Railway System and Train Traveling Guide in Czech Republic

Trains in the Czech Republic are one of the most efficient methods of transportation to move from city to city, or to reach other countries in Europe. The Czech rail network is one of the densest in the world, In the Czech Republic, railways are very important and form the backbone of public transport. With Europe’s best-preserved old towns, magical castles, delicious cuisine, and mind-blowing nature, vivid Czechia promises its every guest an unforgettable experience to look back on.

Traveling with trains in Czech Republic allows visitors to admire the splendid landscape of the country, while also having an efficient and convenient way of getting around. Serving about 194 million passengers annually, trains are among the most popular means of transportation in the Czech Republic thanks to their high-class service, a wide range of onboard amenities, and guaranteed safety during the entire journey. The railway system of the Czech Republic is relatively fast, reliable and very dense. In comparison to Western Europe, train travel is inexpensive and Czech trains are therefore very popular across all social classes.

There are over 7000 trains in Czech Republic that cross the country every day, each servicing routes between the major cities, as well as connecting them with Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Stretching for about 9619 kilometers (4300 miles in equivalent), the local railway web interlinks most towns and cities in the Czech Republic, making rail travel around the region easier than ever.

Travelling by train is one of the best ways to explore Europe, and there are few places that offer train adventures quite like the Czech Republic. One of the best things about a Czech rail trip is that you can be fairly spontaneous with your travel plans, as there are frequent trains running between all of the destinations. It is also eco-friendly and an affordable way to explore this fascinating central European country. In addition to impressive punctuality and top-notch service, the Czech railway boasts an extensive destination map.

Various rail companies serve modern Czechia trains, but Czech Railways is the only one that covers routes through the whole country. The České dráhy (Czech Railways), abbreviated as CD, is the national railway company of the Czech Republic. Within the CD, there are six different national train types. The Osobní vlak (OS) is a slow regional train which stops at all stations. Similarly, Spěný vlak (SP) does the same as the OS, but at a slightly higher speed. The Rychlík (R) train covers long-distance routes at a slow speed. While alternatively, Rychlík vyí kvality (RX) serves the long-distance routes with high-speed, modern trains. For even greater comfort and speed, the Expres (EX) trains also cater long-distance routes. The InterCity (IC) offers national long-distance routes similar to the RX. The SuperCity (SC) is the fastest and most modern train type, with long-distance routes.

Moreover, the CD also has three different international train types. EuroCity (EC) is similar to the InterCity, but it services international routes. EuroNight (EN) offers international routes but also provides sleeping cars. Lastly, the Railjet (RJ) provides international routes with more comfortable amenities and at a higher speed. Using the services Omio provides, travelers can find the right train routes and companies which cater best to their specific needs.

The Czech Republic will amaze you with its rich history and beautiful nature on rail adventure. The main international routes that reach the Czech Republic usually depart and arrive from Prague. Some of the most popular international routes by train go from Prague to Berlin (EuroCity), Bratislava (EuroCity/RegioJet), Budapest (EuroCity), Vienna (Railjey/RegioJet), and Warsaw (EuroCity).

Czech Republic Pass will give you access to a true rail adventure. Passes cover travel on all trains operated by the ČD (Czech Railways), which runs the vast majority of Czech trains, as well as trains operated by Regiojet (yellow trains that connect Prague to neighboring countries) and Leo Express (black and gold trains primarily running on the Prague–Košice route, and sometimes on to Kraków).

Main railway lines
The Czech Republic is well-connected with the European railway network. It has a total of 31 railway border crossings with passenger services. Allowing adventurers to travel not only between the most significant hubs of the region, the well-developed Czech train network also connects the country with such popular tourist spots as Poland, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, and Germany.

There are several worthwhile train options in the country, given the relatively small size of the Czech Republic, many railway cooperation with neighbouring countries. Regional and long-distance services provide usually fast, comfortable and reliable international connections. You can easily get to capitals of (not only) neighbouring countries. Sleeping trains (or direct coaches) are also operated to many destinations.

Prague – Berlin line
Travel by train between Prague and Berlin and discover the magnificence of the Czech Republic and Germany. Enjoy the breathtaking views and breathtaking scenery. The German Deutsche Bahn operates modern and comfortable trains called EuroCity, which are operated by the company that operates the trains. These trains offer two classes of travel, 1st and 2nd, up to six departure times per day.

Prague – Krakow line
Trains are a great way to travel from Prague to Krakow, as high-speed trains can cover the distance in only eight hours. Taking the Prague to Krakow train is the most comfortable and fastest way to travel between this beautiful cities, what is more all trains serving this railway route are modern, safe, and well-equipped.

Prague – Ostrava line
Without a doubt, one of the smartest ways to travel between two amazing cities in Czechia is taking the Prague to Ostrava train. Covering the topic of Prague to Ostrava train time, the entire trip won’t take you longer than 3.5 hours, making rail travel one of the fastest ways to get from one town to another. Enjoy the view of countryside when traveling from Prague to Ostrava by rail. It is possible to choose between 16 departures per day from the Prague to Ostrava train timetable. This will enable you to pick the train that works best with your travel plans. Being a part of the advanced train web, both destinations boast well-equipped railway stations located in the heart of the city, so that you can start discovering local wonders immediately upon arrival.

Prague – Brno line
A train ride between Prague and Brno offers some of the most impressive sights in Europe. A fast way to get from Prague to Brno, consider taking a direct high-speed train. Traveling from Prague to Brno by train takes just 2.5 hours and can cover the distance between city centers. Regardless of the selected travel category, all cars provide various useful facilities guaranteeing a pleasant ride.

