Tábor is a city in South Bohemia 100 km south of Prague. It was founded in 1420 by radical followers of Jan Hus, who paved the way for Martin Luther's church reforms. Much of its old town has been preserved, perched on a hilltop between the Luznice River and the medieval reservoir of Jordan Lake. A big castle, old town hall and other sights remind visitors of its interesting past. Its population in 2019 was over 34,000.
The town's name translates to "camp" or "encampment" in Czech.
The town was founded in the spring of 1420 by Petr Hromádka of Jistebnice and Jan Bydlínský of Bydlín from the most radical wing of the Hussites, who soon became known as the Taborites. In the following years the town flourished as an egalitarian peasant commune. This spirit is celebrated in Smetana's "Song of Freedom", made famous in the English-speaking world by Paul Robeson's recording in Czech and English.
The historical part of the town sits on the summit of an isolated hill separated from the surrounding country by the Lužnice river and by an extensive lake, to which the Hussites gave the biblical name of Jordan. This lake, founded 1492, is the oldest reservoir of its kind in Central Europe. The historical importance of the city of Tábor ceased only when it was captured by King George of Poděbrady in 1452.
The tourist information centre is the 1 Infocentrum at Žižkovo Náměstí 2 in the old town centre.
Tábor lies on the road connecting Prague with České Budějovice and it takes approximately one and a quarter hour to get there. From České Budějovice it takes 50 min.
- 1 Central bus station – It's near the train station.
Buses from Prague to Tábor depart from Roztyly bus station on Metro C (red) line. The ride to Tábor takes 1 hr 20 min. Flixbus departs additionally from the central bus station ÚAN Florenc and has rides from Prague starting at €3.99 (May 2022). The departure times and prices of other bus operators from Prague are covered by the app Busradar. In that app are rides for about €0,50 shown. This is only the price of a seat reservation of a regional bus. The actual ticket costs about 100 Kč and can be bought from the driver.
From Prague main railway station, there are Express (1hr 17min) and Regional (1hr 25 min) trains operated by the national train operator ČD, providing a roughly hourly service from 6am until midnight. The price is about 149 Kč (May 2022), the same for regional trains and long distance trains. On the Fridays it costs a bit more.
- 2 Tábor railway station (Železniční stanice Tábor).
There are 16 bus lines in Tábor. To get from the main bus and railway station to the historic centre, use one of the frequent city buses to Klokoty. The fare is 18 Kč (May 2022). Or it's 1.2 km (0.7 miles) walking (15 min).
- 1 Zizka Square (Zizkovo namesti). Main square of historic core. Gothic town hall, big church with look-out tower and monument of medieval military leader Jan Žižka are right on this square. Other interesting sight are in walking distance.
- 2 Church of "Proměnění Páně na hoře Tábor", Děkanská 297, ☏ +420 381 253 824, email@example.com. Daily 08:00-18:00. Big church in late gothic style, right on the main square. Church tower is 87 m tall and offers nice views of the city and surrounding landscape.
- 3 Kotnov Tower and Bechyne Gate, ulice Na Parkánech (400 m from Zizka Square, follow Klokotska street). 08:30-17:00, closed Oct-Apr. Kotnov Tower is the only remnant of Tábor Castle, which was destroyed by fire in 1532. Bechyne Gate, the southwest entrance to historic centre is next to the tower. 20 Kč.
- 4 Renaissance Water Tower, ulice Žižkova (150 m from main square). Unusual water tower in Renaissance style from 1502.
- 5 The Town Walls. Well-preserved gothic town walls on northern edge of old Tábor.
- 6 Jordán Lake. Large lake on eastern edge of old Tábor from 15th century; the oldest water reservoir in Central Europe. Ideal for swimming.
- 7 Hussite Museum and medieval underground (right on the main square), ☏ +420 381 251 884, firstname.lastname@example.org. Apr-Oct: daily 09:00-17:00; Nov-Mar: Su-Tu closed, W–Sa 09:00-17:00. Located in gothic style former town hall, this museum contains expositions about reformer Jan Hus and Hussite revolution, with weapons and historical documents. Under the houses and streets of Žižka Square is a labyrinth of tunnels. The townspeople dug cellars under their houses and these were connected; an approximately 500 m-long section of the tunnel system is open to the public and is a part of the Hussite museum. 60 Kč (Hussite exposition), 50 Kč (medieval underground).
