Last updated on December 5th, 2023 at 04:56 pm
I’m sitting next to my boyfriend, Sammy, and our feet are hanging about 10 meters above the ground. Our bodies are relying on just a couple of ropes and carabiners to keep us in the air, while one of the adventure park workers keeps pulling us even higher up. The pulling stops and this only means one thing – he’s about to release us any moment now.
– “Ready?” – the guy says.
– “Not really…” – I reply.
– “Me neither!” *proceeds pulling us even higher up*
I already felt like we were too high up, so the adrenaline started rushing in! A few moments later the pulling stopped again, and the guy said “Okay, this time it’s for real!”
My hands squeezed the swing handles, getting ready for the drop. And here it was. We were flying to the ground at a speed that didn’t even allow me to make a sound.
You know how a swing works – once you get to the bottom, you start going up again. That’s when I thought the scariest part was over. Then we started going backwards, at a speed that hadn’t decreased just yet – that’s when the screaming began.
The momentum gave us a few more big swings until the scary part was finally over.
The swing I’m talking about is the Big Double Swing at the Adventure Park in Dolní Morava, and it’s one of the many great places we visited in East Bohemia. We came here after an exciting 1 week in Brno, so we can discover more of Czechia’s hidden and not-so-hidden gems.
Keep reading to find out more about the swing and our full travel itinerary for the region East Bohemia in Czech Republic.
Best places to visit in East Bohemia, Czech Republic
1. Pardubice – the city of horses and gingerbread
Pardubice is not only the “capital’ of the East Bohemian region, but also a city famous for its gingerbread, sports and horses. Even the emblem of Pardubice makes a strong hint about the latter by displaying a silver horse on a red background.
The city is more than 700 years old and it’s a crosspoint between the Labe and Chrudimka rivers. Walking around the city center, I was mesmerized by the classy architecture, reminding me slightly of Vienna. It turned out that the historical center got its beautiful appearance during a time when the noble family the Pernštejns ruled the estate.
One of the things Pardubice is famous for is that it holds the toughest horse race in Europe, or at least they claim so. The event is called Velká pardubická (Great Pardubice) steeplechase and it’s a real spectacle to see with your own eyes.
Don’t forget to try the famous local gingerbread, and to be even more local-like, get the one in the shape of a horse!
Where to stay in Pardubice
We stayed at the lovely Hotel 100 which had a magnificent view of the colorful buildings of Pardubice, as well as a rooftop terrace, allowing you to see the city from above.
2. Dolní Morava
During our trip around East Bohemia, we spent a day in the second biggest ski resort in the Czech Republic – Dolní Morava, and discovered that the place is becoming incredibly popular in summer as well. And this is definitely not by chance. The next three activities are located right here and were the absolute highlight of our trip, so I can highly recommend you to add Dolní Morava to your East Bohemia itinerary.
Around the resort you’ll find 4 bike trails with a total distance of 25 km, 11 km of ski slopes and 50 km hiking trails.
We travelled here in September, so nowhere near the winter season, but we learned that this is one of the most modern ski resorts in the Czech Republic. Regardless of the season, it turned out that Dolní Morava is always a good idea.
If you’re looking for even more adrenaline, you should definitely check out the Adventure Park right across the Wellness Hotel Vista. We got to try the Big Double Swing, and as you have read in the beginning, it was absolutely filled with adrenaline.
The Big Double Swing is a huge swing for one or two people and drops you down from an elevation of 13 meters. The guy that works at the park told us that the youngest person to get on the swing was a 2-year old child… And it turned out that the adults scream much more than the children. 😉
Is the big swing something you’d do? Let me know in the comments!
Where to stay in Dolní Morava
The best place to stay in Dolní Morava is Wellness Hotel Vista, which is located right beneath the chairlift, leading to the ski slopes, Skywalk and Skybridge. The hotel offers a range of relaxation facilities and activities, such as a pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, massages and more.
3. Sky Walk
The absolute highlight of our Czech road trip. Two attractions I urge anyone to visit if you’re travelling around the region of Pardubice. The Sky Walk and the Sky Bridge 721.
Looking up the mountain from our hotel room in Dolní Morava, we could already see where we’re headed – the impressive newly constructed Sky Walk.
The name pretty much speaks for itself – it’s a construction that allows you to walk up the sky and be among the clouds, gazing at the beautiful surrounding Orlické Mountains, Jeseníky Mountains and Králický Sněžník massif.
