Cesky Krumlov/ Český Krumlov (in Czech), which is located in the southern part of the bohemian region of Czech Republic is a very beautiful and picturesque city. Cesky Krumlov has also acquired the stature of UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is just like a mini version of Prague. It has the same medieval charm just like Prague. It is an ideal town to witness the magnificence of Renaissance and Baroque architectural era.
At the entrance of the castle complex of Cesky Krumlov is a huge high rising arch wall overlooking the typical brown rooftops of the building of the town. On entering the arch the complete feel of the city changes. I felt like I was entering a fairy tale land for real. An entrance arch, followed by a wooden bridge and surrounded by a river. I felt as if I had entered some kingdom from the “Once upon a time in the kingdom of…..” era. To where the vision extended, everything was so picture perfect.
How to go to Cesky Krumlov
Cesky Krumlov is located close to the German and Austrian border of Czechia thus making it easily accessible from these countries as well. Prague has the best connectivity for Cesky Krumlov. Multiple and frequent buses and train options are available to get to Cesky Krumlov from Prague. Direct bus connections are also available from Vienna (Austria) and Bratislava (Slovakia). Direct Shuttle Service is also available from many cities like Prague, Vienna, Linz, Salzburg, Budapest, Bratislava.
Things to do in Cesky Krumlov
Irrespective of its size, Cesky Krumlov has a lot to offer. The majority of the tourists take a day trip. But, Cesky Krumlov is also ideal for a weekend relaxation trip. During the months of July and August, the city becomes a very popular Canoeing and rafting destination. Cesky Krumlov is also popular amongst hikers or people taking 4-5 days long cycling trails.
Here are a few things that can be done in Cesky Krumlov:
1. Visit the Castle
A trip to Cesky Krumlov is incomplete with the visit to the castle. The tour to the castle is a guided one. There are two different routes which tourists can take. Both the routes are an hour long. Route 1 takes you through those areas of the castle which are inspired by Renaissance architecture. Route 2 concentrates on the baroque style of construction. There is also a Theatre tour of 40 minutes which takes you through the famous baroque styled rococo theater. It is one of the best-preserved theaters of the 18th century.
2. Visit the Chateau Tower and the Castle Museum
A separate ticket has to be bought to visit the Tower and the Museum. You can either buy separate tickets for both or a combined ticket. The museum has a great collection of paintings and artifacts that were used by the castle nobility. If you are not a history enthusiast, the museum tour is not recommended. A visit to the tower is a must. During the peak season, it can get a bit crowded on the top, but Cesky Krumlov looks spectacular from such height
3. Visit the Castle Gardens
These castle gardens which were founded in the 17th century form the largest part of the castle complex. There are no entry fees for the gardens. They are well maintained and beautifully decorated. During summers the gardens are full of colorful exotic flowers. As the area is very huge it is advisable to wear comfortable walking shoes while visiting the gardens or castle complex.
4. Visit the St. Vitus Church
The tower of the cathedral is the second tallest construction in the town. It is built in the very center of the town. The church was built during the reign of the Rosenberg family. It’s as beautiful from the inside as well. Entry inside the church is free. Photography is not allowed inside the church.
5. Visit the medieval Town Square
The town square is a spectacular area with the lay of land full of cobbled streets. It’s bustling with restaurants, shops, souvenir shops, businesses, and museums. The buildings at the town square are painted in different colors and grant the area a very vibrant appearance. The tall Plague Column is one of the prominent features of the square. Many musicians keep playing beautiful music throughout the day. Taking out some time, sitting on the benches and listening to live music is very soothing even amidst the hustle bustle of the square.
6. Enjoy a Fine Lunch in any Riverside Restaurant
The banks of the Vltava river in Cesky Krumlov are full of restaurants offering mouth watering food from various cuisines. As I am a vegetarian, it becomes difficult for me to try out many food items. But I found this gem of a vegetarian restaurant ‘Laibon‘. The river becomes more lively, especially during summers. A glass of chilled beer, flavorsome food, the frequent exchanges of Ahoj!!! With the fellow canoers and the company of your loved ones. What else does one need?
7. Attend the International Music Festival
The international music festival is one of the very popular cultural events of Cesky Krumlov. It’s a month long music festival and it started in 1992. If you are visiting somewhere in July or August, you are most likely to witness the festival. The concerts are held mostly inside the castle or in the grounds. Information if the dates, details, and tickets can be found on TicketStream .
8. Visit the Graphite Mines
In special mining wear and gear, exploring the 70 m deep graphite mines in small trains and on foot is a unique experience. It’s a guided tour through underground tunnels lasting for about an hour and a half. The tours are available in Czech, English, and German. The bookings have to be done in advance.
9. Canoeing and Rafting in the Vltava
During summers many tourists come to Cesky Krumlov for these activities. The depth and flow of Vltava in Cesky Krumlov is ideal for canoeing and river rafting. All it needs is just the right amount of rainfall. Many kayaks, canoe and raft rental companies are there in Cesky Krumlov. They drive you to the start location and also pick you up from the start location.
10. Visit the Mirror Maze
Mirrors are always very amusing. Every day we spend a lot of time looking at ourselves in the mirror. So why not have some fun with a mirror maze. The mirror maze in Cesky Krumlov is the largest in terms of the number of mirrors used to construct this maze. It’s a nice activity to have fun and lighten the mood and stress levels.
There is also a variety of museums to be explored in Cesky Krumlov. But I did not visit those as it was summer time and all I wanted to do was be outside in the pleasant weather of Cesky Krumlov
Cesky Krumlov is a jewel town of Eastern Europe. It does not disappoint any tourist. Not only the tourists but the town has enticed the Czechs as well. The charm of the city makes me want to go back there again and again.