Discover the amazing things to do in Český Krumlov, the Czech Republic’s pristine medieval town with thousands of years of history and start planning your trip now.
As one of the most beautiful towns in the Czech Republic and Central Europe, Cesky Krumlov remains a hidden gem just 2 hours south of Prague. This real-life fairytale town is the perfect place to explore during a trip to the Czech Republic. There are plenty of things to do in Český Krumlov including a beautiful castle, strolling the Medieval streets and trying the local beer that’s been brewed here for more than 500 years.
Cesky Krumlov makes the perfect day trip for those travelling to Prague and wanting to see a little more than just the capital. It’s also the perfect stop-over for those travelling between Prague and Vienna or Salzburg in Austria. While there are many things to do in Český Krumlov, they can all be done in a day, however, if you can stay the night, I’d highly encourage it.
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BEST TIME TO VISIT
Visiting Cesky Krumlov is a great idea at any time of the year. Like many other European destinations, the Czech Republic sees four distinct seasons where temperatures and rainfall vary drastically over the course of the year.
Spring and summer are the most popular times to visit where temperatures are at their warmest- an average of 24°C/75°F, parks are full of green trees and blooming flowers, watersports can be done on the Vltava River and the town comes alive with outdoor eating and drinking. Spring and summer are also the wettest months so you can expect quite a few showers at this time too, possibly a passing storm too.
This is also high season so expect prices to go up and crowds at the most popular sights.
Autumn and winter are other possible times to visit if you don’t mind the cold. In winter temperatures can go down to about 2°C/35°F but winters are also the driest time of year to visit. Visiting in the winter will mean that there are much fewer crowds around and you’ll be able to score some great deals on hotels and tours.
However, sights do close earlier and daylight hours are also limited. If visiting in the winter you might benefit from extending your trip to Cesky Krumlov and staying for a night instead of just coming for a day trip.
The high season months in the Czech Republic are June, July and August, the shoulder season is April, May, September and October and the low season is November, December (apart from Christmas and New Year), January, February and March.
GETTING TO CESKY KRUMLOV
You can get from Prague to Cesky Krumlov a few different ways; by bus, train or by driving or even by private transfer or guided tour. The bus or train are by far the easiest options even though driving is a little quicker and gives you more flexibility.
Bus – RegioJet, Flixbus and Leo Express all have departures from Prague to Cesky Krumlov.
RegioJet buses depart Na Knížecí bus terminal in Prague. The first bus from Prague to Cesky Krumlov is at 6 am. The last bus from Cesky Krumlov is at 7 pm. Tickets cost €9 each way and the trip takes just under 3 hours.
Flixbus and Leo Express services depart from ÚAN Florenc Station and reach Cesky Krumlov 3 hours later. Their first departure goes at 8 am with the last departure at 8 pm. Tickets also cost €9 each way.
I would personally recommend taking the RegioJet bus just because it has a much earlier departure than the other two and you can be in Cesky Krumlov by 9am.
Train – you can take a train with Ceske Drahy Railways. The Prague to Cesky Krumlov train takes 3 hours – the same as the bus- and the first departure is just before 8 am but you’ll have to change trains at Cesky Budejovice. The first direct departure leaves Prague at 8.49 am and arrives at 11.50 am.
Ticket prices depend on the type of service you opt for but direct services cost about €8 one way.
Drive – It’s also possible to rent a car and drive to Cesky Krumlov. Check the best deals for car rentals from Prague here. If you have your own car already, the easiest way is to follow the D3 south of Prague before turning onto Route 3 all the way to Cesky Krumlov. It takes about 2 hours to drive from Prague to Cesky Krumlov, covering 172 km/106 miles.
For the full guide check How to Get from Prague to Cesky Krumlov
WHERE TO STAY
Wellness Hotel Svachovka – If you’re thinking about potentially extending and turning your trip to Cesky Krumlov into a mini, wellness retreat look no further than Cesky Krumlov’s best wellness hotel. Located amid Svachova Lhotka Golf course, right outside town, this wellness hotel provides a natural environment to fully relax and recharge.
Take advantage of their pool and terrace in the summer, sauna, massages, private whirlpools, hydro massage as well as a Czech speciality, a beer bath. During the winter there’s also a local fireplace to cosy up to. Check rates and availability here.