- 8 Museum of Chocolate and Marzipan, Kotnovská 138/13, ☏ +420 381 211 784, email@example.com. May-Sep: daily 09:00-19:00; Apr Oct 09:00-17:00; Nov-Mar 10:00-17:00. If you get bored of many historic sights, why not to spend some time in this museum? Adults 130 Kč, children (6-14) 90 Kč, family ticket 370 Kč.
Outside of the centre
- 9 Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Staroklokotská 1 (1.2 km from main square; follow Klokotska street, before Bechynska Gate turn right and go through Holeckovy Sady Park and lime-tree alley), ☏ +420 381 232 584, firstname.lastname@example.org. Outside the historic centre (in quarter Klokoty), baroque pilgrimage church is definitely worth a visit.
- 10 Hylacka look-out tower, Vetrovy, Tábor (4 km from historic centre, follow green tourist line or by bus line 30 to station "Tábor, Vetrovy"). Jun-Aug: daily 09:00-20:00; Apr May Sep: 09:00-18:00; Oct-Mar: 09:00-16:00. 25 meter tall look-out tower, nice view of Tábor. 20 Kč.
- 11 Tábor Zoo, Tábor, Větrovy 10 (in the same part of the town as Hylacka look-out tower), ☏ +420 233 372 021, email@example.com. Apr-Aug: daily 09:00–18:00; Sep Oct 09:00–17:00; Nov-Mar: Sa Su 09:00-16:00. Small zoo (however the largest in South Bohemia) with 80 species, mostly from America, including tigers and zebras.
There are lots of options for both shorter walks or longer hikes. 1 Pintovka Nature Trail is a short trail 1.2 km from centre of Tábor. The trails are covered on OsmAnd or Mapy.cz. There are a lot of quite interesting sights which can be reached by hiking. For example, Pribenice castle ruin (follow red hiking trail, which goes along Luznice river valley - 10 km), Hylacka (3.5 km) and Babice (4 km) look-out towers and Kozí Hrádek castle ruin (9 km).
Like elsewhere in Czech Republic, you can best plan your hiking routes through Mapy.cz, which shows the routes in the same colours as the signposts.
Luznice river is a good river for canoeing.
Out of town trips
- On holidays there are 2 historical trains to the nearby town of Bechyně. It's operated by ČD and you can buy tickets on board or at the station at the regular tariff. The platform is in front of the station building, separate from the other tracks.
- 3 Bechyně. Taking a normal train is also worth. There is a nice old town and a train&automobile museum. The trains to Bechyně depart about every 2 hours, take about 1 hour and cost 49 Kč (May 2022).
- Other pretty towns around like České Budějovice, Písek and Pelhřimov are also just 1 hour by train and the ticket price is 80-100 Kč (May 2022).
The ATMs of these banks in the city center do not charge a fee for withdrawing money: fio banka, KB (Komerční banka) and Raiffeisenbank.
For buying groceries, there are Zabka stores around. A bigger variety have the Portaviny Večerka Supermarket in the Old Town, the Billa and Albert in the city center and the Penny supermarket near the train station. All of the named grocery stores have same-day baked goods.
- 1 Portaviny Večerka Supermarket, Pražská 206. M-Sa 9:00-21:00, Su 12:00-21:00.
- 2 Žabka, Pražská 156/14 (50 m from the main square), ☏ +420 242 406 800, firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 06:00-23:00.
- 3 Albert supermarket. daily 7:00-20:00. in the basement of the shopping mall.
- 4 Billa, nám. F. Křižíka 505/23 (650 m from Zizka Square (historic centre), 1500 m from mian railway and bus station. Bus station: "Tábor, Křižíkovo nám."), ☏ +420 381 255 132, email@example.com. M-Sa 07:00-20:00, Su 08:00-20:00.