Prague – Budapest line
Travel between Budapest and Prague by train is one of the most comfortable ways to travel between the cities, both destinations boast breathtaking natural legacy, rich culture, and a number of remarkable sights waiting to be explored. Budapest to Prague train distance is 443 kilometers (275 miles) which takes about 6 hours to cover by Eurocity bullet train. For the convenience of passengers, Budapest to Prague train schedule offers 10 daily departures. The air-conditioned train offers spacious seats and large panoramic windows in addition to being safe and modern.

Prague – Munich line
The high-speed train from Munich to Prague is one of the best ways to save time when traveling in Europe, see the amazing countries with the railways express train connecting the cities can enhance the experience. Enjoy spacious seats, large panoramic windows, and great amenities on the Munich to Prague train. Experience Germany and Czech Republic in one trip, and get ready to be swept away by their charms.

Top destinations

Brno is a city in the South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic. Since the 14th century, the city served as the capital of Moravia. Brno is the heart of Moravia and its cultural hub; it’s home to many institutions related to Moravian history and culture, it’s the home to a number of notable Moravian institutions, e.g. Moravian Gallery, Moravian Museum, National Theatre Brno, and Brno City Theatre. It’s a city with a long tradition in motor racing (on the Masaryk Circuit), huge exhibitions and trade fairs (in the Central European Exhibition Center), and as vibrant university city.

Brno is on the Prague–Vienna and Prague–Bratislava–Budapest routes, and all IC, EC and Railjet trains stop here. Some trains originating in Prague terminate here. The Integrated Transport System of the Southern Moravia Region (IDS JMK) covers public transport over Brno and the whole Southern Moravia Region; it includes local trains, trams, buses and trolleybuses. For journeys within the city, a short transfer ticket (valid 15 min, 20 Kč) and long transfer ticket (60 min, 25 Kč) are available.

Brno still has the feel of a ‘cosmopolitan’ capital, there is a rich variety of cultural events, clubs, pubs, etc., and several excellent museums and theatres. There are also two interesting things about theatres in Brno, Reduta Theatre is the oldest theatre building in Central Europe, and Mahen Theatre was the first theatre anywhere in Europe to be illuminated by Thomas Edison’s electric light bulbs. Brno also serves as the capital of judicial authority of the Czech Republic (it’s the seat of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court) and many other state authorities, the rest of it is located in Prague.

Brno has hundreds of historical sights, including one designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and eight monuments listed among the national cultural heritage of the Czech Republic. Most of the main sights of Brno are situated in the historical centre. The most visited sights of the city include the Špilberk Castle and fortress and the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul on Petrov hill, two medieval buildings that dominate the cityscape and are often depicted as its traditional symbols.

The other large preserved castle near the city is Veveří Castle by Brno Reservoir. Another architectural monument of Brno is the functionalist Villa Tugendhat, which was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 2001. One of the natural sights nearby is the Moravian Karst. The city is a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and was designated a “City of Music” in 2017.

Špilberk Castle, originally a royal castle founded in the 13th century, was from the 17th century a fortress and feared prison (e.g. Carbonari). Today it is one of the city’s principal monuments. Another key landmark is the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, built during the 14th and 15th centuries in place of an 11th-century chapel. Its present form with two neo-Gothic towers was completed in 1909. The other large castle near the city is Veveří Castle.

The Abbey of Saint Thomas was the site of Gregor Mendel’s experiments establishing the new science of genetics. The Church of Saint Tomas houses the tomb of its founder, John Henry and his son Jobst of Moravia, Margraves of Moravia. The Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady houses the grave of its founder Queen Elisabeth Richeza. The Church of Saint James is one of the best preserved and most spectacular Gothic churches in Brno.

The most interesting places in Brno includes the Brno Underground, a labyrinth of underground cellars which includes the second biggest ossuary in Europe (after the Catacombs of Paris), the two (or three) castles in Brno, the cathedral on the Petrov hill (Pope Benedict XVI. visited the cathedral in 2009), the Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady in the Old Brno District, the St. Jacob’s Church, the Moravian Museum (the biggest museum in Moravia and the second biggest in the country), Lužánky Park which is the oldest public park in the country, Denis Gardens, and various historical squares, churches, palaces, and other interesting buildings.

Brno Ossuary is the second largest ossuary in Europe, after the Catacombs of Paris. Another ossuary is the Capuchin crypt, with mummies of Capuchin monks and some of the notable people of their era, including architect Mořic Grimm and the mercenary leader Baron Trenk. The Labyrinth under Zelný trh (English: Cabbage market), a system of underground corridors and cellars dating back to the Middle Ages, has been recently opened to the public. These cellars have been used mainly for storing food, maturing beer and wine, and as wartime shelters. Originally, they were not interconnected as they are now – this happened later during the reconstruction in 2009.

Brno is home to a functionalist Synagogue and the largest Jewish cemetery in Moravia. A Jewish population lived in Brno as early as the 13th century, and remnants of tombstones can be traced back to as early as 1349. The functionalist synagogue was built between 1934 and 1936. While the Brno Jewish community numbered 12,000 in 1938, only 1,000 survived Nazi persecution during Germany’s occupation in World War II. Today, the cemetery and synagogue are again maintained by a Brno Jewish community. The only Czech mosque, founded in 1998, is also located in Brno.

