Population: 10,538,275 (2014 est.)
President: Miloš Zeman
Prime Minister: Bohuslav Sobotka
Currency: Czech Koruna (CZK)
Area: 78,866 km2 (30,450 mi2)
Dialing Code: +420
Electricity Adapter: 230 V, 50 Hz, Plug Types C / E
Time Zone: CET/Central European Time (UTC+1) ; CEST/Central European Summer Time (UTC+2)
The Czech Republic is an oft-overlooked small country in central Europe. Travelers, other than ones to its renowned city of Prague, may skip it for being more eastern European and out of the way. Nevertheless, it is not a country that should be passed up.
Bordered to its north by Poland, its west by Germany, Austria to the south, and Slovakia to its east, it is that landlocked country formerly known as Bohemia. It is also a relatively recent country – the previous nation of Czechoslovakia dissolved only in 1993 into what we now know as the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The Czech Republic is a great place to see history, and not only its own; European history is very rich in the regions around Prague. The country is home to no less than 12 of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Check out one of the many beautiful castles and chateaus that dot the countryside, such as Karlštejn Castle, where the Czech crown jewels are on display.
Besides the history and the beauty of the architecture around the Czech Republic, the country is packed also with natural beauty. If you have time, hike up to the Krkonoše Mountains or trek to the Podyjí National Park and hike along the River Dyje.
Then there’s Prague. The capital and largest city of the Czech Republic, Prague is one of those quintessential “world” cities, up there with the likes of Amsterdam and Vienna. There is so much to do and see in Prague – the Astronomical Clock, the Jewish Quarter, Prague Castle, the Palace Gardens… – the list continues on and on. Though it is steeped in history, it is also quite cosmopolitan, as well; there is no shortage of galleries, fine dining, bars, and clubs to satisfy any kind of traveler. As Prague is usually the gateway and main point of entry into and out of the Czech Republic, it shouldn’t be hard to explore and see why it is nicknamed “The Land of Stories.”