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 . The town is very popular among tourists, who outnumber the local population in the summer and are still a notable presence during Christmas time.
By trainČeský Krumlov lies on regional railway line České Budějovice – Černý Kříž, going from regional capital to National Park Šumava via Český Krumlov.
Taking a train to Český Krumlov is possibly the most comfortable way how to get there. Czech Railways operates one direct long-distance Ex "Jižní expres" train from Prague and back, departing from Praha hl.n. in 8:01 and arriving in Český Krumlov in 10:55, on the way back it departs in 14:07 and arrives in 16:57. The SuperAction ticket costs from 195 CZK, Ordinary ticket costs 283 CZK, for more details see Rail travel in the Czech Republic. Three hours are not really enough to see the town (as there are more sights and the railway station is not in the center), so it is more advisable to sleep in Český Krumlov or take a train with a transfer.
You can use connections with transfer in České Budějovice. The train leaves every 1-2 hours, the trip takes 2h50min-3h40min. For more details look at IDOS. You will need to buy two separated tickets because regional Os trains from České Budějovice are operated by GWTR. These tickets can be bought at both railway stations or from the conductor onboard (which incurs an extra fee).
The train station 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 100Kč ride into town, especially at night.
Some local buses although travel between the train station and the bus terminal (that isn't much closer to the old town though, but may be closer to your accommodation). Price: 10Kč. Walking is however the best option if you are reasonably fit.
From Prague, and other nearby cities or towns of Bohemia, getting to Český Krumlov by public bus can be sometimes 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 200 Kč. The bus stops at Pisek and České Budějovice. Cheaper and more comfortable than other public buses. Ticket can be bought online.
A local bus from České Budějovice takes 45 minutes and costs 32 Kč.
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.
Green Shuttle offers transfers between Cesky Krumlov and many European cities/destinations like Linz, Vienna, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Budapest, Bratislava, Munich, Prague, Dresden, Berlin and more.
By carIt's possible to park in one of the paid north-west of the old town. Or if you arrive very early and are lucky, you may be able to take one of the few spots along the main road.
By boatCanoe, kayak or raft are the most popular vehicles to reach Český Krumlov in summer (especially among Czech people). The boat trip usually starts at Vyšší Brod, a small town with historic monastery just beneath the Lipno dam. There are numerous boat renting companies in Vyšši Brod that will collect the boat anywhere lower the river. The usual boat trip goes from Vyšši Brod to Boršov (a village one train stop from České Budějovice) with Český Krumlov just in the middle. If you want to see the city, it is a good idea to camp in Český Krumlov for two days (there numerous camps both up and down the river from the center). Note that the river is severally overcrowded during summer (especially end of June, July and August). No tours are necessary, just google reputable boat renting in Vyšši Brod a they will sort everything out for you. If you are only interested in the Český Krumlov section of the river, see Do section of this article.
By footAmbling 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 bikeMany 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.
Český Krumlov State Castle and ChateauČeský Krumlov State Castle and Chateau. The Český Krumlov Castle and Chateau complex is the most-visited site in town and is composed of the Little Castle (Hrádek) hosting the Castle Museum, the six-storey Chateau Tower from the Renaissance period, the Chateau, the Baroque Castle Theatre, the Chateau Garden, the Gothic Wenceslaus Cellars, and a lapidary with stone sculptures. You can walk through the complex for free, or you can pay for a visit to the Castle Museum, the observation gallery of the Chateaux Tower, two different guided tours of the Chateau interiors or the Baroque Castle Theatre. Plan at least two hours for your visit, and buy supplies for a picnic lunch in the Chateau Garden at the grocery across the ulice from the entrance on Latrán.
