But another cool way to see different parts of this bohemian country is from above! All over the country, there are unique watchtowers, some historical with majestic tales attached to their grounds. Each watchtower is in flourishing nature, posted in various landscapes around Czech Republic that you can climb up and feel like you’re on a Peter Pan adventure of your own. This is our roundup of such stunning observatories:
1. Děčínský Sněžník Watchtower
The Děčínský Sněžník Watchtower is situated on the border of Czech Republic and one of its neighbours, Germany. To the west of the country are the Elbe Sandstone Mountains - majestic and imposing, covering both parts of the country on either side. The Elbe Sandstone mountains are aptly named from the sandstones within the national park that was carved over centuries by erosion.
Ever like a Wild-West depiction, the Elbe river courses through the highlands of the mountains forming low exaggerating valleys. Now, doesn’t this sound like a view you’d want to take in from above? The Děčínský Sněžník Watchtower is just the place to itch that curiosity. From the small little settlement of Sněžník, there are green tourist signs that make it easy for you to follow up a 723-metre hill.
From there, you can find the Děčínský Sněžník Watchtower, a circular Lord of the Rings-type tower that was built in 1864 and has seen the stories of time unfold on its steps. As one of the oldest watchtowers of the country, the Děčínský Sněžník Watchtower provides a stellar view of the sandstone gorge and, on a clear day - you can look out and see the city of Dresden in Germany.
2. Diana Observation Tower
Situated in the ever radiant pastel spa city of Karlovy Vary in West Bohemia, the Diana Observation Tower is like a grand dame of lookouts. Built between the years of 1912 and 1914, at 562 metres above sea level, the Diana Observation Tower is a must-visit spot when you’re in Karlovy Vary.
You can take a funicular or take the stairs up to the tower, but whichever way you choose, you’ll be greeted with jaw-dropping sights of Karlovy Vary and the surrounding valley that stretches out below it. Being a popular destination for hikers already, this is a unique vantage point to see what makes this region just so stunning. From the top, it’s hard to not be charmed by the hats of trees below you and the mountains with the twinkling city in the distance.
Where to stay in and around Karlovy Vary
Budget - Penzion U Golfu: Get cosy with this independent pension.
Mid-range - Hotel U Zámečku Cihelny: This hotel gives an old world charm with antiques and warm hospitality.
Luxury - Cihelny Golf & Wellness Resort: A true getaway, this wellness resort exudes the finer things in life.
3. Sky Walk in Dolní Morava
Have you ever had a dream of walking on clouds? Or perhaps just gently stepping foot through the skies? What comes really close to making those dreams alive is the Sky Walk in Dolní Morava.
This wooden structure that’s 55 metres above ground was built between the impressive Orlické Mountains and Jeseníky Mountains range. Standing at 1,116 metres high, you can reach this tall walkway by the Sněžník cable lift but if you’re scared of heights - this is your chance to overcome it!
The structure itself is like a large python that has coiled itself around a log, built out of wood that gives you 360 views no matter where you are on the platform. You’ll walk in a circular motion, as the walkway wraps itself all the way up to the roof deck. But no matter what season you choose, the views are always impeccable.
4. Petřín Lookout Tower
Prague already has that whimsical romantic feel that matches the French capital of Paris, but what draws these two cities even closer in comparison is the Petřín Lookout Tower. Built in 1891, at 58.70 metres high, the Petřín Lookout Tower has a similar resemblance to the Eiffel tower. Though it’s not that big of a coincidence since the steel framework of Petřín Lookout Tower was loosely inspired by it!
From up here, you can take in just how much of a storybook Prague looks like, with it’s manicured historical buildings lined up along the water banks, the orange terracotta colour rooftops all matching one another. If you go up on a clear sunny day, you’ll get even more of an expansive view of Bohemia from the Petřín Lookout Tower!
For photography enthusiast or those in search of a romantic date spot, this is the place to be during sunset. Catching that golden hour glow from the Petřín Lookout Tower makes any sunset just that extra special.
