The Best Things to Do in Cesky Krumlov: The Ultimate 1 Day Cesky Krumlov Itinerary

Cesky Krumlov - 1 Day Itinerary

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 best 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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Things to Do in Cesky Krumlov - 1 Day Itinerary - Czech Republic

How Long to Spend in Cesky Krumlov: Is 1 Day Enough?

That’s most likely the first question that you have: how many days in Cesky Krumlov? We think that one day is 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 Cesky Krumlov 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.

What to do in Cesky Krumlov - Travel guide and itinerary

How to get to Cesky Krumlov: Transportation Guide

If you’re looking for advice on how to get to Cesky Krumlov from Prague, there are a few ways. The cheapest 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 €33 ) 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.

You can also book this self guided walking tour of Cesky Krumlov with round trip transportation from Prague. Your driver will provide you with tips and insights for seeing the town, and will transport you to and from your hotel in Prague.

Beautiful morning light near Orangerie, our apartment.

Where to Stay in Cesky Krumlov

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 center and easily walked all over town. We were within a five minute walk of every popular landmark in town. If you’re looking for a Cesky Krumlov accommodation with a great location, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Orangerie is a clean and comfortable place to stay and we highly recommend you check it out. Book your stay at Orangerie or read more reviews written by fellow travelers.

Orangerie apartment and accommodation in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
Orangerie apartment and accommodation in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
Orangerie apartment and accommodation in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

The Cesky Krumlov Card

The Cesky Krumlov card allows admission to a number of attractions for one low price. It’s easy to discover exactly what to do in Cesky Krumlov with this card. For adults, it is 400 CZK each (around €15), and it is 800 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. Even with only one day in Cesky Krumlov, the card is totally worth it!

Cesky Krumlov 1 Day Itinerary

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.

Things to Do in Cesky Krumlov - 1 Day Itinerary - Czech Republic

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.

The Castle Grounds - Czech Republic castles - Cesky Krumlov itinerary and travel guide

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.

Things to Do in Cesky Krumlov: Castle Tower

Things to Do in Cesky Krumlov - The Castle Tower - What to see in Cesky Krumlov in 1 day

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.

Things to Do in Cesky Krumlov - The Castle Tower - What to see in Cesky Krumlov in 1 day
Things to Do in Cesky Krumlov - The Castle Tower - What to see in Cesky Krumlov in 1 day

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.

Things to Do in Cesky Krumlov - The Castle Tower - One day in Cesky Krumlov
Things to Do in Cesky Krumlov - The Castle Tower - One day in Cesky Krumlov
Cesky Krumlov Day Trip from Prague - The Castle Tower
Cesky Krumlov Day Trip from Prague - The Castle Tower

What to See in Cesky Krumlov: The Castle Grounds

We ended up walking around the Cesky Krumlov 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 Castle Grounds - Czech Republic castles - Cesky Krumlov itinerary and travel guide
The Castle Grounds - Czech Republic castles - Cesky Krumlov itinerary and travel guide

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 Grounds - Czech Republic castles - Cesky Krumlov itinerary and travel guide
The Castle Grounds - Czech Republic castles - Cesky Krumlov itinerary and travel guide
The Castle Grounds - Czech Republic castles - Cesky Krumlov itinerary and travel guide
The Castle Grounds - Czech Republic castles - Cesky Krumlov itinerary and travel guide
Things to Do in Cesky Krumlov - 1 Day Itinerary - Czech Republic
Things to Do in Cesky Krumlov - 1 Day Itinerary - Czech Republic
Things to Do in Cesky Krumlov - 1 Day Itinerary - Czech Republic
Things to Do in Cesky Krumlov - 1 Day Itinerary - Czech Republic

The Castle Gardens

The Castle Gardens are 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 colorful flowers. The path from the gardens winds beyond the castle and back around into town.

Cesky Krumlov Castle Gardens - 1 Day Cesky Krumlov Travel Itinerary
Cesky Krumlov Castle Gardens - 1 Day Cesky Krumlov Travel Itinerary
Cesky Krumlov Castle Gardens - 1 Day Cesky Krumlov Travel Itinerary
Cesky Krumlov Castle Gardens - 1 Day Cesky Krumlov Travel Itinerary
Cesky Krumlov Castle Gardens - 1 Day Cesky Krumlov Travel Itinerary
Cesky Krumlov Castle Gardens - 1 Day Cesky Krumlov Travel Itinerary
Cesky Krumlov Castle Gardens - 1 Day Cesky Krumlov Travel Itinerary

Explore the Historic Old Town

One of my favorite parts about spending one day in Cesky Krumlov was simply walking around its 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.

Historic Old Town of Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic - Cesky Krumlov Travel Guide and Itinerary
Historic Old Town of Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic - Cesky Krumlov Travel Guide and Itinerary

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. This is really only possible for those spending the night in town. While it’s possible to take a Cesky Krumlov day trip, you should try to stay overnight. Wake up and experience this beautiful place all to yourself. It’s my best piece of advice in this Cesky Krumlov 1 day itinerary and travel guide.