The era between the world wars saw a building boom to the city, leaving it with many modern and especially functionalist buildings, the most celebrated being Villa Tugendhat, designed by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in the 1920s for the wealthy family of Fritz Tugendhat, and finished in 1930. It was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001. Another renowned architect who significantly shaped Brno was Arnošt Wiesner. Other functionalist buildings include the Avion Hotel and Morava Palace. The Brno Exhibition Centre is the city’s main attraction for international business visitors, visited by over one million visitors each year, and hosting over 40 professional trade fairs and business conferences.

Lužánky is the oldest public park in the Czech Republic, established in the late 18th century by the emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Denis Gardens were founded in the early 19th century and were the first public park in the present-day Czech Republic founded by public authorities. Špilberk Park is classified as a national cultural sight of the Czech Republic, as a unique piece of landscape architecture.

There are also many places worth visiting outside the city centre, such as an old Jewish cemetery in Brno-Židenice, or the Marian Valley in Brno-Líšeň, a cascade of lakes between forested hills. From the north, Brno is surrounded by hills and very pleasant countryside, the most notable place is probably the Moravian Karst.

Czech food could easily found in a restaurant. Czech food is mostly based on pork, dumplings and potatoes. Another Czech favorite is smažený sýr, fried cheese, which is available at many restaurants and fast food stands. Soups plays an important part in Czech cuisine as it is almost always part of lunch (chicken, beef or vegetable broth, garlic soup, cabbage soup, goulash soup, vegetable soup or mushroom soup). Many of these places also offer cheaper special (limited, pre-prepared) menus at mid-day. Cafés offer a nice selection of rolls and pastries if you’re looking for breakfast food.

The traditional Brno beer is Starobrno, a traditional non-alcoholic drink is kofola (a very different but captivating kind of cola). Dark beer (černé pivo) is sweet and not very often drunk here. There’s quite a few small breweries in the city, among them a small private brewery named Pegas, a block west from the steeple of St James Church (sv. Jakub). The pub is equipped with modern brewing technology, beer is made right in front of the guests’ eyes. For a list of other breweries look at this list.

The go-to bar is the cramped and smoky Charlie’s Hat (know to most locals simply as Charlie’s), east on Koblizna street from the north end of Freedom Square (50 Kč entry, includes drink voucher). A cluster of more down-tempo bars frequented by students can be found along Dominikánská (Kavárna Trojka – students caffee and bar) and Starobrněnská just west of the Zelný trh (cabbage market square). Around the main square you can find a lot of clubs, pubs, restaurants, coffee houses and lounge bars.

Central Bohemian Region
Central Bohemia is a region in the Czech Republic. Landscape is mostly flat due to rivers Elbe and Moldau, whose confluence is here. It is one of the most fertile parts of the Czech Republic. The Central Bohemian Region is in the centre of Bohemia. In terms of area, it is the largest region in the Czech Republic. Mountains can be found in south part of Central Bohemia, with maximum elevation of 864 meters. It has two regions for agribusiness purposes: Central Bohemia Region, and capital city Prague.

Travelling by train in Central Bohemia is generally a good idea because of a dense railway network and frequent lines. Main railway hub in the region is Prague main train station (Praha hlavní nádraží) from where depart most long-distance trains and many regional trains. Many regional trains and some long-distance trains also depart from Prague Masaryk’s station (Praha Masarykovo nádraží). Besides normal services you can ride on historic trains too, for example see website of KŽC, historic train carrier, or Czech Railways Museum.

Central Bohemia played major role in creation of Czech state. The oldest building in Czech Republic, Church of Saint Peter and Paul is located here. Large Karlštejn Castle and Kutná Hora with silver mines and Gothic cathedral and baroque monastery are reminders of the era when Bohemia was one of the most wealthy and powerful parts of Europe.

Karlštejn Castle origins date back to 1348, during the reign of the Czech King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. Given the castle’s long history it had to be restored several times – among others, modified in late Gothic style and at the end of the 19th century, in the spirit of purism. The grandeur of the castle will amaze you from the outside and this impression will only be enhanced by exploring the interiors. You will see sacral spaces of world importance, such as the Chapel of the Holy Cross, ornately decorated with precious stones, gold and board paintings from the workshops of Master Theodoricus, as well as the Chapel of St Catherine, also decorated with precious stones and murals.

Křivoklát Castle was built in the 12th century during the reign of King Přemysl Otakar II, and thus is one of the oldest Czech royal seats. It was also royalty’s favoured hunting castle. Křivoklát became a true Gothic pearl under King Vladislaus II Jagiellon – when it became one of the most grandiose residences in Central Europe. Today we can walk through its chambers and halls full of rare art collections; see the Great Tower, which once housed one of the earliest castle museums; or peruse the library of 52,000 volumes.

Žleby Château reconstruction in late Gothic from the mid-15th century. Other major changes took place in the 16th century – and since then we can speak of a château, in the Renaissance style. It is also worth noting the Auersperg family ownership era; they owned the château up until the 20th century. During their stewardship, some romantic exterior modifications took place, e.g. the northern façade was rebuilt in Elizabethan Renaissance style, and an English landscaping park established. Changes were also made to the interiors – bringing collections of weapons, paintings, rare utensils and ornate furniture, giving a glimpse of how the nobility in the 19th century spent their days. Žleby Château experienced its most famous era under the management of the House of Auersperg. They converted it into a romantic mansion surrounded by an impressive landscaped park.

