Liberec is a city with a long and glorious history. It enjoyed its greatest prosperity in the 18th century, when it became the largest manufacturing city in the Kingdom of Bohemia and ranked in importance just beneath Prague. Due to its largely German population, after the Munich Agreement it became the main metropolis of the Sudetenland. Today, it is above all a lively city and a great starting point for day trips to the beautiful Jizera Mountains and their observation towers, or in the winter to its popular ski resorts with downhill slopes and tens of kilometres of groomed cross-country trails.
A city hall or a cathedral?
In Liberec, there are so many choices it is hard to decide what to do first. Most visitors start their tour of the city on the main square. The first sight that catches your eye is the majestic silhouette and slender towers of the Liberec City Hall, whose appearance is reminiscent of a Gothic cathedral. Do you get the sense that you have seen it somewhere before? Perhaps in Vienna, because that is where her more famous sister is located. Just a few steps from here, you can imagine yourself for a while in the midst of a fairytale as you stroll past the Valdštejn (Wallenstein) houses, a set of beautiful half-timbered structures from the 17th century.
Envelop yourself in a bubble!
Do not forget about the local museums! At the Regional Gallery, in addition to top works by French, Dutch and Flemish masters you can also admire distinctive works of Czech Cubism and Impressionism. The most beautiful museum in Liberec, however, is the spectacular North Bohemian Museum, located in a stunning Neo-Renaissance building. In addition to expositions about the local landscape and history, you will also see an exhibition of glass and costume jewellery that includes such treasures as a unique Cubist tea set. Do you prefer more interactive exhibitions? Then do not miss the IQ Park! Here you can try walking in a rotating cylinder or in a disconcertingly angled room, create a sculptural impression of your body, or envelop yourself in a giant soap bubble!
White tigers – only in Liberec
Do you feel nature beckoning? Would you like to walk amongst some white tigers? The Liberec Zoo is the only place in the Czech Republic where you can see these beautiful creatures! Do not miss the other popular zoo residents such as the elephants, pumas, chimpanzees and birds of prey, whose breeding programme is the biggest one in Europe! Nearby, you can enjoy looking at the beautiful orchids in the local botanical garden. Would you like a bird’s-eye view of the city? A tram ride away you will find yourself at the foot of Ještěd Mountain, which is crowned by the renowned hotel and TV transmitter by the architect Karel Hubáček. This unique structure was awarded the prestigious Auguste Perret Prize – the Oscar of architecture. Whether you wish to set off on cross-country or downhill skis in the winter or on a hike in the summer, you can get to the mountain top by cableway. How best to end your day in Liberec? Why not treat yourself to some blissful relaxation and pampering at the Babylon Centre? In one of the largest entertainment complexes in the Czech Republic you can relax in an African sauna, unwind with an ethereal massage, or enjoy a sea-mud wrap. If you love the water, there are several pools with plenty of attractions for maximum fun in the water.