At only 5 days ago since we returned from a long trip in Indonesia and yet today once again, as most Fridays are for us, we flew to Prague, and yes, once more to this city, the 3rd time for me so far. Although the original purpose was actually not doing any sightseeing whatsoever but instead taking the time for doing “nothing” and simply enjoy at the many coffee places, food and nice beer; we changed the plans around in order to have a day excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Český Krumlov 170 kilometres to the south of Prague for the whole of Saturday. As for Sunday in the other hand we retained to the original plan and enjoy the free time.
For a city of this small size its castle is second in size only after the one in Prague! That is in fact very big. Other than the castle, it is also about the incredibly well preserved old town with most constructions dating from the 14th through the 17th centuries Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architectural styles. The Vltava River also adds charm as it crosses the city in many meanders, giving many different perspectives from each angle.
Due to its small size and easy to navigate through when visiting I cannot think of anything else to give you as a note in this brief introduction. Furthermore when planning for lunch I cannot even give you a recommendation here either because our lunch was included as part of the tour hence we did not need to be looking around for restaurants, but as for any city in the world and specially if highly touristy as Český Krumlov is, care to have a look around at few places as you might end up in a tourist trap, or paying twice for the same, or having pretty low quality.
For more information about Český Krumlov check the Wikipedia and Wikitravel sites. The currency of Czech Republic is the Koruna (CZK). Please note that any price reference is true as from when this guide was created, therefore check prices in advance as with the time they change.
What to see and do in Český Krumlov:
- Castle Originally built in 1240 by the Witigonen family, the most powerful line of the Rosenberg family. In the 17th century it changed to the Eggenbergs family since the Rosenbergs died out. Once more, in 1717 it changed again to the Schwarzenbergs for the same circumstances as the Rosenbergs with no male descendants alive. With each generation the castle kept expanding and changing in design, having its Baroque masterpiece theatre added in 1680 and up to this date it is the world’s best preserved and most complete with original fittings Baroque theatre, including the entire stage technology and machinery.
- Old Town Is small yet packed with beautiful buildings everywhere. One of the best preserved cities from the 14th century that is left untouched and completely restored to its former glory where you will find Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture everywhere.
The city lies 170 kilometres to the south of Prague meaning there is not a quick and direct access. Only long distance buses link both cities but expect a journey time of approximately 3 hours. Although there is a train station in Český Krumlov, you will need to change trains if you are coming/want to go to Prague and again, will set you in around 3 hours if no more if you need to wait for your connecting train in between.
Saying that, the best way would be to rent a car, or get on a tour. The later was our decision and worked really well! Not only on the total cost per person but the way it was organized also including lunch. We booked though getyourguide where you just type in the search box Český Krumlov and you get to see the different tours available with their relevant cost. Simply chose the one that better suits you.
Within the city there is no need to mention any further information here. It is so small that the only and best way to visit everything is by walking. This is the only way to fully enjoy and see everything the city has to offer.
Although we did not stay overnight in Český Krumlov, we stayed over back in Prague from where we did this day tour. The city has limited choice of accommodation, yet it is fair for its size. Unfortunately I cannot further comment on this as we did not need to search for a hotel here. A good and reasonable point to start your search is by checking some of our preferred affiliate hotel search engine such as Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia, Otel.com, Agoda, Opodo, Hotels Click, LateRooms or Ebookers.
As for where to stay in Prague please check my travelguide for that city where apart of giving the full information and guide you can also find the hotels we’ve been for the past 2 visits as a point of reference.
For this weekend on the other hand, we decided to stay at the Hotel Elite, Ostrovni 32, Nove Mesto. A very nice 4* property right in the middle of the “New Town”, at the foot of Malá Strana District in the north and Wenceslas Square to the east, hence great central location. Easy to walk everywhere from the hotel without the need to take public transportation. The staff was very attentive and polite at all the times, the interior decor boasts historic and modern fittings in a beautiful old building dating from the 14th century. Very comfortable large bed and nice size and quiet bedroom. The breakfast was also very nice with a large choice of both East European and more traditional western foods.