Český Krumlov is a magical fairytale story come to life. It’s so beautiful and well-preserved that it’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From certain vantage points, it doesn’t even look real. How can something so perfect be open to the public? I don’t know, but get set for a fun time exploring a mystical city. Here’s how to spend 1 day in Český Krumlov on a budget!
How to Spend 1 Day in Český Krumlov
Introduction to Český Krumlov
Official Language(s): Czech
Emergency phone number: 112
When to Go to Český Krumlov
Early spring is when the Castle Garden flowers are in bloom and the tourists haven’t swamped the area just yet. I visited in November, and really enjoyed my time but, like… everything in the garden is dead. It makes my pictures look awfully lackluster. It’s stunning in person, I promise!
Where to Stay in Český Krumlov
Na louži is a family-owned and operated hotel and restaurant. I didn’t spend the night (more on that in a bit), but if their hotel is anything like their restaurant, you’ll enjoy your stay. Right away, I felt like I was in someone’s home as they cooked me a meal. It was quite the experience.
How to Get Around in Český Krumlov
Not only is Český Krumlov easily walkable, they have a popular walking tour to make things even easier! Wiseman Free Walking Tours meet every morning and will take you to all of the lovely spots I’m about to mention. All you have to do is keep up.
Where to Eat in Český Krumlov
Restaurant Na louži
Restaurant Na louži will go down in my mind as one of the best meals I had while in the Czech Republic. They serve very traditional Czech food, and lots of it. I love their environment too. It felt like I was just hanging out in someone’s home while I ate delicious food.
MLS Crêperie makes for a fantastic breakfast stop. They have any and every kind of crepe you can think of. Usually, I tend to associate places like these as “Instagram foods,” but MLS really delivers on quality. I got the cinnamon sugar crepe with a cappuccino and it was a lovely start to my morning at Český Krumlov.
Český Krumlov Original
I really had fun walking around Český Krumlov Original and I don’t even like gingerbread. But the smell from outside the shop was so enticing, I stepped inside anyways. They make their gingerbread the old fashioned way, and even for this picky eater, it’s good stuff. Nice place for food gifts too.
Pivovar Eggenberg – Velký Sál restaurace
Smoked beer is just one of those things that’s just not my scene, but very popular here. Just about every brewery carries it, so you won’t have to worry about seeking it out. I split my beer with a friend (who’s admittedly not much of a beer person either) and we both agreed that it really does taste “smoky.” It’s hard to put your finger on it, but it’s there. Glad I tried it, either way.
Day 1 of 1 Day in Český Krumlov
Svornosti Square is where your day will begin… if you can stop wandering through each and every alley cause everything is so gosh darn beautiful. Once you make it here, you’re in the city square. Surrounded by historic buildings and an architectural beauty of a fountain. This is where the Wiseman Tour meets and your adventure begins. Fitting setting.
St. Vitus Church
St. Vitus Church will likely be your first major stop. It’s impressive. A beautiful mix of Gothic and Baroque make for an imposing looking church, where many royalty are buried. If you decide to make the trek out to Český Krumlov on St. Wenceslas Day (September 28), the whole town celebrates with various traditions. This includes the Holy Mass inside the church.
State Castle Tower
You’re taken through the State Castle Tower and Gardens on the tour, but you’ll want more time to walk through the area later on. The Castle’s five compounds are unique in their own way, and the view from the top of the tower is amazing.
State Castle Gardens
Once you enter the garden, you’ll also catch sight of the Baroque Theatre. Unfortunately while I was there, the theatre season had ended. Do check it out if you can. An outdoor show in a beautiful garden sounds heavenly to me. Cause, even in winter, the gardens are really pretty.
Lavka pod Zamkem
I know, a lot of what I’m talking about revolves around the Castle but…Lavka pod Zamkem is not to be missed. Look at this bridge! It’s huuuuge! Frighteningly unreal. An engineering marvel.
You can kinda see the railings alongside the bridge for people to walk across. It’s narrow and a little scary. I was terrified, so naturally that meant I had to walk across it. Fears are meant to be conquered. Plus, you can really get a sense of this monstrosity up close and personal.
Rozenberg Horse House
Rozenberg Horse House is another major tour stop. It’s covered in beautiful frescoes, so artfully restored I couldn’t tell what was new and what was original. It’s a real treat for the eyes. I wish my landlord would let me recreate that on my house, but alas.
After the tour (and a big lunch), I’d say explore on your own. You’ll run into quite a bit. There’s a monastery, a brewery, city park and more. Český Krumlov is a joy to just walk around in.
Know Before You Go
I know the Wiseman Tours advertise that they’re free, but… tip your guides. They live off of that. Be cool.
When all is said and done, tourism is really taking a toll on Český Krumlov. The reason is simple, and it’s a mistake I made while I was there: no one stays the night. Small hotels struggle to make ends meet. Meanwhile, housing prices are soaring, making keeping a business open difficult at best.
You’ll note in my Prague guide, I recommend visiting on your last day. This is designed so you can stay the night, if at all possible. I know money can be tight while traveling, and schedules get complicated. But you won’t regret a night in Český Krumlov. If anything, I regret not staying.
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