This little country is a treasure trove full of history, with its beautiful old castles and medieval towns. In the Czech Republic, you will find culture everywhere, especially in the capital city, Prague, with its historical monuments, fascinating architecture, beautiful churches and incredible works of art.
Just outside the city, you’ll find numerous extraordinary sights including the giant Gothic castle in Karlštejn that dates back to the 14th Century and a church made out of human bones in KutnaHorá. The country offers countless natural attractions including snow-capped mountains, wild forests, a fabulous wine region, extraordinary rock formations – and the best beer in the world.
Why visit the Czech Republic
Its excellent central location places you within convenient reach of many European cities, including Vienna and Berlin.
Influential writer Franz Kafka was born in Prague.
The spas here are legendary and include beer spas – seriously!
The country has a rich and complex history, evident in its picture-perfect towns and villages.
There are plenty of healing mineral springs and therapeutic resources to enjoy.
It may be a small country but its rich history, incredible architecutre and excellent food make it one of the most popular countries to visit on holiday.On a holiday in the charming Czech Republic, you’ll find history and castles, a choice of fun and fascinating activities, friendly people and superb beer and wine. It’s the ideal location for a family holiday, time out with friends, a romantic getaway or solo experience. Let Thompsons Holidays arrange your fabulous Czech Republic travel package for you.
Things to do in the Czech Republic
Charming, historic, beautiful and diverse, the Czech Republic is a delight to explore. It may be a small country, but it’s full of places to visit and things to do. Wherever you go in the Czech Republic, you’ll find charming little towns, many unchanged for centuries, with beautiful old churches and public squares.
Its capital, Prague, is an excellent base from which to explore numerous attractions just outside the city by car, including national parks such as one called Bohemian Paradise, so-named because of its incredible natural beauty including various stunning rock formations and beautiful old castles. The wine-growing region of Moravia is another area worth visiting, with its rolling hills and pristine forests as well as renowned wines.
Things to do in the Czech Republic
See fairytale Karlstejn Castle, constructed in 1348 to house the crown jewels of Roman Emperor Charles IV.
Visit the 1,000-year-old Prague Castle, the largest castle in the world.
Discover the Cathedral of St Peter and Paul in Brno’s old city.
Explore the famous Bone Church, the Gothic All Saints Chapel in Sedlec created out of human bones.
Enjoy an authentic Czech spa experience in Karlovy Vary.
See Prague’s Astronomical Clock, the oldest in the world, installed in the city in 1410.
Step back in time and visit the historic town of Cesky Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Visit one of Moravia’s most awe-inspiring cave systems, the Punkva Caves.
See extraordinary rock formations at Hruboskalsko.
Go beer tasting at the Pilsner Urquell Brewery in Pilsen.
Explore the Cathedral of St Barbara in Kutna Hora with its 15th Century frescoes.
Glorious food, famous beer and wine, friendly people, breathtaking attractions, medieval villages and plenty of castles... the Czech Republic has it all. Explore the country on an unforgettable holidaypackage with Thompsons Holidays.
The best time to visit the Czech Republic is in spring (mid-March to mid-May) and autumn (September to mid-November).
High season is from June to August.
You will have to stopover in a European location en route to Prague from Johannesburg, such as Munich, Zurich, Amsterdam, Istanbul, etc. You will then catch a connecting flight to Prague in the Czech Republic.
The flight duration from South Africa with one stopover is 12 hours, 45 minutes.
Do I need a visa?
South African passport holders require a Schengen visa to enter the Czech Republic.
Passports should be valid for at least 3 months after travel and have blank pages.
What time is it?
The Czech Republic is on Central European Time, 1 hour behind South Africa during the winter (November to March) and the same time as South Africa in the summer months (last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).
The official currency is the Czech Crown (CZK). This isoften the only currency accepted.
Some hotels, restaurants and shops accept Euro, but the exchange rate is unlikely to be good.
Major credit cards are accepted in hotels, restaurants and some shops, but in the Czech Republic, cash is king.
ATMs are found in tourist areas – use those in banks for safety.
Tipping is an accepted custom, especially in tourist areas. If acceptable, tip restaurant staff, luggage porters, drivers and guides around 10%.
Food is relatively affordable in the Czech Republic.
Language & phrases
Czech is the official language, spoken by 10.6 million people.
English is reasonably widely spoken in tourist areas.
Culture & religion
39.8% of Czech residents are Roman Catholic – and an equal number are atheists.
When visiting sacred sites and temples, dress conservatively. (See ‘What to pack’).
It is safe to drink tap water in the Czech Republic. In addition, bottled water is readily available.
Vaccinations are not currently required but do check with your travel clinic before you go.
What must I pack?
Depending on when and where you visit, lightweight clothing for summer, warm clothing for winter including rain gear. Choose items that can be layered.
Dress modestly when visiting sacred sites – no shorts or tank tops. Legs and shoulders must be covered. Long, loose pants and long-sleeved cotton shirts are best.
Comfortable walking shoes.
Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses for summer holidays.
Mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
Hand sanitiser and insect repellent.
The cities in the Czech Republic have excellent transport systems as a whole, including subways, taxis, buses, trolleys and trams.
Towns in outlying areas may have less sophisticated transport infrastructure – it depends where you are going.
Public transport is excellent.
What can I do to be a responsible traveller?
Wherever possible, buy local food and souvenirs and support local artisans.
Avoid single-use plastic; rather take fabric shopping bags with you and use refillable water bottles (when local drinking water is available).
Respect each other's cultures and customs and avoid imposing your beliefs.
Do not support animal encounters and wildlife activities that are harmful or unethical.
Always have a map (or app) on hand, especially when travelling at night.
Be safety conscious: don’t display cash or valuables. Leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
Keep your belongings safe – use the hotel safe for passports and valuables and watch out for pickpockets and bag snatchers when out and about.
What do I do in an emergency?
If passports or valuables are stolen, report the theft to the hotel/police immediately.
Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.
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