When writing about Český Krumlov it’s really difficult to not sound like a tourism brochure. Phrases like ‘it oozes charm’ and ‘looks as if it belongs in a fairytale’ seem to be writing themselves as I begin this piece, but since there is no way to make such statements believable you’re just going to have to trust me when I say that both of these are absolutely true though.
Views from Český Krumlov Castle
Located around three and a half hours by bus from Prague, I first heard about this small town in the South Bohemian area of the Czech Republic years ago when I was watching Getaway one afternoon. As the presenter strolled the cobbled streets I can’t explain why something about the place with its pleasantly coloured buildings and impressive castle just stuck with me. I knew I couldn’t leave Europe without seeing it for myself.
A house located on a back street in old town
The entire length of the UNESCO heritage listed old town could easily be walked in half an hour at a very leisurely pace if the urge to take a billion photos in attempts to capture the lovely sights doesn’t overpower you. There is a free walking tour run each day in high season which leaves in front of the tourist centre in the middle of town and goes for about an hour. The guide took us through a lot of history but the highlight was leading us through a passageway and out on to a hidden patio which allowed for great views of the winding river which flows through the town. Our tour finished up at Český Krumlov castle which is substantially large for a town of its size. There are lovely views of Český Krumlov from a top the tower located here but one of my favourite parts was actually the gardens where you can easily spend an hour strolling.
Some of the gardens of Český Krumlov Castle
My hostel Krumlov House was great in providing a detailed map with a list of places to try out local food and drinks. There are many establishments with traditional Czech options largely centered around meat and vegetables (and of course beer which is ridiculously cheap usually less than 1 AUD since the Czechs do consume the most beer out of any country in the world after all.) Strangely enough my room mate and I tried a place called Dobra Cajouna which I would best describe as a Turkish restaurant crossed with a tea room that also serves shisha. We made it there only about an hour before closing and as I walked in the delicious sweet mixture of flavoured teas and shisha hit my nose while the warmth made my glasses fog as the door shut out the almost freezing temperature behind me. It’s really close to a place called the Apotheka Cafe Bar which is apparently great for drinks but due to be on antibiotics at the time I sadly didn’t get to try any!
Popular potato snack
Trdelnik being made
The finished trdelnik product
In the Czech Republic you can find trdelnik in a few locations and I had my first ever delicious one of these pastries in Český Krumlov. It’s not quite a croissant but it definitely has a similar strong doughy consistency. The best part is they are cooked right in front of you so they are super warm and you can choose your filling. I can’t go past chocolate but there were various jams and nuts available too. There was also many people snacking on what looked like potato chips on a stick. They were a nice salty bite to eat although I’m still unsure of the name!
Unfortunately I was pretty ill the entire time I was in Český Krumlov but I still managed to have a fantastic time so I can only imagine how much I’d love it in full health! Also, I was in there late October which meant the day time was still a pleasant temperature but night was pretty fresh and many layers are required. I’d imagine this town would look absolutely spectacular in winter with snow covering it which makes it a great destination to visit any time of the year. If you’re visiting Prague definitely consider adding a couple more days to see the much smaller but equally beautiful Český Krumlov too – it does not disappoint!