The Czech Republic is an inland country in Central Europe whose immediate neighbours are Germany, Poland, Slovakia and Austria. The country is one of the economically most stable in the region and is easy to reach from anywhere in Europe. Visitors appreciate the local picturesque landscape, fascinating architectural monuments, rich history and high standard of services even in the area of healthcare. The Czech Republic became a European Union member country in 2004.
Besides the capital city of Prague which is one of the most beautiful European cities in Europe, the Czech Republic also has many other places which are worth visiting. Thanks to the small distances, it is possible even during a short stay to visit all twelve locations registered in the UNESCO Cultural Heritage List, a number of castles and chateaux, national parks, historical towns and cities and the picturesque countryside.
In the immediate vicinity to Prague it is worth visiting the castles of Karlštejn, Křivoklát, the chateaux of Konopiště and Nelahozeves or the medieval city of Kutná Hora with monumental cathedrals (registered in the UNESCO list).
Only a few dozen miles from Prague are the magical Renaissance city of Český Krumlov (UNESCO), the picturesque spa resorts of Karlovy Vary and Mariánské Lázně and the fairytale landscape of the Český ráj (Bohemian Paradise).
Even the more distant eastern part of the country is worth seeing; besides the historical cities such as Olomouc (UNESCO) you can find the sunny and hospitable wine region in the very south-east of the country.
The bigger cities especially offer a number of pleasant ways of spending leisure time throughout the year. The rich tradition of classical music is reflected in the offer of opera, ballet and concerts; musicals and various festivals ranging from classical to rock, jazz and alternative music are also popular; many of them are held in interesting locations such as palaces, churches and cathedrals or under the open sky such as on a boat or in parks. Prague also excels for its quality gastronomy from luxury international restaurants to the pleasant cafes, wine bars and traditional pubs.
Shopping opportunities are fully comparable with that of the rest of Europe; among the most desired goods are modern and antique Czech glass, Czech garnet jewellery, handmade marionettes, wooden toys and art books. The luxury Pařížská třída (Paris Avenue) is ranked among the ten prestigious shopping centre in Europe.
The Czech Republic also offers good conditions for sporting activities. In the summer season many dams can be used for water sports. In the winter there are downhill slopes to attract skiers, and for the rest of the year there are thousands of kilometres of perfectly treated and marked routes in the lowlands and mountains for hikers and bike hikers.
In 2007 the Czech Republic won the Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year award presented by 60 journalists of The Golf Travel Writers Association and the number of golf courses will soon reach a hundred (at the end of 2012 it was 96 golf courses).