Skip town this holiday

When you study abroad, there are times when you’ll find yourself opting for a holiday getaway instead of the familiar hometown celebration. Why not? Part of the reason you decided to study in Prague in the first place was to experience rich cultural traditions of other countries. Whether you're studying Business Adminsitration or Communications & Mass Media, everyone needs a change of scenery. Luckily, the Czech Republic’s capital is located very close to several amazing holiday destinations, whether you’re traveling with the family or flying solo. 

Dresden

If you’ve lived in Prague for a while, you’ve probably hopped on a train to Dresden more than once for a day trip of shopping. Located less than two and a half hours away by train, this German city has stunning baroque architecture as well as numerous museums and palaces to continue your cultural education. 

If you want to brave the outdoors, Dresden boosts some of the best Christmas markets in Germany. With a total of 11 separate markets, many have been around since the Dark Ages. Established in 1434, Striezelmarkt is one of the largest and oldest markets in the country. When you want to escape the chill, you can warm up at a Christmas or gospel choir service in the Cathedral of Meissen. 

Karlovy Vary

Traveling to spa country should be an easy sell for any holiday excursion. You spent long hours at university studying for finals. You deserve some sweet relaxation, and this beautiful town tucked in northwest Bohemia is just the ticket. Not only can you find amazing deals on spa packages and stays during the holiday season, but also have access to gorgeous landscapes and amazing culture. 

Bundle up for a brisk walk through one of the many colonnades, and warm your hands with the hot spring water. When your nose gets too cold, duck into one of the many hotel lounges or concert halls for a respite. Take in a holiday show at the historic Town Theatre or visit the new Moser Museum. If you need to add more cheer to your getaway, you can visit the Christmas market where there are regularly scheduled events all the way up to Christmas Eve. 

Šumava 

History lovers and winter sports enthusiasts will enjoy a holiday excursion in Šumava. Cross country skiers, snowboarders and ice skaters will find themselves in a winter wonderland when the countryside becomes buried under a blanket of snow. Even with numerous hotels, guest houses and lodges, this spot located in the southwest offers the perfect pause from city life. 

When you want a break from your secluded paradise, venture to the nearby Rabí Castle where you can get an authentic history lesson. Starting December 13, the castle holds evening tours by candlelight, an experience Christmas just as it was in the Middle Ages. When you’re done exploring, you can enjoy mulled wine or hot tea near one of the large fires in the courtyard. 

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