For such a young country, the Czech Republic has a long, proud history. Before becoming a republic in 1993, 75 years as part of Czechoslovakia and hundreds of years as the separate entities of Bohemia and Moravia have shaped a culture that has some things in common with its neighbours but is quite unique. The food is familiar – dumplings and goulash are favourites – but the Eastern European love of vodka is replaced by a very Central European passion for beer! Learn Czech in the Czech Republic and you can explore one of Europe’s most vibrant, exciting countries on your own terms.
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Capital city Prague is charming by day and pulsating at night. No wonder it has become one of Europe’s top destinations and a cool student hub. In contrast to the grand architecture and bright lights of the capital, rural Moravia is home to unexpectedly fine vineyards, orchards and striking mountains. Regional capital Brno is famed for its beautiful streets, relaxed pace of life and old world charm. If you are into architecture, be sure to check out the stunning Villa Tugendhat, which is one of a very small list of Twentieth Century constructions to be given UNESCO World Heritage Status.
If all of the cultural activities get too much for you, retreat to one of the country’s 37 spa towns and enjoy mineral rich water, mud and gasses in traditional Czech style. Or if you prefer to see landscape from a saddle, both horse riders and cyclists are very well catered for. Much of the Czech network of cycle trails is connected to EUROVELO, so you can cycle from Prague to Vienna and beyond!
One great Czech festival to catch is Čarodějnice (night of the witches), a modern version of an old pagan festival. On the last evening in April, bonfires are lit around the country. Traditionally, models of witches are burnt on the fire in homage to the Christian inquisition, although nowadays – perhaps in preference for the witches over the inquisitors – the witches are often spared! Return to introduction...