Where to stay in and around Prague
Budget - a&o Prague Rhea: How much more affordable can Prague get? This hostel is a budget saver!
Mid-range - U Medvidku-Brewery Hotel: Based in the old town, this hotel is beyond cosy with intimate interior and soft beds.
Luxury - Pytloun Boutique Hotel Prague: Modern and sleek, this hotel is fit for James Bond.
5. The Jurkovič Watchtower in East Moravia
If you’re someone who loves to get swept up in the old-timey notion of well-preserved architecture and warm-hearted simple life, the Jurkovič Watchtower will transport you there. Set in the historical region of East Moravia where vineyards and Wallachian mountains embrace the land, the village of Rožnov is home to the Jurkovič Watchtower.
At the top of the Jurkovič Watchtower, you’ll have a pastoral view of the Wallachian Open Air Museum. This museum waves folklore, historical customs and reconstructed traditional buildings together. It’s a quaint sight of little wooden cottages that channels the first quarter of the 20th century. The Wallachian Open Air Museum also includes a water mill valley, with an oil press and a sawmill, relics from what people used to live back then.
6. Velká Deštná Lookout Tower
Set in the pristine Eagle Mountains, also known to locals as the Orlické Mountains, the Velká Deštná lookout tower is where you can take in the crystalline rocks of the mountain range.
Velká Deštná is actually the highest point in that mountain range, standing at 1,115 metres tall. So imagine a lookout tower built on top of that? You’ll get more of a punch in height.
The observation deck is built out of thin wood beams, where sunlight can penetrate through casting an architectural marvel. Admission is free, and the top platform with its completely open design will give you a panoramic view to remember.
7. Špičák Watchtower in The Bohemian Forest National Park
Špičák which is tucked in the Bohemian forest may be popular for wintersports since there are 8km of slopes. But when the area isn’t dusted in a white blanket, the Bohemian Forest National Park that surrounds that area is a dense spruce forest, designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve.
So what’s the best possible way to take in the views of such protected beauty than climb up the Špičák Watchtower? At 26.5 metres high, the Špičák watchtower topples the nearby trees, giving you an unbeatable view that goes on and on for miles. To get up, you have the option to walk and climb the 135 steps of stairs to it (trust us, the view is worth the reward) or simply take a less strenuous cable car.
8. Golden Viewpoint in the Giant Mountains
Running through the north of the Czech Republic and just south of Poland are the Giant Mountains. I think the name of this mountain range sums it up for itself, but to back up those superlatives - the highest peak is also the country’s highest elevation point at 1,603 metres!
The Giant Mountains have been home to year-round seasonal activities, from skiing to hiking, and cycling to water spots down the River Elbe that runs through it. To commemorate such a dramatic landscape, the Golden Viewpoint is a platform that you can walk out to at the foot of the Giant Mountains.
9. Praděd Watchtower
Harked as the highest point in Moravia, the historical region in the Czech Republic that is also known for the finer things in life like good wine and captivating museums also has the Praděd Watchtower.
Mounted in the Jeseníky Mountains, the tower gives you seemingly endless views of the mountains and its nearby rolling hills. It also acts as a broadcasting tower, with a hotel and restaurant packed inside. At 1563 metres high, you can walk around the terrace and take inthe landscape.
10. Mastník Lookout Tower
I definitely find the Mastník Lookout Tower in Třebíč one of the most memorable watchtowers in the Czech Republic. Possibly because I’m a big sucker for architecture, but also those who share a huge appreciation for when a building takes in and respects the surrounding nature would be smitten by this place too.
Outside the town of Třebíč you can find the Mastník Lookout Tower which stands at 572metre high. It actually looks more like an art installation to me rather than a traditional watchtower with its interwoven wood panels and domino-like stairs curling through the spine of the tower. The Mastník Lookout Tower actually takes inspiration from the Star of David, evoking Jewish symbolism in the way the larch wood is designed.
From the Mastník Lookout Tower, you can see Třebíč in the distance, as well as Sádek castle and the faint outline of the alps.