Historic Old Town of Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic - Cesky Krumlov Travel Guide and Itinerary
Historic Old Town of Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic - Cesky Krumlov Travel Guide and Itinerary
Historic Old Town of Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic - Cesky Krumlov Travel Guide and Itinerary
Historic Old Town of Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic - Cesky Krumlov Travel Guide and Itinerary
Historic Old Town of Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic - Cesky Krumlov Travel Guide and Itinerary
Historic Old Town of Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic - Cesky Krumlov Travel Guide and Itinerary
Historic Old Town of Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic - Cesky Krumlov Travel Guide and Itinerary
Historic Old Town of Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic - Cesky Krumlov Travel Guide and Itinerary - Interesting art of two fingers

One Day in Cesky Krumlov: More Ideas

Looking for more ideas of things to do in Cesky Krumlov? Here are more suggestions with how to spend your time in this beautiful little town.

Dinner in Cesky Krumlov: Laibon

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.

Vegetarian and vegan dining at Laibon restaurant in Cesky Krumlov
Vegetarian and vegan dining at Laibon restaurant in Cesky Krumlov

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.

Vegetarian and vegan dining at Laibon restaurant in Cesky Krumlov
Vegetarian and vegan dining at Laibon restaurant in Cesky Krumlov
Vegetarian and vegan dining at Laibon restaurant in Cesky Krumlov
Vegetarian and vegan dining at Laibon restaurant in Cesky Krumlov

Trdelnik: A Treat You Must Eat

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.

Trdelnik in Cesky Krumlov - Chimney cakes - Sweet pastry made from dough
Trdelnik in Cesky Krumlov - Chimney cakes - Sweet pastry made from dough
Trdelnik in Cesky Krumlov - Chimney cakes - Sweet pastry made from dough

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.

Trdelnik in Cesky Krumlov - Chimney cakes - Sweet pastry made from dough
Trdelnik in Cesky Krumlov - Chimney cakes - Sweet pastry made from dough

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.

Things to Do in Cesky Krumlov - 1 Day Itinerary - Czech Republic
Coffee in Cesky Krumlov Czech Republic
Pizza in Cesky Krumlov Czech Republic

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 traveled there in June, and I’d love to return in the winter for a new perspective.

During our two week trip to Europe, we visited a lot of incredible towns and cities. Be sure to check out our other city guides and day trip ideas to have 2 fun-filled weeks in Europe: Prague, Cesky Krumlov, Salzburg, day trip from Salzburg, Bamberg, Berlin, and Amsterdam.

Have you ever visited the fairy tale town of Cesky Krumlov?

29 Responses

  1. Penny Sadler
    |

    Lauren, I totally agree with you that the best way to see this place is to stay overnight and get up early the next day. I was there in mid-October also on a Sunday and it was crawling with tourists. Alas, I was on a river cruise and did not have that option. Next time! I also have to say, I’m totally jealous, how the heck do you rank on the first page of a google search for cesky krumlov! Wow! Thanks for the great tips!

  2. Lauren
    |

    Haha, thanks Steve! I hope you do go there anyway though, it’s beautiful there!

  3. eTours
    |

    So the Czech Republic is the closest you’ve been to Eastern Europe? Hope you plan to travel to Romania sometimes soon too. There are lot’s of landmarks to visit and landscapes to enjoy. Drop me an email whenever you decide to come! ;)

    • Lauren
      |

      So far, yes! We’d love to explore Eastern Europe. Romania sounds amazing, we’ve heard great things! Justin’s best friend is actually Romanian (he lives here in Canada now). And thanks for your kind offer!

  4. Steve Yeoh
    |

    What a concise account of your stay @ Cesky Krumlov! All your photos coincided with your notes! It was as if I was there with you & Justin – I don’t have to go there now that you have shown us everything ! Thanks! Steve Y

  5. Karma Phuntsho
    |

    Nice writeup! Cisky looks so stunning, i would love to visit once. Thank you for sharing valuable information.

  6. Micheline Young
    |

    I am so glad to find your post! It’s so informative, but I have one more question. If we plan to continue our trip to Salzburg, is it easy to go by bus or train from Cesky Krumlov? Which mode of transportation do you recommend? Do we need to make advanced reservation or just buy ticket there on the day we leave CK? Thanks in advance for your help!

  7. George
    |

    A wonderful, very detailed guide for tourists, thank you! The photos are simply gorgeous! I really love the Czech Republic. After your article, I seemed to be there again )

  8. Eswaran
    |

    What camera did you guys use?

    • Lauren
      |

      Hi Eswaran! Feel free to read this article that goes into detail about all of the camera gear we use: https://justinpluslauren.com/essential-travel-photography-gear-guide/ Thanks! :)

  9. Frank
    |

    Cesky Krumlov is such an adorable historic little town, I loved every minute in it! Your trip described it pretty well, it’s nice to see that with a well -planned trip you can make the most out of it through a day trip :)

  10. Meta (Jakarta, Indonesia)
    |

    Hello, we will also be spending 1 night in CK this May 2018. May I know what time did you arrive in CK and what time did you leave CK the next day? Knowing this will be really helpful in planning our trips. Thank you in advance :) Cheers :)

    • Lauren
      |

      I believe we arrived early afternoon (around 1:30pm) and we left the next day at 11:00am. So, just about a full 24 hours there. Hope that helps!

