Here’s how we spent the perfect 24 hours in Cesky Krumlov.
Looking for an idyllic fairy tale town to add to your travels? Cesky Krumlov is straight from a romantic storybook. It’s one of the most charming and picturesque little towns we’ve ever visited. As an exceptional example of a European medieval town with preserved architecture, it boasts being classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I’m sure that you’re interested in the things to do in Cesky Krumlov. Let me show you how we spent the perfect day in this adorable village, along with our own tips and tricks to getting the most out of your time here.
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IS ONE DAY ENOUGH?
That’s most likely the first question that you have. Yes, we found that one day was the ideal amount of time to wander around Cesky Krumlov. However, you’ll want to spend the night if you can. I feel like the majority of people visit this town as a day trip from Prague. If that’s all you can do, no worries – it’s better to do that than not visit at all! If you have the choice, please take the extra time and stay the night in Cesky Krumlov.
HOW DO I GET TO CESKY KRUMLOV?
There are a couple of options. The cheaper option is to take the bus. From Prague to Cesky Krumlov, the Student Agency bus leaves every half hour, and I’ve heard it’s quite comfortable. Keep in mind that you’ll have to make your way to the bus stations in both towns. It costs about $10 per ticket. Make sure you reserve your ticket in advance as it’s possible that the tickets could sell out, especially during a busier time of year.
Justin and I decided to pay a little bit extra for a more comfortable and quicker trip. We booked a shared shuttle bus with Green Shuttles to travel by car from Prague to Cesky Krumlov. This included pickup from our hotel (Prague City Apartments) and drop off at our Cesky Krumlov accommodation (Orangerie Apartment). It was 850 CZK per person (about $40) for a 2.5 hour drive. The driver was courteous and the company is based out of Cesky Krumlov, so he knew exactly where to drop us off.
WHERE TO STAY
We adored our apartment in Cesky Krumlov, Orangerie. Our apartment, Jaffa, felt like home to us. From the accommodation, we were right in the middle of the historic city centre and easily walked all over town. We were within a five minute walk of every popular landmark in town.
When we arrived to Cesky Krumlov in the early afternoon, it was pretty crowded. While we were there on a Sunday afternoon in early June, we figured it wouldn’t be that busy. However, we had no idea that it was actually a holiday weekend and the town was extra jam packed. Don’t you love when that happens?
We made the best of our situation, wandering around and exploring this gorgeous little town. Justin and I found that the major tourist attractions, as well as the primary city streets were the busiest. This really wasn’t a surprise. After exploring and enjoying a bite to eat, we decided that we’d get to sleep really early and wake up extra early to explore.
Waking up before sunrise to explore Cesky Krumlov was the best decision. There was no one else around. We had the streets entirely to ourselves. The castle gardens opened at 8:00am and the castle grounds opened at 9:00am. With hardly another person in sight, we appreciated every place peacefully on our own.
Justin and I watched the town awaken from its slumbers. Delivery trucks brought in various goods to the restaurants and pubs. Painters and construction workers clambered up ladders to make quick repairs and touch-ups before the tourists arrived.
We sipped coffee and had a small bite to eat before meandering around town to check out a few shops before departing onward to Salzburg, our next stop on our European trip.
One primary place on my list of things to do in Cesky Krumlov was to visit the Castle Tower. Justin and I went there as soon as we arrived. Even though it was busy and space was tight at the top of the tower, it was totally worth it.
The view from the top of the tower is impressive and breathtaking. I recommend heading up here first so you can gain an overall impression of the layout of the town. From the top of the tower, you’ll enjoy a 360 degree view of the scenery.
I can’t get enough of seeing these red roof tops and rolling green hills off in the distance. After snapping what felt like a thousand photos and even doing a Facebook live video from the top of the tower, we admired the view without the distraction of cameras or smartphones.
CESKY KRUMLOV CARD
The Cesky Krumlov card allows admission to a number of attractions for one low price. For adults, it is 300 CZK each (less than $15), and it is 600 CZK for an entire family. With the Cesky Krumlov card, you have access to the following sites:
- Castle Museum and Castle Tower
- Český Krumlov Regional Museum
- Museum Fotoatelier Seidel
- Egon Schiele Art Centrum
- Monasteries Český Krumlov
What I love about the card is that you have 12 months to use it. If you only have time to see one or two places, hold on to the card in case you return within a year. Also, if you know someone else travelling to Cesky Krumlov, you can pass the card to them so they can visit any attractions that you didn’t visit. I don’t know many cards that last this amount of time and are also transferable.
