If the tourist crowds in beautiful Prague are too much for you, visit these 7 great nearby Czech destinations that have so much to offer and are far less packed.
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Czech Republic – Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc
Did I really travel all the way here just to see a column?
It seems as though I did.
I’ve come to the Czech city of Olomouc as part of my World Heritage Journey – the challenge I have set myself to visit every UNESCO World Heritage Site on earth. I probably wouldn’t have stopped here otherwise, but my research told me there is a site here.
You know what? I probably wouldn’t have even heard of Olomouc otherwise. Had you heard of it before you started reading this post and I mentioned it? Possibly not.
It’s a rather unknown city, even by Czech standards. Everyone knows Prague. Most tourists have heard of Cesky Krumlov. Brno is relatively well known by people in this part of Europe. Olomouc… I have never heard anyone mention it before.
Czech Rep – Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc
Eastern Europe is often overlooked for larger cities like Paris, London and Amsterdam, but the region is a budget traveler’s goldmine with sights and experiences that won’t stretch the budget. The Czech capital of Prague is typically a good jumping-off point for exploring the country itself, home to secret gems most travelers to Eastern Europe have never heard of, including the following.
Visiting the former capital of the Morvaia province allows you to leave the crowds of Prague behind. This small center of Baroque architecture is only two hours from Prague by train, but just as rich with culture and nightlife. Start at the Holy Trinity column, a UNESCO World Heritage site and Europe’s largest column.
Kampa Island, Prague
When we began planning our “grand tour around the Czech Republic,” Olomouc (oh-la-MOOTZ) almost didn’t make the list. Okay, its Holy Trinity Column is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but why drive into the middle of a city just to see it and leave? That sounded like a huge waste of time.
Two nights in Olomouc
We can thank our friends at Czech Tourism for changing our minds. “Spend two nights there and see the city,” they told us. “You’ll be really surprised.”
We were more surprised to find out that Olomouc is the first place that Lonely Planet mentions in its e-book Secret Gems of Europe. “Olomouc is a sleeper,” they write. “Practically unknown outside the Czech Republic and underappreciated at home, the city is surprisingly majestic.”
Okay. We were in.
Photo: Steve McKenna
Steve McKenna is seduced by the beauty – and wine culture – of the Czech Republic’s best-kept secret…
Source: Prague is the Czech Republic’s best-kept secret
Freddie Mercury was onto something — there’s plenty to rhapsodise about in Bohemia, even though there’s no sign of Scaramouche.
Source: Rhapsody to a Bohemian secret: Taking in the past and present in the Czech Republic’s Olomouc
With its sloping cobbled streets, beautiful baroque churches and an abundance of historical architecture, Olomouc is easily one of the most appealing cities in the Czech Republic outside of Prague.
Source: Olomouc – a treasure trove of historical architecture