Sky Walk was built in 2015 and it stands at 1116 metres above sea level. The construction is easily accessible even with a baby pram, making it suitable for anyone to visit. It’s usually open all-year-round, but this needs to be checked in advance, as it’s sometimes closed due to bad weather conditions.
We had some bad luck with our visit to the Sky Walk – just as we were walking up, halfway we were caught by a massive downpour. But after the long journey we had taken to get here, I was determined to make it to the very top. We quickly pulled out our raincoats, got the cameras in the bag and started walking quickly to the top while the rest of our group was running down to find a shelter.
Did we make it, you may ask. We did. And our jeans were soaking wet, but it was worth it. We got to the very top, looked at the cloudy view for a moment, and then ran back down to find our group.
If the weather allows and you don’t want to walk all the way back down, you can try the 101 metre long toboggan (slide), taking you to the very bottom of the Sky Walk.
4. Sky Bridge 721
Just a few metres from the Sky Walk, you’ll find Sky Bridge 721 – the world’s longest suspension footbridge (at the time of writing this in 2022) and one of the best places to visit in the Czech Republic. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t even in the plans for this to be the longest suspension footbridge – all they wanted was to build a bridge between two hills. Here are some key facts about the bridge:
- it’s 721 meters long
- It’s 95 meters above ground level
- Sky Bridge is one-way only. Once you go through it, you need to walk around it for about 2 km to get back.
- It has 6 main supporting ropes and 60 wind ropes of various diameters
- It took 2 years for the bridge to be built
- The width of the walkway is 1.2 meters
We went to the Sky Bridge right after getting off Sky Walk, as we were on a tight schedule and we couldn’t wait for the rain to fully stop. In the short few minutes on our way to the bridge, the sky cleared, as if it was giving us passage to cross safely on the other side.
As we set foot on the Sky Bridge, the sun was peeking through the clouds, allowing us to take out our cameras and take some photos of this beautiful place.
It took us about 10 – 15 minutes to cross the 721 meters, including all the photo stops we made, so the experience is short, but also very sweet. On the way back, we had to go to the hill on the left side of the bridge and walk about 2 km back to our starting point, which gave us some more opportunities to capture some awesome shots of both the bridge and the Sky Walk.
It’s important to buy your tickets in advance, as there are slots when one can cross the bridge – the maximum capacity is 500 people at once. You can purchase your ticket from their website.
If you want to visit Sky Bridge and Sky Walk, but you don’t have a car, you can check out this day trip from Prague which includes transportation, lunch and all admission tickets!
5. Mammoth Alpine Coaster
Both Sky Walk and Sky Bridge are located high up the mountain, so we used the chairlift to get here. On the way down, you could get the chairlift again, OR take the much more exciting route on a bobsleigh, making your way through the forest at a speed of up to 50 km/h.
I’m talking about the mammoth alpine coaster which starts on the right of the upper chairlift station. This was the most fun experience I’ve had in a long time and I would do it again in a heartbeat!
The ride took about 8-10 minutes and you’re able to control your own speed so you’re comfortable with it – you’re just not allowed to stop.
The bobsleighs can take up to 2 people and 150kg. As Sammy and I are a bit over this maximum, we didn’t want to risk it so we took two separate bobsleighs.
We went up and down, did 360° turns, went through figure eight loops… ah, what a ride!
P.S. keep in mind that towards the end of the ride there’s a camera at one of the turns. If you’re unaware of it, you might receive quite an unflattering shot, just like I did. So let’s all laugh together… (I swear I was super happy on the inside, just very focused on the outside).
Did you know the Czech Republic has 12 places included in the UNESCO World Heritage List? One of these historic sights is located in the town of Litomyšl, about 50 km away from Pardubice.
We got to spend one night in Litomyšl and see its main highlight – the Litomyšl Chateau (called castle by some), which was built in the second half of the 16th century and it’s one of the few examples of arcade castle in the Italian style built outside Italy. The chateau was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
After exploring the rooms of the chateau, be sure to go to the cellars, grab a glass of local wine and walk around the impressive cellar rooms, many of which hold an exhibition from the sculptor Olbram Zoubek.
