Although the Czech Republic, also known under its new name Czechia, has only been founded in 1993 after the fall of the Eastern Bloc and the separation from neighboring Slovakia, the country has a long and storied history. Czechia has at times been an independent duchy, a part of the Roman Empire, a kingdom, a part of the Habsburg monarchy and a Soviet-influenced bloc state. All of these epochs left their mark in the country in one way or another.
Apart from Slovakia, the Czech Republic shares borders with Poland, Germany and Austria. As it is a member of both the European Union and the Schengen Agreement, the landlocked country does not have a real outside border anymore. Czechia has mountains along its northern, eastern and western borders with elevations mostly in the 1200-1600 meters range. The rest of the country is lower but also hilly in nature.
Those borderlands are also popular tourist destinations as the mountainous areas have plenty of outdoor opportunities from hiking in the summer to skiing in the winter. The vast, mixed forests and the basins of the Elbe, Vitava and Oder rivers are home to valuable ecosystems. The Czech Republic has designated four national parks, all of which are located at the edges of the country’s outline.
Within the Czech Republic, the capital Prague is by far the most important tourist destination, accounting for more overnight stays by foreigners than the rest of the country taken together. With its mix of architecture from Romanesque to Gothic and with major attractions such as the Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge and the Old Town the capital ranks among the five most-visited cities in all of Europe.
Another popular destination is the region around Karlovy Vary in the westernmost corner of the country. The city of Karlovy Vary alone has more than 80 springs and several more can be found in the towns of the area, where the water is being used to operate spas and fuels a thriving food and beverage industry. Other places worth a visit include the historic South Moravia region around Brno and the historic city of Plzeň in western Bohemia.
List of articles on Czechia:
|Cities and towns
|Sights and attractions