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One of the most well-liked day journeys from Prague is the medieval city of Český Krumlov. So many vacationers make the day journey from Prague to Český Krumlov with one of the best intentions, hoping for the spotlight of their journey.
The fact? Český Krumlov is commonly listed as of one of the best day journeys from Prague — however everybody else has realized the identical factor. As a consequence, Krumlov is sort of intolerably crowded throughout the day, particularly throughout the summer time.
I’ve been spending loads of time within the Czech Republic currently, and certainly one of my high priorities was to lastly go to Český Krumlov. My boyfriend has lived in Prague for 18 years and works within the tourism trade. One of his high tricks to his shoppers is NOT to day journey to Český Krumlov — as a substitute, to remain in a single day.
Overnight in Český Krumlov? I believed. But it’s solely two hours away. That’s a wonderfully high quality day journey.
There is a selected cause for this, although. Český Krumlov has develop into enormously overtouristed previously decade or so. As a consequence, doing a day journey to Český Krumlov means spending your day combating via crowds, ready in traces, and making an attempt to get photographs that don’t have one million folks in them.
But after 5:00 PM or so, all of it fantastically clears out. The crowds hop again on their buses, again to their whistle-stop tour of Central Europe. The day trippers return to Prague to walk the Charles Bridge and watch the Astronomical Clock.
When the city goes quiet, as soon as the streets are empty, that’s when Český Krumlov turns into distinctive.
Why Travel to Český Krumlov?
Český Krumlov is a tiny medieval city within the Czech Republic. Like many Czech cities, Český Krumlov is fantastically preserved — you could possibly think about the skyline wanting precisely the identical within the 1400s. Because of this, the historic heart of Český Krumlov was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.
The Czech Republic doesn’t get sufficient credit score for having a few of the most stunning cities in Europe. (Turns out letting the invaders march in is GREAT for preserving your metropolis’s structure.) When I first got here to Prague as a school pupil, I marveled on the sweet homes, considering this was one of many prettiest locations I had ever seen.
Come to Český Krumlov and also you’ll get to see extra of these sweet homes — however you’ll additionally get to take pleasure in a fortress tower with a hell of a view. And a Baroque theater the likes of which you’ve by no means seen. And a river that’s ready to be rafted. And one of many nation’s greatest craft cocktail bars. All in a small, walkable, cute bundle with out the noise and site visitors of an enormous metropolis.
If you’re touring to the Czech Republic and also you wish to see extra than simply Prague, Český Krumlov must be on the high of your listing.
I wrote this Český Krumlov information to be sure you have one of the best go to ever.
Frequently Asked Questions about Český Krumlov
Český Krumlov is pronounced CHESS-ky KROOM-lov.
Don’t take the practice to Český Krumlov — there’s just one per day and the station is way from city. I like to recommend arriving by bus, vacationer shuttle, or renting a automotive.
I’m an enormous fan of the Hotel Oldinn and I believe it’s one of the best place to remain in Český Krumlov. Hotel Bellevue is gorgeous should you’re searching for luxurious, and Pension Galko is a strong low cost possibility.
PLEASE don’t do a day journey from Prague to Český Krumlov! It’s method too crowded with day trippers. Stay in a single day and also you’ll fall in love with town. Here’s why.
Český Krumlov Overtourism
Overtourism has develop into a significant difficulty over the previous decade, particularly in locations like Venice, Dubrovnik, and Barcelona. Overtourism is when a sure vacation spot has too many vacationers inside a small place and makes detrimental impacts on locals.
Lots of people suppose that Prague is the epicenter of overtourism within the Czech Republic — and should you head down the Old Town, you’ll perceive its severity. Almost nothing in Prague’s Old Town exists for locals; it’s a sea of resorts, cash change places of work, and chimney cake sellers. My native mates in Prague hardly ever go there.
Thankfully, although, Prague is a big metropolis and out of doors town heart, you’ve attention-grabbing neighborhoods that see only a few vacationers. I hope that is what retains town livable into the longer term.
Even although Český Krumlov will get fewer guests than Prague — roughly 1.5-2 million per 12 months to Prague’s eight million or so — Český Krumlov’s overtourism drawback is way more extreme. This is primarily as a result of its dimension — it’s geographically tiny and there’s nowhere for folks to unfold out.
Tourism to Český Krumlov has elevated enormously previously decade. There are two huge components that account for this — the rising recognition of river cruising and big will increase in tourism from Asia.
