Czech Republic

Have you been to Český Krumlov? Well, I have

a river running through a city

I visited Prague, Czech Republic four times in 2017, spending about 3 weeks hanging out and walking around the city.

One of the most frequent questions I was asked by people I met is “Have you been to Český Krumlov?”

It seemed like an odd question to me since I looked on the map to find Český Krumlov is not that close to Prague at 2.5 hours bus ride.

Well, now I can say, “I have been to ÄŒeský Krumlov.”

a park with trees and buildings in the background
Český Krumlov castle

Tour guides indicate Český Krumlov makes a long and tiring day trip from Prague. One of my motivations for traveling to České Budějovice, a city of 95,000 residents, where I stayed at the Clarion Congress Hotel on a great deal for a suite, is the proximity of the big city at 25 minutes bus ride to Český Krumlov, a town of about 10,000 people.

A factoid I read this week is ÄŒeský Krumlov is the second largest tourist destination in the country behind Prague. The castle complex is the second largest castle in Czechia, behind only Prague’s Hradcany.

My hotel stay in České Budějovice cost under $50 per night instead of the $100 to $150 rates common in peak summer season for the limited rooms available in Český Krumlov. Round trip on the bus cost 64czk/$2.91usd.

Český Krumlov in summer crowds was like spending a day at Disneyland.

Once we crossed the bridge connecting the bus stop to the town gate, we gazed upon the beauty of this town filled with historic architecture. Český Krumlov castle and town center were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992 due to the preponderance of intact medieval architecture in its town center. The castle dates to the 13th century and many of the structures in town are 400 to 500 years old.

a building with a tower
Cesky Krumlov town gate

Our first impression walking through the town gate was misleading from the direction we had arrived by bus. On the other side of the gate we encountered the true experience of visiting Český Krumlov in peak summer season on a warm sunny weekday and the streets became increasingly crowded with tourists.

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a group of people walking down a street
Cesky Krumlov gate
a group of people walking in a courtyard
Cesky Krumlov
a group of people walking through a gate
Cesky Krumlov Castle gate

At a little after 1pm on a sunny late July day temperatures were in the mid-80s, so rather than walking uphill to the castle, we walked downhill towards the river.

a group of people walking down a street

But we detoured into Bolero Restaurant, a cool place for a beer.

a room with tables and chairs
Bolero Restaurant Cesky Krumlov
a glass mug on a coaster
Cesky Krumlov Beer

The price tag of 60czk/$2.75 for a pint was about 50% more costly than the average pint in České Budějovice pubs.

From our table, we watched rafters floating down the Vltava River. The patio umbrellas in the photo below are on the deck of Bolero Restaurant.

a group of people on a river bank
Rafting on Vltava River, ÄŒesky Krumlov
a group of people walking around a statue
Cesky Krumlov town square
a building with a tower
Cesky Krumlov Castle Tower (1581) is city symbol
a building with a tower
Český Krumlov Castle Tower

The Castle Tower is the symbol of the city. The base was constructed in the mid-13th century and the present tower design was completed in 1581. The tower tops out at 86 meters/282 feet over the Vltava River.

a bridge over a river with a large building
Český Krumlov castle

While Kelley is not one who enjoys getting into a raft, we did wade into the river to cool off.

a group of people in a boat under a bridge
Český Krumlov rafting on Vltava

a river running through a town

We headed up to the castle. Guided castle tours of the interior are a popular ticket, yet the exterior of the castle is open to the public.

a group of people walking on a walkway between buildings

a building with many windows
Český Krumlov Castle wall

The bear moat is a well-known attraction of the castle, however, the bears were not outside in the heat of day. Brown bears have been kept in the moat since 1791. Bear Moat at Český Krumlov Castle has some bear photos.

a sign on a fence
Do not feed the bears.

Český Krumlov Castle walls in the interior open spaces are painted with various designs.

a window on a building
Český Krumlov Castle painted walls
a close-up of a building
Český Krumlov Castle painted walls
people walking in a tunnel
Český Krumlov Castle pathway

a group of people in a courtyard

Český Krumlov Castle Views

Some of the best views of Český Krumlov are seen from the high path through the castle to the arches.

a statue of a man holding a spear
Český Krumlov Castle view
a church in a town
Český Krumlov Castle View

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a view of a town from above
Český Krumlov castle view to other side

These castle view photos were taken from the open arches.

a building with many arches
Český Krumlov castle arches walkway
a river running through a town
Český Krumlov view of Vltava River

Now when you ask me if I have been to ÄŒeský Krumlov, I can say, “I have”.

Can you?

a group of people sitting on benches in a courtyard
Český Krumlov square
a green field with trees and buildings in the background
Český Krumlov


  • Laurie July 29, 2018

    Yes I have! I was there in September and the weather was great. There was a cultural festival going on at the time which added to my trip. I loved the castle and the views it provided. Highly recommend going!

  • Blue July 29, 2018

    Best to spend a night or two there. Much different experience after the day trippers are gone (or in the morning before they arrive).

  • D L July 29, 2018

    I was there quite a few years ago and although we were there in high season there were not many tourist at all. I found it to be a delightful town.

  • Ric Garrido July 29, 2018

    @blue – we were able to stay until about 7pm and 80% of the crowds were gone.
    I’ll look at going again when it is not peak summer.

  • lenin1991 July 30, 2018

    I visited last month during the Five-Petalled Rose festival, so it was crazy-super-crowded. Easy bus trip on Leo Express, 2h10m each way, 16 eur r/t

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