Tábor is a city in South Bohemia 100 km south of Prague. It was founded in 1420 by radical followers of Jan Hus, who paved the way for Martin Luther's church reforms. Much of its old town has been preserved, perched on a hilltop between the Luznice River and the medieval reservoir of Jordan Lake. A big castle, old town hall and other sights remind visitors of its interesting past. Its population in 2019 was over 34,000.
The town's name translates to "camp" or "encampment" in Czech.
The town was founded in the spring of 1420 by Petr Hromádka of Jistebnice and Jan Bydlínský of Bydlín from the most radical wing of the Hussites, who soon became known as the Taborites. In the following years the town flourished as an egalitarian peasant commune. This spirit is celebrated in Smetana's "Song of Freedom", made famous in the English-speaking world by Paul Robeson's recording in Czech and English.
The historical part of the town sits on the summit of an isolated hill separated from the surrounding country by the Lužnice river and by an extensive lake, to which the Hussites gave the biblical name of Jordan. This lake, founded 1492, is the oldest reservoir of its kind in Central Europe. The historical importance of the city of Tábor ceased only when it was captured by King George of Poděbrady in 1452.
Buses from Prague to Tábor depart from Roztyly bus station on Metro C (red) line. It takes 1 hr 20 min.
From Prague main railway station, there are Express (1hr 17min) and Regional (1hr 25 min) trains operated by the national train operator ČD, providing a roughly hourly service from 6am until midnight. There is also a small branch line to the nearby town of Bechyně, which operates historical trains on weekends. It's also operated by ČD and you can buy tickets on board or at the station at the regular tariff. The platform is in front of the station building, separate from the other tracks.
- 1 Tábor railway station.
There are 16 bus lines in Tábor. To get from the main bus and railway station to the historic centre, use bus lines 11, 13 or 30. It's 1.6 km (1 mile) walking (25 min).
- 1 Zizka Square (Zizkovo namesti). Main square of historic core. Gothic town hall, big church with look-out tower and monument of medieval military leader Jan Žižka are right on this square. Other interesting sight are in walking distance.
- 2 Church of "Proměnění Páně na hoře Tábor", Děkanská 297, ☏ , email@example.com. Daily 08:00-18:00. Big church in late gothic style, right on the main square. Church tower is 87 m tall and offers nice views of the city and surrounding landscape.
- 3 Kotnov Tower and Bechyne Gate, ulice Na Parkánech (400 m from Zizka Square, follow Klokotska street). 08:30-17:00, closed Oct-Apr. Kotnov Tower is the only remnant of Tábor Castle, which was destroyed by fire in 1532. Bechyne Gate, the southwest entrance to historic centre is next to the tower. 20 Kč.
- 4 Renaissance Water Tower, ulice Žižkova (150 m from main square). Unusual water tower in Renaissance style from 1502.
- 5 The Town Walls. Well-preserved gothic town walls on northern edge of old Tábor.
- 6 Jordán Lake. Large lake on eastern edge of old Tábor from 15th century; the oldest water reservoir in Central Europe. Ideal for swimming.
- 7 Hussite Museum and medieval underground (right on the main square), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Apr-Oct: daily 09:00-17:00; Nov-Mar: Su-Tu closed, W–Sa 09:00-17:00. Located in gothic style former town hall, this museum contains expositions about reformer Jan Hus and Hussite revolution, with weapons and historical documents. Under the houses and streets of Žižka Square is a labyrinth of tunnels. The townspeople dug cellars under their houses and these were connected; an approximately 500 m-long section of the tunnel system is open to the public and is a part of the Hussite museum. 60 Kč (Hussite exposition), 50 Kč (medieval underground).
- 8 Museum of Chocolate and Marzipan, Kotnovská 138/13, ☏ , email@example.com. May-Sep: daily 09:00-19:00; Apr Oct 09:00-17:00; Nov-Mar 10:00-17:00. If you get bored of many historic sights, why not to spend some time in this museum? Adults 130 Kč, children (6-14) 90 Kč, family ticket 370 Kč.
