Backpacking Czech Republic

The Czech republic is known for its beer, the delicious middle-class bohemian cuisine, and its low cost of living. Perfect conditions for an adventurous backpacking trip! See the famous city of Prague and everything else the country has to offer for yourself. We hope you’ll have fun exploring our ideal backpacking route of the Czech Republic!


Important Basics

Official Language(Czech)
EnglishCzech
HelloAhoj
GoodbyeSbohem
Thank youDík
YesAno
NoNe
Capital city

Prague

Form of government

Parliamentary republic

Best Time to Visit

May to August

Fun Facts
  • Here, you’ll find the largest castle complex in the world – the Prague Castle.
  • There’s a 50-centimeter wide alley in the heart of Prague.
  • The renowned author Franz Kafka came from the Czech Republic.

Cities

Karlovy Vary

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.

Pilsen

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.

České Budějovice

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!

Prague

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.


Karlovy Vary

Karlovy Vary

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.

Pilsen

Pilsen

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.

České Budějovice

České Budějovice

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!

Prague

Prague

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.

Czech Republic Route Map

Itinerary and Stops.

Tag
Route/Station
Transport
Unterkunft
1. Home - Karlovy Vary
Home - Karlovy Vary
Bus
25
4-person dorm
25
2. Karlovy Vary
Karlovy Vary
-
4-person dorm
25
3. Karlovy Vary - Pilsen
Karlovy Vary - Pilsen
Bus
5
Double room
32
4. Pilsen
Pilsen
-
Double room
32
5. Pilsen - České Budějovice
Pilsen - České Budějovice
train
7
Bed in a dorm
18
6. České Budějovice
České Budějovice
-
Bed in a dorm
18
7. České Budějovice - Prague
České Budějovice - Prague
train
8
8-person dorm
15
8. Prague
Prague
-
8-person dorm
15
9. Prague
Prague
-
8-person dorm
15
10. Prague - Home
Prague - Home
Bus
25

Total price.

Flights 0,00
Transportation 70,00
Tours 0,00
Accommodation 195,00
Total265,00

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Dos and Donts, Food & Drinks, Costs.

Breakfast

Wheat rolls:  like in Germany, Czech people eat bread and jam for breakfast.

Soups

Bramborová polvéka: potato soup is particularly creamy and spicy in the Czech Republic. It’s flavored with cilantro and dill.

Zelnacka: this soup is made from sauerkraut and consists of a vegetable broth with lots of carrots.

Main courses

Vepro knedlo zélo: the typical Czech meal consists of roast pork and dumplings. You can pick between potato or cabbage dumplings dripped in a delicious sauce.

Knedlíky: this dish consists exclusively of dumplings with a mixed salad. You can choose between meat or fish, or you can pick the vegetarian option.

Bamborové: the potato noodles in the Czech Republic are also served sweet or simply with breadcrumbs and a creamy sauce.

Sladké knedlíky: these sweet dumplings are prepared with semolina and curd cheese, filled, then served with poppy seeds or jam. With vanilla sauce, it’s just delicious!

Pecená kachna: Czechs love roast duck, served with a mixture of herbs.

Drinks & Snacks

Prague Gingerbread: every traveler in Prague dreams of eating the typical gingerbread – don’t worry, you can buy them during any season.

Prague ham: the city’s ham has a great reputation and you can even taste it at small stands before buying it.

Herbal liqueur: Jan Becher is a famous herbal liqueur from the Czech Republic.

Czech Republic

The exchange rate for 100 Czech crowns is around €4.05 (as of May 2022). See prices for certain products and the cost of living below:

Cost of living

Food

Free time

Personal hygiene

Dos

Leave valuable things at home: the Czech Republic is not very safe when it comes to theft, so you should either not take your valuables with you at all or keep them under control at all times.

Check the bill: it is not uncommon to cheat a little, and the waiter might add something to the bill. Always check several times!

Beyond Prague: Yes, the capital is attractive and a real highlight, especially for backpackers. But the Czech Republic is not only Prague , so explore the rest of the country as well.

Don'ts

Exchanging currency on the street: whether in Prague or any other city, it is recommended to exchange currency at home or at an official branch.

Calling for a taxi: Taxis and tourists are not a good combination in the Czech Republic, and there are often fraud and scams. It’s always best to take the bus to stay on the safe side.

Visa, Visa, Passport & Vaccinations

Passport

Yes

Temporary passport

Yes

National ID

Yes

Temporary national ID

Yes

Child’s pass

Yes

Visa

(Not necessary)

Vaccine

Robert Koch Instituts

Additional Remarks.

The travel document must be valid at least until the end of the trip.

The team at Backpacker Trail wishes you lots of fun and an unforgettable trip!

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