BOHEMIAN SWITZERLAND GUIDE: TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT
For us is Bohemian Switzerland one of the best and most photogenic locations in Czech Republic.
Located approximately 90 minutes by car from Prague it is our favorite place to stay during free weekends.
Bohemian Switzerland also known as Czech Switzerland is a natural park and picturesque region in the north-western Czech Republic. The National Park is adjacent to the Saxon Switzerland National park (Sächsische Schweiz) in Germany. Let us lead you trough the best places to visit in this region.
BOHEMIAN SWITZERLAND, CZECH REPUBLIC
LATITUDE: 50.878404 | LONGITUDE: 14.37155
WHEN TO GO
The most beautiful and peaceful is probably beginning of spring and autumn. With less tourists, beautiful colours and foggy mornings. Don’t forget your rain jacket it can rain out of nowhere even though the weather says otherwise. Sneakers are nice but leave them home. You’ll be much more comfortable in hiking shoes.
Be aware that many natural attractions are partly closed or closed between middle autumn and middle spring. Don’t worry, we are covering it in this article in the “where to go” section of Edmund’s Gorge and Pravcicka brana. We also included opening hours and prices.
PRICE RANGE: $$ ($-cheapest, $$$$$-most expensive)
SOCKET: European 220 AC and the connection is made by a two-pin plug or three-pin plug
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at many places here so we can recommend you the one that suits you best. So let’s start with the best:
You get the local experience, it’s really nice place to stay (in the timber preferably), the food experience will blow your mind (more about that bellow) and it is nice starting point for exploring. The servis here is very nice and they really care about you. But as it is the best it is usually overbooked during the high season. Our TOP place for food, beer and stay really.
If you are a enthusiastic traveler and photographer, this one is for you. Basically you’ll get really nice room with beds, nice bathroom and also kitchen where you can cook or make a tea/coffee. Our favorite if we are doing some photo job or if we want to wake up early spend the whole day in nature and cook a late dinner afterwads. Also the people here are really kind and since it’s in House of Bohemian Switzerland you can get a lot of important information straight from reception. You can save yourself some trouble and book it here. They have only few rooms so don’t forget to book it in advance during high-season.
Basically it’s our top choice for food at Krasna Lipa. We didn’t spend a night here but we saw the rooms which are VERY nice and we have nothing but perfect experience from the stuff and food downstairs at Brewery. If you are a beer fan, go for this one and book it in advance.
It is complex of hotel, guesthouse and hostel. Everyone can choose the one that suits them well. you can pay for massage, fitness or sauna here and relax a bit.
Most expensive from the three obviously but affordable really. You’ll get really nice rooms, kinda luxurios here. And I think there is breakfeast included. You can even go for another meals. You can booked it here.
Not so nice as Aparthotel but for ordinary travelers very good. Simple room with bathroom, comfortable bed. Booked it here.
3) Lípa hostel
At the biggest tourist attractions go by the sunrise so you can avoid crowds. If you are lucky you will be alone and you will enjoy the atmosphere that can not be experienced during the day. Waking up is pretty tough even for me but it’s definitely worth it!
Try local beer Falkenštejn or Lišák.
WHAT TO VISIT
1) Pravcicka brana (Prebischtor)
the largest natural sandstone arch in Europe with amazing views. Hike is approx 90 minutes long starting from Mezní louka or Hřensko. Both of them are starting points for trip to Pravčická brána. First parking with closer hike to Pravcicka brana can be found here. And the hike from Mezni louka where the restaurants are located and path is better if you want to see landscapes during your hike is here. Be aware that Pravcicka brana has opening hours:
April to October: daily from 10:00 to 18:00
November to March: friday, saturday, sunday 10:00 to 16:00
Price is 75 CZK for adult and 25 CZK for kids. This place is well know so expect few tourist during early and late hours and A LOT of turists during the day.
2) Edmund’s Gorge (Edmundsklamm)
Narrow gorge near Hřensko. Edmund Gorge, formerly known as Quiet or Lower Gorge, is a rocky canyon of the Kamenice River, the last of the three gorges in the lower reaches of the river east of Hřensko. Its walls are formed of steep, often vertical rocky walls with noticeable cubical sandstone. Take a 960m (20min) long boat ride and enjoy the beauty around. Price per person is 140 CZK and you’ll get a boat ride and guide who will tell you more about the place with one or two really bad jokes (they speaks multiple languages). Be aware that Edmund’s Gorge is closed from November untill spring - begining of April usually. And when it’s open, you can get a ride from 9:00 until 18:00. At the end of the boat ride the famous cabin is waiting for you. You have to continue and you can get a beer, tea and food in the small place behind the corner. After 10 minutes of walking in and out of the rocks near river you’ll reach the signpost with few options. Go right up in the hill for a hike, go straight on for Divoka gorge (Wild gorge) with another 450m boat ride (15min) or you can go the the left over a wooden bridge uphill and then to the right on the road to reach the Mezni louka (30-60min). From Mezni louka you can take a bus back to the villages or go to the Pravicka brana.
