Český Krumlov

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A view of Český Krumlov from the castle tower

Český Krumlov (German: Krumau) is a beautiful town of 14,600 inhabitants located in Southern Bohemia in the Czech Republic. Like Prague, the town is situated on the Vltava River and is full of Baroque buildings housing cafes and bars, features a spectacular castle (the second largest in the Czech Republic), and an old-town square. The town's appearance is little changed since the 18th century and the buildings have been well maintained and restored. In 1992 Cesky Krumlov was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List [1]. The town is very popular among tourists, who outnumber the local population in the summer.

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

From Prague, and other nearby cities or towns of Bohemia, getting to Český Krumlov by public bus is easier, faster, and cheaper than by train.

Student Agency runs up to 8 buses per day between Český Krumlov and the Na Knízecí bus station in Prague, near the Anděl metro station. A one-way journey takes ~3 hours, and costs CZK 200. The bus stops at Pisek and České Budějovice. Cheaper and more comfortable than other public buses.

A local bus from České Budějovice takes 45 minutes and costs 32Kč.

Upon arriving in Český Krumlov, there are two bus stops: the first is North of the castle, the second is the main terminal and is located East of the main square. Both stations are about a five to ten minute walk from the main square—from the North, walk down Latrán ulice, from the East, head westward and look for Horni ulice off the main road. Check which stop is closest to your accommodation before your trip.

ShuttleCeskyKrumlov.com, Ckshuttle.cz, Budweis-shuttle.cz,Czechshuttle.com,and shuttlebus.cz operate comfortable daily bus service between Cesky Krumlov and the following cities: From Austria: Salzburg (3 hours, 950 CZK), Vienna (3 hours, 950 CZK), Linz (1.5 hours, 370 CZK), Melk (2.5 hours, 800 CZK), Hallstatt (2.5 hours, 1100 CZK). From other countries: Munich, Germany (4 hours, 1125 CZK), Bratislava, Slovakia (4 hours, 1700 CZK).

By train[edit]

Czech Railways operates train service to Cesky Krumlov, via České Budějovice. From Prague Hlavní Nádraží train station (Praha hl.n.), the regular fare is CZK 261 (for two or more people, group rate, "skupinová sleva", is available, second person pays CZK 157, each extra person pays CZK 131). The online discount called "SporoTiket" [2] gives you a price of CZK 180 to CZK 200.

The train leaves every 2 hours, trip takes 3 hours 40 minutes and requires a transfer at České Budějovice.

A train from České Budějovice takes 55 minutes and costs 49Kč, although the more people travel the cheaper it costs (e.g., only 81Kč for 2 people).

The train station in Český Krumlov is located north of the main square and the castle; the walk to the center is 15–20 minutes downhill. Taxis often wait in the parking lot for tired travelers - it may be worth the CZK 100 ride into town, especially at night. Some local buses although travel between the train station and the bus terminal (hat isn't much closer to the old town though, but may be closer to your accommodation). Price: 10Kč.

Get around[edit]

By foot[edit]

Ambling around the town's crooked ulices is the best way to get lost in Český Krumlov's 750 years of history. Bring solid walking shoes for the uneven cobblestones. Český Krumlov is a jumble of 750 years of architectural design, and for this reason was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Part of the fun is to get lost in its maze of cobbled ulices, while the Vltava River rushes along from almost every direction, adding to the confusion. Walking the length of Latrán from Budějovická Gate to the town square, Náměstí Svornosti, up Horní and across the bridge to the Barbakán, will take about an hour if you’re interested in stopping and gawping at sites.

By bike[edit]

Many good biking paths lead you to and from Český Krumlov, but you're not encouraged to ride through the streets once you get here. Park and lock your bike and enjoy not pedaling for a while.

See[edit]

