The low down:
In South Bohemia, 80 miles from Prague, lies the town of ?eské Bud?jovice. Unlike Prague, this town is yet to be hit by British tourists and remains relatively unknown. Therefore, the restaurants serve genuinely local food, having not been subjected to an invasion of westernised fast-food establishments; the architecture remains unspoilt; the price of accommodation is reflective of its quality and, most importantly, at 60p a pint, the food and drink remain cheap.
Return flights with Easyjet to Prague from £40 per person. Buses from the central bus station run 3 times a day to ?eské Bud?jovice. It takes 3 hours and costs £7.
Where to stay:
The old town is best for accommodation. Penzion Centrum (Biskupská 130) offers doubles for £15 pp/pn.
Things to do:
>> Take a tour of the Budweiser Budvar Brewery (?eské Bud?jovice’s own beer, which is now enjoying worldwide acclaim). The British-speaking extensive brewery tour costs £4 per person. Afterwards, stay for a beer and a meal at their beerhall; the beer is crisp and the food is plentiful.
>> Take a day trip to the picturesque neighbouring town of ?eské Krumlov. There is a regular bus service to this fairytale city running from the central bus station.
>> Enjoy a night with the locals at Masné Krámy, the city’s 14th century beerhall. Built in the reign of Emperor Charles IV, this beerhall still provides beer and Czech cuisine to a predominantly local clientele. Tourists are still warmly welcomed with a smile and the occasional group song.