As winter unfolds, we're sharing some tips for seasonal trips. Many monuments have entered winter hibernation, creating a contrast between quiet city streets and bustling mountains.
Embark on a journey through seven charming towns, all conveniently within reach of Prague! Delight in the serenity of winter, as these destinations remain pleasantly devoid of the usual tourist crowds. Seize the opportunity to savor a unique and tranquil experience, making the most of the season while it lasts!
1. Mladá Boleslav
The first town we will invite you to is the home of the famous Czech car factory. You can visit the Škoda Museum all year round. More than 300 exhibits of passenger cars, prototypes and racing specials await you in the former production halls. Do you prefer to travel by air rather than by land? Then visit the Metoděj Vlach Aviation Museum, which is located right next to Mladá Boleslav Airport. In good weather you can watch small planes in action. In addition to historical and contemporary planes, there are also flight simulators or a real slide from a transport aircraft.
If you want to learn more about the town on the Jizera River, head to the castle! Today, the Museum of Mladá Boleslav is located here and its permanent exhibitions will bring you closer to the life of our ancestors in the town and in the countryside. Or head to the Temple City Palace, which according to legend was the home of the mysterious Templars. Inside you will find a gallery and a multimedia exhibition dedicated to archaeology. Another gallery can be found in the Old Town Hall on Old Town Square. In good weather, you can look around the historic centre of the town from the gallery of the town hall tower at a height of almost 32 metres.
Still not enough? A visit to the Choir of Czech Brothers will transport you to Italian Venice. The Jewish cemetery is also worth a visit. Just be careful not to arrive on Shabbat. You won’t miss any important place in Mladá Boleslav if you follow the Metal Trail. And if that’s still not enough for you, head to the nearby Dobrovice Museums, where you can learn about Czech lump sugar, for example.
2. Kutná Hora
If it can be said that any town definitely does not sleep in winter, then it is the royal town of Kutná Hora. The town, inscribed on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List, primarily attracts visitors from all over the world with its unique atmosphere. Anyone who would think that only the ossuary and the Church of St. Barbara are of interest here would be deeply mistaken. When visiting Kutná Hora, every tourist will find something attractive.
Take the kids to the Lego Museum, where all the little builders will have fun in the playroom. You can find it halfway between the ossuary and the cathedral in Sedlec, which boasts a self-supporting staircase. The cathedral doesn’t close for the winter either. Or visit the Chocolate Museum with your little sweet teeth. In addition to the museum itself, you can taste chocolate from all over the world and buy a piece to coat your nerves at home. The former Jesuit college houses the Gallery of the Central Bohemian Region, abbreviated GASK. Big visitors can see works by young artists, and the little ones can enjoy a children’s corner with interactive play elements and space for their own creativity. Who knows, maybe one day your little artist will find their way into the GASK exhibition.
In order to absorb the genius loci of Kutná Hora, you must not miss a visit to the mint in Vlašský dvůr aka the Italian Court. And as a souvenir you will take away a hand-stamped Prague groschen. Did you want to buy a postcard at the information centre? How about making a postcard? Print it yourself with the historical printing machine in the Printing House opposite the Silver Museum with the medieval mine. However, you’ll have to wait until spring for the silver mine to open after the winter break. Continue your search for the history of the royal town to the Corpus Christi Chapel, the predecessor of St. Barbara.
Still can’t get enough of Kutná Hora? Good. Then we recommend a visit to Dačický House with an interactive exhibition about UNESCO monuments. You can crawl through the entire house from the basement to the attic as you please. Film fans will be thrilled by the new Aliens museum, which explores the sagas of the bloodthirsty Alien and humanoid Predator. Or climb to the top of the Havířská bouda tower, which houses a café, and take a bird’s eye view of the royal town.
We will stay a little longer at the royal towns and move just a few kilometres to the north from Kutná Hora. On the banks of the Elbe River lies Kolín with its unmissable landmark – St. Bartholomew Cathedral. Bartholomew hill is beautiful in every season. And although the herb garden is quietly going into hibernation, there are still plenty of places to visit. Start with the church itself, built by Petr Parléř, continue to the mysterious ossuary, enter the bell tower with objects from the church treasury, see the old parish school and finally discover the Regional Museum, where you will learn about the history of the town and its important personalities.
The town also rightly uses the nickname “Jerusalem on the Elbe“. The first Jews settled here shortly after the founding of Kolín by Přemysl Otakar II, and there are still many traces of them in the town. You can visit both the old and the new Jewish cemetery, where relatives of the writer Franz Kafka or members of the prominent Feldmann, Gugenheimer and Petschek families rest. The name of the last mentioned family is connected with the infamous Petschek Palace – the seat of the Gestapo during World War II. Or stroll through the winding streets of the Jewish ghetto with its synagogue and Rabbi Feder’s office in the former Jewish school.