View on the downtown with castle
  • Český Krumlov State Castle and Chateau. The Český Krumlov castle complex is the most-visited site in town. You can walk through the castle complex for free, or you can pay for either a guided tour of the interiors and the unique Castle Baroque Theater or pay a small entrance fee to walk up to the top of the castle tower. Plan at least two hours for your visit, and buy supplies for a picnic lunch in the castle gardens at the grocery across the ulice from the castle entrance on Latrán. The best approach to the castle is from Latrán. Walk through the red iron gates to the first castle courtyard that houses the Unios Tourist Information center, public washrooms, a souvenir shop, Doxa Galerie, and in the summer months, a tropically inspired mixed drink stand serving up mojitos, caipirinhas, and daquiris. As you approach the castle, you cross the Bear Moat, where the famous Krumlov bears gambol about lazily. Put a few coins in the slot to help keep them fat and happy.
    The second castle courtyard features the entrance to the castle tower (50 Kc). After slogging up the vertiginous staircase, you are treated to a 360-degree view of the town. Here is also a small fountain, and the main ticket office where you can book scheduled tours of the interior to the castle and the one-of-a-kind Baroque Theatre. The restaurant Maselnice, across from the ticket office, is a good place to stop for refreshment.
    Tours of the castle interior begin in the third castle courtyard, where you will find another souvenir store and the entrance to the Wenceslas Cellars (60 crowns), which now houses modern ceramic art pieces.
    Plaštovy Most, or the “Cloaked Bridge” is covered by a walkway that leads from the Castle to the Baroque Theatre, and affords another sweeping view of the town. Continue to walk uphill and you will find the entrance to the monumental castle gardens. A newly restored fountain, maze of hedgerows, a revolving theatre [3] and a Medieval-style restaurant, Marketa beckon. At the far end of the castle gardens, you’ll find a lush duck pond, situated in a stand of moody, gnarled trees. This is the perfect picnic spot.
    The castle's Barqoue theatre is the only one in Europe that survives in its original 18th century form with no modern additions. This means that stage sets are still operated by manual labour, and candlelight is still used to illuminate the stage and orchestra pit. Period performances of operas are occasionally performed at the theatre.
  • Regional Museum. Permanent exhibitions of Bohemian antiques, geological fossils, archeological finds from the nearby Celtic oppidum, and interesting rotating exhibits of local interest. On the top floor, check out the ceramic scale model of Český Krumlov at the turn of the 19th century, when eight more towers and spires decorated the landscape.
  • Egon Schiele Centrum Museum. Also open Mondays!. Egon Schiele, one of the world’s most famous artists, was a contemporary of Gustav Klimt. He set up his easel for a short time in Český Krumlov, painting the tortured landscapes of his famous Dead Town series, and young girls in compromising poses. The townspeople labeled him a perverted pornographer, and drove him out.
  • Technical Monument - Graphite Mine. Whenever after the phone booking; May-Jun 9AM-4PM; Jul-Aug 9AM-5PM; Sep-Oct 9AM-2PM; last excursion starts 1 hr before the end of working hours. This mine offers a bit of information about the history of mining and about the region of Český Krumlov. Before you set off on the excursion, you get a special miner uniform, including helmet and miner torch. Underground, you are transported by a special miner train. There you continue on foot. You will be able to experience the conditions under which the miners worked, and the machines they used. The guide will inform you about mining procedures, and how graphite was reworked and used. Excursion takes appx. 1 hr. Price for excursion in English 200 Kč; in CZ 150 Kč.

Do[edit]

  • Rafting on the Vltava River. You can rent rafts on several locations and hostels in and out the town, and near the camping area as well. The river can become faster flowing in summer months after rain, so approach the weirs with caution.
  • Tubing on the Vltava River. Make sure you get proper instructions on how to navigate the weirs through town, or you could end up with some small injuries as a souvenir of your visit.
  • Horseback Riding.
    • JK Slupenec Horses (30-minute walk from Town). They provide all the gear you need, including a helmet. Wear comfortable clothing and bring a couple sugar cubes or an apple to sweeten the experience. You must book ahead – ask at your accommodations or at one of the tourist information centers.
  • River RampageTraveller`s Hostel. Ride a raft down the river. Free shots and free beer at each bar you stop at. Pub crawl on the river. 400 czk per person. Meet at traveller`s hostel near the square daily between 11 and 12 in the morning for a full day of fun games, paddling, and drinking with new friends.

Festivals[edit]

  • International Music Festival Cesky Krumlov. Indoor and outdoor concerts during the months of July and August. The festival features International music greats coupled with a rich mix of musical genres. Even if tickets are sold out, you can still find an outdoor pub and soak in the sounds and post-concert fireworks.
  • Open Air Krumlov. Blues, Rock and Soul Festival will be held for the first time this year on July 9th 2011. The event is presented as a day of music, grilled food, champagne and wine, and local Eggenberg beer. It will be held at the Eggenberg Garden from 14:00 until 23:00.

Eat[edit]

There are no bad places to eat in Český Krumlov, but some are better than others. A good rule of thumb is to stay away from the tourist restaurants that charge more than 40 crowns for a half-liter of beer. The following restaurants are a good value (listed alphabetically):

