You know, the super-sweet cylinders sold to tourists as “the traditional Czech dessert”.

It absolutely is not. I’d never even heard of trdelník before 2010. Its true origins are unclear but it most likely is Slovak.

It’s way, waaayyyy too sweet to be a traditional Czech dessert. Traditional Czech desserts are heavier and contain less sugar and some filling. They’re cakes of various shapes and forms (with soft cheese, raisins, poppy seeds or plum jam), pancakes, fruit dumplings and like that. Plus Christmas cookies 😊


The same goes for medovník, although that’s not as famous as trdelník. There are several variants but all originate somewhere more to the East than the Czech Republic. The most widespread kind of medovník is a Russian recipe and has only been made here since 1990’s.


Some people think that we drink Becherovka all the time, as it’s so well-known abroad.

But it’s quite expensive and has a rich flavour, so it’s mostly used in festive occasions and as a gift.


I’ve heard foreigners say that we must like vodka if we’re a Slavic-speaking nation.

But we’re actually a wine, beer and plum brandy nation. There are no traditions related to vodka. It’s quite popular here, but together with whiskey, it’s one of the drinks you buy or order when you want to get drunk fast.


I’ve heard that we’re a poor nation.

We are not. Right now, the Czech society definitely feels like a consumer society, and I don’t like that.

We were never rich nor poor. We’ve always been somewhere in the middle in Europe, economically just like geographically. We’re wedged between Austria and Germany, which is a huge advantage.

And in recent history, there were times when we actually had one of the most stable economies in Europe. The financial crisis in 2008–2012 hit us less hard than most European countries, and now (in 2018), we have the lowest unemployment rate in the European Union.

Franz Kafka, Milan Kundera and Jaroslav Hašek

Those are Czech writers most well-known abroad, but they’re not the most popular authors among Czechs.

The greatest Czech writer–that’s definitely Karel Čapek. He’s written numerous novels worthy of the world stage, but unfortunately, as so much of his skill is in the Czech language and virtually untranslatable, it’s very hard to communicate his brilliance to non-speakers of Czech. His Wikipedia page says he was a liberal, but that’s by far not the most important thing in his works. It’s more… “no life is commonplace”, and being able to find importance and beauty in the smallest of things.

Mediaeval underground labyrinths

Some people outside Europe seem to think that the labyrinths of underground passages and cellars you sometimes see in films are to be found beneath castles.

That’s partly true: castles did have underground passages built as escape routes in case of siege.

But the biggest and most complex labyrinths are beneath towns and cities. They were created over time, when house owners built and enlarged and interconnected their cellars with wells and underground escape routes and natural caves. The most popular underground labyrinths are beneath the towns / cities of Brno, Znojmo, Plzeň and Tábor.