Nestled in southern Bohemia, in the Czech Republic, the idyllic town of Cesky Krumlov is a unique gem that stands out among the many picturesque places I’ve visited. Its distinct charm, captured in every photo, beckons you to experience it firsthand. The town is small and easily navigated, so if you’re considering a visit, here are some of the best things to do in Cesky Krumlov, even if you only have one day!

Our decision to spend a night in Cesky Krumlov was a wise one, as it allowed us to experience the town in a completely different light. As the day visitors departed after 5 p.m., the town underwent a magical transformation, turning into a serene haven. Walking the deserted streets and enjoying a romantic dinner by the river felt like stepping into a peaceful fairy tale. 

Disclosure: *This post contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link.*

10 Best Things To Do In Cesky Krumlov That You Will Love

Chances are your time is limited in Český Krumlov, maybe as a day tripper, and you just want to wander around, visit the castle, indulge in the local cuisine, and take lots of photos. But there is so much more to do, so here is my choice of the best things to do in Cesky Krumlov that you will love. 

girl strolling the empty streets of Cesky Krumlov

1. Get lost on the cobbled stone streets

Embarking on a leisurely stroll is undeniably the most exhilarating way to immerse yourself in the city’s charm. The labyrinthine cobbled streets, the thrill of discovering hidden corners, and the joy of stumbling upon lovely shops, cozy cafes, and intriguing museums are all part of the Cesky Krumlov adventure. 

Some consider this city too perfect, too embellished and too tourist-oriented. Yet, it has a lovely charm, and I encourage you to discover it. 

There isn’t an actual itinerary on where to start or where to go; just let your heart guide you through this picture-perfect town. You’ll often stop to admire different nooks and places along the way, which might take more than a couple of hours.

If you want to soak up all the history, architecture, or interesting stories from a knowledgeable local, discover the medieval town of Cesky Krumlov on a two-hour private guided tour. Being private, you have to dig deeper into your pockets, but it’s something you’ll definitely appreciate. Learn more about this tour and read reviews from people who have decided to visit the city with a guide HERE.

wandering the streets is one of the best things to do in Cesky Krumlov

2. Visit the Castle Museum for a history lesson

Pitched on a rocky peninsula, which the Vltava River has sculpted from the southern side and the Polečnice stream from the northern side, Cesky Krumlov Castle is striking from almost every corner, especially its Renaissance-style tower.

Founded by a Czech noble family around 1240, it’s the second-largest castle in the Czech Republic after Prague Castle. The Habsburgs and Schwarzenbergs maintained the castle to high standards, but during the Communism era, the castle fell into neglect. 

It was only in 1989 that the castle became a National Monument, and in 1992, the historic center of the town (including the Castle) became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Wandering the Český Krumlov castle grounds and gardens is free, and for some, it’s enough to do in only one day in Cesky Krumlov. However, if you’re willing to learn about the castle’s history and see how the noble families once lived, a Castle tour is one of the best things to do in Cesky Krumlov. 

The castle offers several tours, the most popular of which is the museum tour with access to the tower. Another tour takes you through the Renaissance and Baroque eras, and another is focused on the Schwarzenberg family. You need other tickets to visit the stables or the Baroque theater. It depends on what you want to see and how much time you have available.

view over the Cesky Krumlov Castle

3. Step on the Cloak Bridge

Visible from many parts of the old town, the three-story Cloak Bridge is one of the most impressive sights in Český Krumlov. Back in the day, the royal family used this 30-meter-long and 40-meter-high bridge as a secret passageway to their Royal Box. As remarkable as it looks from the historic center and Vltava River, it becomes even more impressive while stepping on the bridge.

The vast passageway connecting the fourth and fifth courtyards of Cesky Krumlov Castle is free to access, and it attracts many people, especially in the summer months. If you want to photograph the bridge without crowds, visit either early in the morning or later in the afternoon. 

the magestic Cloak Bridge seen from the Vltava river

4. Discover the best views in Cesky Krumlov

Finding a beautiful lookout point over a city is like opening Christmas presents for me. And the best part of visiting Český Krumlov is that you can easily find more than one panoramic viewpoint. Here are some places that have the most beautiful views:

Castle Tower

One of the best things to do in Cesky Krumlov is to climb the 162 steps of the Castle Tower and enjoy the views from here. Although the climb to the top is steep, it’s worth it. You can admire the beautiful town on the Vltava River, the green landscape and the terraces waiting to be conquered. But there is a catch: if you only wish to glimpse the view from the tower, the only option is to buy a combined museum and tower ticket.

climb the Bell Tower for the best views over Cesky Krumlov

Seminarni Zahrada  

For those on a budget or unwilling to climb the tower, head to the courtyard of Seminarni Zahrada (the seminary garden). The viewpoint offers one of the best scenic views of the castle, the church of St. Vitus, the baroque architecture and the colorful houses. Even though it’s not so high, it’s one of the most popular sites, and the yard is big enough to find a quiet place to enjoy the panorama. 

