Are you looking for the best things to do in Český Krumlov and wondering if Český Krumlov is worth visiting?
(FYI, In English it’s pronounced “Chesky Krumlov.”)
Just a two hour drive from Prague, Český Krumlov shares the Vltava River with Prague and is a cherished UNESCO World Heritage site which protects its Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque buildings.
Tucked in the Blansko Forest and the Šumava National Park, picturesque doesn’t even begin to describe Český Krumlov. This town was built in the 13th century surrounding a castle which sits high above the river and town, creating a living fairytale.
Český Krumlov is the perfect town to see in one day because it’s small enough to really enjoy in a short visit, but wonderful enough if you want to stay longer and explore.
I spent a great day there in the height of the summer tourist season and found it remarkably relaxed and pleasant.
Enjoy these things to do in
Cesky Krumlov in one day!
With just one day to spend in Český Krumlov, the following 7 activities will fill your day and allow you enough time to relax with lunch.
#1 The Castle
Head up to the castle and roam the grounds free of charge. Then buy your tickets to the castle Museum and Tower for 210 CZKs for a self-guided tour of both.
The castle is the second largest in all of the Czech Republic with 40 buildings and 5 unique courtyards.
Spend as much or as little time as you like there. At the end of your castle tour, be sure to visit the gardens and the fountain near the Bellaria Summerhouse.
The Castle was built in 1250 by the Vítkovci family clan which included the famed Rosenburg family. The Rosenburgs inhabited the castle until the late 16th century and then began the long succession of Eggenberg and Schwarzenberg ownerships.
However, following the 1989 “Velvet Revolution,” the newly named Czech Republic and UNESCO helped to restore and preserve the town and its castle to its current state.
It’s a place that thrives on tourism and manages to handle the millions of visitors it gets each year.
#2 Castle Tower
The castle tower is the symbol of Český Krumlov and dates back to the 1300’s with some sections being finished in the 1500’s.
The outer decorations are the work of famous painters and architects of the day.
On your way up, you’ll see the four clock bells. But the true reward is the view from the top.
Don’t miss the experience of seeing all of the town from 86 meters (282 feet) above the Vltava river. It is called “the towerest of all towers” (Karel Čapek) because it is so beautiful in its setting.
#3 Castle Museum
#4 Castle Bears
Brown bears have lived at the castle since possibly the 16th century.
The Rosenbergs were related to the Italian Orsini Family and Orsa means bear in Italian.
Thus, bears are a symbol on the Rosenberg Family coat of arms and have protected the castle grounds since.
Heads up: Some find it controversial and upsetting to see the animals kept in captivity.
#5 Castle Baroque Theater
It’s not always open, so check when you buy your tickets for the museum and tower.
The theater has all its original stage, costumes, scenery, and is really recommended for history and theater buffs.
#6 River Rafting
It’s an old tradition to enjoy the river and its urban rapids. You’ll quickly spot the several rental places. They offer tour boat options or the DIY version, complete with life jackets.
Its very family friendly. The river is always flowing, so after you paddle a bit, you can sit back and enjoy the flow!
You can make a loop and see the whole town from the river view. Pay attention, however, I know a family, who missed the turn and ended up 6 kilometers down the Vltava!
#7 Walking, Shopping, Eating
It’s one of those dream Medieval European villages that begs for roaming and stopping for what catches your eye.
There are so many charming cafes and restaurants along the river, making it hard to decide where to stop for lunch or a drink.
Like I said, the town is full of tourists, but somehow the pace is slow and comfortable.
Where to stay in Český Krumlov?
Fun Facts From Český Krumlov
- The population of Český Krumlov is about 13,000.
- Only about 500 people live in the old town near surrounding the castle.
- Český Krumlov has about 2 million tourists every year.
- The Český Krumlov castle was became a UNESCO world heritage site in 1992.
Have more time? Add these 5 bonus sites to your
Český Krumlov itinerary…
1. St. Vitas Church
2. Museum Fotoatelier Seidel
3. Egon Schiele House
4. Český Krumlov Synagogue
In 1938, the synagogue was taken over by the occupation and was used as a church and a storage place.
Then, after World War II, it was eventually returned to the Jewish community in the 1990’s, was reconstructed in 2012, and remains as a house of prayer today.
5. Zlatá Koruna Cistercian Monastery
When is the best time to visit
The Fall and Spring are typically partly cloudy and cool.
November – March can be pretty cold and snowy, but the winter holiday season is gorgeous and festive with Christmas markets, concerts, and nativity celebrations.
How to get to Český Krumlov
When we rent a car in Europe, we use Hertz. Be prepared for extra fees if you are dropping the car off in a different city, and often, you aren’t allowed to drop off in a different country. An international drivers license is not necessary.
Tips for visiting Český Krumlov
- As soon as you arrive, go to the Visitor Center, a 4 min walk from the castle at Svornosti 2, and grab a map.
- The Czech Koruna is the official currency of Czech Republic. Many places will accept Euro but give you change in Czech currency. Credit Cards are widely accepted. Be sure to check if its better to pay in Koruna, Euros, or Dollars for the exchange rate while you are visiting.
- Plug types are types C and F. Type C is the one with two round pins and Type F is the plug with two round pins and two earth clips on the side.
- The language of Czech Republic is the is Czech Language or Czechoslavakian. Cesky Krumlov is a town that thrives on tourism, so you’ll get by, no matter what language you speak.
Now, you’re in the know with all the best things to do in Český Krumlov!
Český Krumlov is one of the special gems in the Czech Republic and a must-see on my list. In a short visit, you can learn about the incredible history of this town and see everything from a castle to bears, have a ride on the river, eat great food and climb a tower!
What’s not to love about this charming European town? Enjoy!