River cruises had been as soon as a distinct segment product however have lately develop into a preferred solution to discover Europe, particularly for North Americans over 50. Ironically sufficient, Český Krumlov isn’t even a river cruise cease! The Vltava River is simply too tiny to help a cruise ship right here. Instead, Český Krumlov is a well-liked day journey from Danube River cruise ports like Linz, Austria, and Passau, Germany.
As for Asian tourism, there was initially a wave of Korean vacationers after Korean Air purchased a 44% stake in Czech Airlines in 2013 and started working direct flights to Prague from Seoul. In the final decade, nevertheless, Chinese tourism to Europe has been rising 12 months over 12 months, and based on the European Travel Commission, they’re heading additional east, notably to Hungary, Estonia, and particularly Croatia.
Most East Asian vacationers to Europe journey in massive bus excursions, primarily to allow them to have guides who communicate their language. While it’s good that these excursions make attention-grabbing locations accessible to extra vacationers, massive bus excursions have a detrimental affect on small cities like Český Krumlov.
How unhealthy is the overtourism in Český Krumlov? If you go to throughout the summer time months, the small medieval streets can be packed wall-to-wall with folks. If you’re trying to get one of many signature photographs overlooking the fortress or metropolis skyline, you’ll need to push folks out of the way in which. There can be traces all over the place; it is going to be robust to get into eating places at lunchtime.
Things are a bit calmer within the winter months, notably January and February, however overtourism is a year-round difficulty in Český Krumlov. It is crowded 12 months out of the 12 months and the extra busloads that arrive, the more serious it will get.
What are you able to do to keep away from overtourism in Český Krumlov?
Stay in a single day in Český Krumlov. It’s that easy. It is JARRING how completely different it’s at evening.
People usually ask me whether or not it’s value visiting an overtouristed vacation spot. You can keep away from locations affected by overtourism if you wish to, however that’s not at all times an possibility. Some of them don’t have any possible alternate options — there’s nowhere on the planet like Venice. I don’t have the guts to inform somebody that they need to by no means journey to Venice in the event that they’ve been dreaming of visiting their complete life!
Sometimes you may keep away from overtourism by visiting within the low season. This works spectacularly properly for Dubrovnik, for instance, however not so properly in Barcelona, which is well-liked year-round. And for cruise ship hubs, you may usually lookup the port schedule and go to on the day when the fewest ships are in port.
But for well-liked day journey locations, the reply is straightforward: simply keep in a single day.
This is the reality for Český Krumlov, for Mostar in Bosnia, for Bruges in Belgium, for Kotor in Montenegro. All of those are well-liked day journey locations in Europe, and all of them empty out by the late afternoon.
And that’s when the magic occurs. It cools down, the sunshine turns stunning, and all of a sudden you’ve these winding streets to your self. I’m betting that should you journey from Prague to Český Krumlov, you’ll like town one million instances extra should you keep in a single day.
Things to Do in Český Krumlov
So what are one of the best issues to do in Český Krumlov? Most of the attraction of town is simply strolling round and marveling at its magnificence. Krumlov is a metropolis made for wandering.
But there are many sights. And should you’re planning on seeing a number of, I like to recommend getting the Cesky Krumlov Card. It prices 300 crowns ($13) for adults, 150 crowns ($7) for youngsters, college students, and seniors; and it provides you admission to Castle Tower and the Castle Museum, the Regional Museum, Seidel Photographic Studio Museum, Egon Schiele Art Centrum, and the Český Krumlov Monasteries.
You should purchase the cardboard at any of the 5 sights it provides you entry to, or the Tourist Information Centre on the town.
Český Krumlov Castle
Guided excursions can be found in Czech, English, and German. There is written materials in French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, and Dutch. Tours are 300 crowns ($13) per particular person.
It’s 162 steps to the highest of Castle Tower and the views are excellent (particularly within the afternoon). Your ticket additionally provides you admission to the Castle Museum, a small museum specializing in the fortress’s historical past. Admission is 150 crowns ($7) for adults.
This fantastically preserved Baroque theater is spectacular on the within. The surroundings is produced from layered painted objects that slide out and in. You should go to as a part of a tour. English language excursions are 270 crowns ($12) per particular person.
Canoe, Kayak and Raft the Vltava River
The river could also be tiny round Český Krumlov, however journey outdoors town and it will get robust! Shops in Krumlov will inform you what river journeys are presently obtainable. This is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Český Krumlov throughout the summer time months.
Seidel Photographic Studio Museum (Museum Fotoatelier Seidel)
St. Vitus Cathedral
This is the white church on high of the hill within the metropolis. It’s value a fast peek. I used to be right here simply as locals had been leaving Sunday Mass, dressed up excess of American Catholics!
