On my most recent visit to Prague, I spent one of my days visiting the pretty small town of Cesky Krumlov. Located south of Prague close to the Austrian border, Cesky Krumlov is an incredibly picturesque place with enough to keep you busy for a few hours. I absolutely loved my trip here and would recommend it to anyone visiting Prague (or the Czech Republic in general). Here’s what I thought of this beautiful daytrip from Prague!
Cesky Krumlov Castle is easily one of the biggest highlights of the town. The castle complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dating back to 1240. Unfortunately the main castle tour routes were closed when I visited (meaning I also missed one of the best preserved Baroque theaters in the world), but both the Castle Tower and Castle Museum were open.
The Castle Tower has amazing views over the town, the river, and the surrounding Czech countryside. It is definitely worth the climb to the top!
The Castle Museum gives a broad overview of the history of the castle, and a look into the everyday life of the castle’s noble owners when they lived there—ownership of the castle changed hands several times. There is room on religious activity and the military guard, but I thought the collection of porcelain was a standout.
The castle also has a Bear Moat, with real live bears!
Some of the best views of the castle and the town are from the back end of the castle.
In the center of Cesky Krumlov is the largest church, St. Vitus’ Church. It’s worth a visit and there’s no admission fee. It’s close to the main square and still holds Catholic services and music concerts.
The regional museum was closed for lunch from 11:30-12:30 when I visited Cesky Krumlov, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to check it out. There’s a really nice lookout point of the castle right next to the museum.
There are two monasteries in Cesky Krumlov: the Monastery of the Klarisses, and the Minorite Monastery. Being crunched for time, I only saw the Minorite Monastery. The monastery building was interesting, with three chapels (two small ones and one large one). All of the information was in Czech only, but overall it was a nice monastery with an exceptionally beautiful main chapel. Other highlights are free toilets (with a monastery ticket), a rarity in the Czech Republic!
I daytripped to Cesky Krumlov from Prague—and I would highly recommend buying tickets in advance. One of the easiest ways to get there is by bus through Student Agency. It’s a 3-hour drive there and another 3-hour drive back. Unfortunately, the night before I went most of the common daytrip times were already sold out—the last bus out of the town was at 13:00, so in order to make the visit worthwhile I booked the 7:00am bus. It was an early start, but it was well worth it. Being so close to the Austrian border, it is possible to visit Cesky Krumlov from cities all over Austria (the closest major city is Linz).
I really wish I had had more time in Cesky Krumlov: 4 hours instead of 3 would have made a huge difference. I would have loved to have seen the other monastery, and visited the Eggenberg Brewery (which does tours), as well as seeing the regional museum. There is also a synagogue that I would have been interested in, and in general it would have been nice to have more time to wander around the town. Had I been visiting during high season, being able to fully explore the castle would have been great as well.
Overall, Cesky Krumlov blew me away! It was such a charming, picturesque little town with plenty to offer as a daytrip from the capital. It might just be the Czech Republic’s prettiest town (although I have a lot more exploring to do before I can confirm that!), and I would love to go back someday and see more of what the town has to offer!
Have you ever been to Cesky Krumlov, or on another great daytrip? Share you experiences in the comments!