If the Czech Republic is the crown of Central Europe, it is indeed a crown of many jewels. After centuries of struggling for independence and with identity (think: Germany, Kafka, Havel), Czech has emerged with a culture and dynamism unlike any of its European neighbors – a fiercely proud nation of humble, lovely towns just waiting to be discovered. Czech is a land of secrets—and not just of the Golem variety. Weave your way past the crowds surrounding the Prague Castle and Charles Bridge in Hradcany and you’ll find yourself on Novy Svet, a small, winding street where artists and writers (and you!) can take solace from the city. Explore the ancient silver mines of Kutna Hora, the ghoulish ossuaries of Kostnice, and the forested mountains of Sumava. Take the slow train (wait, they’re all slow) to Karlovy Vary, catch a film at one of the oldest film festivals in the world, and end your day with a relaxing soak in the many spas and springs in this spa-town. Hidden stairways, quiet wine bars, and semi-private courtyards are tucked away behind every corner (and within the stone walls) of the country. But however many secrets and jewels you may uncover during your stay, don’t forget to drink. You can’t get more landlocked than Czech and (good) wine and (great) beer are cheaper than water.