  11. Jenna
    |

    Cesky Krumlov looks like such an adorable town! I wish we would have had more time in Czech Republic to get outside of Prague for a few days, but we were just visiting on a one day layover. Would love to go back and check out this town sometime though! Good idea to wake up before sunrise—the photos with empty streets are so pretty! The card sounds like a really great deal and I like that it can be used for 12 months, too. The castle gardens look so peaceful and the old town is so cute. Will definitely have to add this town to our list, so thanks for the great tips!

  12. Vicky and Buddy
    |

    I love all of your photos! It really does look like a fairy tale city. I like to get up early when I visit a new place, but getting up before sunrise is hard! It’s good to know that visiting Cesky Krumlov is possible in a day though.

  13. Lia Garcia
    |

    We’ll be visiting Cesky Krumlov in 4 days and I’m so glad I found this post! Looking forward to seeing this gorgeous little town and hoping for snow for our trip!

  14. Sandy N Vyjay
    |

    It looks that you woke up into a fairy tale. Cesky Krumlov looks like a town that is situated beyond the frontiers of imagination, something that I have read about in fairy tales. The castle looks really enchanting. It would be great to just stroll around the lovely cobbled streets and take in the sights of this wonderful town. It is indeed nothing short of a revelation.

  15. Nisha
    |

    This summer we were in Prague and almost went to Cesky Krumlov. After readin g your account I guess we should have made a bigger effort to go there. So quaint and picturesque , it is. I love trdelniks :) :)

  16. Lydia Smith
    |

    Never heard of a reusable or transferable visit card; such a wonderful idea. The views from top are amazing, they are just too instragrammable. Back to Cesky Krumlov’s meals(I can’t skip that), I love fresh doughs, I can tour the whole city for that. Dining at Laibon seem sounds nice too. I wonder why I’ve missed Cesky Krumlov on my bucket list.

  17. Punita Malhotra
    |

    We stayed in Cesky Krumlov for 2 days and thoroughly enjoyed our time in this picturesque town. The castle and its views are so stunning, aren’t they! You got so many pictures of empty streets :)

  18. Vanessa Workman
    |

    The Cesky Krumlov card is a brilliant idea. It also encourages visitors to return to the area if they haven’t used all their credit up. That’s one thing about local sites and museums, we often don’t know how much time each one will take to fully enjoy. Some I can’t get away from fast enough and others just suck me in and I wish I had more time. Cesky Krumlov looks especially interesting, you certainly covered a lot in just 24 hours. I would definitely need 2-3 days to absorb it all.

  19. Mags Nixon
    |

    I’d never heard of Cesky Krumlov until I read your article and it looks so beautiful. I love the old towns of Europe with their red angled roofs, narrow streets and cobbled stones and haven’t travelled to one for years actually so definitely in need of another visit, this time with my girls. I think they would love the castle and the castle grounds and the trdelnik looks awesome!

  20. Shweta
    |

    The town looks so amazing, like from a fairytale! I would love to visit it, but I usually don’t like day trips esp to popular towns. Love to stay a night and explore places in the morning like you did, also to enjoy the evening atmosphere. The castle rooftop gives such amazing views. And your recommendation of Laibon restaurant looks like its worth trying.

  21. Rhonda
    |

    The town is very cute and looks to be maintained very well. It is funny how you end up at locations on their special holidays. It has happened several times to me. Those trdelnik look like they’d go great with coffee.

  22. Sherab Tenzin
    |

    Hi,

    Cesky Krumlov surely got looks and facilities which travelers look for. And Cesky Krumlov card is also very good idea and a welcoming thing. Thanks for the well-detailed post and tips.

  23. Anu
    |

    You know, I have visited Cesky Krumlov many years ago and I have not yet written about it. Your post took me back to this charming town and you are so right it is one of the most beautiful places I have seen. Gosh, How I loved the bend of the river surrounded by red slanting roofs on one side and the greenery on another. Did you see the revolving theater there or the old theater where they still have huge cut our screens for classic plays?

    I remember eating at a vegetarian restaurant there where they served mostly organic food.

  24. Eric Gamble
    |

    I love learning about places I have never heard of before. Cesky Krumlov looks great though I may not be able to wake up as early as you guys did. I think the entire castle experience is right up my alley. I love your views from the Tower and the flowers in the Garden! The idea of walking around in that old town sounds like a great way to relax and explore the history of Cesky Krumlov. How much is the Castle without the Cesky Krumlov Card?

  25. Jill
    |

    This looks like the perfect fairy tale town. And I liked your innovative breakfast! I am in the midst of planning a trip to Bavaria next fall and would love to day trip here . I’m hoping that it works out!

  26. Farenexus
    |

    Good article in terms of information , tips and tricks…this village looks so beautiful in pictures..i must say this is a attractive destination to visit ..