Eurail Blog | Home About

Czech Republic Berlitz-fueled brainstorm

Berlitz Pocket Guide Czech Republic – at »

No stupid puns were used in the writing of this Czech Republic guidebook review
Skimming through this wee yet dense guide, I’ve started kicking around things I might do in Prague and the CZ. There is certainly no shortage of ideas. What will happen? I have no bloody clue. I’ll know what I’m doing, once I’m doing it.

The Berlitz guides do ring in a bit more for the more mainstream traveler, but the basic info they provide – in a cargo-pocket friendly size, of course – is most helpful. Basic info such as the climate, tipping, etc., is supplemented by useful phrases and breakdowns of major cities and outlying areas perfect for day trips.
I see the Berlitz guides as excellent teases, jumping-off points: here’s a taste to get you going, but a little more scant on the details to encourage you to find your own way.
Thanks to Berlitz, some stuff I might try to get up to in the Czech Republic

  • The CZ is known for music, so maybe find some Czech jazz in a nightclub/bar, or maybe something about the composer Dvorak?
  • Day trip to Plzen – birthplace of pilsner beers – for Pilsner Urqell? (here’s the site in Czech as well)
  • Look for further evidence of how the Celts are bloody everywhere: p11: “In prehistoric times the Czech Lands were inhabited by Celtic tribes, one of them being the Boii, from which the name Bohemia is derived.” Where the hell do you not find evidence of the Celts? I bet that at one time there were Celtic penguins.
  • What are things to do in Wenceslas Square? Things to look for? Groups of people who frequent it?
    Those are just a few ideas. And I’ve hardly touched on all the outlying areas the Berlitz guide goes into – especially Bohemia and Moravia. The Czech Republic is about the size of Scotland, and just as full of nature, history, and things to do. Just by sticking my nose in this wee book for a couple of hours, something tells me that by the time I actually leave the CZ I’ll be ready to play a much, much longer trip there for the future, than just the couple of days I’ll be there this fall.
    And isn’t that the point: to see and be inspired for more?
    Cover flap maps of the CZ and of Prague are pretty decently detailed, or at least enough so, like the content, to give you a framework from which to find your way. The “Useful Expressions in Czech”, on the front cover flap, is one of my favorite parts of the book. Main sections include:
  • The Country and the People
  • A Brief History
  • Where to Go (covers Prague, Bohemia, Moravia, and Bratislava, Slovakia)
  • A Selection of Hotels and Restaurants (worth a look, but backpackers, follow your nose and the recommendations of your fellow hostelers)
  • What to Do (Shopping, Entertainment, Sports)
  • Eating Out
  • Blueprint for a Perfect Trip (not so much suggested itinerary and activity, but more a breakdown of nuts and bolts)
  • Fact Sheets
  • Maps
    See, and not one stupid “Czech it out!” pun. I can’t stand those things.
    Berlitz Pocket Guide Czech Republic
    So small, take it with you just so people can ask, “Is that a guidebook in your pocket?” »