In addition, Kolín is proud of another interesting thing: in 2015, the former water tower was given a new and innovative use, it became the Kolín Water Tower lookout.
From the heights straight to the depths. But not depths of the student’s soul (reference to the old Czech movie “Journey to the Depths of a Student’s Soul) but to the depths of the Příbram mines. From Tuesday to Friday, you can visit the Mining Museum and go down the mine. A ride on the mine train will put a smile on the face of visitors young and old. Just remember to wear warm clothes, it’s cold underground. But if you want to see a real curiosity, visit the exhibition of mineral rocks. They’ve got a real hairy rock here! After the tour, warm up with a climb to Svatá Hora (Holy Mountain). A covered staircase with 343 steps leads from the centre to the pilgrimage site.
Near T. G. Masaryk Square, visit the Gallery of František Drtikol, a native of Příbram. Or visit Natura House, where you can learn all about Brdy – the Central Bohemian mountain range at the foot of which Příbram lies. The House also includes a unique Sphingidae Museum. Would you like to know what they are? It is a collection of butterflies of the lichen family. For this attraction you would otherwise have to go all the way to London, as there are only two of such museums.
How about a look around the royal town of Příbram? Just head south, where the Museum of the Bohutín Region is located in the area of the former Řimbaba mine, with the possibility of climbing the lookout tower. Or a little further south, the Neo-Renaissance château with the Antonín Dvořák Memorial is hidden in the woods. At the War Memorial in Lešetice, where the only surviving communist camp in the Czech Republic is located, you can see that history was not always rosy.
Warning! We do not recommend it for more sensitive persons because of its atmosphere.
You are already familiar with the old mining technology. So how about looking at modern methods of mining coal and ores? On the outskirts of the largest town in Central Bohemia is a real gem. The Mayrau Mining Museum, which is a branch of the Sládeček Museum, was built on the site of a former mine. To this day, everything looks the same as it did in 1997, when the last miner left the mine. Many of them found a new job as guides in the open-air museum after the end of mining. And so you have a unique opportunity to hear the real stories and experiences of the “mole” men.
Did you know that the Mole is a VIP of Kladno? The cartoon character that has won the hearts of children all over the world has found its home in Kladno Château, where there is an exhibition dedicated to the Mole and the Kladno native Zdeněk Miler.
In addition to the sights of Kladno, we recommend a visit to nearby Lidice. This small, inconspicuous village has indelibly written its fate into Czech and world history. This year marks 80 years since the tragic event.
We will end our journey through Central Bohemian towns with a well-deserved rest. Poděbrady is a popular destination for spa-dandies and ladies looking for a well-deserved rest. However, if you don’t want to spend all your time on spa treatments, head out to explore the town. Dominated by the château with hearts displayed in the courtyard, the square is home to the Film Legends Museum, which immerses you in the action of your favourite films. Or you and your children can drop by the Museum of Lego, a branch of the Kutná Hora Museum of the same name. You can warm up with a tour of the Crystal Bohemia glass works, whose crystal glass is bought by foreign tourists in the centre of the capital. You can learn about the history of the spa town in the Polabské Museum. Or rent bikes and go for a ride along the Elbe River to Nymburk or the confluence of the Elbe and Cidlina rivers.
You don’t have to go all the way to Moravia for wine. The centre of the Czech wine industry is the royal town of Mělník, dominated by a château with extensive wine cellars, open to public all year round. In the Regional Museum you can learn about the history of the town and the wine tradition in Bohemia. Go underground again and see what it looks like under the square. And if you prefer heights to depths, climb up to the Prague Gate, which houses a café and the Ve věži Gallery.
Worth To See
It holds a very special position among Czech castles. It is one of the symbols of Czech statehood. There used to be crown jewels hidden behind its walls. Introducing: His Majesty Karlštejn.
A literal European rarity is hidden in the Nymburk region. The year-round accessible Loučeň Castle hides a Labyrintharium in its unconventional park - 12 mazes and labyrinths inviting to play and relax.
Mayrau Mining Museum
At Kladno's mining open-air museum, step into an atmosphere frozen in time, with mining machinery and uniforms preserving the industrial legacy.
Maková Hora Pilgrimage Site
The Maková hora pilgrimage site is an excellent destination for admirers of fine architecture, as well as those who seek tranquillity in the heart of nature, in a place of spiritual enlightenment.
The Cathedral of St. Barbara in Kutná Hora
The Gothic landmark of the royal town of Kutná Hora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Cathedral of St. Barbara is an example of the wealth of a medieval town combined with the piety of its inhabitants.
Crystal BOHEMIA Glassworks
Even though Crystal BOHEMIA was only founded relatively recently, in 2008, its owners continue a long tradition of glass-making in Poděbrady