When we were finalizing our itinerary for Czech Republic, a friend recommended that from Prague we should visit a small Bohemian town called, Cesky Krumlov. When she said it I just didn’t understand what she was saying, as the pronunciation is quite difficult when you first hear it. But then one look at the pics of this place online and we were sold.
Cesky Krumlov is a small fairy take village located in Southern Bohemia, Czech Republic and is situated on the Vltava River. This town is full of old Baroque buildings housing cafes, shops, museums and bars, a beautiful castle, and an old-town square. This town is on the Unesco World Heritage List and is still maintained like it was in the 18th century.
We reached here by bus from Prague and checked in into our hostel, Krumlov Hostel. Though this place was a hostel, it was one of the best places that we stayed in anywhere during our trip in Europe. The building is small, beautiful and quaint with a dragon on the door, the owners are fantastic and make sure that your stay is comfortable. They even gave us a list of all places to visit, eat (including vegetarian options) and shop and this was extremely helpful. We had a quaint attic room here with a stunning view of the river –
Post checking in, we left to explore this town on foot. A walk around this town is like being transported back in time, where you walk through long narrow and cobbled streets, have small cottage kind of houses all around, complete with inns, bars and a beautiful castle overlooking the city. All that I found was missing was a knight riding by on a horse and loads of local people dressed in the clothes of the previous centuries. 🙂
We aimlessly walked around (without a proper map) for a long time and saw the old town square, wooden bridges and a view of the river at nearly every turn. We also shopped at some beautiful small local stores. Since this is a very small touristy town, things were quite expensive but we saw some of the most beautiful hand made stuff in ceramic, glass and wood.
All this walking made us hungry so we decided to have a nice long vegetarian lunch by the river at U Dvau Maryi. This place offers homemade delicacies made from old Czech recipes, and surprisingly with a good selection of vegetarian offerings. We had their Bohemian Platter with samplings of almost every dish on their menu for vegetarians, and it was quite nice. Cesky Krumlov was the only place in Europe where we found a wide variety and options in vegetarian food.
There were numerous activities that we could do here like river rafting, kayaking etc but we decided to just sit by the river, bathe out feet in it and laze. We also had company from quite few other fellow travelers in this activity and all I missed was a good book.
We then decided to visit the Castle, one of the most-visited site in this town. Cesky Krumlov
Walking through the castle complex is free, but you need to pay for either a guided tour of the interiors or a small entrance fee to walk up to the top of the castle tower. During the heydays of alchemy in the 16th century, Cesky Krumlov was an important centre and we saw a lot of signs of the same in the castle and around the city.
We were there on a Monday and unfortunately the castle was closed, so we decided to just walk around and explore the open sections. We walked in through the main castle entrance (with huge gates and a small market) and came to the Bear Moat. There are actual living bears here to protect the entrance to castle and though we craned our necks to no end, we didn’t see anything. I guess they were hiding somewhere. 😦
We kept walking upwards from the castle gates and reached the castle entrance. Since we couldn’t go in we decided to walk around and see the beautiful views of the town and explore the huge gardens. This is also the perfect picnic spot, with flowers, fountains etc.
Keep ample time as this place is huge and takes a lot of time. There are some museums here as well but we didn’t visit any of them as we didn’t have much time. Also after all the walk, we were tired and decided to call it a day with a nice dinner and hot chocolate in Cafe Antre. This is an extremely recommended place as it has very good food, free wi-fi and again awesome views. It’s a perfect place to sit and just let the world go by.
Tip for Trip –
- We didn’t have enough time hence just stayed here for a day, but if you have time, then you should consider staying here for about 2 days. There are some beautiful things to see even around Cesky Krumlov.
- This place is pretty reasonable in terms of price, so you can do quite a few things here without worrying about your budget.
- Definitely try the local cuisine, it’s very different and quite nice.