Architectural color is one of the most appealing aspects of travel in the Czech Republic. On a summer Sunday late afternoon I walked streets of the historic city center of České Budějovice photographing brilliant colors seen all around.
Old town České Budějovice is located at the confluence of the Vltava and Malše rivers surrounded by a somewhat circular green belt walking and cycling path around the center of the old city. Vltava River is the same river flowing through Prague, about 150km downstream to the north.
We never saw a České Budějovice tourist t-shirt in any shops during our 4 days in the city. Perhaps more appropriately for the home city of Czech Budweiser-Budvar, we purchased souvenir beer steins. České Budějovice was historically known since medieval times as Budweis and a brewing center in Bohemia.
There are probably some 60 or more restaurant pubs within the old town center. Old town takes less than 10 minutes to walk across. My estimate is there were about 25 pubs just along the town square and the 50 meters of neighboring streets near the square.
What is not seen in the church photo above are the four pubs in buildings surrounding the church courtyard. One night we talked with a local college student working at one of the pubs who told us his travel dream was to visit Vienna some day. Travel is something not to be taken for granted by those of us with financial and time opportunities for mobility.
Samson’s Fountain is the centerpiece of the main square Náměstí Přemysla Otakara II.
The Town Hall is one of the prettiest buildings on the square, however, late afternoon is not the time to photograph this part of the square when the sun is shining on the opposite side of the square. I never made it to the square in the morning when the Town Hall received direct sunlight. The lighted facade at night makes for another photogenic moment.
One of my favorite buildings reflecting brilliant sunset color in late July is opposite Town Hall on the square. Google Maps indicates it houses a financial company.
České Budějovice is a city of nearly 100,000 in southern Bohemia. This is a place that gets a mention in tourist guides as worthy of one day or a hotel night stopover on your way to the far better known UNESCo World Heritage Site and medieval town of Český Krumlov about 20 miles south of České Budějovice. We stayed four days in the city and could easily have stayed longer. For us, Český Krumlov was a fine one day trip.
As I write this piece sitting in a hotel room in Prague, a city I have spent a cumulative three weeks visiting in several trips over the past 18 months, I feel that my first time visiting České Budějovice offered an urban city environment with plenty of restaurants, hotels, pubs and services to accommodate me as a tourist, while simultaneously giving off a small town vibe and cozy environment.
České Budějovice offers many of the best parts of Czech life, local culture and beautiful architecture without being a place on every foreigner’s radar. Prague and Český Krumlov are places that are often inundated by hoards of tourists.
Best of all for a visitor, České Budějovice prices are significantly lower for lodging, restaurants and beer compared to heavily touristed Prague and Český Krumlov.