Český Krumlov is about a 3 hour bus ride from Prague and worth every minute of it. To get there, you drive deep through the Czech countrysides and forests as it is far away from any type of city life. The famous beer town of České Budějovice is on the way to Český Krumlov and is a great place to make a pit stop. Almost all trains and buses to Český Krumlov make a stop in České Budějovice as well. Buses are faster and cheaper. We took a bus tour, but if I could do it all again, I would have taken the local bus so we could have done our own touring around without the agenda and limited time schedule of a tour group.
Český Krumlov is a highly preserved town that looks like it’s straight out of a storybook, it doesn’t even seem real. This town is an absolute MUST SEE on a trip to the Czech Republic. The whole village is surrounded by a moat in the middle of a lush green forest. The extremely steep, narrow and windy lanes in the village make you feel like you are walking in an old Disney film. The castle built into the side of the mountain overlooking the moat is incredibly unique and magical.
In it’s hey day, Český Krumlov was ran by Bohemia’s top noble family, the Rozmberks from 1302-1602. You will notice their rose symbol all over town. In 1588, the town became the home of an important Jesuit college. This city is close to the border of the Czech Republic and Austria, so it was a hot spot for Czechs who would try to jump borders to freedom during the communist era. Hundreds of Czechs were shot that attempted to flee the city during this time.
My favorite part of the castle was the long narrow and deep castle chapel that is built right into the side of the mountain wall. I wasn’t a fan of the tower’s pastel renaissance artwork , but I liked the unique look of it. If you are so inclined, you can climb the castle tower to see great views of the town below . To approach the entrance of the castle, you walk up a cobblestone hill into the gate and if you go out the opposite side of the castle which is higher up the hill, you will see superb views of the moated town below.
A fun fact about this town is that McDonald’s fast food restaurant tried three times to get a spot in this town, but got turned down each time- I’m lovin it! I hate it when big American chains have to ruin the feel of so many adorable European towns.
Canoeing, hiking and rafting are popular things to do in this town, so if you are a outdoorsman, you may want to stay a night and take advantage of this. The main attraction of the town is the town itself, so no matter what you do on your visit, it will be well worth it.
České Budějovice, or Budweis in English; the pit stop on the way to Český Krumlov from Prague, is where the original Budweiser beer was originally made. Since the 13th century, the town has long been known for the beer brewed there. For a time, the town was the royal brewery of the Holy Roman Emperor. Budweiser Bier and Plzen’s Pilsener became one of the best known lagers and to this day, brewing remains a major industry.