Cheb, the city of three letters. It’s not exactly a “famous” tourist destination or a classic lion’s den of tourists, because to its (in)advantage it lies at the very tip of western Bohemia and the road to it lies in the shadow of the spa triangle. However! If you wander here, either intentionally or accidentally, you will be very pleasantly surprised.

The town on the Ohře River offers a rich history, places for active enjoyment for the whole family and now also the first gastro swallows for gourmets on the go.  Join us on a tour of Cheb and get to know its most significant historical landmarks. Enjoy quality refreshments, be absorbed by culture and enjoy an afternoon under the open sky.

If sightseeing is close to your heart, the Svoboda Cultural Centre (Za Mostní branou 5) is the ideal starting point, where you can park conveniently in the immediate vicinity of the historic centre. This multifunctional building for concerts, festivals, lectures or balls was built in 2011 on the site of a former singing society hall, which was built at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries on the Baroque brewery cellars. From here, walk across the bridge and up Stone Street to the old town and take in the surroundings. Along the way, you’ll come across, among other things, the Church of St. Bartholomew, a former hospital church of the Order of the Cross with a red star dating from 1414.

The second historical landmark is the Guild Fountain from 1926, which depicts the figures of a master, a journeyman and an apprentice by the sculptor Adolf Mayerl. The decorative grille is adorned with 33 bronze guild emblems made by the bellmaker Lorenz Pistorius.

Just a few steps and suddenly the Square of King George of Poděbrady opens up in front of you. Right at its mouth, we recommend a visit to the excellent Botanik Bistro with its minimalist garden and generous views of the square’s colourful buildings. This gastro swallow opened relatively recently. The young establishment’s interiors are dominated by wood, muted green furnishings and a generous amount of room furnishings. The cooking here is excellent, with exceptional care and a nice dose of innovation. In addition to the breakfast, brunch and fixed menu, the constantly changing lunch menu is also worth a look.

As soon as you lift your eyes from your plate, you’ll see a unique block of buildings called the Spalicek right across from the bistro. This is a complex of eleven partially half-timbered houses from the 13th and 14th centuries, which were built to meet the needs of Cheb merchants on the site of the stallholders’ and butchers’ shops. The palazzo is divided into two separate parts by the pithy Kramářská alley, which is only 160 centimetres wide.

If you are not paralysed by heights, we definitely recommend heading to the lookout tower of the oldest preserved local church – the Church of St. Nicholas and St. Elizabeth. Just be prepared to climb 133 steps to the bell tower and another 37 steps to the lookout. It’s a bit of a slog, but every step is definitely worth it. You will have Cheb in the palm of your hand!

Art lovers should not miss the local Gallery of Fine Arts (GAVU) and the neighbouring (really interesting) Retromuseum Cheb, which opened in 2016 in the Schiller House. You can see for yourself how Czechoslovakia used to be, especially in the 1960s to 1980s, and in addition to the permanent exhibition full of retro objects and cultural scenes (which many of us still remember), you can also visit thematic exhibitions.

The upper part of King George of Poděbrady Square freely transitions into a pedestrian zone, which is introduced by the giant monolith Gate of Time. The nine-metre high steel structure with the inscription “1061 – the first written mention of the town” can be comfortably rotated around the central axis. A timeline of the city winds its way along Cheb Boulevard from the artefact, on which you will find information about Cheb’s most important milestones in Czech, German and English. You will thus learn more about the city in a fun and interactive way. Komenský would certainly be pleased!

A walk past the town library and the West Bohemian Theatre will take you to the leisure megacomplex Krajinka, which is situated below Cheb Castle on both banks of the Ohře River. Around the central promenade and cycle path you will find an amphitheatre, colourful flowerbeds, an athletics stadium, a rope centre, a cross-country track, an outdoor gym, playgrounds for children, a pétanque or mini-golf course and a picnic area with several barbecue grills.

You can climb back to the centre via Cheb Castle. This Romanesque castle was built for Emperor Frederick Barbarossa around 1180. To this day, the torso of the palace, the defensive Black Tower and especially the unique double Romanesque-Gothic chapel of St. Martin, Erhard and Ursula have been preserved. A romantic walk through the winding and distinctively picturesque streets of the town houses will take you back to the centre, where the mainstay of the local gastronomy industry – the Hvězda restaurant with its own brewery, Pivní Skaut – awaits you. It’s a place that runs like clockwork even when it’s busy and brews tried-and-true and superbly executed classics.

There is really more than enough to do, see and experience in Cheb. A nice bonus on top of that is the fact that you won’t be pushing through annoying crowds of tourists and you’ll enjoy a great day in a great city. So head west and get to know Cheb up close!