This post was most recently updated on June 1st, 2017
Just south of Prague lies a Czech town that simply must be from a page in a fairytale. A town so magical that it seems unreal. Almost like a medieval fantasyland, too beautiful to be anything but a dream.
Yet somehow, Český Krumlov exists.
With its red rooftops, immaculate towers, 13th-century castle, and the Vltava River snaking through it, Český Krumlov is likely the most romantic town in all of Europe.
Clearly, a day trip to Český Krumlov is more than just a 100-mile drive from Prague. Hopping onto the bus to Český Krumlov is more like stepping into a time machine, journeying back to medieval times.
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Visiting Český Krumlov
We first entered Český Krumlov through the castle grounds. Immediately, we peered through the cutouts in the castle walls, and our eyes widened.
The sweeping views of red rooftops dusted in snow, the Vltava surrounding the medieval city like a moat, and the rolling hills of the Czech countryside in the background were almost too much. Almost.
I waited for someone to wake me up from my dream, but no one came.
This place was actually real?
Once realization set in, I pulled out my Canon, and snapped away.
Over the next few hours, Mauricio and I roamed the winding cobblestone streets and took too many photos. We stopped into a quaint restaurant for some goulash and Czech beer. We strolled through the parks and along the river. And mostly, we marveled at the fact that we were visiting a perfectly intact medieval town in the Czech Republic that couldn’t get more romantic or magical if it tried.
Our day trip to Český Krumlov was a day we won’t soon forget.
Day trip to Český Krumlov: What to see & do
- Visit Český Krumlov’s Historic Centre. The town’s Historic Center is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre, because it is a Central European medieval town whose architecture has stayed intact throughout the past five centuries. Český Krumlov’s Town Square is a sight to see, with bright buildings, cobblestones, plenty of shops and restaurants, and a plague column, which commemorates the end of the Black Death.
- Tour the Český Krumlov Castle. Built in the 13th century, this historic castle features Baroque, Gothic, and Renaissance architectural elements, and brilliant views of the meandering Vltava River and town below.
- Roam the Castle Gardens. In the summertime, the gardens are a lovely place to relax, mill about, and take in the fresh air.
- See the Church of St. Vitus. The church’s beautiful tower can be seen from anywhere in the town. Stop by and have a look inside this historic church, which dates back to 1407.
- Take a walking tour to learn about the town’s history, people, and architecture.
- Visit the Český Krumlov Regional Museum to gain more of an insight into the history of Český Krumlov and the surrounding area.
- Eat typical Czech food and drink Czech beer!
- Take hundreds of photos! This is one of the most picturesque towns you’ll likely ever visit, and you won’t want to forget a single second.
Day trip to Český Krumlov: Getting there
There are a few ways to take a day trip to Český Krumlov from Prague.
- By guided tour. Booking a tour is the easiest way to take a day trip to Český Krumlov. This is the option we chose. Most tours arrive via coach bus, and keep tour groups low, at about 20 people. With this option, a guide will give you a quick tour of the town and the castle, teaching you historic facts you wouldn’t have otherwise known. And of course, you’ll still have a couple hours of free time to explore on your own, or with the new friends you’ve made on the trip! Click here to book your tour.
- By car. Hiring a car and driving yourself to Český Krumlov is the quickest way to arrive in Český Krumlov, at about 2 hours. If you’re brave enough to drive yourself, it could end up costing less and you can stop along the way to take some photos and enjoy the Czech countryside. To do so, take the D1 to the E55, toward České Budějovice/Český Krumlov.
- By bus. A direct bus ride to Český Krumlov takes about three hours. During high tourist seasons, we recommend buying bus tickets a few days beforehand and reserving a seat!
- By train. We do not recommend this option. There are no direct trains into Český Krumlov from Prague. To take the train, you would first arrive in České Budějovice, which is a 2.5 – 3.5 hours train ride. From there, you would change trains to Český Krumlov for another 45 minute train. Once you’ve arrived, you will need to take a taxi into the city, as the train station lies about 30 minutes outside of town. Talk about a hassle!
When you visit Prague, don’t miss this town. It’s the medieval gem of Central Europe, no doubt, and you may never again have the chance to visit a place as quaint and near-perfect as Český Krumlov!
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Over to you! Have you ever made a day trip to Český Krumlov before? What did you think? If not, is it on your list?