The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have always shared common cultural and intellectual values as well as religious traditions. Commonly known as ‘Visegrad Group’ (V4), these cities may differ in many aspects, but they vividly depict the most common features of the Central European region. However, each city in the region is unique and priceless.
The Czech Republic
A hidden jewel in the heart of Europe, tourists from all over the world visit this Slavic nation for its traditions, castles, sites and scenery. Its array of historical museums, monuments, memorials and attractions excite even the geekiest of history buffs. There are over 24,000 miles of marked hiking trails that run all over this beautiful Central European country. There are over 2,000 caves in the Czech Republic, with the Punkva Caves in the Moravian Karst in South Eastern Czech Republic being the most popular. The Czechs also love music, and the country has a thriving folk tradition. The Czech Republic has a lot to offer including 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Hungary is filled with structures and monuments that are considered treasure troves by visitors. From Roman ruins, medieval townhouses, baroque churches, neoclassical public buildings and art nouveau bathhouses and schools, Hungary has so much to offer. Be it Budapest or other cities like Szeged, Kecskemét, Debrecen and Sopron, there’s something to discover at every turn. Many travellers even go out of their way for another glimpse of their favourites, such as the Reök Palace in Szeged or the Mosque Church in Pécs.
Poland is the perfect destination if you’re looking for great food, ever-present culture and European charm. The diversity of Poland’s cities and towns means that travellers won’t feel that their tour is a litany of sameness as each city here offers a distinct feel and culture. Warsaw is known for its urban pulse, Krakow for its historic pride, Wroclaw for its whimsy and Gdansk for its stately maritime heritage. Poland also has a distinct music scene, which ranges from jazz to medieval to opera music, enjoyed in a variety of historic and modern venues. Outdoor concerts take place in parks and squared during the warmer months, while the church concerts and operas highlight the winter season.
Plethora of castles, zounds of caves, spas, national parks and reserves, several UNESCO sights, rich folk and historic traditions – Slovakia is a treasure trove in itself. The High Tatras Range offers breathtaking places to visit, and Zelené Pleso (Green Tarn) should be close to the top of your list. The Banská Štiavnica reserve comprises as many as 360 structures. Together they present a unique set of high cultural and historical value. The dominant sight of the town centre is Old Chateau (Starý zámok) west of the Trojičné námestie square.