Liberec is a perfect destination point at any time of the year. In summer here you can enjoy the Jizera Mountains, and in winter have an active rest at the popular ski center. But for this, the city has many interesting sights as well as things to do, so in this article we will find out what they are.
Going there you will see an amazing mix of past centuries and modernity, historical buildings and new architecture. The city stands on both banks of the Lusatian Neisse River, at the foot of Jested and the Jizera Mountains. It is located in the north of Bohemia, near the German border.
History of the city
Liberec was founded in the 13th century while the first mention refers to 1348. In the second half of the 16th century the settlement received the status of a city. It began to grow and develop rapidly and in the 16th century here appeared a famous textile manufactory. At that time, the city could compete in value with Prague itself.
The most significant rise the city achieved in the 19th century. By the middle of the 20th century, Liberec was one of the main industrial centers of Czechoslovakia. Liberec and its surroundings own many natural sights. Here you will find lots of beautiful hiking trails that include caves, mountain ranges and forests.
TV tower and mountain hotel Jested
This futuristic tower itself is the symbol of the city built in 1966-1973 on the Jested Mountain. The overall look creates some sort of a special feeling about this 100 meter tall tower. But in any case it perfectly matches the surrounding areas of forests and mountains. In the tower there is a panoramic restaurant and a hotel.
Liberec Town Hall
The Town Hall is among the top attractions in Liberec, which dates back to the late 19th century. It was built in the Neo-Renaissance style and now listed as the UNESCO heritage. The building of the Town Hall was designed by the Austrian architect Franz Neiman.
The total height is 61 meter so the tower dominates in the historical center. The building is decorated with beautiful facades and decorated with rare stained glass windows.
The Town Hall is open from 9.00 to 15.00.
Liberec Benes Square
The center of the Old Town is the picturesque Benes Square (náměstí Dr. E. Beneše). Its architectural ensemble was formed in the 19-20th centuries, but several buildings of earlier periods were preserved too.
The North Bohemian Museum
The North Bohemian Museum (Severočeské muzeum) is an architectural masterpiece of 1898, designed by F. Ogmann. It presents items of decorative and applied art of Northern Bohemia, archaeological and historical exhibits.
The museum also presents interesting expositions of crafts and industry, as well as regional natural history, archeology and history. The exhibition of arts and crafts includes the development of European applied art from ancient times to the present day. This is an unusually rich collection of glass, ceramics, porcelain, textiles, tapestries, furniture, woodcarving, watches, old engravings, jewelry, precious metals, etc.
Liberec Castle (Liberecký zámek) is a beautiful building in the classical style. But for great appearance is has long history, as was built in the 16th century, in the Renaissance style. At that time it was one of the first brick buildings of Liberec.
Sometime later it went through fire and reconstruction. Nowadays the only thing which reminds the ancient appearance is the bell.
Church of St. Anthony the Great
The church of St. Anthony the Great (Kostel svatého Antonína Velikého) was built in 1587 in the Late Gothic style. In 1733 it was restored after the destruction of the Thirty Years’ War. In 1957 the authorities installed new bell at the 70-meter tower.
The architecture of the city is represented not only by historical buildings. Over the past few years there appeared many modern buildings, which are bright examples of modern architecture. However the most popular are its historical palaces, houses and villas.
- Waldstein house is one of the oldest historical buildings of Liberec. The original wooden houses were built in the late 17th century.
- Vila Theodora Liebiega is a romantic manor house of the late 19th century with a garden built on the place of early medieval buildings.
- The palace of Johan Liebig owns nice and beautiful garden, built in the style of classicism in the late 19th century.
- Old Liberec is a historic quarter, built in the middle of the 19th century, in which original historical buildings and city planning have been preserved.
Feast of Giant by David Cerny
It is difficult to believe but the bus stop Sokolská u zdi has an unusual object of the urban art by the famous David Cerny. The sculpture represents a huge table and bronze chairs. Above, on the vault-table there is a strange meal: mugs, a vase, a dish with the head of Konrad Henlein, the Reich Chancellor of these places during the Nazi occupation protruded with a knife and a fork.
