Southern Czech Republic

by Female Abroad

Driving from Prague to Vinarstvi u Kaplicky (a winery) had us exploring the southern area of the Czech Republic, especially when the GPS cut out and Google Map directions did not match up with anything we saw. It was only once we were getting side-eye glances while parked in our Fiat Panda that we realized we were out of place in this unknown Soviet-era city. Deciding to head back to the most accurate Google direction, we were able to find the correct turnoff and end up at the winery. Do we know what city we just aimlessly drove around? No clue, but we were happy to be where our end goal actually was.

Once we were checked in, we headed up to the restaurant, where we found beer and amazing food. While yes, we were at a winery, wine is not really our thing, nor is Pilsner beer, yet it was what we decided on. It was also here that I had beef cheeks for the first time, and they were amazing. I like ordering weird, unique local food, so I decided on it while my travel partner chose the fillet (at less than U$ 10, it was a really good deal). Once he realized how much I was enjoying the cheeks, he decided to try them and then steal them while sliding the fillet over to me. I can honestly say that I have never complained about receiving a fillet mignon steak, first time for everything!

My family arrived, we met up with everyone then went for a private wine tasting the tunnels beneath the winery. It was really good wine and a really nice tour, if you are into wine then I highly recommend checking it out. However, since it was family and a wedding, it was a time of celebration and the locals decided to try to drink us Canadian's under the table. My travel partner learned that the winery sold craft beers that are available all over the country but restaurants won't serve them to foreigners if they do not know how to ask for them in Czech. Why? Because most of them are illegally made by people flooding their basements and brewing the beer as an open vat. Still better than Pilsners lol. It was also at this time we learned that the local drink is plum schnapps and you drink it by taking a shot and chasing it with a beer. My travel partner was left with the Groom, his underage brother, the brides Uncle and father. As he wanted to keep the groom as sober as possible and my underage cousin was being frowned at for drinking, my travel partner drank their shares along with his own - how he did not get food poisoning, we will never know.

For myself, I was drinking with the cousins who then decided to take me to the onsite nightclub. There are no people in the area so the nightclub buses people to the location. The entrance fee was C$ 20 and it was packed! It was not long before I got separated from the cousins and after looking for them for an hour, I decided to take off back to the room.

Let's just say, everyone was hurting and slow moving the next day but we all made it out to the wedding in Lednice. In the bus ride along the way, we ended up seeing a gypsy wedding which was very interesting. My cousin's wedding was held at a castle and Lednice is a gorgeous spot. While the fireworks were cancelled due to the weather, the rest of the wedding went ahead as planned and was a blast.


Being so close to Brno, there wasn't an option not to go, as Brno is a city that embodies the heart and soul of the Czech Republic. It's a place where history and modernity collide, creating a unique and vibrant culture. It is the second-largest city in the Czech Republic, but it's often overlooked by tourists, who tend to flock to more popular destinations like Prague.

It's a place where history and modernity, tradition and innovation, all come together to create a truly unique experience. Whether you're a history buff, a foodie, or just looking for a great beer, Brno has something to offer everyone. Its streets are lined with beautiful architecture, from the stunning St. Peter and Paul Cathedral to the functionalist masterpiece that is the Villa Tugendhat. The city's rich history is also on display at the Špilberk Castle, which has stood watch over the city for centuries.

Our goal was to dig into the varied cuisine found in the city, as it is known as one of the gastronomic must-visit locations in the country. Its traditional cuisine includes hearty dishes like goulash, roasted pork with dumplings, and fried cheese, all of which are sure to satisfy any hunger. But there are also plenty of international options, with restaurants serving up everything from sushi to burgers. And of course, no trip to Brno would be complete without trying some of the city's famous beer. The city has a thriving craft beer scene, with plenty of breweries and pubs serving up local favorites like Starobrno and Pegas.

However, our day trip was cut short when the locals gathered into a riot that was to chase the gypsies out of town but ended up chasing out any strangers, including us. This was fine as it certainly made for a good story and we just decided to head to Sedlac where we had visited a few days earlier as I had to see Kunta Hora's Bone church.

Sedlac, Kunta Hora

This little town is just an hour's drive east of Prague and it's a hidden gem that's definitely worth a visit. Kutna Hora was once a wealthy mining town, known for its silver deposits, and it played an important role in the economy of medieval Europe. Today, the town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its stunning Gothic architecture and well-preserved historic center attract tourists from all over the world.

While the city of Kutna Hora is well known in the south, the main draw is the Bone Church. Also known as the Sedlac Ossuary, it is a small chapel that's decorated with the bones of more than 40,000 people. This basement has walls, a ceiling, and even the chandeliers made from human bones. The bones were collected from local cemeteries and arranged into intricate patterns by a woodcarver in the 19th century; there is also still a cemetery that surrounds the building. Now, it might sound a bit macabre, but it's actually a really fascinating and unique piece of history and one that draws thousands of people per year.

If you are not interested in that, Kutna Hora has much more to offer than bones. The town's St. Barbara's Church is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, with soaring vaulted ceilings and intricate stained glass windows. It was once a site for pilgrimage, and the views from the lands around it are stunning. Just to the right of it is also a smaller, knockoff version of Charles Bridge, which is great to explore as it also doesn't feature the mass amount of tourists the original does. There is als the Italian Court, a former royal mint, is now a museum that tells the story of Kutna Hora's mining history and how North American got the term "dollar".

Another highlight are the mining tunnels that are found under the city. Some of them you can visit on a paid tour with a guide, and others you may have the chance to discover while out walking, exploring the city, as they have been known to randomly collapse, taking those walking above them with them. We were told of a tour guide who was explaining a well known statue to his group before disappearing right before his eyes.