Hotel Oldinn– A magical hotel in a medieval townhouse right on the main square, Hotel Oldinn add all the modern feels to Cesky Krumlov’s medieval charm. With spacious, modern rooms, a lovely restaurant and bar in a location that’s pretty much unbeatable on the main square this is a great choice for those looking for a modern stay in town. Check rates and availability here.
Hotel Ebersbach – For 16th Century luxury, make sure not to miss this opulent hotel that’ll transform you right back to Renaissance times. With classical furnishings, roofs with exposed wooden beams, rich drapes and tapestries this is one of the best places to stay to completely immerse yourself in the medieval charm of Cesky Krumlov. Check rates and availability here.
Pension Rozmaryna – For a mid-budget stay in the center of Cesky Krumlov, this local B&B ticks all the boxes with friendly service, welcoming vibe and great breakfast. Rooms are large, clean and decorated in a traditional style that perfectly fits with the town’s vibe. Check rates and availability here
Monastery Garden – For beautiful rooms with a traditional and modern flair, this is our top choice for Cesky Krumlov. Located right next to the Monastery of the Minorities in the center of town, this cosy property is just so hygge. Rooms are spacious, clean and beautifully decorated. The breakfast here is one of the best in town. Check rates and availability here.
WHERE TO EAT
Laibon – Probably the only vegetarian and plant-based restaurant in town, this building goes back to 1538! Choose between a table inside in a welcoming, low lit interior or round the back in their beautiful garden facing the river and the castle.
Take your pick from the many options on the menu from Czech inspired dishes to those inspired by world cuisines. It’s a lovely place to enjoy lunch on a warm, sunny day with local Czech beer and great views.
Kolektiv Cafe and Wine Bar– A lovely, modern and super cool cafe and bar selling coffee, breakfast, cakes, light meals, wine and more. This is a great option for breakfast if you arrive in town early.
Drunken Coffee– Another great option for coffee and light snacks with great outside seating right in the river overlooking the castle.
Le Jardin – For an upscale, dining experience, head straight to French restaurant Le Jardin for top-quality cuisine. There’s always at least one vegetarian starter and main on the menu and the menu focuses on high-quality, seasonal ingredients cooked to perfection. If you’re looking for a more special meal in Cesky Krumlov this is it.
Apotheka Cafe Bar– One of the best spots in town for cocktails, Apotheka was once a medieval pharmacy selling all kinds of natural concoctions to cure all kinds of ailments. As it is a pharmacy, everything here (cocktails included) counts as medicine- so they say!
TOP THINGS TO DO IN ČESKÝ KRUMLOV
Explore the Old Town
Cesky Krumlov dates back to the 13th Century so it’s safe to say the town is old, ancient in fact. The buildings here however have been perfectly preserved and restored, making this one of the best Medieval towns to visit in Central Europe. The center of Cesky Krumlov has also been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a title that’s pretty well-deserved; a visit to the town is like stepping back in time.
Exploring the old town, coming down to the old town square, walking through the narrow, cobbled alleyways and peeking into doorways are one of the best things to do in Cesky Krumlov. There’s Medieval and Renaissance charm and character on every corner you turn- in fact, the town is so beautiful I was totally hooked on just getting lost in this labyrinth of historical streets.
Cesky Krumlov Castle and Tower
The grand, imposing building located on a rocky outcrop over town is easily seen as you arrive in Town and visiting it is one of the best things to do in Cesky Krumlov. The castle, the second largest in the Czech Republic, dates back to the 13th Century when it was home to various aristocratic families throughout the centuries.
The castle today is divided into two parts; the main castle where aristocrats lived and received guests and the castle museum and tower. You’ll need a separate ticket to visit the two but it’s definitely worth it for the history of the local area and the views of the town from the tower.
Cesky Krumlov Castle dates back to 1250 when it was founded by the Lords of Krumlov. When they died out it was inherited by the Rosenbergs who held their seat there up until 1602. They probably had the most influence over the early days of the castle, constructing the main building at the church seen today. The Rosenberg family crest, which features a rose is seen prominently around the interior of the castle.
In the 17th Century, the Castle was donated to the Eggenberg family and later to the Schwarzenbergs, each ruling aristocratic family adding more to the castle architecture and developing the economy of the town into what can be seen today.
While you can come in, see the Castle from the outer courtyards and enjoy the views of the Royal Gardens, I highly recommend opting for a ticket that allows you to explore the inside of the castle. Not only will you see how families lived in the castle hundreds of years ago, but as the tour is guided, you’ll learn more about the families and the castle and its fascinating history.