With Italy’s pastel-colored towns, Spain’s lively Mediterranean cities, France’s stately architecture and England’s Old World charm, Europe is a huge continent with a diverse tourist offer.

If you’re planning on crossing the pond this summer, all of those are likely to be on your radar already, but trust us, there’s a lot more you’re missing out on.

If you’re a culture enthusiast, love spending your days at leisure exploring beautiful towns that seem to have come straight out the pages of fairytale novels, and you’re stifling sighs at the slightest sight of a medieval castle on a hill, you’ll want to read this.

Western Europe is great, but 15 million travelers are in fact expected to flock to lesser-known Czechia of all places this year, and this is why you should, too:

Why Czechia?

Historic Old Town Of Cesky Krumlov, Czechia, Czech Republic, Central Europe

Czechia—or Czech Republic—is a small landlocked country in Central Europe (or Eastern, depending on who you’re asking) bordered by the much-larger Austria, Germany, Poland, and fellow Slavic sister-nation Slovakia.

No, it does not have access to the sea, meaning you won’t find Spain’s golden sand beaches bounded by azure waters here, nor does it have Italy’s balmy temperatures or France’s Belle époque elegance, but then again, it’s not like Czechia needs any of those things.

It’s Home To Prague.

Charles Bridge Seen In Prague, Czechia, Czech Republic, Central Europe

Do You Even Need Further Incentives?

For starters, it is the proud home of Prague, one of the most beautiful national capitals.

With the kind of rich architectural heritage other European cities like Paris, Rome, or Vienna, in all their splendor, could still only dream of having, it will take your breath away.

Nicknamed the ‘City of a Hundred Spires,’ Prague is where tourists will find Charles Bridge, a gorgeous pedestrian crossing dating back to the Middle Ages, the monumental St. Vitus cathedral, Prague Castle—the largest fort-like complex in the world, according to Guinness—and a picturesque Old Town.

Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic

At the heart of the Old Town, there is a large square surrounded by ornate Baroque facades and landmarks, including a 14th-century church whose Gothic towers are an icon of the Prague skyline, and of course, the Astronomical Clock, whose animated allegories mark the turn of every hour.

The Czech capital is also known for its innovative modern art, with the ‘Dancing House’, built to celebrate the transition from communism to democracy, the rotating ‘Franz Kafka Head’, and the graffiti-colored, politically-charged Lennon Wall all drawing in millions of curious onlookers.

A Tiny Country, Unparalleled Diversity

Aerial View Of Mikulov Castle In The Small Town Of Mikulov, Czechia, Czech Republic, Central Europe

Though Prague remains Czechia’s leading tourist attraction (and rightly so, I mean, look at its gorgeous cityscape), this is a surprisingly diverse country with plenty to offer visitors; as František Reismüller, CEO of CzechTourism has stated himself, ‘there’s something for everyone‘:

Whether you’re a culture buff who loves to get lost in castles, you’re a devoted foodie keen on sampling local dishes, even if it’s abnormally-thick bratwurst sunk into vinaigrette, going by the tongue-in-cheek title of ‘drowned men’, or you’re looking for a relaxing countryside getaway, Czechia’s got you covered.

Colorful Old Town And Castle Of Loket, Czechia, Czech Republic, Central Europe

To quote Reismüller, ‘a lot of people in America might know Prague, but don’t know the country it belongs to‘; truer words have never been spoken, as Prague is merely the tip of the iceberg, and Czechia may well be a tiny country, but it suffers from no shortage of cultural value.

Local authorities are now working to get people outside of Prague, especially following overtourism concerns.

One of their main goals is to educate visitors that Czechia is worth exploring in depth, as opposed to a three-day stint in the capital before jumping to the next country.

Go Off Path In Czechia

Young Tourist Admiring A View Of A Historic Town In Czechia, Czech Republic, Central Europe

If the name of our website is any indication, we love offbeat destinations the masses have yet to discover.

There’s truly no better country to escape the ordinary than compact Czechia: with 13 historic regions to choose from, you’re sure to find something to your liking.

If you only have a couple of days and you don’t want to go too far outside the capital region, the small village of Karlštejn, a short 40-minute drive from Prague, is a great day trip idea, with its Bram Stoker-y fortress perched on a verdant hill and quirky wax museum.