Another must-visit is the Church of the Raising of the Holy Cross, located right across the chateau. The church was built in 1378, but it was demolished or damaged on a few occasions throughout time. Because of all the repairs, the church ended up with a mix of styles, though it still preserved its original Gothic look. You may also notice that a big part of the furnishings are Baroque from the second half of the 18th century. At the end of the 19th century, the church partially got more of its Gothic style back – even some of the current furniture is Neo-Gothic. During our visit, there were some modern installations, which is something I had never seen in a church before.
Where to stay in Litomyšl
We spent one night in Hotel Zlatá hvězda, which was very central, clean and overall delightful.
7. Nové Hrady Chateau – the Little Versailles of East Bohemia
“We bought this chateau back in 1997 and have been living here since. What can I say, it’s not very big…” These were some of the first words of an elderly lady that turned out to be one of the owners of the chateau. The other one – her husband.
Mr. and Mrs. Kučera used to own a house in central Prague but at the end of the last century, they found this chateau which was for sale (and for reconstruction), sold their home in the Czech capital and moved here.
Nowadays, the Nové Hrady Chateau is one of the few Rococo heritage buildings in the Czech Republic and it’s often named the Little Schönbrunn Palace (comparing it to the one in Vienna) and the Czech Versailles (as it resembles the one in Paris).
The building itself was constructed between the years 1774-1777 in the style of the French summer residences.
Apart from the chateau, in one of the buildings you’ll find the First Czech Cycling Museum, featuring exhibits from the mid 19th century till today.
The colorful Chrudim is the second largest city in the Pardubice region and it’s the third and last city we visited in East Bohemia.
It’s mostly popular for its Athens of East Bohemia classical music festival, as well as the UNESCO-listed art of puppetry. Czech puppetry has a long tradition and it’s properly celebrated during the annual puppetry festival called Loutkářská Chrudim. You can watch a puppet show or visit the Chrudim Puppetry Museum to learn more about this form of art.
Other interesting things to do in Chrudim include visiting the Assumption of the Virgin Cathedral, which was founded even before Chrudim was established as a town. You’ll find the cathedral at the main square, called Josef Ressel – named after a local, who actually invented the ship propeller. You could even see the house where Ressel was born in the Široká Street.
Just outside Chrudim you’ll find FotbalGolf Chrudim – a field for football golf, which was something I hadn’t tried up to this point. I mean, I have never tried golf, let alone football golf.
The idea is the same just like in golf – you need to get the ball in the hole, but here you’re using a football, which you need to kick with your foot. There are 16 courses with different obstacles you need to get through in order to finish them, and in 1 hour we managed to complete 12 of them. It was surprisingly fun and we didn’t even feel when the time had passed by – I was so bummed we didn’t get to finish all of the courses, as there were some interesting challenges coming up.
If you’re into alternative sports, I recommend you to check out FotbalGolf Chrudim.
Where to stay in Chrudim – Hotel a restaurace Fortna
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Chrudim, I recommend Hotel Fortna – a central, very highly rated and reasonably priced accommodation. We got to also try the restaurant at the hotel, which impressed me with its aristocratic ambience and very delicious food!
9. Ranch pod Kuňkou
The sound of horseshoes against the concrete. A herd of deers and bucks, gazing at you from a 50-metre distance just from the other side of a fence. The birds chirping in the trees. I don’t think this place can get any more magnificent than this.
On our last day we headed to the Ranch pod Kuňkou for some horse riding up to the Kunětická hora Castle. I had only ridden a horse twice in my life prior to this, so I felt like a child, stepping on an ice rink for the first time – excited, but also terrified to certain extent.
Thankfully we had experienced riders with us throughout the whole time. We rode up to the castle and then right back down, which was just the perfect amount of time before my legs got tired to hold me straight on the horse.
To finish this trip the proper way, we had to go for one last meal and enjoy Czech food one last time. We headed to Restaurace pod Kunětickou horou for some goulash, which I can only recommend!
After seeing these 9 beautiful places in East Bohemia, our trip in the Czech Republic was complete. This itinerary is suitable for at least 5 to 6 days in the region, but you can take much longer exploring each city. You can even add one or two days for East Bohemia to your itinerary for Prague, as it’s not that far away.
If you’ve already been to East Bohemia, let me know if there’s anything else you’d add to this list, writing it in the comments below.
This trip in East Bohemia was possible thanks to the Czech Tourism Office (VisitCzechRepublic), the Official Tourism Office of East Bohemia and České dráhy (Czech Railways). However, all expressed opinions are mine and fully unbiased.
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