most photogenic square in town is Piaristen Square, not far from the main square itself. It’ll make for a great Instagram picture! Right next door, there’s a Gothic style log cabin. The house is part of the old city wall and dates back to the 15th century. The architectural style is simple but unmistakable.
The most famous export of the city is the Budweiser Bier (Budějovice beer). The brewery was founded in 1895 and is now internationally renowned. Locals prefer to drink their beer in one of the small, inconspicuous restaurants. The beer is still really cheap there. You can often get one liter for only €3. You can also enjoy the delicious Bohemian cuisine at the same time. Don’t be afraid of calories though, because Bohemian food’s main ingredients are love and concentrated butter.
The nightlife in České Budějovice has also developed considerably. You’ll have the opportunity to switch between beer, wine, or cocktails. There are plenty of chill bars with live music and electro clubs. There’s something for everyone here!
You can sleep in one of České Budějovice’s hostels for the night. A bed in a dorm costs about €18 and is a great opportunity to get to meet new people!
Your next stop will bring you to the much renowned capital city of Prague. Take the train north from České Budějovice. The train ride takes about 2 hours and costs €8.
Because of its history, ancient buildings, and culinary delights, Prague went from an unknown destination to one of the most visited cities in Europe. We will try to introduce you to a few undiscovered places away from the classic attractions.
Everyone knows the Prague Castle, but did you know that it is the largest castle complex in the world? Put Google Maps to the side, walk around the castle and see what you can discover by getting lost in the alleys.
After crossing the famous Charles Bridge, make a stop at Vltava Beach. It is of course not a beach in the true sense of the word, but rather a sandy spot by the river and home to the swans that swim across the Vltava every day.
You’ll see that Prague is not only a tourist city when exploring the weekly market at Jiřího z Poděbrad square. You’ll mainly find locals shopping here. You’ll get to taste regional fruits, as well as bread, cheese, and sausages from the surrounding farms. See, you can still find some quiet spots even in a bustling city like Prague.
If this is your first time in Prague, you shouldn't miss the famous sights, as they have many interesting stories to tell. These include the Jewish quarter, the birthplace of the writer Kafka, and of course the many imposing buildings, like the Prague City Hall and its mechanical clock.
In the capital, the choice of hostels and cheap accommodation is seemingly endless. You can get a bed in an 8-person dorm for €15 and make some new contacts with other travelers.