  • Hospoda 99 and Deli 99At Věžní with Latrán (adjacent to the Budejovicka Gate - main entrance to the old town). Whether you are staying at the adjacent hostel or not, Hospoda 99 makes it a perfect spot to sit, relax, drink and enjoy some of the best Czech and American-inspired dishes in town. Join the locals and guests on the lovely terrace or inside with a lounge, good food, good service (staff speaks English) and all at reasonable prices. The kitchen closes at 23:00 but the bar does not. Right across the street is Deli 99 with great coffee, fresh baked bread, delicious sandwiches combo, bagels and pastries to sate small hungers. Illy coffee available to go or to savor in a comfortable room while reading a newspaper or viewing some locals’ photos of their travels. 500ml beer: 28Kc.
  • Krčma v ŠatlavskéŠatlavská Ulice (around the corner from the town square). This cozy tavern on the site of the old jailhouse is filled with tourists and locals alike, so try going on off-hours to enjoy the ambiance by the fire. Onion soup in a bread bowl followed by some meats grilled on the fire is a good bet.
  • LaibonParkán Ulice (two blocks from the town square on the right, before you reach the wooden bridge). Český Krumlov’s veggie haven and tea house. Even meat eaters enjoy the healthy departure from fried pork and take a stab at the creatively cooked grains.
  • MaštalTucked away next to the Infocentrum on the town square. Serves up quality food, and lots of it. Standard Czech fare, and a good range of salads. If you’re not so hungry, ask for the poloviční porce, or half-portion. Half-portions should be half the price of the normal-sized meal.
  • Na LoužiKájovska Ulice. Unlike many other restaurants in the Czech Republic, service here comes with a smile. Reasonably priced fare piled high with fresh vegetables and potatoes makes even the simplest entrée fit for a king.
  • Nonna GinaKlašterní Ulice (across from the castle gates). Owned by a Sicilian-Czech couple. Serves the most authentic Italian dishes in town. Here you’ll find pizzas, salads and gnocchi to nosh, and even homemade tiramisù.
  • U Dvau MaryiParkán Ulice (two blocks from the town square on the right, before you reach the wooden bridge). The building is owned by one of the town’s leading experts in historical preservation. Homemade delicacies made from old Czech recipes and offer a good selection of vegetarian offerings. The best deal is their Bohemian Platter with samplings of almost every dish on their menu for either meat eaters or vegetarians.

Desserts[edit]

  • Bon Bon (on the way from the Castle entrance to the river). The chocolate ice-cream is incredible!

Drink[edit]

Pub Crawl[edit]

  • The Gorilla Pub CrawlVezni 99 732-139-522. 8PM, every night from April 1st to Sept. 15th.. Start with a full hour of free Beer, Wine, and Vodka at Hospoda 99, and then make your way through the entire city, visiting a 400 year old brewery, unique underground bars and pubs, and end in an all night bar/club. 12 euros includes the power hour, free entry and unlimited shots!.

Bars[edit]

Don't be afraid to walk into a pub alone. Locals are friendly, menus are in English, although a bit of Czech please (prosím) and thank you (děkuju) can go a long way. A night on the town (5 half-liters of excellent Czech beer) will cost you less than 200 Kc.

  • Bar Krumlos. A beautiful bar in a historic building, full of artistic details and a real special drinking menu. the owner travels during winter to find special rums, tequila's and whiskeys in South America. The best rums you ever had (for very little money). the owner will pour the drinks at your table and is willing to tell you the story that goes with the drink. not a bad bar!
  • Cikanská JízbaDlouhá ulice. Cold Pilsner Urquell, hot Gypsy goulash, and great atmosphere made by a mix of travelers and die-hard locals. On the weekends, live Gypsy music swells the space, and bodies melt into the bar.
  • Dobrá Čajovnaacross from the castle gates (across from the castle gates). For those who would rather sample a list of more than 200 types of teas from all over the world such as one to “drink with slim concubines.”
  • Eggenberg BreweryPivovarská ulice. Locally-brewed Eggenberg beer tastes best here. Try the kvasnice, the yeast beer, if available.
  • Horror BarMásna ulice (one block from the town square, heading towards the wooden bridge). Never ending trick-or-treats. Ask the barmaid with the darkened eye sockets for skoumavky for your table: little test-tubes filled with blood-red liquor. Specialty drink is the Ginger Mojito.
  • Travellers’ Hostel BarSoukenická ulice. Soukenická ulice where travellers meet locals. modern music, open till 4, 5 even 6 in the morning, vibrant. for a wild night out.
  • U BabyRooseveltova ulice (next door to Hostel Krumlov House). A local bar for students, die-hards, and the odd lost traveler. On offer: Gambrinus, Pilser Urquell, impromptu acoustic guitar jams, and hedonistic, roasted pig knuckle gorge-fests.
  • AntreHorni ulice (right next to the bridge leading into town). the only non-smoking pub/cafe in Cesky Krumlov with friendly service, family-friendly attitude. Bernard beer served. Often live music on the weekends and in summer the terrace is the most perfect place to soak in the Cesky Krumlov skyline.
  • ApothekaLatrán 46 (at the edge of street from the Castle and main street Latrán in historic town),  +420728336064. Drink list includes about 40 cocktails but it is for reference only. They apply individual approach to customers and after a short debate they will mix the cocktail tailored to taste.