There is also one of the largest and most interesting zoos in the country. Among many other animals only here (on the territory of Czechia) you can admire rare and beautiful white tigers. Both children and parents will be glad to get acquainted with other inhabitants of the zoo – elephants, monkeys, rare birds. Besides, there is also the famous Botanical Garden on the place.
iQPARK is the first Czech IQ Park of the scientific center in Liberec, located on 4 floors. While playing, kids will be able to learn the laws of nature with the help of a variety of interactive items. Almost every weekend the place hosts a science show, where they show experiments with liquid nitrogen or gas, with the generator Van de Graaf.
As the city owns great geographical location and marvelous picturesque nature, there are many observation platforms:
- Bramberk – 21-meter stone tower of the early 20th century. The tower is open from 9.30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Black source – 26-meter observation granite tower of the early 20th century. It offers an excellent view of the surrounding area. The tower is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Liberec height – this unusual structure was built in 1900 at the request of Heinrich Liebig as a lookout place. It is a romantic stone tower with a restaurant in the form of a medieval castle.
Castles in the surroundings of Liberec
- Castle Sychrov is a beautiful castle in the style of baroque, classicism and neo-Gothic. Open all year round from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Frýdlant Castle is an original Gothic castle with rich decoration and extensive collections of weapon. The ancient interior represents a huge historical and artistic value. The place became the first castle museum in Central Europe in 1800. The castle is open from 9 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.
- Lemberk Castle is a medieval castle in which ancient interior and objects have been preserved, as well as interesting exhibits. You can visit it from April to October from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The main ski area is located on Ještěd Mountain which is 1011 meters in height. At altitudes from 1000 to 540 meters there are 13 routes of various difficulties (30% of blue routes, 50% of reds and 20% of black ones) with a total length of 9.2 kilometers. There are also 10 lifts.
The longest slopes are Skalka (1730 meters) and Liberecká (1480 meters), while the others are approximately about 700 meters. Most of the trails are rather narrow and due to the constant processing by snow cannons they are icy, so it is difficult to recommend them for beginners, however, a special children’s zone is located in the lower part of the slopes.
There are also three jumps, a snow park, a 7.5 km running track, about 40 km of downhill trails and slightly more hiking trails.
The infrastructure offers a variety of hotels, clubs, bars, restaurants and discos, as well as children’s centers and a water park.
Price for an one-day ski pass:
- Adults – 500-550 CZK;
- Children – 250-280 CZK;
- Seven-day ski tour costs 2600-3000 CZK and 1340-1520 CZK for a child.
Where to stay
Liberec offers many places to stay in various parts of the city. Besides, the amount of options suits any budget and any taste. You can find the best offer here:
Where to eat
If your plan is to try something really tasty, then choose one of the best restaurants in Liberec. There present various cuisines from all over the world. But do not forget to enjoy Czech national dishes too.
- Chicago Grill (Address: Na Perštyně 241/5);
- Plaudit (Address: Hrazena 900);
- Svijanská hospůdka u Lva (Address: Sutenbergova 126/3);
- Masa Buka Greek Tavern (Address: Stavernaokolska 168);
- Ještěd (Address: Horni hanychov 153);
- The Black Horse (Address: Nerudovo namesti 108/1).
How to get from Prague to Liberec
Here are the best ways to get there – by bus, train or by car. Choose among these options and have a great time there!
Prague – Liberec by bus
The route by bus takes you 1.40 hours and tickets cost 5-10 Euro. At the stop Praha ÚAN Florenc, take the Leo Express bus, they depart 5 times a day.
Prague – Liberec by train
Travelling by train takes 2.50 hours, with the price of 5-8 Euro. Take the Regional train which departs from the station Praha hl.n. Trains run 3 times a day. The journey time is 1.45 hours and leave at the station Turnov. There take the train to Liberec which covers it in 2 hours. More details here.
Prague – Liberec by car
Travelling by car is the fastest way to get here – in 1 hour. The distance between Prague and Liberec is 107.9 km. You will spend 9 liters of petrol at a cost of 9-15 Euro.
Main sights in Liberec review
As you can see there are many places of interest for adults as well as for kids. Besides beautiful and historic architecture, Liberec is full of interesting museums, natural sights and other entertaining establishments. So choose the one and have a great time there.
- Moreover, you can get the maximum experience from visiting the city with a local guide. Take a step from the beaten routes and discover the city in full!