Aerial View Of Karlstejn Castle Surrounded In Fog In The Historic Town Of Karlstejn Near Prague, Czechia, Czech Republic, Central Europe

Further afield, in South Moravia, there is Brno, Czechia’s second largest city—and a fairly big one, at that, with over 720,000 people living in the metropolitan zone—best represented by its eerie-looking ‘Petrov’ cathedral, with pointy Gothic spires that seem to touch the sky, and imposing Špilberk citadel.

If you want to see something weirdKutna Hora and its Sedlec Chapel, with an interior decorated with human bones, is the place to go; now, if you’re searching instead for a ‘mini Prague’ without the tourists, the fortified, Baroque gem that is Český Krumlov in South Bohemia should be high on your list.

View Of The Petrov Cathedral In Brno, Czechia, Czech Republic, Central Europe

We haven’t even touched on Pilsen, the beer capital of Czechia—if the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve had one too many of their best-seller export—Karlovy Vary, the most colorful, charming town you’ll ever visit, with a high concentration of spa resorts and natural hot springs, or the vast Bohemian Switzerland National Park, with its peaceful forest walks and tourist-friendly hikes…

You see? Prague is only the beginning.

Czechia Is Dirt Cheap

Colorful Old Town In The Resort Spa Town Of Karlovy Vary, Czechia, Czech Republic, Central Europe

The best part is you can explore all of this gorgeousness and soak up the millennium-old History of one of Europe’s most culturally-charged countries for only $761 per week, including:

This is based on expenses reported by previous travelers, published on Budget Your Trip, and while you should always take estimates with a pinch of salt, you can rest assured no trip to Prague, or Czechia as a whole, will be a reckless wallet-wiping adventure.

Young Female Tourist Holding Up A Pair Of Hollow Trdelníks, A Traditional Czech Dessert, In An Unspecified Old Town In Czechia, Czech Republic, Central Europe

Their most famous national park may be called Bohemian Switzerland, but trust us, Czechia is no Switzerland: with $2 beer, daytime orders in local restaurants averaging $26, and a five-day stay in 4-star Hotel Atos in central Prague costing $462, you’ll have to try much harder to break the bank here.

The fact the local economy has not yet been Euroizedlike in fellow Slavic Croatia and a majority of European countries, also keeps local consumer prices lower: one U.S. dollar buys 23.48 Koruna (in adjusted decimals, it’s as if it’s two times stronger).

It’s One Of The Safest Countries In Europe

Young Female Tourist Admiring A View Of The Cesky Krumlov Old Town, South Bohemia, Czechia, Czech Republic, Central Europe

Last but certainly not least, Czechia is safe, you guys.

If you’ve been curious enough to check for the country’s geographical location, only to find it dangerously close to the Eastern European conflict, you’re probably wondering whether now is the right time to visit Czechia.

As unpredictable as wars are, two factors work in Czechia’s favor: it is a member of the European Union, the biggest indicator of stability of any European state, and it’s also protected under the NATO treaties.

Panoramic View Of Prague Castle And St Vitus Cathedral Seen From Across The Vltava River, Prague, Czech, Czechia Republic, Central Europe

This means that, in the context of war, it is just as safe as France, Spain, Italy, or any country in the Western ranks; additionally, Czechia has officially been added to the U.S. Travel Advisories’ Level 1, or in other words, Washington considers it a low-risk destination.

The threat of terrorist attacks is not as pronounced, and violence levels across the country are low to inexistent: as an American tourist, your main concern really is getting pickpocketed without noticing, or scammed, and mainly in the streets of Prague.

How To Travel To Czechia From America

Traveler Holding USA Passport At Airport

There are currently no nonstop flights between Prague and the United States, so in order to get there, U.S. citizens must first transit via a third European country.

Luckily, there’s a plethora of low-cost flight options from within Europe, starting for as cheap as $18.73 on budget carrier Ryanair, or if you’re sold on visiting a secondary Czech destination outside the capital, you can fly to Brno for the same price from select hubs.

Czechia is connected to the wider continent by several train and bus lines, too:

Young Woman In A Train Station In Europe, Unspecified Location

You can travel to Prague and other destinations in the country by rail from Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, sometimes for as cheap as $13.

Read more about Czechia—and start planning your trip—here.

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