If we should pick one place in Bohemia to visit except for Prague, it would be Český Krumlov. This South-Bohemian town is so exceptional, so magical. If you want to know why you should visit and have your breath taken away, read on.
Why visit Český Krumlov?
We decided to visit because Český Krumlov is said to have the vibe of a fairy tale and we were in awe from the very first moment. For our first visit, we chose a hotel at the riverside and enjoyed everyday walks to the historical center. During our second visit we stayed in a hotel in the center. So yes, we came back and you will want, too. There is always something new to see, so many beautiful details, cozy cafes, interesting facades and romantic secluded places…here are some of the sights we visited, and we’ll let you discover the rest on your own.
If you plan to travel to Český Krumlov in mid-June, book your hotel in time, because the town hosts the Five-Petalled Rose Celebration attended by many Czechs as well as foreigners. It is a historical celebration situated in the times of the last Rosenbergs.
Český Krumlov Synagogue and City Garden
If you want to learn a bit about the history of Jews in this town, you must head south to the Plešivec quarter. The synagogue recently underwent extensive restoration and there’s a cozy café in the former apartment of the rabi with a place for the children. And it’s at this synagogue that we begin our walk through the historical part of Český Krumlov.
The city garden is just across the road from the synagogue. It’s a great place to relax, enjoy the nature and walk along the Vltava river.
We exit the garden at the elementary school and use the Bridge of E. Beneš to cross the river and enter the Inner Town. The main sight here is the main square called Náměstí Svornosti with its 16th-century town hall and the plague column from the 18th century. The Museum of torture, one of the museums featured in our Top 14 Museums in Czech Republic, is in a historical basement at the north side of the square. This exposition is more than just a freakshow and we were too curious to pass. It is like a trip through the darkest places of human imagination that you can embark on right here.
Wax Museum and Church of St. Vitus
And just a few meters down from the main square there’s something that will give you goosebumps just like the torture chambers. It’s the new wax museum where you can stand side by side with historical figures like Franz Josef, visit an alchemist workshop or a medieval pub.
From there we just walk north to the bridge called Lazebnický most which will take us to the Latrán quarter.
Latrán is the northmost part of the historical center and it’s where the castle is. There is, however, much more to see and we are not quite at the castle yet. If you need a break, there are more than a few cozy cafés in this part of the town.
Another way to get to Latrán (and one really worth taking up) is to follow the river after you exit the city garden.
Museum of Marionettes
Our first stop is the Museum of Marionettes. The fairy tales really come alive in this fairy tale house in the center of the town and with more than 400 marionettes.
Beerbrewery and Minorite monastery
We continue east alongside the river and then through the garden at the beer brewery. You can not only eat and drink in the brewery but also take the tour in the brewery (with beer tasting!). From there we just need to cross the road to walk into the garden at the Minorite monastery. Then we take Klášterní street and through the Red gate and now the castle is almost at our reach.
Český Krumlov Castle
This Renaissance castle (with partially Baroque interiors) is part of the list of UNESCO world heritage sites. Although the outside of the castle is magnificent and especially the children appreciate the view of the bears living in the moat, the interiors are worth visiting as well. Not only are there museums and galleries housing for example traditional Czech ceramics exhibition, the most unique part is the Baroque theatre with a fully preserved set of sceneries and costumes.
Experience the everyday reality of the blacksmith masters in a 17th century workshop in the first castle courtyard. You will learn the peculiarities of this demanding profession and you can try to forge yourself!
Going back from the castle, take the staircase on the right just behind the bear moat.
Did you enjoy your tour in this fairy-tale town? Here are some more details to inspire you to take the trip if you haven’t done so yet.