The Cathedral of St Barbara, considered a late Gothic gem, is one of only four Czech sacral buildings of the cathedral type, and its magnificence bears out the glory and wealth of Kutná Hora in its silver mining heyday, when the city was one of the most important centres of the realm. Construction started in the second half of the 14th century, the contemporary form of the Cathedral dates from the turn of the 19th and 20th century, when extensive regothicization took place. Each epoch left its indelible marks on the interior; in the cathedral nave are rare Gothic frescoes and precisely worked examples of stone-masonry, Baroque altars, sculptures and paintings, the nave’s main feature being a Renaissance pulpit with Baroque panelling. Among the most renowned builders leaving their mark on the wondrous work were Matěj Rejsek, who paid great attention to the decorative elements, and Benedikt Ried, who placed considerable emphasis on the overall architectural design.

The Slapy Dam is a site of unique technical heritage,, the fifth largest dam in the Czech Republic, is part of the Vltava Cascade and preparations for this unusual hydro-engineering project date back to World War II. The main mission of the dam includes generating electricity, acting as a Prague’s buffer against floods, being a source of drinking and utility water; but it also ranks among the most popular recreational destinations for all who seek to get away from the hustle and bustle and take a break by the waterside, surrounded by nature. Enjoy hours and hours at the waterside, try out countless water sports and enjoy the beautiful landscape along the Vltava river.

The Bohemian Karst zone, which was declared a Protected Landscape Area in 1972, includes some 700 caves and the most extensive cavern system in Bohemia. This remarkable feature is called Koněpruské jeskyně, and lies beneath a hill called the ‘Golden Horse’; its passageways total over 2 kilometres, dating back 25-30 million years. They are known and admired for their beautiful stalactite formations. The whole area of the Bohemian Karst is a fossil-bed of world significance. Already in the 19th century it was made famous by the highly regarded French paleontologist Joachim Barrande, who discovered many sites rich with fossil finds. Explore the wealth of the Czech karst, the largest karst area in Bohemia, both on the surface and underground in its unique caves.

Příbram Mining Museum is an Open-Air Museum at Březové Hory, which comes under the Příbram Mining Museum, but in a manner quite unlike your exploration of the Bohemian Karst. The museum, consisting of the complexes of three mines (Ševčinský, Vojtěch and Anna), offers you an extraordinary experience. You will find yourself taken back to beyond the last century and to places where brave miners spent most of their busy working days. For instance, you will take a mine train and pass through the ‘adit’ into a mining passageway quite among to the deepest in Central Europe.

Olomouc is the administrative centre of the Olomouc Region and the sixth largest city in the Czech Republic. There are several trains leaving Prague for Olomouc daily. After arriving in Olomouc, it’s best to hop on a tram from the train station to the city centre, which is about two to three kilometres away. The trams run from the front of the station and travellers can take the number 1 or 7 or the express (X) tram to the centre.

Located on the Morava River, the city is the ecclesiastical metropolis and was a historical capital city of Moravia, before having been sacked by the Swedish army during the Thirty Years’ War. The historic city centre is well preserved and is protected by law as urban monument reservation. The Holy Trinity Column was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000 for its quintessential Baroque style and symbolic value.

Olomouc is doubtless the undiscovered gem of the Czech Republic. It is home to countless beautiful buildings, great culture (home of the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra), and hundreds of unique restaurants, bars, and pubs. Olomouc is totally off the radar of most tourists. While Olomouc’s past shines through its famous Baroque architecture and squares, its hip coffee shops, local eateries and colourful street art give the city a youthful and quirky vibe.

Olomouc is an exploring sightseer’s paradise. A good place to begin is the main square (Horní náměstí or ‘Upper Square’), with its huge Town Hall and the Holy Trinity Column (the largest column in Europe), which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000. It is the second largest historical square in the Czech Republic. Don’t miss the astronomical clock on the Town Hall. It is said to once have rivalled the beauty of Prague’s, but was seriously damaged in the World War II and then rebuilt and repainted at the beginning of the Communist regime to reflect worker’s values.

Olomouc contains several large squares, the chief of which is adorned with the Holy Trinity Column, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The column is 35 m high and was built between 1716 and 1754. In front of the astronomical clock on the Horní (“Upper”) Square, which is the largest square in Olomouc, is a scale model of the entire old town in bronze.

The city has numerous historic religious buildings. The most prominent church is Saint Wenceslas Cathedral founded before 1107 in the compound of the Olomouc Castle. At the end of the 19th century, the cathedral was rebuilt in the neo-Gothic style. It kept many features of the original church, which had renovations and additions reflecting styles of different ages: Romanesque crypt, Gothic cloister, Baroque chapels. The highest of the three spires is 100 m, the second-highest in the country (after Cathedral of St. Bartholomew in Plzeň).

The church is next to the Bishop Zdík’s Palace (also called the Přemyslid Palace), a Romanesque building built after 1141 by the bishop Jindřich Zdík. It remains one of the most precious monuments of Olomouc: Such an early bishop’s palace is unique in Central Europe. The Přemyslid Palace, used as the residence of Olomouc dukes from the governing Přemyslid dynasty, stood nearby.

Church of Saint Maurice, a fine Gothic building of the 15th century, has the 6th-largest church organ in Central Europe. Church of Saint Michael is notable. The Neo-baroque Chapel of Saint John Sarkander stands on the site of a former town prison. Svatý Kopeček(“The Holy Hillock”), which has the magnificent Baroque Church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary. It overlooks the city. The Pope promoted the church to Minor Basilica. Several monasteries are in Olomouc, including Hradisko Monastery, Convent of Dominican Sisters in Olomouc and others. Other notable destinations are the Olomouc Orthodox Church, consecrated to Saint Gorazd, and the Mausoleum of Yugoslav Soldiers.

