Is this the most beautiful small town in Europe?
Have you ever looked at an impressionist painting and wondered, what would it be like to live there, in that moment walking the cobble streets, colors, and people strolling with their umbrellas and pea coats? The fantasy of entering a painting is possible in Cesky Krumlov. Although I am not a huge fan of lists and always wonder who gets to decide that this city or that town is better than another, it has been described as “The Most Beautiful Small Town in Europe” by some travel publications.
Cesky Krumlov is deep in Bohemia and it can easily be done on a day trip from Prague if you do not have a lot of time to stay. I would suggest staying a couple of days to truly make the most of this place.
What is the cheapest and fastest way to get there from Prague?
Taking the bus from either Prague’s Hlavni train station or Na Knizeci bus station. The trip can take between 2.5 hours to 4 hours. You will arrive at either Cesky Krumlov’s Spicak or Autobusove Nadrazi bus station. The earliest bus departs at 6 a.m. and the bus companies traveling there are Infobus, Regiojet, Leo Express, and M Express. In addition, taking the bus is actually quicker than taking the train. Therefore, visitors have realized that taking the bus makes the most sense.
Why visit Cesky Krumlov? I will not answer this with words. I will show you instead:
What is there to do?
Cesky Krumlov’s Renaissance Castle dates back to 1240. It is the second largest castle in the country after Prague Castle. The castle is listed as a national heritage site so it attracts many tourists. The castle’s highlight is the Baroque theater, which serves as a completed example of Baroque architecture. Built in the 1860s, the theater preserves all of its original equipment, machinery, and props. Even the curtains are the originals.
Main Square: Simply stroll around the main square and enjoy the rich history. There are many cafes, antique shops, galleries, and Bohemian restaurants.
Eggenberg Brewery: Czech Republic is famous for its beer and Cesky Krumlov’s dates back to the 1300s. Visitors can enjoy tours of the brewery and tastings.
Mount Klet is the highest point at 3556 feet tall. The observatory at the top offers telescopes. Enjoy the surroundings and breathtaking views.
Museum Fotoatelier Seidel is Cesky’s Krumlov Museum of Photography. Most of the work is from the 19th century to the present. In addition, enjoy memorabilia such as glass-plate negatives, antique cameras, and darkroom equipment.
The Vltava River welcomes those with a more adventurous spirit. During the Summer time, you can rent a canoe and go down the river.
The Celebration of the Rose is a popular Summer festival and locals celebrate their medieval roots. To celebrate, blacksmiths mint coins, jugglers come out to the street to swallow fire, and beer flows abundantly.
International Jazz and alternative music festival during the Summer.
The Marionette Museum is a short walk from the town center and should not be missed if you are traveling with kids. Exhibits include puppets from the 19th century, complete with marionette theaters, and recent collections. Sometimes, they highlight popular operas like The Magic Flute or Don Giovanni. Now wouldn’t that be a wonderful experience with puppets?
Museum of torture: Definitely not an attraction to please everyone, but if you are into history, this museum takes a look at the awful and cruel ways in which prisoners were treated.
Where in the world is Elaine?
Where to Eat in Cesky Krumlov on a budget?
Honestly, there are so many wonderful places to try. I do not believe in over-planning, but having some idea of where you want to go is helpful. Personally, I write some places down during my research and then I visit in person. However, it is not written in stone and I am known to improvise if I see another place that catches my attention. In the meantime, these are three suggestions so that you don’t go empty-handed.
Hotel Latran becomes Cafe Studl after they serve breakfast to their hotel guests first. The Czechs know how to perfectly bake their strudel. You will find both savory and sweet strudel here for your pleasure.
Hospoda and Deli 99 has some of the best food in town. The kitchen closes at 23:00 but the bar remains open. You will find a selection of fresh baked bread, delicious sandwiches, bagels, pastries, and coffee on the go.
Papa’s Living Restaurant. Their menu is international, but it focuses on Italian cuisine. They offer pastas, pizza, and a specialty of turkey breast baked in a pastry crust with spinach, blue cheese sauce, and mustard cream sauce.
The magic of Cesky Krumlov will always remain in your heart. After visiting, I understood why some consider it the most beautiful town in Europe---and there are many to choose from. With its cobbled streets, beautiful colors, scenery, and medieval feel, this is the type of town you dream of visiting and helps you realize that fairy tales can come true.