Even tough being a European volunteer means a lot of duties and responsibility, it is also important to find other ways to improve your personality and gather new experiences or inspirations. That is why it is a necessary to manage your free time properly, and do not worry, it is definetely a skill that living in a foreign country and being independent can teach you. Everyone has their own techniques to charge the batteries, clear the mind and explore something interesting, and for me the most useful and practical way for that has always been traveling.
Czechia indeed has a couple of beauties to see, and beyond the most recommended areas it might be fascinating to realize your personal ideas for trips, no matter if you decide to travel individually or with the company of others. If I think about the places I had the chance to visit so far, all of them gave me some memorable moments and some specific knowledge that I can put into an imaginary backpack for the future.
The fact that the public transport works very well in general and you can always find some cheap tickets by one of the companies also makes it easier to arrange some journeys, and from the beautiful landscapes until the authentic architecture of some cities it is worth to explore more even for the ones who do not have traveling as a strong passion.
First of all it is inevitable to mention the most important sights of my city of staying, Ostrava. Since the place has a remarkable industrial heritage, we should definetely talk about Dolní Vitkovice, which is one of the biggest factory complexes in the whole of Europe, that had been working for more than a hundred years until it was finally closed.
However, due to its former importance in the past, the industrial area has not been destructed, so the old buildings and some of the machines are still there that makes the huge area a real open air museum for the visitors. When you walk among the enermous ruins, you might have the feeling that you are in a nekropolis which is a memento of a forever-gone era. Apart from that, the industrial, technical and transportation museum U6 or the Bolt Tower might be interesting to check for a couple hours in the Vitkovice zone as well.
Although Ostrava is the third largest city of the country, the historical centre itself is very tiny, but the main square, the Masarykovo náměstí and its close area are worth to see, because all together with its traditional buildings it is a nice example for the gentle and harmonic atmosphere of the Czech cities.
Some of the churches are also open for the visitors, first of all the cathedral with its impressing internal shapes and colors, but the view from the Old Town Hall's tower, the castle on the Silesian side (Slezskoostravský hrad) and the biggest river of the city, Ostravice and its corso are also charming destinations for a traveler, just as other classical monuments, like the Antonín Dvořák Theatre or the Dům kultury (Culture house).
If we take a look to the wider region, there are many hidden treasures close to Ostrava where you can go to spend there a whole day or even just an afternoon. Frýdek-Místek is a lovely city that was united of two towns, so it has two main squares and centres: one of them is up to the hill with a wonderful castle, and the other one is down in the valley, while the whole place is very close to the nature which creates a very friendly and pleasent environment for the visitors.
Český Těšín is an extraordinary and unique place as well, and it used to play a very remarkable role in the past because of its perfect location. The speciality of the city is the fact that it is devided between Czech Republic and Poland and it lays on the border: the Czech side is rather industrial and urbanic, but there are some nice wonders to see there as well, while the Polish side, Cieszyn inherited the historical beauties, such as the castle with its watchtower close to river Olza, that separates the two countries.
Karviná is a very tiny place in general close to Český Těšín, but its historical centre with the clocktower, the main church and the palace is indeed very adorable and fascinating, while if you are looking for a medium-sized city which is typically Czech and has a remarkable spirit according to me, the variable architecture and the vivid streets of Opava will give you that feeling for sure.
The ones who need something more traditional, medieval and who are interested in the countryside as well, the ideal trip could be to go to Štramberk, which is famous not only because of its incredible landscape, castle walls, and gothic tower (Trúba), but also because of the local sweets called as štramberské uši (ears of Štramberk), which are related to an interesting legend back from the Middle Ages.
If we move a little bit further from the Moravian-Silesian region, we will find two very well-known cities, that are almost obligatory for someone who stays for a longer time in the country. Olomouc (Olmütz) is a living and breathing monument, which is a unique mixture of modern Czech life and pure history with the dozens of churches it has due to its archbishopric title, and this city is definetely a place where it will be a real pleasure for you to get lost for hours and find your own unforgettable miracles.
Since I have mentioned historical architecture, do not miss the opportunity to find a way to visit Telč in the southern part of the country. Its houses are such special because of their structures, shapes, colors and frontages that you can really feel like if you had travelled back in time along the streets, therefore no wonder that the old centre is under the protection of the UNESCO World Heritage program.
In the same time, Brno, which is the second largest city of the country and the capital of Moravia as well, is a place which is full of life because of its university students and cultural festivals. The so-feared prison-castle of the Habsburg Monarchy, Špilberk with its peaceful and marvelous garden is something that we must see if we have the chance to go there, but the two main squares, the cathedrals, the elegant corso-streets with their coffee shops, restaurants and pubs will also provide very cosy and familiar vibes to the tourists.
If you have more time, the tower of the Old Town Hall with its exciting panorama or a walk upon the hill can be some additional experiences to have a whole perspective and to inhale the centuries of the city.
Of course, I could not miss the first possible chance to go to the worldwide famous capital of the country, Prague, which is full of people and interesting sights during the entire year. Besides the cathedrals, basilicas, synagogues theatres, constantly inviting hospodas and museums of the city t(hat would take at least a week to explore completely), the riverside of Vltava is a very inspiring and authentic part of Prague, so it is not a surprise that the Czech composer Smetana named his emotional classical piece, Moldau after this spectecular view.
Let's have a walk through the gorgeous Charles Bridge, then go up to the castle hill and to the famous fortess, the so-called Vyšehrad, or check the misterious curves of the ancient clocktower, the Orloj: whatever you find, no matter if it is old or new, if it is famous or totally unknown, Prague is definetely something that will take its secret place in your heart.
Inspite of the trips that I have had until now, I have to admit that Czech Republiuc is much more, both in terms of sightseeing and hiking, and, what is also important, in terms of learning and meeting others too, which are also inevitable parts of improving yourself - and that is absolutely among the goals of being a volunteer besides the tasks and the daily schedule.
There are still many miracles waiting for me outside in the Moravian streets, the Silesian Mountains or in the Bohemian forests, but they also wait for everyone who is open for something, which does not seem to be that exotic and challenging for the first look, however, if you go down deeper inside this rich and hospitable culture, you will be able to find the magic in it for sure.