The Czech Republic is a small land with a lot to give. Wander through medieval towns and dramatic castles, explore areas of wild mountains and sip world-renowned beer in the bohemian cultural heart of Eastern Europe whilst enjoying the view. Nestled between the German state of Saxony, Poland, Austria and the Trencin Region of Slovakia, self catering Czech Republic holiday homes are rich rewards for adventurous tourists wishing to experience the mysteries and delights of the two ancient lands of a vibrant, modern European country. A relaxing and modern urban apartment, for example in the capital, Prague, and rural breaks in cosy Czech cottages are also well catered for throughout the land and are readily available to book. Late spring and early autumn are perfect times to travel to this location; the weather is mild and attractions are pleasantly quiet, making this the ideal time to make your booking in a holiday rental property here. Despite the fact that the Czech Republic is part of the European Union, it has not yet taken on the euro, and although the change was supposed to take place in 2010 it was then postponed indefinitely, as most of the Czech population are against the currency change. British citizens don't need a visa to travel to the Czech Republic, and they don't need to have any extra validity after the duration of your stay either, so your holidays in Czech Republic will be stress free!
City Breaks in the Czech Republic
The Czech Republic has lots of charming cities with a rich culture and a unique architectural style, as well as boasting lots more historical sites than many other European cities have managed to preserve due to the fact that the country wasn't bombed during either of the World Wars. The capital, Prague, is often considered as one of the most beautiful cities, and thanks to its abundance of great, old buildings with tall steeples which can be easily seen in the skyline when looking across the rooftops, it is sometimes known as the City of a Hundred Spires. If you fly into Prague, it is easy to get to the centre via airport shuttle bus, and from there you can take public transport such as metros and trams to get you to where you need to go, although the two main tourist sites are close enough to one another that they can be reached by foot. The city's entire central Old Town is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, filled with breath-taking buildings and monuments from many different historical periods. Visit Prague Castle, said to be the largest in the world, the Cathedral of St Vitus, or walk across the amazing Charles Bridge where you'll get the best views across the city. If you're staying in a Czech Republic holiday rental in Prague during the winter months, make sure you don't miss the Christmas markets which are held in the Old Town Square and soak up the festive atmosphere as well as local cultures such as traditional foods and, of course, Czech beers too. Prague is in a great central location within Europe, making it easy, quick, and sometimes also very cheap to get to other cities in the vicinity, such as Bratislava, Vienna and Budapest. If you want to discover the Prague nightlife that is on offer, then you'll find plenty to keep you entertained, whether you prefer to sit in a quiet pub and enjoy the atmosphere, or if you want to really let your hair down and try out the numerous clubs that can be found here.
The second-largest Czech city, Brno, is also a favourite destination amongst those who rent Czech Republic holiday homes here to discover its castles, such as Buchlov, Jevisovice and Bitov castles, and pretty historic centre with its Baroque and Renaissance buildings. Although Brno is becoming more well known amongst foreign visitors, it is sure to be a lot less busy than the capital, as it has not yet been discovered by the masses, thus offering you an insight into the real Czech lifestyle. Things to do here include a trip to the City Theatre, or Městské Divadlo where you can see live shows with music from the theatre's very own orchestra, many of which are classical pieces. If you're not interested in theatre, there are plenty of other activities such as taking a walk through the town and viewing the historic sights such as the oldest square in Brno, Freedom Square, Capuchin Crypt and Church, the Špilberk Castle which houses the city museum, the Catherdral of St. Peter and Paul, or for something more modern, the Villa Tugendhat, an iconic modern architectural piece which is now also a UNESCO site. Explore exhibitions in one of the many museums, including the Moravian Museum, the oldest in the Czech Republic, or if the weather is nice then relax in one of the city's parks and gardens, like Špilberk Park, which has a cultural heritage status. If you're in Brno during the months of May or June, don't miss out on the events of Ignis Brunensis, the annual festival which brings a great atmosphere as well as lots of activities including an international fireworks competition. The nightlife here is usually buzzing, particularly on a friday night, and pubs and bars are usually full. As there is a large student population here, there are a lot of cool, new places to try out with a younger clientele, as well as alternative and jazz venues alongside the usual, mainstream places.
Ostrava is also an up-and-coming tourist destination in the Czech Republic, and it is a great location to travel to if you want a city break. The annual multi-genre music festival, the Colours of Ostrava, is held in July and brings many well known performers and tourists, as well as other performances and workshops for its visitors. Ostrava is located in the very east of the country, on the border into Poland, so it is easy to take a trip to the Polish city of Kraków. You can do this journey by bus, which will only take around 2 and a half hours, so you could get there and back to your Czech Republic holiday rentals within a day. The sleepless Stodolní Street in Ostrava is becoming somewhat of a legend due to its amount of bars and clubs, and it is a hub of social activity for those who enjoy the nightlife in Ostrava, although there are plenty of other venues throughout the city that offer a similar atmosphere.
Other main places to visit include Liberec, Pilsen (yes, it is where the beer comes from), Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad) and Zlín. Liberec in North Bohemia, surrounded by mountains and filled with Germanic architecure due to the fact that it used to be part of Germany. A perfect example of this is the town hall, which is a smaller adaptation of the one in Vienna, designed by the same architect. Zlín is a modern metropolis which is also surrounded by beautiful nature, making it a great destination for Czech Republic walking holidays. There are plenty of hiking and cycling trips available here, as well as boat trips on the River Moravia, and after you've had a tiring day walking you can even visit a spa, although Zlín isn't as famous for its spas as Karlovy Vary on the other side of the country.
Skiing holidays in the Czech Republic
Whether you're a big fan of skiing and regularly fly down the slopes in places like Austria, Italy and Switzerland, or if you've never put on a pair of skis before but you'd like to have a go, then there will be a ski resort suitable for you in the Czech Republic. Perhaps you've been on so many ski holidays you're getting tired of the same resorts and the high prices that the rest of Europe has to offer. If this is the case, then a skiing holiday in Czech Republic might just be the solution! Although the Czech mountains may not be the highest in Europe, they do offer a great length of cross country ski trails, the most popular of which being found in the Krkonoše mountain range, although there are also many ski areas in the Bohemian Forest which is situated along the German-Czech border. Lipno Ski Resort is one of the most popular, as it has something for everyone. There are difficult slopes for more advanced skiers, as well as Fox Park where the children can learn to ski if they haven't been before, and it is even possible to ice skate on the frozen Lipno Dam. Harrachov is particularly attractive, and has regularly hosted continental and world cups and ski jumping competitions, and Špindlerův Mlýn is not only one of the most visited towns for skiing, but also has the most runs in the country and also boasts lots of opportunities for other winter activities such as mountain biking, hiking and cross country skiing.