North Bohemia is a region in the Czech Republic and it consists of Ústí nad Labem Region and Liberec Region. This part of the country is not a popular travel destination due to lack of iconic and well-known sights. But North Bohemia offers breathtaking sceneries (Bohemian Switzerland National Park, Ceske Stredohori, Bohemian Paradise), where Elbe river flatland meets mountains and creates amazing rock structures, picturesque historic towns as well as some of the best castlesa ad cahteaus in the country.
North Bohemia, historically (for more information, see "Understand") heartland of Sudetenland, German area in Czech lands. Cruel and poignant 20th century is noticeable everywhere. From wealthy German villas (often abandoned now) and spas from prosperous pre-war era to Terezin concentration camp and devastated countryside because of communist-era coal mining and heavy industry.
Historically, this area was inhabited by Germans, who came upon the invitation by Czech kings in early medieval ages. This area with German majority called Sudety (Sudenetnland) used to be one of the most wealthy and industrialized regions in the during Austria-Hungary and Czechoslovakia between World War I and World War II. In, before beginning of WW II 1938 were Sudeten annexed by Nazi Germany. Right after the War, one of the most controversial event in modern Czech history happened. Whole German population of 3 millions was deported to Germany and was inhabited by Czechs, who had to new land no relation. Today, as a result of German transfer and four decades of communism (part of its landscape was destroyed because of coal mining), this region is one of the most poor parts of the Czech Republic with relatively high unemployment rate. Its more wealthy past remind big German villas, these days often abandoned.
North Bohemian landscape is stunning. On borders with Germany and Poland are Ore Mountains (Krusne hory), Lusatian Mountains (Luzicke hory) and Jizera Mountains (Jizerske hory). In contrast, Elbe valley is located here with lowest point in the Czech Republic. Moreover, strange mountains in Central Bohemian Mountains (Ceske Stredohori) of volcanic origin, are there along with rock structures in Bohemina Switzerland National Park.
Despite of German past, now more than 90 percent of people are Czechs. This is not Prague or Cesky Krumlov, so be prepred that people may not speak English. German and Russian is often spoken among older generation. For more information, see: []
Bus is a good option to get to regional metropolises Liberec and Usti nad Labem and it takes one hour and couple of minutes.
Since Usti nad Labem is important railway junction between Prague and Berlin, train is best way how to get there and it takes just one hour from Prague hlavni nadrazi (main railway station). To Liberec, there is no direct train connection from Prague and bus is definitely better option.
Both Usti nad Labem and Liberec are well connected with Prague via highway (Usti - D8 motorway, Liberec - R10 expressway). It takes just about 1 hour driving.
Railway network is dense in North Bohemia. Using train, you can get to almost every town here. Buses are common too.
Great option how to explore many sights in this region is by walk. Lots of beatuful towns, castles ad chateau are located close to each other and are often set in beautiful landscape. Tourist trails are well marked and can be found in every corner of Nort Bohemia.
If you like landscape, go to Bohemian Paradise, České Středohoří or mountains on the borders (see other destinations). These areas are also great for people interested in architecture and history. One of the best and most famous Czech castles (Bezděz, Kost, Kokořín, Frýdlant, Trosky, Houska) and chateaux (Mnichovo Hradiště, Frýdlant, Jilemnice, Zákupy, Hrubá Skála and many, many more) can be found there. Although big North Bohemian cities can one called ugly, smaller towns are surprisingly beautiful. Jičín, Kadan, Louny, Žatec, Litoměřice, Roudnice nad Labem, Úštěk or Chomutov has well preserved gothic and baroque historic centres.
If you prefer modern architecture, you should not miss Jested Mountain with Jested Tower on the top of the mountain. This is one of the best Czech buildings built during Communism and is well known among foreign architects due its hyperboloid shape, which naturally extends the silhouette of the hill. Moreover, there are great views of Liberec city and whole Bohemia as well.
Network of walking trails is dense and trails are well marked. Moreover, landscape is just beautiful, with sandstone rocks and many castles and chateaux (look at the See section above). Bohemian Paradise is most popular destination and there is plenty of places, where you can rest, eat, sleep or buy a souvenir. However, in summer could be a bit crowded.
Biking is also popular due to flatland located here. However, cykling some mountains in České Středohoří or Jizera Mouinains can be more challening.
You can swim and sunbathe on shores of Machovo jezero (Macha's Lake) in Kokořínsko landscape protected area.
Why go by foot, if you can borrow canoe, kayak or inflatable boat and follow many Czech tourists on Ohře and Jizera rivers.
Due to several mountains on borders with Germany and Poland, there are few small ski resorts.
In North Bohemia are several local breweries. Area around Žatec is well known for prodution of hops. In Žatec is museum about hops and breewing.
Among the most northerly in Europe, two only Bohemian wine subregions (the bigger wine area is in South Moravia) are located in North Bohemia, thanks to Elbe's rivers flatland. Wineyards are arond towns Mělník (officialy part of Central Bohemia Region) and Litoměřice
North Bohemia has an above average criminality than rest of the Czech Republic. In some bigger cities in Usti nad Labem Region, there are ghettos (for example Chanov quarter in Most) with population of gypsies. Avoid these places.