Cesky Krumlov is a charming small town located in the Czech Republic about 2.5 hours from the capital city of Prague. We arrived via private transportation with Czech Shuttle (you can also arranged an even more affordable option by using their shared shuttle service.) Though most people just visit for a day or two, we spent 5 full days in this beautiful village, but felt like we could’ve stayed much, much longer.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992, Cesky Krumlov is steeped in rich history. The construction of the town and its castle commenced in the late 13th century.
Cesky Krumlov Card
To make the most of your stay in Cesky Krumlov, stop by the tourism office in the main square and purchase a Cesky Krumlov card for a nominal fee. This card includes entrance to 4 museums: Castle Museum and Tower, Regional Museum, Museum Fotoatelier Seidel, and Egon Schiele Art Centrum. Save over 50% off of the regular ticket price. Stay at a local participating hotel for 3 or more nights and the card is FREE (even more incentive to stay longer than just a day or two!).
With a quaint town center, and less than 9 square miles total, everywhere you turn, there is a colorful building, monument, or structure with a fascinating history. Gothic, renaissance, and baroque style architecture can be found throughout the town.
Recovered and restored fresco paintings are also present all over town, in buildings, and within the castle courtyards. Below is one of many examples…
The steeple of St. Vitus Church dominates the skyline in this tiny town and can be seen from pretty much every vantage point. Although there are several noteworthy churches throughout the Czech Republic, we found it interesting to learn that they are the least religious population in the world, with barely 10% claiming a religion.
Besides the church, the other most notable landmark in the city is the castle, which is unusually large given the small size of Cesky Krumlov. It is second in size (in the Czech Republic) behind the castle complex in Prague.
Climb the castle tower stairs for outstanding views over the entire town. (Remember, this is included in the Cesky Krumlov card mentioned earlier.)
The castle gardens are an attraction all their own, so they deserved their own write-up.
The history, culture, cobblestone streets, and general charm of Cesky Krumlov is what attracts visitors from all over the world.
Restaurants, cafes, galleries, and shops line the main alleys, providing refreshment and authentic souvenirs to the thousands of travelers who make their way to this adorable small town.
Be sure to not miss out on trying a trdelnik during your visit to Cesky Krumlov. This delicious pastry is traditionally from Slovakia, but can be found throughout the Czech Republic and a few other eastern European countries. They are best enjoyed while hot and fresh, and are served with a dusting of cinnamon, sugar, and nuts. For an extra indulgence, try one with chocolate or Nutella inside!
Besides the buildings, shops, and other attractions, another aspect of this village which we appreciate is the sense of adventure and nature that it provides. With a river running through town, you can rent a canoe, kayak, or raft and navigate the mild waters! We took part in this popular activity, and while we didn’t participate in a multi-day rafting trip, we thoroughly enjoyed our brief journey from one end of town to the other.
And, as we wrap up this post, we’d be remiss if we told you all about what to do and see in Cesky Krumlov without recommending a few places to eat!
Na Louži is located just off the main town square and serves up deliciously cold beer and authentic Czech cuisine. We’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…
Laibon is one of a few vegetarians restaurants in town, so after several traditional heavy Czech meals, you might be ready for lighter fare. Located along the waterfront just under the castle, it is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious meal and watch the rafters go by.
Sam ordered the Indian-style lentils with curry, cumin, tomatoes, and Arabic rice…
… and I indulged in a scrumptious serving of pasta with cream-cheese sauce, walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach!
With so much to do, see, and eat jam-packed into this tiny town, be sure to add Cesky Krumlov to your itinerary when planning your next trip to central/eastern Europe. It’s one of the most charming and affordable destinations in Europe! For example, we rented an entire apartment through AirBnB for less than $60 USD/night, and the beers… they were less than $2 (USD) each!
We’d like to thank the Cesky Krumlov Tourism Board for providing us with an extremely informative city tour and a Cesky Krumlov card during our stay.