Are you in Prague or Vienna and looking for an idyllic getaway? Then Český Krumlov is the perfect place. This little laid-back town in South Bohemia will give you just the right amount of relaxation while not falling short to surprise you.
And best of all, it won’t stretch your budget.
The town is located just between Prague and Vienna, making it a perfect stopover.
During the pandemic, the streets have fallen silent and became almost unrecognizable. As the situation keeps improving, the visitor numbers are increasing again. So, if you want to experience the city in a quiet state, you should visit sooner rather than later.
Many visitors take a bus tour from Prague, Vienna or Linz, which we don’t recommend. The best time to explore the city is actually when the tour buses leave and you can breathe again. In fact, we thought that the city is even more fascinating in the evening or at night, when the city lights illuminate the medieval buildings and the river.
Prices in Český Krumlov are very similar to prices in Prague, and in some cases a little cheaper. Since we visited during the pandemic, it’s possible some prices were lower than usual.
One night in Hostel Merlin (private room): €28
Bus Prague–Český Krumlov: 195 CZK (€7.89) per person, one way
Food and drinks
Regular beer: 35 CZK
Local beer: 40 CZK
Food from restaurant: around 120–160 CZK (€4.86–€6.48)
Best Things To Do
Castle & Viewpoints
Impossible to miss from a distance and centerpiece of the city: The castle tower, part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage.
Did you know that this is the second largest castle in Czechia with Prague castle occupying the first place?
Navigate through the castle compounds and observe how the architecture changes between Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. The castle was initially built in 1250 and has been under constant transformation since then.
There are numerous viewpoints with enchanting views, like the Seminární zahrada.
To get a good view over the historical town and its surroundings, walk East towards the main bus station from where there are good viewpoints.
Have you also discovered this secret photography and lookout spot?
One of the most controversial highlights of the castle is the bear moat inhabiting a real life brown bear.
Despite its adorable presence, we disagree of keeping a bear prisoner for the sake of visitors staring and taking photos.
There is no entrance fee for the castle gardens, but be mindful that the garden is only open from April to October. We especially enjoyed the view of this pond full of water plants.
It’s easy to see what makes Český Krumlov so charming. The medieval vibe can be felt in every corner of the old town, like in the old Latrán neighborhood. Today the restaurants, hotels and souvenir shops cater to the tourists but in the past this is where the people lived.
No matter if you stand below or on it, the three story cloak bridge is a spectacular sight. From a distance, the arched windows resemble a Roman aqueduct but if you come closer you can see people up there enjoying the view.
One of the quirkiest sights we discovered roaming the old town were giant bronze sculptures of fingers. If you keep your eyes open, you will spot them in several places.
The artist behind is called Miroslav Páral. If you want to explore more of the artist’s work, you should check out the Miroslav Páral Gallery, situated in the castle undergrounds.
Or get a free tour by heading to this hidden alley, decorated with red shelves on a green house wall, displaying interesting artifacts, like those mysterious figurines.
At the end of the alley, you will pass a gate leading to the riverside. There is a bench with feet sculptures on the left and right.
Do you want to soak up more of the beautiful landscape of South Bohemia, then take a little hike to this magical rose garden.
This is a secret tip as not many people seem to come here.
Městský Park with St. Martin’s Chapel and pavilion
If you are looking for a unique lookout point, you should check out the pavilion located in the municipal park outside the center.
Especially in summer this is the perfect angle to capture the iconic St. Vitus Church. Or take shelter from the sun.
Explore also the park with some old trees and singing birds. The highlight is a blue chapel standing right in the park, with some busts scattered around.
Attend a festival
Český Krumlov is not only great for sight-seeing but hosts several cultural events all year round. Like the Saint Wenceslas Celebration taking place on the last September weekend.
We had the pleasure to experience a traditional folklore performance right on the streets.
If you are on your Prague itinerary and have some time, hop on a bus or train and visit Český Krumlov. The town is small and walk-able which makes it perfect for a day trip or overnight stay.
Best travel time is spring or early/ late summer as it is less busy and nature in full bloom. You will also stay well within your budget.