The principal secular building is the city hall, completed in the 15th century. It is flanked on one side by a gothic chapel, now adapted and operated as the Olomouc Museum of Art. It has a tower 250 ft (76 m) high, adorned with an astronomical clock in an uncommon Socialist Realist style. The original 15th-century clock was destroyed at the end of World War II. It was reconstructed in 1947–1955 by Karel Svolinský, who used the government-approved style of the time, featuring proletarians rather than saints.

Olomouc has unique set of six Baroque fountains. They survived in such number thanks to the city council’s caution. While most European cities were removing old fountains after building water-supply piping, Olomouc decided to keep them as reservoirs in case of fire.

There’s an array of places to eat in Olomouc, including budget options. For a bite on the go, opt for Chlebíčky (affordable sandwiches), or Špagetárna (pasta and sauce combo options). Long Story Short Eatery & Bakery, where customers are greeted with seasonal combinations and an ever-changing menu. In the heart of Olomouc is Restaurant U Mořice, a beer bar and eatery with a lot of Czech food options, including smoked pork knee that will feed at least three people for an affordable price. Olomoucké tvarůžky, a pungent soft cheese that is on most menus in the city.

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Ostrava is a city in the north-east of the Czech Republic, Ostrava had been a predominantly industrial city since the 18th century, when the discovery of extensive coal deposits in the area led to an industrial boom. Ostrava is easily reached from Olomouc or Prague via České dráhy. The city has five train stations, the main one being ‘hlavní nádraží’. Svinov is also a station where you will find several day trip options from Ostrava. Getting around Ostrava is pretty easy thanks to reliable tram and bus lines.

The city is well konwn as a former coal-mining, coke production and ironworks complex in the city centre which retains its historic industrial architecture. Ostrava is home to various cultural facilities including theatres and galleries. Various cultural and sporting events take place in Ostrava throughout the year, including the Colours of Ostrava music festival, the Janáček May classical music festival, the Summer Shakespeare Festival and NATO Days.

There are four urban monument zones in Ostrava – Moravská Ostrava (the historic centre), Ostrava-Poruba, Ostrava-Přívoz, and Ostrava-Vítkovice. Much of Ostrava’s architectural heritage is in the city centre. The most notable structures are theatres, banks, department stores and other public buildings dating from the turn of the 20th century, at the time of Ostrava’s greatest boom.

The central Masaryk Square, named after the first President of Czechoslovakia Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, features the historic old city hall building and a Marian plague column from 1702. Nearby Smetanovo Square features the Antonín Dvořák Theatre and the Functionalist Knihcentrum bookstore. To the west are a series of grand, imposing bank buildings and the Elektra Palace on Nádražní Street, while to the north is the New City Hall with its landmark viewing tower, overlooking the large open space of Prokeš Square.

The city centre also has two notable religious buildings – the 13th-century Church of St. Wenceslaus and the Cathedral of the Divine Saviour, the second largest church in Moravia and Czech Silesia. Ostrava’s central district contains works by architects including Karel Kotas, Josef Gočár, Ernst Korner and Alexander Graf.

Poruba is a large district of Ostrava in the western part of the conurbation, noted for its distinctive 1950s Socialist realist architecture. Inspired by the grandiose buildings of Soviet cities, Poruba also incorporates historical pastiche features drawing on ancient, Renaissance and Classicist models. The main entrance to the part of Poruba built at this time is through a grand triumphal arch.

The Vítkovice district was for several decades the centre of the local iron and steel industry. The influx of workers led the company to build housing for its employees, plus civic amenities, a town hall and a church. The historic parts of the district are built in the company’s distinctive style featuring red-brick façades. This area is easily reached by public transport from all over the city and the once industrial hub has transformed itself into a cultural, social and educational ‘playground’. Many of the city’s concerts and events take place there and at its cultural quarter, Hlubina. To understand the city’s past, Lower Vítkovice is a must for any Ostrava itinerary.

Other districts of the city with a distinctive architectural heritage include Přívoz (with its grand Art Nouveau buildings) and the Jubilee housing development (Czech: Jubilejní kolonie) in Hrabůvka, built as a workers’ housing complex in the 1920s.

The number of restaurants is naturally enormous, enjoy classical Czech food, regional specialities or international cuisine, Ostrava probably has what you are looking for. The local beer, “Ostravar”, which has been brewed in the city since 1897. The main street for wining, dining and having a great time is Stodolní Street, in the heart of the city. It boasts over 60 bars and restaurants in an area covering just a few blocks.

The secret sweet treats of Ostrava are the katowicke rurki, named after the nearby city of Katowice in Poland. The katowicke rurki consist of a sweet wafer rolled into a tube, and then filled with pařížská šlehačka, both using a specially-designed machine. Pařížská šlehačka, in turn, is a filling vaguely resembling chocolate-flavoured whipped cream, although quite often having nothing to do with either cream or chocolate when it comes to its ingredients, and obviously having no obvious connection to the city of Paris after which it is ostensibly named.

Pardubice is a city in the Czech Republic. It is the capital city of the Pardubice Region and lies on the Elbe River. The historic centre is well preserved and is protected as an urban monument reservation. Pardubice Castle was built at the end of the 13th century and rebuilt in the Renaissance style at the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries. Massive fortifications are preserved around the castle. Today the castle houses the Museum of East Bohemia in Pardubice and Gallery of East Bohemia in Pardubice.

