They like their beer in the Czech Republic. Czechs drink more beer than any one else in the world – 160 litres per person each year. It is the home of the original pilsner (Pilsner Urquell – brewed in Plzen) and original Budweiser (Budejovicky Budvar – brewed in Ceske Budejovice). Other breweries of note are at Nová Paka and Smichov (Staropramen beer).
Most people searching for cheap flights to the Czech Republic will end up visiting Prague, the glittering capital city. The centre is Unesco-listed and its attractions are legendary: Charles Bridge, St Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle, Old Town, New Town and Wenceslas Square.
There are many other attractions. Brno is the republic’s second city (Czech Republic flights land at Brno-Turany Airport). Dominated by Spilberk Castle, a museum, and dotted with beautiful churches, the city also has a wonderful old quarter.
Outside the cities, all borders with the adjacent countries (Poland, Slovakia, Austria and Germany) are formed by mountain ranges. There is superb skiing at Krkonose Mountains, two hours’ north of Prague, on the border with Poland and Germany, and national parks include Šumava (the republic’s biggest), the Bohemian Switzerland and the Podyjí.
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Winters in the Czech Republic are cold and snowy, and temperatures can be as low as -30 C. Summers are the opposite and can get as hot as 32 C.
The best time to visit is from May to September when days are warm and nights cool. The European summer is the tourist high season.
Discounts can be had on accommodation and Czech Republic flights during the winter months, especially outside Prague.
Domestic Czech Republic flights are available between Prague and other main cities and are the quickest way of crossing the country.
The bus and train networks are excellent and inexpensive. Not everyone will speak English, so it can sometimes be confusing working out where to get off (or on). Buses are not luxurious.
There is a metro in Prague which is a very easy way of getting around the city.
The following chart gives approximate journey times from Prague (in hours and minutes) to other major cities and towns in Czech Republic.