Read The Bloodletter’s Daughter
I usually take pleasure in studying books which might be set within the place that I’m visiting. The Bloodletter’s Daughter by Linda Lafferty is a historic novel that takes place in Český Krumlov in 1606. Marketa is the assistant to her father, a bloodletter, who’s employed to deal with the insanity of the Emperor’s bastard son Don Julius. As his sickness progresses, Don Julius turns into more and more harmful and obsessive about Marketa.
(Full disclosure: I wasn’t a big fan of the guide. I cherished the setting, appreciated the plot, and disliked the writing. You might disagree; writing is a subjective factor. But that is so vividly descriptive of Krumlov that I believed it was value sharing.)
Get Photos from the Best Viewpoints
You may suppose that in a metropolis as stunning as Český Krumlov, you’re going to have beautiful photographs it doesn’t matter what. But should you make an effort to go to one of the best viewpoints on the correct time of day, you’ll have even higher photographs. There’s nothing worse than attending to a photograph spot and understand you’re capturing into the solar.
Here are one of the best pictures places:
Across from Hotel Ruze. The mild is greatest within the morning. Scroll down and also you’ll see rainbow pictures!
Castle Tower. A should. The mild is greatest within the afternoon.
Cloak Bridge at Český Krumlov Castle. You don’t want a ticket to enter. The mild is greatest within the afternoon.
Just previous Cloak Bridge on the left. There are half-moon formed cutouts which might be good for framing St. Vitus’s Cathedral. The mild is greatest within the afternoon.
Kaple Penny Marie Bolestné. See the little white constructing on the hill within the distance within the high proper of the above photograph? That’s the spot. It’s a few 30-minute stroll from the previous city. The mild is greatest within the morning.
Eat Traditional Czech Food
If you’re spending a short while within the Czech Republic, you’ll want to strive some Czech meals! Český Krumlov’s medieval setting lends itself properly to quirky, conventional eating places serving up dishes that follow your ribs.
This is garlic soup (česnečka), a preferred Czech dish that’s a lot greater than its title — it’s a buttery, herby soup with potatoes and croutons.
Tavern of the Two Marys appears to be like like a restaurant of centuries previous — you climb stairs in a unusual, slim home embellished with blankets and two portraits of the Virgin Mary. You sit at picket benches and dine on hearty Czech specialties.
Another enjoyable possibility is Krčma Šatlava, a medieval restaurant the place you dine in a cave-like environment as meats roast on a roaring fireplace. Reserve forward right here; it tends to guide out.
Český Krumlov at Night
In mid-December, after I visited, sundown in Český Krumlov is at about 4:00 PM — yikes! (The excellent news? Sunrise is round 7:50 AM at the moment of 12 months, so should you’re an early morning photographer, you may sleep in!) And after all, should you go to throughout the summer time months, sundown might be as late as 9:10 PM.
Either method — evening is essentially the most magical time in Český Krumlov. The bus excursions start leaving at round 4:00 PM, and by 6:00 PM, the streets are empty.
Suddenly you may stroll down the road and be certainly one of three folks relatively than 300.
I felt so free in Český Krumlov after darkish — and I cherished town increasingly more. Two of my favourite experiences in Český Krumlov had been at evening.
If you’re searching for a pleasant restaurant in Český Krumlov, or celebrating an important day, I extremely suggest consuming at Le Jardin. This restaurant serves elevated high quality Czech delicacies.
Full honesty: I’m not an enormous fan of Czech meals ordinarily. I’ll eat goulash and dumplings once in a while, like if I’m at a brewery, but when I desire a particular meal, I’ll select just about every other delicacies.
Le Jardin is an exception. Their meals is EXQUISITE, delicate and considerate and never stodgy in any respect, from the amuse-bouche via the dessert. You can eat à la carte or select a tasting menu. The restaurant is small and comfortable, like Český Krumlov itself. And the service is among the many greatest I’ve had in Europe.
Le Jardin’s menu modifications with the seasons. But the pork tenderloin and duck confit are each terrific, and if they’ve squash soup or pumpkin soup on the menu, I implore you to get it! That soup could also be one of the best dish I’ve ever had within the Czech Republic.
But one of the best a part of being in Český Krumlov in a single day was spending a night at Apotheke, among the finest cocktail bars within the Czech Republic (and there are a LOT of unimaginable cocktail bars within the Czech Republic). Apotheke was as soon as an apothecary, or pharmacy. Today the booze serves as medication.
It’s a really cool area, darkish and old style and with plenty of oddly formed bottles.
We tried two of their signature cocktails — each spectacular. One tasted like raspberry Kool-Aid (and I simply might have drank that each one evening!) and one buttery cocktail was topped with popcorn!
