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Český Krumlov: a fairy-tale city

The medieval city of Český Krumlov lies just 200 km outside of Prague. Delicately caressed by the Vltava river, this gorgeous location wouldn’t be out of place in a fairy tale. This jewel of southern Bohemia is unquestionably one of the Czech Republic’s most beautiful cities. Owing to its proximity to the capital, it is one of the best destinations for a one or two-day trip from Prague.

With just over 13,000 inhabitants, the city is home to an imposing palace built atop a hill and one of the country’s most unique and charming historic city centres. Since being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, swathes of tourists have visited the city to see what all the fuss is about. Despite this, Český Krumlov still retains its essence. Why not come and see it for yourself?

What to see in Český Krumlov: a great trip to make from Prague

Český Krumlov Castle

If you’ve only got time to visit one place in Český Krumlov, it has to be its impressive castle: the second biggest in the country, following Prague Castle. This castle, a symbol of Český Krumlov, stands on the shores of the Vltava river which demarcates the city. This is the same river which, further along its course, winds its way through the city of Prague. This thirteenth-century castle, built predominantly in a Gothic style, also has Renaissance and Baroque features. The castle was initially inhabited by the Rosenberg family of noblemen, before falling into the hands of the Schwarzenberg family.

 

 

While commonly referred to as ‘Český Krumlov Castle’, this is actually a huge complex that comprises the castle itself, the palace and dozens of other buildings such as stables, dairy plants and other facilities. It also includes a magnificent garden and a moat with a population of brown bears! We should also mention the city’s eighteenth-century Baroque theatre, which has been magnificently preserved.

Vistas del Castillo de Cesky Krumlov, a la izquierda

Český Krumlov Castle

After walking around the castle, we recommend taking a look inside the grounds. Here, you can admire the rooms that were previously inhabited by royalty, the castle’s numerous courtyards and the masquerade ball room, where brightly-coloured murals still adorn the walls and ceilings. We also highly recommend climbing to the top of the bell tower, which offers a great 360 degree view across the entire city.

The historic centre

The shape of the city’s historic centre, which is connected to the castle by a bridge straddling the flowing waters of the Vltava, was dictated by the course of the meandering river. The historic centre is an amalgamation of narrow streets, shops and restaurants, with a blend of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings. It’s best to enter blind, losing yourself in the labyrinth of winding streets (almost all of which, conveniently, are pedestrianised). However, you must find time to visit the Town Hall Square and the fifteenth-century Church of St Vitus.

Una vista general del Casco Histórico de Cesky Krumlov

Český Krumlov Old Town

The Latrán neighbourhood

This is another of the city’s historic neighbourhoods. It lies on the other side of the river from the historic centre, built around a hill on the side of the castle. The main street of this Bohemian district is lined with beautiful craft shops, making it the perfect place to purchase a souvenir of your trip.

Egon Schiele Art Centrum

This art centre is exclusively dedicated to the life and work of Viennese artist Egon Schiele (1890-1918), who was a disciple of Gustav Klimt. He is one of the finest exponents of Austrian expressionism.

Museum Fotoatelier Seidel

This museum-workshop is dedicated to classical photography. It comprises a nostalgic trip back in time to the nineteenth century, when cameras still had reels and photographs were unveiled in dark rooms with fibre-based paper. All of the museum’s furniture, photograph machinery and equipment are original, lending further charm to this experience.

Uno de los preciosos puentes que conectan Cesky Krumlov

One of the beautiful bridges connecting Český Krumlov

Eating and drinking in Český Krumlov

If you’re planning on visiting Český Krumlov, be sure to sample one of its typical “Bohemian platters”. This scrumptious dish contains rabbit, chicken and pheasant meat, potatoes, cooked ham and other garnishes—the perfect way to recharge your batteries before exploring the city further! U Dwau Maryí [‘House of the two Marys’] is one of the most traditional restaurants that serve this dish.

Czech beer is also very famous in this city: not just for the price, taking into account the price of beer in Spain, but also for its quality. When the weather so allows, these beers always seem to go down better in the city’s several riverside bars: the perfect spot for a late afternoon drink or a romantic evening meal.

 

Information of interest

How to get from Prague to Český Krumlov

  • By bus. Buses leave the Na Knížecí bus station fairly regularly, with the journey taking approximately three hours. This is the cheapest way to get there.
  • By car. If you’ve got your own car, it will take you approximately two hours to get from Prague to Český Krumlov. This is therefore a quicker option than the first one.
  • By train. The national rail company puts on a service from the Hlavní Nádrazi station, with trains leaving roughly every two hours. This journey takes around 3 and a half hours to complete (including a change).

Tickets

  • We recommend purchasing the Český Krumlov Card in the city’s tourist office, which is located in Concord Square. This pass covers entry to 5 of the city’s museums, including the Castle Museum and Tower. Please consult the official website for prices (http://www.ckrumlov.info/docs/en/atr422.xml)

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