- 5 Penny supermarket, Purkyňova 2986. daily 7:00-20:00.
There is a shopping mall:
- 6 "Karel Dvořák - Obchodní dům" Shopping centre, 9. května 2886 (650 m from main train and bus station), ☏ +420 381 253 255, firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 08:00-18:00, Sa 08:00-13:00, Su closed.
in the Old Town:
- 1 Stárkův Dům, Pražská 12/157. Here you get a typical Czech hot dog from 30 Kč
in the city center:
- 2 Com Viet, 9. května 2886. It's on the highest floor of the shopping mall and only open during the normal opening hours of the shopping mall. A main dish is about 109-129 Kč
- 3 Hokkaido Sushi bar, Bechyňská 393. Also on the highest floor of the shopping mall. They offer a dish Nudle s kurecím masem with chicken for 109 Kč. For the other dishes the rice or noodles must be paid extra. There is also all-you-can-eat offered on "running sushi" plates. The opening hours of the restaurant are longer than the ones of the shopping mall. You can enter the restaurant in the western entrance of the shopping mall and then take the lift to floor 2.
near the Old Town:
- 4 Restaurace Na Bečvárně, Bechyňská 393. Czech cuisine. Main dishes for 112-135 Kč.
- 5 Indická restaurace Tandoor, Žižkovo nám. 8, ☏ +420 381 213 250, email@example.com. Daily 11:00-22:00. An Indian restaurant.
- 6 Goldie Restaurant, ☏ +420 380 900 901, firstname.lastname@example.org. Part of Hotel Nautilus.
- 7 Tábor Restaurace U Dvou Koček, Svatošova 312 (75 m from Zizka Square), ☏ +420 381 256 802, email@example.com. Su-Th 11:00-22:00, F Sa 11:00-24:00. Temporarily closed as of May 2022. Standard Czech restaurant, don't expect anything great.
- 8 Bistro Stárkův dům, Pražská 157/12, ☏ +420 775 757 432, firstname.lastname@example.org. Bistro in Renaissance house from 1570. Ready meals all day long - every day one Czech traditional meal, one vegetarian meal, one steak and, of course, schnitzel and fried cheese.
- 9 RAFARIZ uyghur noodle house, Pražská 231/3, ☏ +420 776 553 263. Th-Sa 11:00-23:00, Su 12:00-15:00. Something quite different from typical Czech cuisine, this restaurant is run by two Uzbek brothers and they will serve you very authentic Central Asian fare. Thick home-made stir-fried noodles (lagman) and plov are the main staples but they also serve more obscure dishes from the region. Menu has English descriptions and changes weekly. Main dishes 150-180 Kč, soups 40-60 Kč (July 2020).
- 1 Café Budík, Kotnovská 174/18, ☏ +420 725 699 132, email@example.com. 10:00-18:00 (19:00 on weekends). café, hot chocolate (lots of kinds and good quality), desserts.
- 1 Rodinny Hostel Stárkův Dům, Pražská 12/157. With a kitchen and warm in the winter. It can be reserved on booking.com. The dorm is for 360-400 Kč (May 2022).
- 2 Cesta, Novákova 387. It's in an old simple house. Staying there is suggested from late spring to early autumn when the temperature in the night is over 10⁰C. There is an oven in the sleeping room which you can fire up and fill with cut wood. The included breakfast is good with self-made cheese and sausage. The dorm is for 400 Kč (May 2022). It can be reserved on booking.com
- 3 Hotel Tábor, 9. května 617 (300 m from the main train and bus station.), ☏ +420 381 256 096, firstname.lastname@example.org. 23 rooms.
- 4 Staromestsky Pension, Křížová 93/8, ☏ +420 737 864 819, email@example.com. Family-friendly pension in house from 16th century.
- 5 Nautilus Hotel, Žižkovo nám. 20/20, ☏ +420 380 900 900, firstname.lastname@example.org. Luxurious hotel with wellness and restaurant on the main square in the historic centre.
Your next destination can be some of other pretty towns in South Bohemia and Bohemian-Moravian Highlands - České Budějovice, Písek, Pelhřimov, Jihlava, etc.