3) Tiske steny (Tisa Walls)
Rock labyrinth that belongs to the Protected Country region Labské pískovce (The Elbe Sandstone Rocks) is a part of sandstone plateau that originated about 90 million years ago in the Cretaceous Mesozoic period. When the sea covering the northern part of the country retreated it left here layers of sandstone sediments cemented with kaolin, clay and other material. In the course of time the movement of the crust of the earth resulted in cracking of these sediments. Parking lot is located bellow the Tisa walls and hike is really easy with about 15 minutes to reach the top. A massive rock wall is rising up to 70 meters. You can walk around and find your own quiet rocks. We love this place. There is almost no one off season, just few people during weekends.
4) Decinsky Sneznik (Hoher Schneeberg)
highest mountain of Bohemian Switzerland with its observation tower. Easy hike that you can do with children or even sport style baby carry. Nice rocky mountains and nature with beautiful view.
5) Mariina skala (Marinefels)
View point near Jetrichovice. Open during all seasons. Mariina skala is the first stop of a very nice hike. You can reach this view point from the village Jetrichovice in about 40 minutes of slow walking. Hike starts from the Information Centre and goes steeply up the hill. You will pass a small pub where you can get a beer and grilled cheese and after two minutes you will pass former children’s sanatorium - looks like a haunted house now. After steep hike you’ll get to the signpost - go left for the Mariiana skala. The view point itself is reachable by the iron stairs. After little climbing the stairs, try to catch a breath and enjoy the view. It’s worth it! After enjoying the views you can go back down to the mentioned signpost and go left for the next location - Vyleminina skala.
6) Vileminina stena (Wilhelminenwand)
is the next stop after the Mariina skala. An undemanding 1 km long walk from Marinefels, which does not require any demanding climb and climbing the ladders. At the end you reach nice view point. Our favourite place for breakfast/snack. This place can be windy so be careful.
isn’t really in Bohemian Switzerland - it is a rock formation in the Saxon Switzerland National park towering 194 metres above the Elbe river in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains of Germany. But as we told you, Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland are like a really close brothers.
Rocks of the Bastei were formed by water erosion over one million years ago. They are also part of a climbing and hiking area that extends over the borders into the Bohemian Switzerland in Czech republic so basically it’s part of it.
Don’t forget your ID or passport and Euros if you are going from CZ side. You will have to cross the border between Czech republic and Germany - sometimes you can pass without police officers but they do security checks one in hundred cases so it’s better safe than sorry. Parking lot at Bastei costs 3€ per 3hours (minimum) and it accepts only coins since their paying machine si broken (November 2018). And if you forget to buy a ticket, you’ll get one - for 15€ as a fine. Here is the exact spot in Google maps for the parking lot: K8716- Bastei parking.
From the parking lot you need to walk few minutes to get to the complex. From the first hotel just go straight and explore all the forest aisless. From this point you don’t need our guidance, you’ll easily see/reach the viewpoints, Bastei bridge or Bastei old walls. Book a lot of time for this trip. It’s not that large but if you take a pictures and enjoying the view, you can easily spend a half of the day here. But again, don’t forget about your parking ticket.
8) Krizovy vrch
Thanks to its beautiful circular view Krizovy vrch hill offers excellent conditions for taking pictures of the surrounding countryside. It is located in small village called Rynartice. You can park your car directly under the best view point or in the village - it isn’t far, 10 minutes tops. If you are searching for the romantic place to stop for a sunset, don’t miss this hill. If you’re a photographer, you’ll sure enjoy the sunrise as well.
WHERE TO EAT
9) Pivovar Falkenstejn
Taste amazing local beers in Falkenstejn brewery. No time to sit for lunch or diner? Buy a beer to go in the bottle and enjoy it on top of the the hill during your hikes. Falkenstejn brewery is located in Krasna Lipa next to one of our recommended accommodations listed above and directly next to the information centre of Bohemian Switzerland. I think we spent too much time eating and drinking here. And we’re still looking forward for next time. Just be aware the opening hours are until 22:00 but the kitchen closes at 21:00. If you want a late dinner, be there at 20:30 maximum.
10) Na Stodolci – restaurant and guesthouse
Each time we visit Bohemian Switzerland we end up eating in this amazing restaurant Na Stodolci. Doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter. Food? Perfect! People? Kind. Beer? A lot of it and awesome. Most of the good stuff comes from locals and thier high quality BIO food. Our favourites are beef tartare, duck and pancakes. their beer is called Lisak (Fox). If it is warm outside, walk through the homestead. Visit stable with horses, meadows full of goats and other animals.
We like to take our coffee and pancakes to the nearest hill top to enjoy it while sitting on the bench and chatting about our future plans and projects.
11) Old gasworks building
Stop at Hrensko to visit old gasworks building. It was transformed into a guesthouse with restaurant which can be rented for private events. Building is located at the entry of the Bohemian Switzerland National Park near Hřensko, Czech Republic — just across the border to Germany. We are not big fans of this transformation but the building is beautiful.