Named a UNESCO site in 1992 for its historical importance and physical beauty, Cesky Krumlov is a lively medieval town and definitely one of the prettiest cities to visit in the Czech Republic. Located on the banks of the Moldau River (Vltava in Czech), its home to a mix of building styles including Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque.
There are lots of things to do in Cesky Krumlov including visits to cafes, restaurants, pubs, galleries, gift shops and museums though it’s the 13th century Cesky Krumlov Château, the second biggest castle in Bohemia, that is the star attraction.
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Things to do in Cesky Krumlov – go walking through the old town
Cesky Krumlov is a town that’s made for exploring on foot, especially because cars are banned in part of the historic section (with a few exceptions) The area around the town is also very scenic and is easily accessed on foot, including the Blansky Nature Reserve.
Book a 2 hour guided walking tour to get some insight into the city here.
The Cesky Krumlov Card
On a recent trip to the city I used a Cesky Krumlov card. In 2020 the card costs 400 Czeck Korunas – about $Cdn23. You can buy family passes as well.
The card is valid at the following spots.
- Castle Museum and Castle Tower
- Český Krumlov Regional Museum
- Museum Fotoatelier Seidel
- Egon Schiele Art Centrum
- Monasteries Český Krumlov
Visit the Castle Tower
One of the highlights for me was the walk up the narrow, twisting staircase, past a real-life dungeon, to the top of the castle tower. Once there you’re welcomed with fantastic 360 degree views. Spend as much time as you want once you’re up there but hold onto your ticket as you’ll need it to exit.
I highly recommend you do this either first thing in the morning when the castle tower opens or towards closing time when the crowds start to dissipate.
It’s also very worthwhile to explore the castle gardens and the castle grounds. The gardens in particular are lovely – and they lack the crowds you find in the castle.
Raft the river
Raft through the historical part of Cesky Krumlov on the beautiful Vltava River. You’ll get some unique views of the city. On a hot day, it’s a great way to cool off.
More tours to take
If you want to visit Cesky Krumlov from Prague as a day trip do this self-guided trip with a hotel pick up and dropoff for a very reasonable price. But allow 10 hours door to door.
Another option is a two hour night walking tour with a professional guide – with a hotel pick-up and dropoff.
Where to stay in Cesky Krumlov
The Hotel Dvorák, a 19th century property with superior views of the river and castle, is certainly one of the more desirable hotels in town because of its location – but light sleepers should know it can be a little noisy at night. Still I loved opening my windows and watching the world go by. And nothing beats a drink on their riverside terrace.
Friends recommend Orangerie, an apartment in the centre of the historic section. It’s within a five minute walk of every major sight.
Where to eat
Granted there are loads of great places to eat in the city, but go to the Depo Gastropub for the beer, the food and the standout views of the renovated castle park from their outdoor patio. The place has a cool vibe and aesthetic.
How to get to Cesky Krumlov
The city sits in the southwest corner of the Czech Republic, close to the border with Austria and Germany. It’s just 180 kilometres south of Prague, 200 kilometres northwest of Vienna and 250 kilometres northeast of Munich.
Both buses and trains service the city, though the bus station is closer to the historic area than is the train station.
Further reading on things to do in the Czech Republic
- Why it’s Worth a Stop in Telc, Czech Republic
- How to Spend 48 Hours in Tabor, Czech Republic
- 10 Essential Stops in South Bohemia, Czech Republic
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