While I was on my recent trip to Prague I decided to visit the city of Cesky Krumlov, located in the Southern Bohemia region of the Czech Republic. Cesky Krumlov is located on the banks of the Vltava river and its 13th century gothic castle overlooks the stunning bohemian city below, now a UNESCO world heritage site.
Getting to Cesky Krumlov
Cesky Krumlov is located around three and a half hours from Prague, either by train or bus, costing around £15pp return. You can also get a bus or train to Cesky Krumlov from Linz or Vienna, Austria. You can also drive yourself if you prefer, as there are excellent road links from Prague and beyond.
Somewhere to stay in Cesky Krumlov
There are plenty of hotels and guest houses to choose from in Cesky Krumlov, but for my trip I choose the Bellevue Hotel. I booked with hotels.com and paid around £70 per room, per night, for deluxe rooms. When we checked we were surprised to find that we had been upgraded to junior suites. The rooms were clean, tidy and tastefully decorated, and boasted large bathrooms with complimentary designer toiletries. The rooms also had generously stocked Nespresso machines, something I’m seeing a lot more of in hotels recently, and a very nice touch. The room rates included breakfast, which included a generous range of hot and cold options. The hotel also had a spa, which we didn’t try, as well as a restaurant and wine cellar.
Restaurant Recommendations in Cesky Krumlov
For lunch we ate at The Old Inn, a local Czech restaurant, and I tried a traditional chicken and noodle broth followed by bohemian roast pork and dumplings. The food was great, and only cost £7 for both courses. Later on, when we were at the hotel we had a look on trip advisor for a good restaurant in Cesky Krumlov for dinner. We found a place called Le Jardin which ranked 2nd in the whole town, and the images of the food looked stunning. We continued reading and were pleasantly shocked to find out that it was our hotel’s restaurant. As it has so many great reviews, I didn’t hesitate calling down to reception to book a table for dinner. The food was a modern twist on traditional Czech dishes, and executed perfectly. After the chicken and ham amuse bouche, I enjoyed their scallops St Jacob followed by veal cheeks. The food was amazing and I couldn’t fault any part of it, nor the stunning Sangiovese that accompanied it. Other dishes sampled and loved around the table included the smoked salmon, rack of fallow deer and Czech duck leg.
After our absolutely stunning meal we ventured back out into Cesky Krumlov to find somewhere for a nightcap and found Zapa Bar, a stunning little cocktail bar. We were the only people in there as it was a quiet Monday evening, so we just planned to have a cocktail or two then head back to the hotel. The cocktails were so amazing, and they were made with such precision, which meant that a couple of cocktails led to many, many more! Between us we sampled most of the cocktails on the menu, my favourite being their Apple Fashioned.
Attractions and sights
The main attraction worth seeing while in Cesky Krumlov is of course Krumlov Castle. You can explore the outside areas and courtyards of the castle all year round, but if you want to visit the inside of the castle, it is only open during the summer months. Around the castle there are a number of view points to visit, all giving amazing vistas over the picturesque bohemian town below. Krumlov Castle is also famous for the bears that live in the moat, to protect the castle – an age old tradition dating back over 200 years. Unfortunately as we visited in November the bears were in hibernation, so we unfortunately didn’t get to see them.
As well as the castle, the labyrinth of streets in Cesky Krumlov is a joy to explore, and definitely worth a couple of hours exploring.
For anyone visiting Prague, or the Czech republic in general, you should definitely try and make a visit to Cesky Krumlov. It may be a bit of a trek from Prague, or other large cities close by such as Linz or Vienna, but it’s absolutely worth a visit. From delicious food and stunning cocktails, to breath-taking sights over one of the most beautiful places in Europe. I will definitely be returning one day!