A lot has been written and talked about Prague but there is so much more to the Czech Republic. I put together a list of my favourite experiences (in no particular order).
Some are more personal and may be harder to recreate but they all should give you some ideas for your trip and, I hope, will encourage you to explore the country beyond Prague.
Czechs consume more beer per capita than any other nationality in the world (they even leave Germany behind) so what better place than the Czech Republic to immerse yourself in the beer experience even more?
I put a beer spa on my must-do list when I started researching Czech Republic. And all my beer dreams came true in Svachovka Hotel near Český Krumlov.
What is a beer spa? It’s a relaxing bath that consists of beer mixed with water and herbs. In this case, at Beer bath Glokner at Svachovka, it was 30 litres of special beer with water and yeast at a nice temperature of 38°C. What makes the experience even better is that you get unlimited beer on tap, which you can reach without leaving the tub.
It can be quite a romantic experience or it can make for a cool story when you end up there with a fellow travel blogger of opposite sex you met 24 hours earlier.
Hot air balloon flight over Brno
Hot air balloon flight was one of those dreams I had but I was always too scared to realise it. And I would probably linger over the decision much longer if it wasn’t for the FAM trip I was a part of, where one of the activities turned out to be a hot air balloon flight.
And what a fantastic experience it was! We started the day very early (had to wake up before 5am) at what felt like a very random spot – car park in front of Tesco. I was standing there almost hypnotised by the process of preparing the hot air balloon for the flight, when suddenly it was go time – we were invited to step inside the basket. There was no time for thinking, being terrified or panicking. Once all 8 of us were inside the basket the takeoff happened in seconds. We quickly gained height and started cruising over Brno.
Just imagine an early morning, first rays of light, the air still a bit chilly and complete silence (the silence wasn’t constant, but when no one talked and the fire wasn’t blasting, it was perfectly quiet). It was very peaceful and felt like a dream.
After about an hour we were ready to land on a field outside of Brno. Our pilot prepared us well, told us about the correct position, counted us down and… the wind picked up. We landed sideways and were dragged for a couple of meters. Everyone was absolutely fine and we actually couldn’t stop laughing about it.
After that, on a random field near the village of Bratčice, it was time for “baptism” and celebrations with champagne. An unforgettable morning for sure.
Sightseeing with wine in Mikulov
What started as a regular wine tasting in Rodinné Vinařství Mikulov turned into an unique guided sightseeing of the town of Mikulov with wine glasses in hand.
I think no one in the group expected this turn of events. After tasting some wines, we were told to take our glasses and follow Petr – our guide. We went on a little walk through Mikulov’s main square, up the castle hill and into the castle’s cellars. On the way, Petr talked about Mikulov wines with passion and knowledge while also pouring us glasses of wines.
We learned a lot, laughed a lot and felt pretty relaxed by lunchtime. Highly recommended. A similar experience can be booked through the Mikulov Winemakers website.
Aunties in Ježov
Visiting aunties in Ježov in South Moravia was an absolute treat. Dressed beautifully, they greeted us with a folk song and poured some home-made wine. After the warm welcome, we were invited inside where we ate freshly baked koláče and enjoyed more wine and more songs. I wished we could stay there all day (or all summer, I don’t mind).
Cycling through the countryside (after wine)
To be honest, I was a bit sceptical about this one at first. It was way over 30°C. We started the day by tasting a lot (A LOT!) of wines, had a boozy lunch, walked around in the scorching sun and then were presented with the bike riding activity.
As I don’t have too many chances to ride a bike, I, of course, said yes to the ride. It was rather pleasant as we cycled mostly through forested areas. There were a couple of stops along the way and the pace was on the slower side.
The 10km route from the beautiful palace of Lednice to the town of Valtice turned out to be a great ending to a great day. Note to self: don’t be so sceptical.
Crashing a wedding
It wasn’t as epic as I had imagined it to be. But here’s one off my bucket list!
When we arrived for a night at Hotel Orlik and saw a wedding happening in the front garden, I knew I want to invite myself to the party. I just didn’t want to do it by myself. After asking all my new blogger-friends to join me, I heard yes from Jason, my accomplice.
The wedding didn’t look too lively when we arrived after 10pm. We brought a bottle of rum as a wedding gift but the bride and groom were nowhere to be seen. So we went straight for the dance floor and danced our little hearts out. Most guests were too drunk or too preoccupied with other things to even notice us, but some joined us in dancing. We decided that we brought the party back to life and left feeling accomplished (and a bit tired from all that jumping).
Tractor ride through vineyards
We arrived in style for lunch at Penzion Pastuška – by a tractor! We were all seated on a trailer with 2 long benches along the sides and driven around vineyards. Some of us got slapped by some low hanging branches, some scratched by spikey plants but everyone had fun nevertheless. For me, it brought childhood summer memories of riding on tractors with my neighbours. Good times.
Late night wellness
Getting completely naked with new blogger friends? Why not.
One of the most relaxing things that happened to me in the Czech Republic was a late night visit to wellness & spa resort Infinit Maximus. We all got naked, left our phones in the lockers and had very lazy 2 hours. I spent a lot of that time chatting to the beautiful Eulanda (of Hey! Dip your toes in) and seen more “gentleman sausages” than ever before. Others attended a sauna ceremony, which also sounded quite enjoyable.
Coffee adventures with Northern Hikes
What was the most interesting place you had your coffee at? My recent favourite was on top of a mountain during our day trip out of Prague with Northern Hikes. Three types of coffee, three methods of brewing plus hiking and exploring labyrinths.
Discovering the Czech Republic Beyond Prague
During the time I spent in the Czech Republic this summer, I had a chance to travel and explore quite a bit – not just in Prague. The entire country has a lot to offer and is worth seeing & experiencing. There were some beautiful castles and chateaus, with Hluboka nad Vltavou and Lednice Chateau being my favourites. Some colourful city squares and quaint villages (like Holašovice). Wine regions and fantastic craft breweries. Some places, no matter big or small, had a surprisingly interesting food & drinks scene (like Brno or Tabor) and some, like Ostrava, were just surprising us on every step.