The best places to climb in Czechia (a.k.a. the Czech Republic) are up there with some of the top crags in Europe. To find out more, have a read of this guide to Czech rock climbing holidays in Prague. We explore the top spots to climb and discuss the wonderful city of Prague.
Climbers from all over the world recognize Czechia as an international hotbed of various types of climbing. From trad to sport, bouldering to multi pitch and easy via ferrata to exceptionally difficult technical climbs it has it all.
There are seven mountain ranges that cross the country. The Carpathians, Elbe Sandstone Mountains, Lusatian Mountains, Moravian-Silesian Beskids, Ore Mountains, Silesian Beskids and Sudetes provide huge variation in rock type, terrain and elevation.
You can climb sandstone massifs and towers that offer unique challenges in Bohemia. Enjoy limestone crags and buttresses in South Moravia. Or take on high quality granite bouldering in Petrohrad.
In Czechia there are both bolted faces for sport climbers and untouched natural crags that are perfect for those who prefer trad climbing. Those that like to take their climbing to new destinations often list the Czech Republic as a must visit.
Below are five of the best places to climb in Czechia that are all within easy reach of Prague.
Bohemian Paradise (locally called Cesky Raj), is the oldest nature reserve in the country. Located in Bohemian Switzerland – just next to the German border – this mini-range is contained within less than 200 square kilometres.
There are tall sandstone towers among pine woodland where steep rocky cliffs plunge into deep valleys. You’ll find countless faces in areas such as Tiske Steny and Prachov Rocks (Prachovske Skaly). It’s possible to climb a new route every day for many years!
Climbing here offers a unique experience as you climb on the soft sandstone in a different way. The sandstone towers are protected, meaning you can’t use many usual techniques (metal nuts and cams are banned). But using knotted slings for protection creates a great adventure, although it’s a little more risky than typical sport climbing.
The region is also famous for its beautiful and wild landscape. The dramatic scenery is extremely diverse and the whole area is just an hour north of the capital, making Czech rock climbing holidays in Prague particularly good.
The pretty village of Ostrov is found in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. It is surrounded by more than 400 crags offering around 3,800 routes. Walk-ins are generally short from the village centre, often just a few minutes but never more than 25.
There are routes for all abilities, but the majority are easy to medium (up to F5c) that are around 20m high. The sandstone is protected so you climb using slings for threads or knotted slings inserted into cracks. To improve safety, most routes have one to four bolts or fixed rings.
Labske Udoli is in the Elbe Valley and offers more solid sandstone climbing than Cesky Raj. Rather than being mainly towers it has large faces up to 80m high with a mixture of Trad and sport routes with bolts and rings. There can be longer spaces than usual between bolts making for some airy falls.
Use of nuts and cams is banned so Trad climbing uses slings for threads or knotted slings to insert into cracks to not damage the rocks. There are a few fixed rings, but the climbing here is intended to be adventurous, with long falls possible.
Found on the Czech-German border between the regions of Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland is one of the best places to climb in Czechia. Prague is less than two hours drive away.
Just 80km west of Prague, Petrohrad provides some of the best bouldering in Europe. Climbing is on high quality grey granite. The rock is rough and often rounded in shape but offers fantastic grip with plenty of variety including lots of slabs and overhangs.
You’ll find more than 3,000 problems ranging from easy to exceptionally tough Fb8b+. Walk-ins are short, and the boulders are often found in shady forest, but sometimes in open fields providing stunning scenery.
A 1.5km sandstone table mountain can be found just east of Sněžník about 90 minutes north of Prague. In the woods either side of this you’ll find a large amount of sandstone boulders. There are more than 1,800 problems graded easy to Fb8b+ in 10 different sectors. The sandstone at Sněžník is hard and the grain size varies.
If you’re going to be booking Czech rock climbing holidays then it would be rude not to visit Prague. It is less than two hours from all the above best places to climb in Czechia. Plus of course it is a wonderful city with a vibrant culture and lively tourist scene.
According to Pokerstars, Prague is best explored on foot – we agree, get lost in the back streets to find what you didn’t know you were looking for. It is a timeless city with a history as undulating as the earth surrounding it and beautiful architecture everywhere you look.
While prices are not as cheap as they were, Prague still offers good value. And climbers appreciate the vibrant urban setting as a stark contrast to the bucolic sites at which they climb. After a grueling day on the face there are hotels with saunas and hot tubs to help relieve aching muscles.
Enjoy everything from traditional Czech food to Mediterranean cuisine and head out for world renowned beer at the many bars. Prague’s celebrated nightlife reflects a young, energetic populace and although you may not be up early for tomorrow’s climb, you’re guaranteed a great night out.
The winters are chilly in the Czech Republic and the best time of year to climb is spring, summer or autumn. Although in the height of summer it can be very hot. Fortunately, many of the best places to climb in Czechia have varied aspects so you can stay in the shade.
We hope you found this guide to Czech rock climbing holidays in Prague interesting and useful. Find out more about holidays, courses and where to climb in Czech Republic here.