The landmark and symbol of Pardubice is the Green Gate as a remnant of the city’s fortifications. It is a Renaissance gate with a façade decorated by a relief designed by Mikoláš Aleš, which depicts the Lords of Pardubice. Behind the gate is a 60 metres (200 ft) high tower that serves as an lookout tower. In its interior there is also an exposition with the history and legends of the city.

The original Church of Saint Bartholomew was built in 1295 and destroyed during the Hussite Wars. The today’s Church of Saint Bartholomew was built together with a monastery in 1507–1514. It was used as a burial place of the Pernštejn family. In the interior there is a valuable main altar with the painting “The Passion of St. Bartholomew” from 1692 by Michael Willmann and a painting decoration by Mikoláš Aleš.

The Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary was founded by Arnošt of Pardubice before 1359. Its present late Gothic and Renaissance appearance dates from the first half of the 16th century. Until 1786, the church belonged to a Minorite monastery, from which time there are extensive underground tombs under the church.

The House at Jonáš is one of the most treasured burgher houses in Pardubice. It was built after the fire that hit the city in 1507. It is known for its façade, decorated with a stucco relief from 1797, showing a biblical scene of a whale swallowing the prophet Jonah. The premises of the house are used by the Gallery of East Bohemia in Pardubice. The Zámeček Memorial is a place of reverence that commemorates execution of 194 people in 1942. The place is a national cultural monument and at its centrepiece is a granite monument dating from 1949.

Prague is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic Prague is a political, cultural, and economic hub of central Europe, with a rich history and Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architectures. Prague lies on the banks of the beautiful, meandering Vltava River that reflects the city’s golden spires and 9th century castle that dominates the skyline. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia and residence of several Holy Roman Emperors.

Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe in terms of its setting on both banks of the Vltava River, its townscape of burgher houses and palaces punctuated by towers, and its individual buildings. The historic centre represents a supreme manifestation of Medieval urbanism (the New Town of Emperor Charles IV built as the New Jerusalem). It has been saved from any large-scale urban renewal or massive demolitions and thus preserves its overall configuration, pattern and spatial composition. Built between the 11th and 18th centuries, the Old Town, the Lesser Town and the New Town speak of the great architectural and cultural influence enjoyed by this city since the Middle Ages.

The city’s historic buildings and narrow, winding streets are testament to its centuries-old role as capital of the historic region of Bohemia. It was an important city to the Habsburg monarchy and Austro-Hungarian Empire. Prague is home to a number of well-known cultural attractions, main attractions include Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square with the Prague astronomical clock, the Jewish Quarter, Petřín hill and Vyšehrad. Since 1992, the historic center of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

The many magnificent monuments, such as Hradcany Castle, St Vitus Cathedral, Charles Bridge and numerous churches and palaces, built mostly in the 14th century under the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV.The Prague architectural works of the Gothic Period (14th and 15th centuries), of the High Baroque of the 1st half of the 18th century and of the rising modernism after the year 1900, influenced the development of Central European, perhaps even all European, architecture. The historic centre also represents one of the most prominent world centres of creative life in the field of urbanism and architecture across generations, human mentality and beliefs.

From the Museum of Czech Cubism to the technicolour Jubilee Synagogue; the castle to the river, Prague is a Bohemian capital in every sense. The city has more than ten major museums, along with numerous theaters, galleries, cinemas, and other historical exhibits. An extensive modern public transportation system connects the city. This historic atmosphere is combined with a certain quirkiness that embraces the entire city.

In the course of the 1100 years of its existence, Prague’s development can be documented in the architectural expression of many historical periods and their styles. The city is rich in outstanding monuments from all periods of its history. Of particular importance are Prague Castle, the Cathedral of St Vitus, Hradčany Square in front of the Castle, the Valdštejn Palace on the left bank of the river, the Gothic Charles Bridge, the Romanesque Rotunda of the Holy Rood, the Gothic arcaded houses with Romanesque cores around the Old Town Square, the Church of Our Lady in front of Týn, the High Gothic Minorite Church of St James in the Old Town (Staré Mĕsto), the Early Gothic so-called Old-New Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter (Josefov), the late 19th century buildings and the medieval town plan of the New Town (Nové Mĕsto).

This city of bridges, cathedrals, gold-tipped towers and church domes, has mirrored on the surface of the swan-filled Vltava river for more than ten centuries. Prague’s compact medieval centre remains a wonderful mixture of cobbled lanes, walled courtyards, cathedrals and countless church spires all in the shadow of her majestic 9th century castle that looks eastward as the sun sets behind her. Prague is also a modern and vibrant city full of energy, music, cultural art, fine dining and special events.

As early as the Middle Ages, Prague became one of the leading cultural centres of Christian Europe. The Prague University, founded in 1348, is one of the earliest in Europe. The milieu of the University in the last quarter of the 14th century and the first years of the 15th century contributed among other things to the formation of ideas of the Hussite Movement which represented in fact the first steps of the European Reformation. As a metropolis of culture, Prague is connected with prominent names in art, science and politics, such as Charles IV, Petr Parléř, Jan Hus, Johannes Kepler, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Kafka, Antonín Dvořák, Albert Einstein, Edvard Beneš and Václav Havel.

