The Czech Republic is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. A landlocked country located in the central region of the continent of Europe, it shares its borders with Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east, and Poland to the north-east. Its 78,866 km2 area is inhabited by 10.6 million people. The country has progressed by leaps and bounds after emerging from behind the iron curtain. It became a member of NATO in 1999 and joined the EU five years later.
With a progressing economy and high human development ratings, the country has now become a haven for travelers, who come to marvel at its manmade wonders and natural parks. The country has a stable democratic government that has paid special attention to developing and maintaining the tourism industry. At the same time, the country has safeguarded the national heritage, both natural and manmade. This has led to the creation of a large number of national parks and reserves where hunting is prohibited by law. At the same time, museums have been created and many guided tours are available for tourists, so they can travel the country and enjoy the best of what it has to offer.
The Czech Republic has a diverse landscape. It has low lying peaks in the west and a basin formed by draining rivers. The highest peak in the country, the Sněžka, standing 1,603 meters above sea level, is also situated here. The eastern parts are hilly, dominated by mounds. The mighty Oder River flows from amongst these hills.
The flora of the nation is as diverse as its landscape. There are large swathes of land covered by shrubs. The country has been divided into four zones according its flora. These are the broadleaf forests in the western region, the mixed forests in the central region, and the Pannonian and Carpathian conifer zones. The fauna of the nation is diverse as well. It includes avian species like the Avocet, Crane, Kingfisher, Long-Eared Owl, the Snowy Owl and the Woodpecker. Mammals like the Flying Squirrel, Pond Skater, and the Wolverine are common in the country.
Czech cuisine mostly consists of protein. Pork, beef, chicken, goose and rabbit are all common in the country and are ingredients of many of the local delicacies. Local delicacies like Vepřo knedlo zelo, Svíčková na smetaně, and Rajská are all based on beef and pork. Although fish is uncommon, trout and carp are served during the Christmas festivities.
Tourism brings travelers to the country from all parts of the globe. They visit many places, but some of the most common destinations are the Nether district called “Vítkovice” located in Ostrava, various medieval castles, as well as Karlovy Vary and other towns known for their spas. Apart from that, there are many homes of European royalty such as the Český Krumlov. Cathedrals are also popular among tourists, as are the Krkonoše peaks and forests. The various festivals held in the country are also popular among tourists. The Czech Beer Festival, a 17 day affair, is especially popular, as are the Pilsner Fest and Olomoucký pivní.