In the Czech Republic, we have a saying: "Co Čech, to muzikant," which means that every Czech is a musician at heart. And there is probably something to it - we cherish our culture, whether it is music, films or literature, and are very proud of it. In this article, you will find out which masterpieces from Czech culture you shouldn't miss. Read on!

When you ask people living in the Czech Republic which typical Czech film you should watch, there is a high probability that they will go with Cosy Dens (Pelíšky). It's a Czech comedy set in 1967 and 1968, a crucial period in Czech history. In 1968, the Soviet Union invaded our country to suppress reforms. Cosy Dens are full of one-liners that everyone knows. And if you want to amaze some locals, go ahead and watch it. Czechs usually watch the film on Christmas Eve, whilst spending the day with the family.

Cosy Dens. Source: Studio Najbrt

Then there's our internationally recognized director Miloš Forman. He is the director of two Oscar-winning films, the first one being Amadeus (an incredible film about the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) and the second One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, with Jack Nicholson as the leading actor. Both are 100% worth watching. Forman also directed a musical set in the Hippies era of 1960s USA called Hair, which was nominated for the Golden Globes.

A movie that is also very popular in the Czech Republic is called Kolya. It tells a story about a desperate older man who, by a quirk of fate, meets a five-year-old Kolya from the USSR and has to look after him. Jan Svěrák directed the film, and the role of the older man is played by his father, Zdeněk Svěrák, one of the most respected figures in Czech culture. The film won a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Kolya. Source: IMBD

Top picks by ESN Muni Brno: 

Three Wishes for Cinderella (Tři oříšky pro Popelku)

Šíleně smutná princezna



If you're a fan of classical music, you shouldn't miss classical Czech composers such as Antonín Dvořák, Bedřich Smetana, or Leoš Janáček. Dvořák's Symphony No. 9, "From The New World", is a must. Don't miss out on listening to it live, if you ever have the opportunity. You can also, for example, visit Brno Philharmonic. Smetana's most famous My Fatherland is a set of six symphonic poems, including Vltava, which most Czechs also know, and it too is worth hearing live.

Or maybe you prefer a different music genre – that's no problem, the Czech music scene always has something to offer.

Do you like rock? Kabát might be the right for you. It's a long-acting Czech group with the best heavy rock vibes. Are you more into pop? Maybe you've already heard about Karel Gott, our most famous singer. His songs, such as Včelka Mája (Die Biene Maja), a duet with his daughter Srdce Nehasnou or Trezor, which you can, by the way, also hear in Cosy Dens, are known across the country. The song Srdce Nehasnou was composed by Kryštof, a famous music group that frequently plays on the Czech radios.

Karel Gott with daughter Charlotte. Source: Supraphon

Top picks by ESN Muni Brno: 

I Love You Honey Bunny


The Silver Spoons


One of the most famous Czech books is undoubtedly The Grandmother (Babička) by Božena Němcová. It's about Barunka, a young girl who spends her childhood with her siblings and grandmother in a picturesque Czech countryside. Němcová wrote the book back in 1855, so it has many elements of romanticism, but it truly is an iconic work in Czech literature.

Books by Karel Čapek are also loved by many. His work is often science-fiction drama or timeless novels, for example, R.U.R. (incidentally, this is a play that has given rise to the word robot!) or War With the Newts or The White Disease.

Some other Czech iconic novels are, for example, I Served the King of England by Bohumil Hrabal, The Cremator by Ladislav Fuks and Prague Tales by Jan Neruda. In the Czech Republic, we have two Nobel Prize winners, and one of them is Jaroslav Seifert. So, if you are more into poetry, read his Mother. It is a heartfelt collection of poems about his mother, and you can feel how much the author respected her.

Top picks by ESN Muni Brno: 

Hannah by Alena Mornštajnová

I Shall Awaken by Kateřina Šardická

Audience by Václav Havel


Now that you have our guide on hand, you can impress your Czech mates. Or, you may simply immerse yourself in the Czech culture. The choice is up to you. Either way, you are in for a treat.