"If you pay a visit to Krumlov in the summer, it’s definitely worth getting outside and enjoying the beautiful countryside surrounding the town. "
The picturesque town of Český Krumlov in southern Czechia is often overlooked as a place to stay on a trip through central Europe. Unique in that it is situated on a bend in the river Vltava (the same that flows through Prague), has its very own castle and has retained much of its medieval architecture.
Popular with daytrippers from Prague, the town has more to offer than at first meets the eye. Coupled with the fact that it empties out a lot in the evenings after people visiting for just a day have left, it’s a great place to spend a few days on a trip through Czechia and perhaps onwards to nearby Austria. What’s more, it looks gorgeous at any time of year!
The Krumlov Castle, sitting high on a natural precipice overlooking the town is quite spectacular. While you can pay the small entry fee to go inside the castle, just walking through the public areas is quite impressive, as are the views of the town you can get from the various viewpoints along the route through the castle grounds.
The Castle Tower is also noteworthy and deserves some attention of its own. You can climb to the top for some of the best panoramic views of Krumlov from a central location, but make sure to admire the tower itself from down below for its unique and architecture, design and colouring.
The Castle Gardens, which are open between April and October, offer an attractive place to wander around, lounge in the sun or even watch a performance at the outdoor revolving theatre if you are so inclined.
Back in town, the main square is a typical example of a Bohemian town square, with cute painted Baroque houses. It’s also home to several unusual museums in the town, including the marionette museum and the museum of torture. A little further away is the Egon Schiele Art Center and the Regional Museum of Český Krumlov, both of which make for interesting insights into the area’s history.
If you pay a visit to Krumlov in the summer, it’s definitely worth getting outside and enjoying the beautiful countryside surrounding the town. Křižek, the hill that overlooks the town to the south, is crowned with an old chapel that offers spectacular views of the town and hills in the distance. Climb to the top, passing the pilgrim way stations and enjoy the views back down over the town.
The fast flowing river Vltava offers the perfect place to get out on the water in a raft or canoe. Several companies in town offer trips that will take you downstream and then put you in a vessel to paddle your way back into town for an hour or two.
The scenery along the way is quite lovely, with lush, green woodland and rugged rock formations accompanied by the sound of the gentle rush of the river. The experience offers a totally different view of the town and surrounding area as well as give you a bit of a workout while you tan yourself.
When it comes to possibilities for eating and drinking in Český Krumlov, you are going to be spoiled for choice. For a light snack and over a hundred types of tea to choose from, try Dobrá Čajovna, with a beautiful garden overlooking an old monastery.
Laibon serves up some fresh, delicious and healthy vegetarian food at very reasonable prices, and Two Marys just next door has a traditional Bohemian menu and a distinctly medieval atmosphere.
Getting to Český Krumlov with public transport is not difficult. There are regular buses from the nearby university town of Český Budějovice (also known as Budweis) as well as direct coach services from Prague with Student Agency. To travel onwards to Austria, you either have to go back to Budějovice and take a train or coach, or pay a bit more for the convenience of a minivan transfer directly to Salzburg, Linz or Vienna.