The Průhonice Park (the area of 211.42 ha) was founded in the year 1885 by the Count Arnošt Emanuel Silva-Tarouca. The result of his lifelong work is an original masterpiece of garden landscape architecture of worldwide importance. The park uses advantage of the miscellaneous valley of the Botič Stream and the unique combination of native and introduced exotic tree species. The Průhonice Park became in the time of its foundation the entrance gate to Bohemia (as well as to the whole Europe) for newly introduced plants. An integral part of the park is also a Neo-Renaissance country house. In the area there is also a small medieval church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary.

Old Town (Staré město) – Prague’s historic centre includes numerous historic buildings and monuments, most notably the famed 4 Astronomical Clock (Orloj), the pure Gothic 5 Týn Church, the mural-covered 6 Storch building, and the Jan Hus monument. Nearby, the Estate Theatre is a neoclassical theatre where Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni was first performed. Old Town features many historical churches (St. James Church, Church of Our Lady before Týn among others) and some other interesting historical buildings like the Old Town Hall.

New Town (Nové město) – New Town was established as an extension of Old Town in the 14th century, though much of the area has now been reconstructed. The main attraction here is Wenceslas Square, a rectangular commercial square with many stalls, shops and restaurants. At the top of the square is the National Museum which is well worth a look (see below). Midway down this historic boulevard, one finds trendy discos and Art Nouveau hotels, as well as quaint parks and arcades, while just off the beaten path are some wonderful panoramic views (Henry Tower), romantic restaurants and the dazzling, Disney-colored Jubilee Synagogue.

Hradčany and Lesser Town (Malá strana) – Across the Vltava River from the city centre and leading to the castle, this quarter also offers beautiful streets and churches (of which St. Nicholas Church is the most renowned). The Lennon Wall, which used to be a source of irritation to the communist regime, is also found here, near a Venetian-like canal with water wheel and close to the Charles Bridge.

Pustevny is a mountain saddle in the Moravian-Silesian Beskids mountain range of the Czech Republic, not far from Radhošť, in the municipality of Prostřední Bečva. Wooden buildings built in traditional folk style are typical. They were built and designed in the end of the 19th century by the architect Dušan Jurkovič.

Located in the beautiful Beskid Mountains is the small village of Pustevny. The area is renowned for its hiking trails and wooden buildings built in a traditional folk style by architect Dušan Jurkovič. The most famous buildings on Pustevny are Libušín and Maměnka. Both of them were built in 1898 thanks to the efforts of the touristic club Pohorská jednota Radhošť. Among the other important buildings is also the bell tower also designed by Dušan Jurkovič. Although the original paintings have not been preserved, it has been restored according to the other buildings.

A footpath leads along the ridge from Pustevny to the peak of Radhošť. There is a chapel built in 1898 and a sculpture of Saints Cyril and Methodius from the year 1905. Halfway to Radhošť from Pustevny is the statue of the pagan Slavic god Radegast from the year 1931. There’s even a ski area. Start the day by hiking to the Radegast tower, a small monument to the Slavic God of the same name.

The restaurant offers an array of Czech dishes and the atmosphere is colourful and inviting – the perfect place to relax before continuing the journey to Stezka Valaška, an elevated nature trail consisting of walkways through the forest canopy. The views from there were epic and one of our trip highlights.

Štramberk is a town in Nový Jičín District in the Moravian-Silesian Region of the Czech Republic. From its well-preserved historic centre to the Trúba castle tower, it is one of the best weekend getaways in the Czech Republic.

The historic centre of Štramberk is well preserved and is protected by law as an urban monument reservation. The landmark of Štramberk is a remnant of the Štramberk Castle, a cylindrical castle tower called Trúba. It was repaired in 1903–1904 and adapted to an observation tower. The town fortifications have been partially preserved and delimit the original town limits. From the Gothic Church of St. Bartholomew, which stood under the castle, only a prismatic brick bell tower with a wooden gallery has been preserved.

In the historic centre of Štramberk is a unique collection of timbered houses from the 18th and 19th centuries. The Baroque parish Church of Saint John of Nepomuk is the landmark of the town square. It was founded in 1721 and decorated by Jano Köhler in the early 20th century. The Šipka Cave is freely accessible. On the Bílá hora hill is a 43 metres high observation tower in the shape of a double helix. It is most famous for its Štramberk ears, a tasty treat that is reminiscent of gingerbread, and it can be found all over the city.

Zlín is a city in the Czech Republic It is the seat of the Zlín Region and it lies on the Dřevnice river. It is known as an industrial centre. The city is most well known for its interesting functionalistic architecture. A large part of Zlín is urbanistically and architecturally valuable and is protected by law as an urban monument zone. In addition to the internationally well known shoe factory Baťa, Zlín is also famous for the animation film studios, whose works from the 1960s also became popular in Western Europe.

Zlín was first mentioned in 1302 and soon became a local center for crafts and mining. But it was not until the industrial revolution that the rise to fame began. After the foundation of the Baťa shoe factory in 1896, the town rapidly grew into a major city, and the modernist industrial architecture, together with housing and social facilities, remains a representative of early 20th-century social and industrial architecture. The development of the modern city is closely connected to the Bata Shoes company and its social scheme, developed after World War I.

The Villa of Tomáš Baťa was an early architectural achievement. The construction was completed in 1911. The building’s design was carried out by the architect Jan Kotěra. After its confiscation in 1946, the building served as a Pionýr’ house. Being returned to Tomáš J. Baťa, the son of the company’s founder, the building now houses the headquarters of the Thomas Bata Foundation. Baťa’s Hospital was founded in 1927 and quickly developed into one of the most modern hospitals in Central Europe. The original architectural set up was designed by F. L. Gahura.

