It’s hard to believe that Czechia was once a little known Communist state in the Eastern Bloc. Since the Velvet Revolution, the country has become one of the top European travel destinations, and its historic capital city, idyllic countryside, and vibrant art scene continue to attract new visitors every year. From its fine beers to its rich folklore, there's so much to discover in Czechia no matter what your interests are. This year, head into the heart of Eastern Europe and see for yourself what makes Czechia such a fascinating and unforgettable country.

01Prague

aerial view of old town square in Prague Eloi_Omella / Getty Images

Your Czech adventure needs to start in Prague, the stunning capital city. Head straight to the main sights, including Prague Castle, the 14th-century Charles Bridge, and the Old Town Square. Next, learn about the country's history of Communism and the Velvet Revolution in the Museum of Communism, and check out the National Gallery for Czech art and literature. A tour through the Jewish Quarter is also a great way to see more of the city while learning about Czechia’s dark past. Don’t forget to stop for a world-famous Czech coffee or beer while sightseeing!

02Take a hike

Divorka Sarka nature reserve Prague Albertem / Getty Images

Once you’ve seen Prague’s city center, spend some time exploring the nature that surrounds it. Two parks that make for great day trips from Prague are Divoká Šárka and the Nature Park Klánovice-Čihadla. Hop on a tram and head to Divoká Šárka for cycling, hiking, or rock climbing. For even more of an adventure, visit the much larger Nature Park Klánovice-Čihadla and see Czechia's natural beauty without venturing far from Prague.

03Český Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov in Winter benstevens / Getty Images

If you’ve always wanted to feel like you’re in a fairytale, then a visit to Český Krumlov is a must. The town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s as idyllic as it gets. Easily one of Europe’s most beautiful towns, Český Krumlov is the perfect place to experience life the way it used to be. The main event is the Český Krumlov Castle that sits watching over the town. Built in 1240, the castle is a breathtaking example of both Baroque and Renaissance architecture. Take a tour of the castle and spend the rest of the afternoon strolling through the expansive grounds.

04Have a Czech spa experience

Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad) is a spa city situated in western Bohemia, Czech Republic alxpin / Getty Images

Karlovy Vary is one of the oldest spa towns in Czechia, and it’s been known as a place of healing and restoration since the 1300s. Popular with Europe’s elites, anyone looking to experience a traditional Czech spa should visit the town. Pick up a specially made ceramic cup and spend the day sipping the restorative water from the 13 main mineral springs.

05See the glassware of Karlovy Vary

Colorful round glass paper weights displayed for sale with a sidewalk vendor in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic KenWiedemann / Getty Images

Apart from its spas and mineral springs, Karlovy Vary is also famous for some of the best glassware in Europe. The town has been the European center for glassmaking since the 1800s, and it continues to thrive to this day. Check out the Moser Visitor Center to learn more about the history of Czech glassmaking, watch glassblowers work, and see some of the finest examples of glassware and glass artistry on the continent.

06Kutná Hora

Beautiful summer view on St. Barbara's Church in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic Milan Chudoba / Getty Images

An old silver mining town and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kutná Hora is a stunning example of what towns used to become with enough wealth. Many of the buildings date back to the 1300s and they all showcase beautiful examples of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture. One landmark you can’t miss is St. Barbara’s Cathedral. The cathedral was built in 1338, and it features frescos, bas relief carvings, and sculptures depicting various religious stories.

07Sedlec Ossuary

Kostnice Church in Kutna Hora with Ossuary interior decoration from human bones and skulls, Czech republic rustamank / Getty Images

Although located in Kutná Hora, the Sedlec Ossuary deserves its own mention. When the church was renovated in the 1800s, the designers decided to get creative with the massive amounts of bones in the crypt. Today, it's known as the Sedlec Ossuary, or simply the Bone Church. Visit the ossuary to see garlands of skulls and bone chandeliers decorating every inch. This morbid curiosity is every photographer's dream, so make sure your camera is charged.

08Bohemian Paradise

National Park Adrspach-Teplice Rocktown, Czech Republic ewg3D / Getty Images

Located in northeast Czechia, the Bohemian Paradise is a protected nature reserve and the first of its kind in the country. The main attractions are the sandstone rock formations scattered throughout the region. If you like rock climbing, you have your choice of places to climb. For everyone else, pick a trail and hike through Czechia's lush forests. When you need a break from the great outdoors, check out the area's quaint villages and market towns.

09Konopiště Chateau

Konopiste Castle in Czech Republic j-wildman / Getty Images

Most famous for being the final residence of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Konopiště Chateau is one of Czechia’s most beautiful palaces. Head 30 miles outside of Prague to the small town of Benešovsee. Sign up for an English tour to see the palace and its fantastic collection of ancient weapons, and don't miss the bullet that killed the Archduke! After your tour, head to the gardens where you can see ornate statues and carriage houses.

10Bohemian Switzerland

Pravcice Gate in Bohemian Switzerland region in Czech Republic fotokon / Getty Images

Another stunning outdoor destination is Bohemian Switzerland, also called Czech Switzerland. Located in northwest Czechia, the national park is known for its valleys, waterfalls, and unique rock formations. Hike through the park to see some of the highest mountains in Czechia and the largest sandstone arch in all of Europe. Make sure your phone’s charged for this trip as there’s basically an endless amount of picture-perfect scenery to capture.