Castles, Vineyards, and Breathtaking Views in Romantic Czech Republic
When you hear the word “romance,” do long strolls through castle gardens and chance encounters in secluded nooks come to mind? If the answer is yes, then it’s time to put the Czech Republic on your radar. The Central European country—bordered by Poland to the northeast, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the southeast, and Germany to the west—has roots that climb back to the formation of the Duchy of Bohemia in the late 9th century, and its storied history has formed a land of enchantment and intrigue perfect for exploring with your special someone.
In Prague, the Czech Republic’s capital and largest city, the Royal Summer Palace (also known as Queen Anne’s Summer Palace) is perhaps the perfect place for lovers to begin their tour. Building of the palace began in 1538 under the direction of the Habsburg Emperor Ferdinand I, who reportedly dedicated the palace to his wife, Anne Jagiellon. Sadly, Anne never saw the castle to its completion, as she died shortly after the birth of the couple’s 15th child.
Channel Ferdinand and Anne’s great love and take a springtime stroll with your sweetie through the palace’s adjacent garden. You can then continue on to the Prague Castle and the nearby rose garden and fruit trees at Petřín Hill. As a tradition, lovers flock to Petřín’s park grounds every May 1 to kiss under a blossoming cherry tree near the statue of the poet Karl Hynek Mácha, known as the “Czech Don Juan.”
The nearby Obora Hvězda (Star Game Reserve) was established by Emperor Ferdinand but has ties to his son’s own love story. Ferdinand of Tyrol, a vice-regent of Bohemia and an amateur architect, commissioned a hunting lodge in the shape of a six-pointed star on the game reserve grounds in honor of his beloved, a woman named Filipina Weiserová. Though beautiful and educated, Filipina was of low birth and therefore her union with Ferdinand was considered socially unacceptable. Because of this, Filipina was not allowed to live at Prague Castle, so Ferdinand created a refuge for her here at the Star Summer Palace, as well as a second one deep in the forest at Křivoklát Castle.
Another way to experience Prague’s beauty with your loved one is to board a boat (you’ll find rentals near the National Theatre) and take a romantic cruise down the Vltava River. Once you reach the Charles Bridge, declare your eternal love by attaching a padlock to Prague’s own Lovelock Bridge. Then take a walk to Kampa Island Park and the Lennon Wall, where people channel the Beatles’ John Lennon with graffitied messages of peace and love.
What would a romantic venture be without a little wine? St. Wenceslas vineyard at Prague Castle is one of the oldest vineyards in Bohemia and produces grapes to make Pinot Noir and Rhine Riesling wines. The vineyard’s classicist summerhouse Villa Richter offers dining at its restaurants Piano Nobile and Terra and a sightseeing terrace—a perfect wedding venue—in the middle of the vineyard, overlooking all of Prague.
Other vineyards can be found throughout the city, including the newly renovated Viničiní altán in Prague’s Havlíček Orchards. Founded by Emperor Charles IV in the late 14th century, the vineyard is a popular spot for couples due to its adjacent English-style park with a large grotto—ideal for romantic walks and garden parties.
UNESCO-protected Český Krumlov, the country’s second most-visited city, is a picturesque countryside trip away from Prague. Here, you’ll find a small town that has preserved its medieval and Renaissance character and is made all the more beautiful by the Vltava River running through the city center. Rent a canoe and admire the historical sights as you paddle along—the Cloak Bridge at Krumlov Castle and the Gothic-style St. Vitus Church are particularly notable for their waterside views.
Acting as an accomplice to a romantic rendezvous is Asten Hotels, a boutique hotel collection with locations throughout the Czech Republic. Asten’s Hotel Bellevue Český Krumlov is situated close to the castle and offers 59 double rooms, three spacious junior suites, and three luxury suites. Its in-house Le Jardin restaurant serves dishes made with seasonal and local ingredients in an elegant indoor-outdoor setting; an adjacent wine cellar is ideal for small private parties. The Hotel Bellevue’s summer garden manor Bellaria can provide a gorgeous and historical setting for extra-special celebrations, with František Jakub Prokyš murals adorning the manor’s interior walls, stucco decorations by Matthias André in an underground grotto, and space for musical performances.
If you’d prefer to stay in a castle (and who wouldn’t?), book a stay at Český Krumlov’s Chateau Mcely Hotel & Spa, the first eco-chic—and regarded by some as the most splendid—castle hotel in the country. With just 23 original rooms and suites, Chateau Mcely provides luxurious accommodations in an intimate setting. Guests can dine at the hotel’s gourmet Piano Nobile restaurant, either inside or on the outdoor roofed patio, as well as experience the 17th-century Alchemist Club and wine cellar. Chateau Mcely also offers its renowned Mcely Spa, which features its own line of natural skincare products. Guests can stay in relaxation mode by cozying up with a book in the chateau tower’s library or taking in the vistas from the rooftop observatory. More active couples will enjoy a swim in the natural bio-lake flanked by a white-sand beach and activities on the multifunctional sports ground.
Whether you’re planning a wedding or honeymoon, or you’re just looking to have a fairy-tale excursion with the one you love, the Czech Republic has so much to offer. Enchanting castles, breathtaking views, and historical traditions blend to create a sweet retreat unlike any other. Visit the CzechTourism website to learn more about the country’s romantic enticements and to start planning your trip.
Want to win a stay at Asten Hotels’ Hotel Bellevue Český Krumlov or Chateau Mcely Hotel & Spa, plus castle tours, gourmet meals, and more? Enter our giveaway by June 30 for the chance to win the grand prize!