Prague has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. So I was super excited when the opportunity came to do a road trip there. We had a few weeks for vacation, so we decided to spend it traveling through the Czech Republic. We quickly realized there are so many things to do in the Czech Republic that it would be impossible to do them all.
Plus, traveling with a toddler meant reorganizing the way we traveled by prioritizing her needs during the trip. Unable to make my usual travel itinerary, my type A brain short-circuited for a moment before accepting that traveling was going to be different now. The only thing I planned before setting out was our accommodations at each destination. Turns out, this way of traveling allows you to experience the destination in a different way.
1. R&R in Karlovy Vary
Our first stop was Karlovy Vary. The only feature I knew about Karlovy Vary was its natural thermal pools, which sounded relaxing. Everything I read online said one to two days was enough time to take in the sights here. But we spent six days to avoid the hassle of moving around too frequently with our young traveler.
The city centre is absolutely beautiful, with a main promenade lined with recently renovated art nouveau and art deco buildings. We spent three of our six days leisurely wandering the streets, stopping to drink thermal water from the hot springs available throughout the city, and even spent an afternoon in the pool and sauna at Hotel Thermal.
We spent another day visiting Saint Leonard’s Game Reserve and hiking to Diana Observation Tower. The views are stunning from the tower and quite far-reaching. It was well worth the climb. One of our more interesting days was spent at Loket Castle. The castle is well-maintained and a stunning example of 12th-century Gothic architecture. This is a must see, especially the dungeons.
For our toddler, our best find in Karlovy Vary was Rolava Outdoor Grounds—a huge park with multiple playgrounds for kids of all ages, a restaurant and bar, small lakes for swimming, and plenty of rental equipment for all sorts of activities. In Karlovy Vary, it was easy to plan our trip one day at a time without the pressure of needing to check off must-see tourist sites from our list.
2. Hiking in Hruba Skala
We spent two days in Turnov to visit Hruba Skala and the gorgeous geological rock formations of the Bohemian Paradise. Turnov is a small, quiet town and a great place to stay before a day in the mountains. From Turnov, Castle Hill is easily accessible by car. There are lots of routes to choose from, which are colour coded. The signage is pretty decent, making for an easy day trip without getting lost.. As the Cesky Raj website suggested, we took the yellow trail to Valdstejn Castle, where we encountered a medieval fair – a fun surprise!
On the way back, we took the red and blue routes. The routes led us through the Hruba Skala Rock City, including some very narrow pathways! There also are plenty of lookouts with incredible views of ancient rock formations with signage explaining the geological importance of the area. Although not all the trails are kid-friendly (hello steep cliffs!), our toddler was able to walk some parts of the trails and enjoy the surrounding nature and engaging greenery.
3. Crossing Borders in the Krkonose Mountains
We didn’t know before our arrival how popular this area in the Czech Republic is, but we quickly realized as it was full of hikers, mountain bikers, motorcyclists, and tourists. While we were there, we decided to cross into Poland for a day, with the goal of getting up to the highest peak: Sniezka. Unfortunately, when traveling with a toddler, plans can change, and we didn’t make it to the top. Instead, we did the Karpatka route, which gave us amazing views of the mountains and led us to an original 13th-century Norwegian church, Vang Stave Church.
We would’ve loved more time to explore Krkonoše National Park. The nearby towns are quaint and traditional, with green mountains filling the horizon. We will surely include another trip to the park if we ever return to the area.
4. Touring Prague
We started our tour of Prague by going to the viewing terrace at the Dancing House, an office building of unique design built in the 1990s. From up there, you can’t see the architecture of the Dancing House, but you have great views of Prague along the Vltava River. To best experience Old Town, we joined a free walking tour where we visited all the must-sees of Prague centre: Powder Tower, Old Town Square, the famous astrological clock, Wenceslas Square, Josefov Jewish Quarter, and much more.
What is considered Prague Castle is a huge area. With so much to see, it‘s easy to get overwhelmed and lost here, so I’m glad we joined another free walking tour to explore this area. Our guide took us around the castle district before arriving at the gates at noon to watch the changing of the guard. Then we went into the castle where we were shown: the Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica, St. Vitus Cathedral, and part of the royal gardens. From the castle district, we wandered down into Mala Strana, which is considered the “lesser town” of Prague. It was really beautiful and had a totally different vibe. From here, crossing the Charles Bridge is spectacular. The views are amazing as you walk across this hundreds of years old bridge.
5. Day Trip and More Things to Do in the Czech Republic
Prague is full of interesting architecture along its narrow streets, so we needed half a day to just wander and take photos – trying to see whatever we missed on the walking tours. On the advice of a friend, we made a day trip to Kutná Hora to visit Sedlec Ossuary, known as the cemetery church. The interior is decorated with human bones (yes, you read that correctly!), some of which date to the 14th-century. It’s a truly incredible sight to see; but while intriguingly beautiful, it’s also a little creepy.
Prague has so much to offer, but it’s not easy to do things without an itinerary. We missed some sights due to our toddler, including a nighttime tour, sunset boat ride, Vysehrad, Klementinum, and Strahov Monasteries, but I feel we made the best of our four-day stay there.
Lots Left to See
We were lucky to travel by car to see some unique places in the Czech Republic. It’s an interesting country with a rich history and culture. It has a lot to offer tourists – from mountains to cities to relatively unknown areas, there’s something for everyone. Since we toured the north half of the Czech Republic, we’re hoping to return soon to check out the southern half. We want to visit Ostrava, the Punkva Caves, Konopiste Castle, Cesky Krumlov, Karlstejn Castle, Brno, and so much more. Whether you make big plans for your visit or go with the flow each day, I highly recommend a visit to this Eastern European region.
21 thoughts on “5 Things to Do in the Czech Republic”
I would love to see the Czech Republic in person one day. I had no idea it was so gorgeous! It sounds like an amazing place.
Beautiful pictures and it looks like you all had a wonderful time.
Wow! It looks like a really wonderful experience! Such a really beautiful place to visit!
Awesome things to do there. I will keep this list because I am going with my partner soon. Thank you for sharing!
WOW! The trip of a lifetime for sure! Thanks for letting me travel thru you 🙂 – would love to get there some day!
It looks like there’s tons to do! I love all the photos. I’d love to visit one day.
WOW so beautiful! One day I sure hope to visit Czech Republic looks like there is so much to see, loving all your pictures!
We will eventually make it around the world! This is another fun destination to consider.
So many things to see and visit. This will keep me busy.
Prague is so high on my bucket list! I would love to take the time to do the hike too- it looks stunning!
These are beautiful pictures. The Czech Republic looks peaceful. I will love to take part in these activities one day.
I’d love to go to The Czech Republic! It looks so gorgeous and the scenery is to die for. I’ve had friends go before on backpacking/adventure holidays and they loved it!
This looks like such a great destination. Would love to visit some day
Touring Prague really stands out for me, I’d love to go through it.
What a beautiful place to visit. Loved your photos. I hope I can visit here one day.
There’s a lot of amazing things to do in Czech Republic! I would really like to go there!
It would be neat to check out these sights. Sounds so interesting between the history and architecture and everything else.
I always want to travel to Europe, of course with Czech Republic on the list. For sure I will use this post as the guide for my next trip to CR.
I love to see this place in real someday. It’s so amazingly beautiful
Wow, one of the most fascinating countries in Europe, the Czech Republic has it all.
I love the captivating medieval core of Prague and the countless magical castles scattered throughout the country. So many things to do here.