The best approach to the castle is from Latrán. Walk through the red iron gates to the first 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 Little 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 courtyard features the entrance to the Castle Museum and the Chateau Tower (80Kč and 50Kč respectively, 130Kč combined). After slogging up the vertiginous staircase, you are treated to a 360-degree view of the town. The second courtyard also hosts a small fountain, and the main ticket office where you can book scheduled tours of the interior to the Chateau and the one-of-a-kind Baroque Castle Theatre (consider buying the tickets in advance if you would like to attend the tours as the entrance to the tours is quite distant from the ticket office and you may find it tiring to walk back all the way once you reach there). 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 Wenceslaus Cellars (60Kč), which now houses modern ceramic art pieces. Plaštovy Most, or the “Cloaked Bridge” is covered by a walkway that leads from the Chateau 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 . A newly restored fountain, maze of hedgerows, a revolving theatre and a Medieval-style restaurant, Marketa beckon. At the far end of the gardens, you’ll find a lush duck pond, situated in a stand of moody, gnarled trees. This is the perfect picnic spot.
The 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.
address: Horní 152Permanent 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.
address: Široká 71Egon 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.
address: Chvalšinská 243This 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.
Rafting on the Vltava RiverYou 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.
address: Rooseveltova 28Rent a boat or take the historical wooden raft tour with guides and commentary in English.
phone: +420607963868address: Under the main squareRaft rental, night rafting with a guide, mountain bike rental, kickbike rental, climbing, fishing, paintball, horseback riding and shuttle buses from/to Cesky Krumlov.
Tubing on the Vltava RiverMake 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.
address: Slupenec 1They 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.
International Music Festival Cesky KrumlovIndoor 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.
address: At Věžní with LatránWhether 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.
Krčma v Šatlavskéaddress: Šatlavská UliceThis 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.
address: Parkán UliceČeský 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.
Maštaladdress: Tucked away next to the Infocentrum on the town squareServes 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 Loužiaddress: Kájovska UliceUnlike 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 Ginaaddress: Klašterní UliceOwned 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 Maryiaddress: Parkán UliceThe 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.
Bon BonThe chocolate ice-cream is incredible!
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 200Kč.
Bar KrumlosA 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, tequilas 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.
Cikanská Jízbaaddress: Dlouhá uliceCold 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 Čajovnaaddress: across from the castle gatesFor 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 Breweryaddress: Pivovarská uliceLocally-brewed Eggenberg beer tastes best here. Try the kvasnice, the yeast beer, if available.
Horror Baraddress: Másna uliceNever 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 Baraddress: Soukenická uliceSoukenická ulice where travellers meet locals. modern music, open till 4, 5 even 6 in the morning, vibrant. for a wild night out.
U Babyaddress: Rooseveltova uliceA 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.
address: Horni ulicethe 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.
phone: +420728336064address: Latrán 46Drink 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.
The good news is that all accommodation is within an easy 10-minute walk to the town square. The bad news is that accommodation tends to be on the smaller side, so in the busy summer months you will need to book ahead.
The Infocentrum on the town square or Unios Travel Service at the 1st Castle Courtyard are happy to book hotels or bed and breakfast accommodation (also known as pensiony) for a nominal fee.
phone: +420 775 748 815address: Novi Spoli suburbLarge campsite. A nearby grocery store (10 minute walk) and a couple of local restaurants next to the camping site will keep hunger at bay.
phone: +420 380 712 812address: Vezni 99Fun 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 and laundry available.
phone: +420 380 711 935address: Rooseveltova 68Lots 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.
address: Kájovska 59
phone: +420 380 728 380address: Plesivecka 123
phone: +420 380 711 345address: Soukenická 43Hell Hole
phone: +420 380 711 345address: Soukenická 43Hell Hole
Bed & breakfasts
phone: +420 602 546628address: Soukenická 44, Český Krumlov
phone: +420 380 717 017address: Kaplicka 26
phone: +420 380 712 710address: Latran 72
phone: +420 380 711 028address: Kaplická 21
phone: +420 380 713 240address: Plešivecké náměstí 95
phone: +420 380 712 337address: Kaplicka 194
phone: +420 777 637 374address: Latrán no. 73
phone: +420 380715093address: Pod Vyhlídkou 232, Český Krumlov
phone: +420 724 110 532address: Šumavská 597, Horní Brána
phone: +420 380 772 500address: Náměstí Svornosti 12
phone: +420 380 772 100address: Horní 154
- 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
- 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 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 dam 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.