Click on the colored areas of the map to access a travelogue. The colors indicate different regions of the Czech Republic -- scroll down for explanation and introduction for each location. (Original map comes from the CIA World Factbook)
Introduction. The Czech Republic westernized about as fast as any of the former Warsaw Pact countries, which wasn't surprising considering its location -- bordered mostly to the west by Bavaria and the south by Austria. Czech had a long and prosperous history, especially during the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire when it was the northern province of Bohemia. Nowadays, a new major highway has been constructed that brings drivers (especially trucks) from Germany directly to Prague, and multiple trains run daily from Frankfurt am Main to Prague. Because of its accessibility from the west, most of my colleagues in Germany have been to Prague, usually as their first trip to former Soviet republics.
I had been to Prague multiple times. It was easily one of my favorite cities, and with the Czech koruna experiencing a period of weakness, it was also one of the cheapest. Doing Prague in depth required a full weekend, and I frankly still haven't done many of the museums and art galleries.
As far as the rest of the country went, I have only done the city of Karlovy Vary, probably the second-best known destination in Czech because of its border location with Germany. A brilliant and colorful city, Karlovy Vary was one of the most beautiful in Europe. Even with the opportunity to visit other locations in Czech, however, getting there by train would have been slow going. Until or unless they improve their train system, car was the best way to get around.
On my "list" for Czech Republic are some Austro-Hungarian castle cities that I hear of a lot, but no one I know has been there. These include Brno in the southeast, and Ceska Budjovice and Ceska Krumlov in the southwest. Ceska Budjovice is significant as the home of the original Budweiser brewery who successfully defended its international trademark against the same-named American brand. A popular beer subject among my Euro colleagues is often which "Budweiser" was better. However, the Czech variety pales in comparison to other Czech beers, such as one of my all-time favorites -- the Pilsner Urquell from the western city of Plzen. Urquell was the original 'pilsner' beer and remained one of the top international brands.
Travelogues. The coloring of the locations on the map above indicate different locations in Czech Republic, as shown below.
Links. The below links connect you to external sites in a new window. All links are official sites sanctioned by the national, state, or local governments unless otherwise indicated. These links will typically open to a Czech-language home page, which will offer an icon or link to an English-language section (normally limited content). If an English language link is not available, click on the "turista" section. This is for the tourism page, which should have English content available. Links updated 30 December 2005.