You might inform the gang had been nearly totally locals. They had been well-dressed, chatted with the bartenders, and appeared to know one another. It can robust to discover a bar in a touristy city that has a cool issue however isn’t taken over by vacationers. Apotheke is a rarity.
Make certain you deliver money! Apotheke is cash-only. There is an ATM once you depart the bar, take a proper, and it is going to be on the left in what appears to be like like a little bit of an out of doors nook.
Apotheke doesn’t allow pictures. The supervisor graciously let me take a number of photographs after I confirmed him my media credentials, advised him in regards to the story I used to be writing, and had been there for awhile.
Just a few cocktails, one other night stroll, and I went to sleep surrounded by quiet and calm.
Morning in Český Krumlov
If you’re a photographer, you’ll wish to shoot Český Krumlov within the early morning — that’s your greatest probability for daytime pictures with out folks in them. And staying in a single day ensures that you just’ll get to expertise good mild in several areas than you probably did within the afternoon.
When I awakened in Krumlov the following morning, the rain had cleared up. But we had the BEST consequence — a rainbow! A full, daring rainbow that stretched from one finish of the skyline to the opposite.
We headed again to the perspective throughout from the Hotel Ruze and photographed the view with the blue sky, getting extra rainbow pictures.
After a stroll round city (I like to recommend stopping for a espresso at Kolektiv), we left at 11:00 AM. And BOY, was that fortuitous timing!
As I left the city, this was the view of the Cloak Bridge. Hardly any folks within the morning solar.
No joke — not even ten seconds later, the crowds began pouring in from the large bus excursions.
Right behind them had been river cruise tour teams led by sign-toting tour guides.
I couldn’t consider it. Had my fairy story disappeared? I had loved a quiet and delightful morning in Český Krumlov, and by 11:00 AM, it felt like town was underneath assault.
Staying in a single day in Český Krumlov was a clever determination.
Where to Stay in Český Krumlov
You can discover Český Krumlov resorts at each value level, and also you get nice worth for cash. Even although town is primarily a day journey vacation spot, town caters properly to its in a single day guests.
On my journey to Český Krumlov, I stayed on the Hotel Oldinn, which I actually loved and suggest. The Oldinn is a cushty, newly renovated mid-range lodge in a wonderful location.
Here are the top-rated resorts in every value class:
Best luxurious lodge in Český Krumlov: Hotel Bellevue
In a metropolis filled with old style luxurious resorts, Hotel Bellevue is a breath of contemporary air. Modern, revolutionary, and tucked right into a quiet nook of the Old Town, the lodge encompasses a sauna, tennis courts, and even a bowling alley! The rooms are quiet and tastefully embellished in muted colours. The on-site restaurant, Le Jardin, is one of the best high quality eating restaurant on the town, serving beautiful Czech fare.
Be certain to get a room that’s “deluxe” or larger — the “superior” rooms are very small. Rates from $217.
Best mid-range lodge in Český Krumlov: Hotel Oldinn
I cherished my keep on the Hotel Oldinn. Located proper on Náměstí Svornosti, one of the picturesque squares within the previous city, this lodge is fashionable with massive, lately renovated rooms. The quotes painted on the partitions add a contact of quirkiness, and the lodge supplies room service.
Please take into account that Hotel Oldinn renovated in 2019 — should you see critiques speaking about dated, old style decor, this was previous to the renovation. It now appears to be like just like the photograph above. Rates from $62.
Best funds lodge in Český Krumlov: Pension Galko
Located within the coronary heart of the previous city, this five-room visitor home is a comfy possibility should you’re touring on a funds. Rooms are a bit small and dated, however the Bohemian murals are heat and cheery. Rates from $44.
How to Get from Prague to Český Krumlov
Český Krumlov is a bit remoted — it’s not alongside any of the primary transportation traces, and it’s not a strategic cease between main cities. You’ll be going a bit out of your solution to get to Český Krumlov, however there are a selection of the way to get there.
Prague to Český Krumlov by Train
In the previous, there wasn’t a Prague to Český Krumlov practice. Today there’s precisely one practice that’s restricted to as soon as per day, at 9:01 AM, and it takes 2 hours and 51 minutes, arriving at 11:52 AM. The one return practice is at 2:07 PM and will get again to Prague at 4:56 PM.
While I want to take trains in Europe each time attainable, I don’t suggest taking the practice from Prague to Český Krumlov. The trains are a bit awkwardly timed and Český Krumlov’s practice station is a few 16-minute stroll from the sting of the previous city, a lot additional away than the bus station (six minutes away).
