Things To Do In Český Krumlov In One Day
Things To Do In Český Krumlov
In One Day
Let me introduce you to all the things to do in Český Krumlov! (In English it’s pronounced “Chesky Krumlov”).
Český Krumlov is a beautiful old town in the southern Bohemian region of the Czech Republic. 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.
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Purchasing through these links earns me a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Many thanks for using these links!
Know before you go
When To Go
This region is busiest during June – August, but don’t let that deter you because the weather is perfect! The river offers breezes and lots of opportunities to cool off. 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.
Where To Stay
Český Krumlov is a great place to spend one day, but if you have more time and can spend a night or two, below are some of the top hotels recommended. When booking a rental or hotel, I recommend you stay in the historic old town. Some places that are highly recommended are the:
How To Get There
Český Krumlov is a popular day trip from Prague. There are plenty of shuttle, bus, and train options. Here is the Czech Rail link.
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.
- 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 will get by, no matter what language you speak.
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
As soon as you approach Český Krumlov you will be awestruck with the immense castle wall protecting the city. Everything is larger than life and you can’t help but wonder how it was all built centuries ago.
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.
The town continued to grow around the castle and the river for centuries but sadly, the post war communist era of Czechoslovakia led to disrepair and neglect of the village. 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.
#3 Castle Museum
The museum exhibits are filled with artifacts from the centuries of inhabitants of the castle and offers you more of a glimpse into the history of the castle and the nobles who occupied it.
#2 Castle Tower
Be sure to climb the 162 stairs to the top of the tower, if you can. 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.
#4 Castle Bears
Surprise! There are bears that live in the dry moat of the castle. 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
At the fifth courtyard of the castle is the famous 17th century Baroque Theater used for opera and theater and is only one of 4 remaining Baroque Theaters in the world. 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
As soon as you enter the village you’ll notice all the activity in the river. What a contrast to the medieval sites, when you see modern canoes and inflatable rafts charging down the river! 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
This was by far my favorite part of Český Krumlov. 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.
- 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.
5 More Things To Do If You Have Time
1.St. Vitas Church
The St.Vitas Church tower is a part of the Český Krumlov skyline. Another great example of the Gothic style. Inside are 15th Century Gothic frescoes and a Baroque altar.
2.Museum Fotoatelier Seidel
This is a photography museum that explains the history of photography and of the town through the lens of famous photographers.
3.Egon Schiele House
The home of famous painter Egon Schiele is on the river, covered in vines, and is a special exhibit of his life and work.
4.Český Krumlov Synagogue
Built in 1909, the Český Krumlov Synagogue is known for its beautiful Art Nouveau style and both its original decor along side the authentic reconstruction. 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
This monastery is known as one of the most important structures of Gothic architecture in Central Europe. You will learn how the Cistercian monks lived centuries ago.
There are so many places to see in Český Krumlov. It’s one of the special gems in the Czech Republic and a must-see on my list.