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Situated on the banks of Vltava river and only a short ride away from the capital Prague is the small town of Cesky Krumlov. The moment you step in this UNESCO World Heritage site, it will mesmerize you with its medieval charm. With a population of 14,000 residents and thousands of tourists visiting daily Cesky Krumov gets rather busy in the summer.
The good news is most of the people come for a day trip and in the evening leave the town for Prague or to the neighboring Austrian capital, Vienna. It is recommended to stay for a night, particularly so as the evening gets very lively with street performances and noisy bars.
Known for its baroque building and a medieval castle, Cesky Krumlov entered pop culture when it was featured in horror movie, Hostel 2.
Cesky Krumlov Map
Click on the drawer icon on the top left coroner on the map to select/ deselect views (attraction/ hotel/ hostel/ accommodation) from the map.
How to reach Cesky Krumlov
Bus: From Prague take the yellow colored Student Agency bus, a very comfortable and fast way to travel. Travel time between Prague-Cesky crumlov is about 3 hours. Once you are dropped at the bus station take the short walk to the town.
Top Attractions of Cesky Krumlov
Old Town Center
The best way to explore this Cesky Krumlov is to wander around on the cobbled stone streets of the historic center. Don’t worry about losing you bearing, it’s too small a town to forget your way back. Walk over to the pretty little bridges; don’t miss out the small still functioning water mill located near one of the bridge.
And when your feet demand rest, grab a cup of coffee in one of those cafés in a back alley. Checkout the chic Schiele Café located in the Schiele art gallery. The prices are student friendly, and so is frequented by a young crowd.
Enjoy the carnival like feeling in the evening with streets filled with music and dance. If you are looking to take some time away then take a stroll along the banks of the river.
Castle of Cesky Krumlov
Located on the other side of the river, the castle of Cesky Krumlov is the second largest complex after Prague castle. The castle grounds are free to enter and you can move around checking up on the old building. It is rather sad to see bears trapped in the moat near the very entrance. Do climb up (free) on the bridge up high to get magnificent view of the town. Another free thing to do is take a walk in the huge gardens adjacent to the castle complex.
If you are interested in taking a peek inside the castle you need to purchase a ticket as entry is only allowed through a group tour. The guide will be English speaking but nobody can guarantee the fluency and the fact that you will be able to understand through the local accent.
There are three different tours to choose from:
- Tour 1: Inner room houses beautiful paintings which belong to the royal family.
- Tour 2: History of the Schwarzenberg family.
- Tour 3: The Baroque theatre – Recommended.
Particularly interesting is the ballroom, the walls of which are covered with paintings of caricature figures. The whole set up is humors and throws a light on the lighter side of the royalty.
Keep in mind tour group can get rather uncomfortably big upto 50 people at a time during the peak summer season. To add to that, you are not allowed to take pictures inside. For further details check the castle webpage.
However, good thing is no guided tour is needed to visit the castle museum and you can help yourself with information available in English.
For the best views climb up the castle tower for a small fee. The panoramic view of the surrounding bohemian landscape and the old town are stunning.
Egon Schiele Art Centre
The name Egon Schiele needs no introduction for the true fans of contemporary art. For the uninitiated, Schiele was an Austrian painter, a disciple of the famed Gustav Klimt, who specialized in figurative painting.
The artist came to the town to ‘draw’ inspiration for his art, instead he was driven out of the town for painting lewd pictures of the girls from the town. The pieces you see here are not original (they are in Leopold museum, Vienna) but only the prints which you can also buy from the museum shop. Nevertheless, the museum is quite informative and sheds great light on Schiele’s life and work. Also, don’t forget to check out the little café which is always filled with locals and tourists alike.
The entrance to the museum is nominal and if you are a student you can avail a discount on the ticket.
Church of St. Vitus Cesky Krumlov
Stands tall in the Old town is the Roman Catholic church of St. Vitus, providing a balancing act to the imposing castle on the other side of the river.
This 14th century church is a mix of gothic and baroque architecture. The stunning insides include magnificent altar pieces – in particular the painting of St. Vitus and the Virgin Mary. Also, notable are the beautiful stain glass windows. Entry to the church is free.
The latran quarters, located on the same side of the river as castle, are shining jewels in the crown of the medieval town of Cesky Krumlov. The pretty little streets are littered with old houses with beautiful facades that have frescoes painted all over. To get onto the Latran quarters walk over to Lazebnicky Bridge and go up till Budejovicka Gate. Eggenberg Brewery is nearby which can also be included in the tour. Hostel 99 near Budejovicka Gate is quite popular choice of stay among backpackers. The hostel has a nice open café on the street next to the gate.
Happy Traveling! Hope you have great fun!