Outside of the centre
- 9 Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Staroklokotská 1 (1.2 km from main square; follow Klokotska street, before Bechynska Gate turn right and go through Holeckovy Sady Park and lime-tree alley), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Outside the historic centre (in quarter Klokoty), baroque pilgrimage church is definitely worth a visit.
- 10 Hylacka look-out tower, Vetrovy, Tábor (4 km from historic centre, follow green tourist line or by bus line 30 to station "Tábor, Vetrovy"). Jun-Aug: daily 09:00-20:00; Apr May Sep: 09:00-18:00; Oct-Mar: 09:00-16:00. 25 meter tall look-out tower, nice view of Tábor. 20 Kč.
- 11 Tábor Zoo, Tábor, Větrovy 10 (in the same part of the town as Hylacka look-out tower), ☏ , email@example.com. Apr-Aug: daily 09:00–18:00; Sep Oct 09:00–17:00; Nov-Mar: Sa Su 09:00-16:00. Small zoo (however the largest in South Bohemia) with 80 species, mostly from America, including tigers and zebras.
There are lots of options for both shorter walks or longer hikes. Pintovka Nature Trail is a short trail 1.2 km from centre of Tábor. There are a lot of quite interesting sights which can be reached by hiking. For example, Pribenice castle ruin (follow red hiking trail, which goes along Luznice river valley - 10 km), Hylacka (3.5 km) and Babice (4 km) look-out towers and Kozí Hrádek castle ruin (9 km).
Like elsewhere in Czech Republic, you can best plan your hiking routes through Mapy.cz, which shows the routes in the same colours as the signposts.
Luznice river is a good river for canoeing.
- 1 Žabka Department Store, Pražská 156/14 (50 m from the main square), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 06:00-23:00.
- 2 [formerly dead link] Billa Department Store, nám. F. Křižíka 505/23 (650 m from Zizka Square (historic centre), 1500 m from mian railway and bus station. Bus station: "Tábor, Křižíkovo nám."), ☏ , email@example.com. M-Sa 07:00-20:00, Su 08:00-20:00.
- 3 "Karel Dvořák - Obchodní dům" Shopping centre, 9. května 2886 (650 m from main train and bus station), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 08:00-18:00, Sa 08:00-13:00, Su closed.
- 1 Indian restaurant Tandoor, Žižkovo nám. 8, ☏ , email@example.com. Daily 11:00-22:00.
- 2 Goldie Restaurant, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Part of Hotel Nautilus.
- 3 Restaurant "U dvou kocek", Svatošova 312 (75 m from Zizka Square), ☏ , email@example.com. Su-Th 11:00-22:00, F Sa 11:00-24:00. Standard Czech restaurant, don't expect anything great.
- 4 Bistro Stárkův dům, Pražská 157/12, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Bistro in Renaissance house from 1570. Ready meals all day long - every day one Czech traditional meal, one vegetarian meal, one steak and, of course, schnitzel and fried cheese.
- 5 Rafariz (Uyghur Restaurant), Pražská 231/3, ☏ . Th-Sa 11:00-23:00, Su 12:00-15:00. Something quite different from typical Czech cuisine, this restaurant is run by two Uzbek brothers and they will serve you very authentic Central Asian fare. Thick home-made stir-fried noodles (lagman) and plov are the main staples but they also serve more obscure dishes from the region. Menu has English descriptions and changes weekly. Main dishes 150-180 Kč, soups 40-60 Kč.
- 1 Café Budík, Kotnovská 174/18, ☏ , email@example.com. 10:00-18:00 (19:00 on weekends). café, hot chocolate (lots of kinds and good quality), desserts.
- 1 Nautilus Hotel, Žižkovo nám. 20/20, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Luxurious hotel with wellness and restaurant on the main square in the historic centre.
- 2 Hotel Tábor, 9. května 617 (300 m from the main train and bus station.), ☏ , email@example.com. 23 rooms.
- 3 Staromestsky Pension, Křížová 93/8, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Family-friendly pension in house from 16th century.