The Grand Cinema was designed by the architect F. L. Gahura and built in 1932. This technological marvel became the largest cinema in Central Europe in its time with a capacity of 2,270 seated viewers. Today it has 1,010 seats. Tomas Bata Memorial was built in 1933 by F. L. Gahura. The original purpose of the building was to commemorate the achievements of Baťa. The building itself is a Constructivist masterpiece. It has served as the seat of the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra since 1955.

Baťa’s Skyscraper was built as the headquarters for the worldwide Baťa organization. Designed by Vladimír Karfík, the huge building was erected in 1936–1939. It included a room-sized elevator housing the office for the boss, comfortably furnished – with a sink, a telephone, and air conditioning. When it was built it was the tallest Czechoslovak building at 77.5 m (254 ft). After a costly reconstruction in 2004, it became the seat of the Regional Office of the Zlín Region and the headquarters of the tax office.

In the village of Štípa, there is Lešná Castle. It was built in the Neogothic, Neorenaissance and Neobaroque styles in 1887–1893. It is one of the youngest aristocratic residences in Moravia. The castle was built for the Seilern-Aspang family on the site of an older castle from the 18th century. Today the castle is open to the public and there are collections of unique and historically valuable objects. The castle is located inside the Zlín-Lešná Zoo complex. Malenovice Castle is located in Malenovice. It was founded in the second half of the 14th century. The Gothic castle was modified in the Renaissance style in the following centuries. Today part of the castle is open to the public and contains several expositions.

Historical Railway
Romantické lokálky are railways reminding of good old times. These railways can be nearly considered as a heritage from the second half of the 20th century. They are literally living history as they are not modernized and keeping them in service requires all of the old-school professions that have been replaced by technology on modern railways. Also, trains running on these railways are often nearly historic. Nobody cares about these railways on a nationwide scale. They are usually quite scenic as the trains on them pass through nice countryside. However, the number of those railways is fastly decreasing as regional authorities want to make them modern, safe and comfortable, though it will make them less interesting and adventurous.

Upper Sázava Pacific (Horní Posázavský Pacifik) (Čerčany – Světlá n/S).
One of the most-known local railway. The whole railway lies in Sázava River Valley in a picturesque hilly landscape. Also, it serves important tourist attractions like Zruč nad Sázavou, Český Šternberk Castle or Sázava Monastery.

Nova Domus Local Railways (Jindřichohradecké Místní Dráhy) (Jindřichův Hradec – Nová Bystřice).
JHMD is a true narrow-gauge romantic local railway. Heritage diesel and steam trains pass through the forests, fields and meadows of South Bohemia in a tourist region known as the “Bohemian Canada”.

Moldava Mountain Railway (Moldavská horská dráha) (Most – Moldava v/K/h).
This scenic railway in North Bohemia offers everything from Ore Mountains. Trains depart from industrial city and arrive in beautiful nature. This mountain railway is one of the most romantic in the region. It is very popular both in summer and in winter, as hiking and cross-country skiing are one of the best things that you can do there.

Altum Vadum Electric Railway (Vyšebrodská elektrická dráha) (Rybník – Lipno n/V).
This local electric railway near borders with Austria and Šumava leads to Lipno n/V where the biggest water dam in the Czech Republic was built. It has big both economic and touristic importance. Trains on this route also stop in Vyšší Brod where famous monastery lies. Note, that trains are usually hauled by electric locomotives only in summer.

Osoblaha Narrow-Gauge Railway (Osoblažská úzkokolejka) (Třemešná v/S – Osoblaha).
This romantic railway in Northern Czech Silesia is the only narrow-gauge railway operated by ČD. It lies in forgotten countryside under Jeseníky mountains, near borders with Poland.

Bechyně Electric Railway (Bechyňská elektrická dráha) (Tábor – Bechyně).
Bechyně railway, winding around small hills in South Bohemia, is the first electrified railway in the republic. In summer, there are regular nostalgic rides.

Railway Museums
As railway has a strong tradition in the Czech Republic, there are many railway museums. Most of them are small, but some of them are big. The vast majority of them are worth a visit.

Railway museum Lužná u Rakovníka (Železniční muzeum Lužná u Rakovníka)
Biggest railway museum in Czechia at former railway depot of Lužná railway station. Features many steam engines, unique historic locomotives and wagons and more. In summer saison dispatches steam trains, usually to/from Prague. Interesting day trip from Prague.

National Technical Museum (Národní technické muzeum Praha) (tram stop Letenské náměstí)
A large museum in Prague. Trains are just a part of its exhibition, but the huge steam engine in the main hall is really impressive.

Prague Public Transport Museum (Muzeum MHD) (Tram station Vozovna Střešovice).
While not a strictly railway museum, this huge public transportation museum includes many historical tramways and buses. You can go there using historical tram number 41, which goes through the city center.

Railway Events
In Czech Republic, there is a strong tradition of historical train rides and numerous events with historical trains. These usually include steam engines, but also old diesel trains are growing in popularity. Such events are especially popular among families with children and railway fans.

Railway Day (Den železnice) is a huge railway event, at which you can see numerous steam engines, ride a steam train or see the newest trains. This yearly event takes place in September, and usually has one main venue (National Railway Day) and around seven smaller venues (Regional Railway Day). Children’s day in Prague – Braník (Den dětí v Praze-Braník). Every year around Children’s day (1st June), there is an event on the railway station Praha – Braník in Prague.