We ended up walking around the Castle property twice – once during the day when it was quite busy, and once during the early morning hours when it was deserted. Of course, we preferred the quieter time!
The views here of the town are also quite spectacular, although not as lovely as from the top of the tower. If you didn’t have time to go up the tower, you can still enjoy a pleasant view from the castle itself.
The Castle Gardens is quite possibly the most solitary and serene spot in the town. On the list of things to do in Cesky Krumlov, I’d rank it right up there at the top with the Castle Tower. Take a stroll through the gardens to discover tall hedges, intricately carved fountains, and colourful flowers. The path from the gardens winds beyond the castle and back around into town.
EXPLORE THE HISTORIC OLD TOWN
I suggest wandering around this preserved medieval town at your own pace. Roam down every narrow, cobblestone street. Look all around at the old buildings, the river, and even random outdoor art you might find on your way. You never know what you might find around every turn or alleyway.
Walking around early in the morning is most definitely the best time of day to do so. I might sound like a broken record, but the majority of day trippers won’t arrive until midday, so you’ll have Cesky Krumlov mostly to yourself during this time.
DINNER IN CESKY KRUMLOV
For a late lunch / early dinner, we dined at Laibon, the only vegetarian restaurant in town. The vegan items were clearly marked on the menu. Furthermore, if you’re able to dine outdoors at one of the picnic tables, you can enjoy your meal right beside the river. We watched kayaks and rafts drift down the river as we ate our food. The view here is quite spectacular, and the food is delicious.
I started with an order of hummus, and Justin got the guacamole. Both dips were very yummy. Justin ordered the “Championage” as his main course, which was a mushroom dish. I got the Macrobiotic Plate, with a selection of tempeh, buckwheat, vegetables, and sauerkraut.
This meal was not only healthy, but very tasty and filling. Be sure to dine at Laibon if you get the opportunity as it’s a great place for vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores alike.
When you’re in Cesky Krumlov, you’ve got to try this traditional dessert! The trdelnik is a sweet pastry made out of dough. The dough is wrapped around a stick and cooked, and then it’s rolled in cinnamon sugar or other toppings.
We confirmed in advance that MLS Bistro served vegan trdelnik, just as long as you didn’t choose the chocolate topping.
Justin and I watched patiently as our pastries rolled around and cooked. They’re so yummy! In fact, they’re so tasty that Justin insisted that we stop by MLS Bistro for a second time before we left Cesky Krumlov to split another trdelnik.
BREAKFAST AND COFFEE
While there really wasn’t such a thing as finding a vegan breakfast in Cesky Krumlov, I got a little bit creative. At Piazza d’Oro (a cafe in the same building as Pension Marie, a guesthouse), you’ll find delicious coffee, sandwiches, pancakes, and pizza.
As there weren’t any vegan sandwiches or breakfast items on the menu, I had no problem ordering a vegetarian pizza without cheese. As long as you don’t mind eating pizza for breakfast, you won’t have any issue dining there as a vegan.
The coffee was also very aromatic and bold. We sat on the little patio out front and watched people stroll by.
Justin and I really couldn’t get enough of Cesky Krumlov. We were sad to leave, even though one day is plenty of time to visit. While we didn’t get to visit every museum or monastery, we captured a glimpse of the town that left us wanting more. There are always more things to do in Cesky Krumlov, and I’m sure we’ll be back someday to see more. We travelled there in June, and I’d love to return in the winter for a new perspective.
To see more photos from Cesky Krumlov, please view our travel photo album. You can also purchase prints, buy housewares made from our photos, and so much more directly from our Smugmug site.
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Thanks so much to Czech Tourism and Cesky Krumlov Tourism for complimentary Cesky Krumlov cards. Our opinions, as always, are entirely our own. Definitely spend one full day at minimum in Cesky Krumlov when you travel to the Czech Republic.
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Have you ever visited the fairy tale town of Cesky Krumlov?