Last Updated on October 26, 2023 by AIFS Abroad
When you think of summer study abroad destinations, the landlocked Eastern European country of the Czech Republic might not be first at the top of your list. But once you’re sitting by the Vltava River with the sun shining over the breathtaking Prague skyline, you’ll see why the city is called the “Heart of Europe.”
Here are a few of the many reasons why you should “check” the Czech Republic off your summer study abroad bucket list:
1. Wonderful Weather
The Czech Republic’s iconic countryside provides an eye-catching landscape pretty much any season, but summer is the best time to go, mainly to beat the harsh winters there. With average temperatures between 68°F and 77°F, summers are right in the sweet spot for strolling the historic streets of Prague or trekking the hills of Bohemian Switzerland. Make sure you bring a raincoat — Czech summers can be a little rainy.
2. Awe-inspiring Architecture
Rain or shine, the summer weather brings out the beauty of Czech architecture, particularly in the capital city of Prague, where Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque create a complimentary bouquet of structures that reach towards the skyline. That’s why Prague is known as “The City of a Hundred Spires.” You just have to walk down the Charles Bridge, flanked by 30 Baroque statues, with the Prague Castle behind and Old Town ahead to appreciate the care the Czech people have taken in preserving their history, while not shying away from modernity.
3. Czech Countryside
As essential Prague is to the Czech Republic experience, the locals would agree that Czech summers are for the countryside. Home to four National parks, two of which contain Biosphere Reserves, you can take in that natural beauty by foot, bike, canoe and even horseback!
4. Historical Happenings
Straddling both eastern and western Europe, Czech Republic has gone through many changes (and names) over its history. From its early days as the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia, the home to several Holy Roman Emperors, and a key battleground for both World Wars, learning the history of Czech Republic is a good lens for viewing the history of Europe, and maybe even the world.
5. Food and Fun
Czech food is unique because it has both inspired and been inspired by the countries it is surrounded by. You’ve got wurst and various cured meats from Germany and other countries from the west, and dumplings and pierogis from the east. Czech’s biggest imports to Europe and the world at large, however, are two things: their café culture and their beer!
Historical figures such as Franz Kafka and Albert Einstein have openly shared their love of Czech coffee houses, which are known for their strong coffee and strudel-covered koláče (pies), tarts and fritters.
Beer is a huge part of Czech culture — residents boast it as the best in the world, and with good reason! Pilsner Urquell, a brewery in Plzeň, produced the first “pilsner” type of beer in the world 182 years ago. It is now wildly popular across Europe and abroad. Studying abroad during the summer in the Czech Republic is a great way to experience the history behind this industry and cultural staple.