Sleep[edit]

The good news is that and all accommodation is within an easy 10-minute walk to the town square. The bad news is that accommodations tend to be on the smaller side, so in the busy summer months you will need to book ahead. The Infocentrum on the town square [4] or Unios Travel Service at the 1st Castle Courtyard are happy to book hotels or bed and breakfast accommodations (also known as pensiony) for a nominal fee.

Camping[edit]

  • Vltavan CampgroundNovi Spoli suburb (next to the Vltava River, about a 30 minute walk from main square),  +420 775 748 815, e-mail: . Large campsite. A nearby grocery store (10 minute walk) and a couple of local restaurants next to the camping site will keep hunger at bay. 50Kc per person + 30Kc per tent.

Hostels[edit]

  • Hostel 99Vezni 99 (1 min. from Spicak bus stop, just go over the bridge that leads you into the old town, first left after the gate.),  +420 380 712 812, e-mail: . Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 11:00. Fun place, no bunk beds in a 16th-century building, with wooden beamed ceilings and a terrace out-looking the castle tower. Free beer on Wednesdays! Great bar/restaurant on site. Internet access, rafting and laundry available. Dorm bed: 250Kc-350Kc; Double: 400Kc-450Kc per person.
  • Hostel Krumlov HouseRooseveltova 68 +420 380 711 935, e-mail: . Lots of wood crafted details. Very quiet, spacious and clean. 100 percent non-smoking and family-friendly. Wifi, full kitchen, private rooms, lounge with DVDs and musical instruments. Laundry available. Dorm bed: 300Kc; Private rooms: from 400Kc-500Kc per person.

Pensions[edit]

Hotels[edit]

Go next[edit]

The Infocentrum on the town square has a wealth of information of where to go next, and are happy to provide maps, train and bus schedules and even book you a bed to your next port of call. Do your homework: Sometimes it’s a good idea to keep your bed in Český Krumlov and go on day trips to the following places (listed alphabetically):

  • České Budějovice. Boasting a massive town square, nam. Přemysl Otakar, is replete with shopping and dining opportunities. Off the town square, you’ll find many hidden nooks and special places of interest. It is definitely worth the day trip from Český Krumlov by either bus or rail, but not worth staying overnight, unless you have to make some sort of early train or bus connection. Ask for the schedules at Infocentrum or go to [5]
  • Kleť. This is the highest point in the nearby region and offers relaxed forest walking, cycling and 360 panoramic view of South Bohemia from the top. It also has an observatory on top. It can be climbed right from Český Krumlov. You can rent kickbikes [6] for a downhill ride.
  • Kramolín Ski Resort. Open November through April, this small ski resort is perfect for learners and children. At the base of the main ski lift are quite a few shops that rent and sell gear and a few nice restaurants and cafes to while away the time. The ski bus runs to and from Kramolín from Český Krumlov. See their website for prices and ski bus schedules.
  • Lipno Lake Slideland & Aquaworld. 32 km southwest of Cesky Krumlov. This artificially-made lake harnesses the power of the Vltava River at Lipno Dam. In the summer, there are campsites at Černá v Pošumaví, Frymburk, Horní Plána and Lipno nad Vltavou. In the winter, cross-country ski trails alongside Lipno Lake beckon. Aquaworld, next to the Marina, houses an attractive modern swimming pool and aquapark. The bobsleigh track, Slideland, across the road, is a fun for kids and parents alike.
  • Rožmberk Castle. This idyllic town, featuring a picture-perfect castle built in 1253, was the official seat of the Rožmberk family, whose power stretched over the region of South Bohemia. A tour of the lovingly maintained castle is worth the 30 minute trip by car or bus from Český Krumlov.
  • Šumava, the Bohemian Forest, a spot for nature lovers, and one of the best places in the country to hike, bike, and cross-country ski.
  • Vyšší Brod. One of the best things to do in the summer months is to rent a boat from Vyšší Brod, visit the monastery, and then navigate your raft for 8–10 hours all the way back to Český Krumlov. This can take one or two days, depending on your fitness level and flow of the river. Along the way, there are a few good camping areas to pitch a tent. To book your boat in the high season, try Maleček Boat Rentals.
  • Zlata Koruna. 7 km from Český Krumlov, this beautifully-restored monastery is set in a stand of ancient oaks. You can reach the Monastery by rafting from Český Krumlov with the Maleček Boat Rentals, or you can take a local bus from the main bus station.
  • Dívčí Kámen Castle. Just a short train ride from Český Krumlov (take the local train to Třísov) and hike the 1.5 km through the forest opposite the train station. You may start to feel lost as you trek along the dirt path and down a hill covered with exposed tree roots, but the river should be just below you and the castle might start peeking out between the trees from the opposite hill. The alternative is an easier 3 km walk from the next stop on the train, Holubov, where you can get directions from the information office just up the hill from the station.

Also see the Get Out section of České Budějovice.

This city travel guide to Český Krumlov is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page
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