When doing some initial research into traveling in the Czech Republic, I kept reading about a place I’d never heard of. Cesky Krumlov. If you search for day trips from Prague or the must-do items in this country, I’m pretty sure every list includes Cesky Krumlov. UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stunning. Magical. Can’t miss. Well, with these types of recommendations I was sold.
Many people do day trips to Cesky Krumlov from Prague (see my blog post here), but I opted to spend two nights here so I booked accommodation and looked forward to seeing exactly what everyone was raving about.
What to do
After city life in Prague, Cesky Krumlov was a complete change of pace and energy. Cesky Krumlov’s city center is a pretty much entirely a tourism attraction. It’s small eateries, shops, hotels and a few museums. it’s full of tourists, many who come on a day trip so the evenings are pretty quiet, especially at the time of year I was there (early October).
So, I was in Cesky Krumlov for about a day and a half. Here’s how I filled that time:
Walking. The best part of visiting Cesky Krumlov is just walking around and drinking in the lovliness. It’s all about spending time along the river and enjoying views of the castle and all the lovely architecture here. I could not get enough of the river views and the adorable, small buildings all over Cesky Krumlov. The cobbled alleys that wind all over the center of the town are just fun to explore and get a bit lost in. You’ll pass cute shops, bakeries, little museums and so much more. Everything is so picturesque it’s hard to believe Cesky Krumlov is a real place.
Cesky Krumlov Castle. It’s fun to explore the town itself before heading up to the castle. I went up to the castle three times while I was here to wander around all the different areas. The first time, I walked through the courtyard area and paid 50 KC to go up to castle tower which I could not stop staring at ever. It’s magically beautiful and looks straight out of a fairytale. Be warned – the steps up to the viewing areas were not invented for crowds and it’s a steep, tight climb up and down. On a busy day, you may be stuck in the steps waiting for others to come up or down, and beware the low doorframes!
I did not sign up for a castle tour because I personally hate guided tours and prefer to walk around at my own pace. I did pay 100 KC to go into the castle museum which wasn’t really that interesting to me so if you want to pay to explore the castle do the guided tour. My favorite part of the castle (other than the views of the town from up here) was actually the Castle Gardens. I was here on a beautiful fall day and the gardens were not too busy. I walked all the way down to and around the little lake and it was just peacefully blissful.
Eating and drinking. I can recommend Cafe Strudl for delicious coffee and strudel. The only downside was they don’t open until 11am but the strudel was amazing. There are plenty of places to grab meals either around the town square or along the river – do both if you can. I ate at Na Louzi and enjoyed a wonderful sausage and beer. I can also recommend U Dwau Maryi which had great staff and it’s located along the river. The garlic soup was delicious. My first meal was in the square at Krumlovska Fontana and it was okay. Be warned – there are a lot of wasps in Cesky Krumlov so you’ll rarely dine alone. The local beer is Eggenberg Brewery which was good. I read a lot of negative reviews of the Pivovar EGGENBERG brewery and restaurant so I didn’t make it there.
On the recommendation from my awesome Airbnb host in Prague, I booked FlixBus for my transportation from Prague to Cesky Krumlov. It cost 6 Euro. Seriously! What a bargain. I arrived at the Florenc bus station early (it’s my way) and I was thankful because I was one of the first to board so I got a great window seat for the journey. The bus was completely packed, and it took about 3 hours. We made three stops. The bus was cozy enough, had wifi and outlets for charging your phone. I can recommend this as a very efficient and budget-friendly way to get to Cesky Krumlov. It was about a 10-minute walk from the bus station to the centre of town.
Cesky Krumlov is full of small, cute accommodation options. I booked a pension that ended up being 3-bedroom apartment! It was huge and cost about $70 per night all in but I enjoyed the space after being in a small apartment in Prague. I booked Pension Galko and it was just lovely and central and the staff were very friendly. I was able to book a shuttle to Salzburg (my final destination on this trip) and they also could help book other activities. The apartment had a kitchen which was great for breakfast and coffee-making in the mornings. There’s plates, cutlery and more so it’s an optimal place for families and there’s a little grocery store just around the corner.