The buses are extra frequent, take about the identical period of time, and drop you off a lot nearer to the previous city (which makes an enormous distinction when you’ve baggage).
Prague to Český Krumlov by Bus
Most individuals who take public transportation from Prague to Český Krumlov accomplish that by bus. There are buses all through the day they usually take 2 hours and 45 minutes.
If you wish to take public transportation to Český Krumlov, I like to recommend doing so by bus. The bus station is a few six-minute stroll from the sting of the previous city.
Prague to Český Krumlov by Shuttle Transfer
Shuttle transfers are often a minibus that you just share with different vacationers. Many of them decide you up out of your lodging.
You can even guide a shuttle from Prague to Český Krumlov, and guide your subsequent shuttle to a special vacation spot — to Salzburg, Vienna, Halstatt, and extra.
Prague to Český Krumlov by Private Transfer
If you’d like, you may rent a non-public driver to take you from Prague to Český Krumlov. This is the most costly possibility however should you’re touring in a bunch, it might work out to be the most affordable possibility.
Prague to Český Krumlov by Car
Renting a automotive is an possibility, and I extremely suggest street tripping everywhere in the Czech Republic, not simply its two hottest cities! There are nice cities like Olomouc and Brno, there’s beautiful nature just like the Moravian Karst and the Bohemian Switzerland area. There are even glorious Czech wineries once you go additional east into Moravia!
There is a car parking zone proper outdoors Český Krumlov’s metropolis partitions, subsequent to the fortress, with a charge of 450 crowns ($20) for 12-24 hours and 900 crowns ($40) for 24-48 hours. If that lot is full, there are a number of others on the identical road.
If you’re driving from Prague to Český Krumlov and fascinated with UNESCO World Heritage Sites, cease by the city of Holašovice. It’s about 30 minutes from Krumlov.
The city acquired its World Heritage designation for its structure, however the city doesn’t have any tourism worth in any other case. It’s a cute place, however should you’re not into World Heritage Sites, you can provide it a miss. We stayed for about 10 minutes, then continued again to Prague.
Other websites within the space you may go to are Hluboká Castle and the city of České Budějovice, residence of the Budweiser brewery (the Czech Budweiser — nothing just like the American counterpart!).
Best Time to Visit Český Krumlov
I’m guessing that you just’re not going to plan your complete journey round one small metropolis, however simply in case, I urge you to not plan your journey to Central Europe within the coronary heart of the summer time. It’s extremely crowded, it will get loads hotter than you’d suppose, and the costs are at their highest.
If summer time is your solely time to journey, you may completely make one of the best of a go to. (If you’re a instructor or you’ve children, I get it. Summer is what you’ve.) I’d encourage you to go to earlier in summer time, in June relatively than August, should you can. August is absolutely the busiest time within the Czech Republic and temperatures might be searing.
The shoulder seasons, spring and fall, is usually a good time to journey to Český Krumlov. Temperatures are milder, however know that town will nonetheless be extraordinarily crowded throughout the day.
I visited Český Krumlov in mid-December. This remains to be a preferred time to go to because of the rising recognition of Christmas market river cruises. Český Krumlov has a number of Christmas markets, they usually’re cute, however I like to recommend going to Germany as a substitute should you really need one of the best Christmas markets.
The absolute lowest season in Český Krumlov is January and February. Tourism by no means dies right here, however that is when it is going to be at its lowest (to not point out chilliest). I’m not a fan of visiting Central Europe throughout the winter months — it’s grey, darkish and chilly — but when climate isn’t a dealbreaker, it’s possible you’ll take pleasure in visiting at the moment.
Overall, I’d purpose for November or December, or maybe April.
But as at all times, it doesn’t matter what time of 12 months you go to, Český Krumlov can be far much less crowded when the day trippers depart.
Should You Visit Český Krumlov?
One mistake I believe loads of vacationers make is visiting Prague, then leaving and never seeing anything within the Czech Republic. (Hell, I’m certainly one of them. I visited the nation for 3 days after I was 20, by no means left Prague, and didn’t return till I used to be 35.)
Český Krumlov is such a particular city, and I believe it’s the prettiest place within the Czech Republic. It’s completely value your time to go to…
…simply so long as you don’t do it as a day journey. STAY OVERNIGHT IN KRUMLOV!
How to Plan a Trip from Prague to Český Krumlov
Here is a cheat sheet on tips on how to plan the right journey to Český Krumlov:
Step one. Choose a date in your journey.
Step 4: Make a eating reservation you probably have your coronary heart on a selected restaurant, like Le Jardin or Krčma Šatlava.
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Have you been to Český Krumlov? Share your ideas!