girl admiring Cesky Krumlov from Seminarni Zahrada viewpoint

Cloak Bridge

The former highest stone bridge in the country, the Cloak Bridge, offers one of the best viewpoints in Cesky Krumlov. From here, you can easily admire the city, the St. Vitus cathedral, the red-tiled roofs, and the Vltava River. It might get crowded, so head there early in the morning or late in the evening. 

view over Cesky Krumlov from the Cloak Bridge

Castle Cafe

Another fantastic spot to admire the town and the castle, not far from the Cloak Bridge, is the Castle Cafe. You’ll bump into this cozy spot while wandering the castle grounds, which is free. It can be pretty busy here, but the view over the castle, the Vltava River and the red-tiled roofs is spectacular.

amazing view over the baroque architecture of the town

Garden’s Edge

Finding this place by mistake was one of the best things to do in Cesky Krumlov. When leaving the castle gardens, make sure to stop for a unique panoramic view of the castle complex, its tower and the town. This spot is more of a hidden lookout point since not many know or notice it, so the chances of having the place to yourself are high.

view over the Old Town from the Castle Gardens

Cross Mountain (Krizova Hora)

Another beautiful panoramic point in Cesky Krumlov is the Krizova Hora, a lovely chapel on a hill less than 2 km from the town center. You will be rewarded with a beautiful view of the town. And most likely, you will have the place entirely to yourself. 

5. Step inside the Church of St. Vitus

Dominating the Old Town, you’ll find another imposing building, the Church of St. Vitus. Built in the 15th century, it is the perfect example of late Gothic architecture. While wandering around, you’ll likely get views over the church. Make your way over there, step inside and admire its beauty. It’s one of the best things to do in Cesky Krumlov, especially on a hot summer day. Light a candle, admire the rich decorations, look for the two pipe organs and take a moment to breathe. 

View over St. Vitus Church

6. Relax at Central Square

While discovering the Old Town, your steps will lead you to Namesti Svornosti, the main square. An important piece, located right in the middle of the market, is the Plague Column. It was manufactured in the 18th century as a sign of appreciation for rescuing the city from the epidemic in 1680.

Central Square is the best place to relax if you need a break. There are a few cafes and restaurants from which you can admire the beautiful Gothic and Renaissance buildings surrounding the square. You can also sit on one of the benches and observe the dynamics of the place. Once again, you will notice how well-preserved and polished everything is. 

relaxing at Central Square is one of the best things to do in Cesky Krumlov

7. Boating on the Vltava River

Boating and catching views from the Vtlava River are among the best things to do in Cesky Krumlov. Winding through the Old Town, the river offers excellent water activities like rafting, canoeing and kayaking. Catching views from a historical wooden raft is a popular activity among daily visitors since it offers a unique perspective of the medieval city center and its well-preserved buildings.

Enjoy a 50-minute Vltava River cruise on a unique wooden raft and admire Cesky Krumlov from a different perspective. Find out interesting things from the two skippers onboard and enjoy a drink during a quick stop on the dock. Don’t forget to wave to those taking pictures of you from the sidelines. 

BOOK A BOAT TRIP HERE

boating the Vltava River in Cesky Krumlov

8. Visit a Museum

If you’re interested in visiting a museum, you’ll be surprised to find out that Cesky Krumlov has a variety to choose from. 

Wax Museum

For a return to the past, a visit to the Wax Museum is something not to be missed. Walk through a medieval town and visit an alchemist’s workshop, a fish farm or an old tavern. Meet contemporary personalities and famous historic ones, like King Charles IV and Franz Josef I of Austria. The light and sound effects will make you feel like you are walking through a 15th-century market.  

3D Museum

Visiting the 3D Museum is one of the best things to do in Cesky Krumlov if you’re coming with children. You are not restricted from touching the exhibits, taking photos or having fun. Just let your imagination go wild as you enter a world of illusions. 

Museum of Commerce and Merchandise

The museum presents an original preserved merchant’s shop featuring anything you could ever imagine, from old cash registers, calculating machines, and types of scales to shelves, racks, and cabinets. and boxes. From hangers and drawers, packaging containers for food, beverages and cosmetics to billboards made from paper and cardboard. The best part is visitors can purchase replicas of items related to the exhibition’s theme.

Enjoying an old store’s charming atmosphere was one of the best things to do in Cesky Krumlov. 

exterior of the Museum of Commerce in Cesky Krumlov

TIP. With the Cesky Krumlov Card, you will have access to five museums: Egon Schiele Art Centrum, Monastery Museum, Castle Museum and Tower, Museum Fotoatelier Seidel and Regional Museum. More info on the Cesky Krumlov Card HERE.

9. Relax at the Castle Gardens

If you are tired after so much sightseeing, the Castle Gardens are the right perfect place to relax away from the crowds. Just a short walk from the Castle, you will find a lovely area with lots of greenery, and only a few people seem to get here. Founded in the 17th century, the Baroque Castle Gardens cover an area of 10,875 hectares and are surrounded by a wall. In the past, the gardens were accessible by several gates and a wooden corridor leading from the Renaissance House.

Although part of the Castle complex, the entrance to the park is free. 

Walk around the well-preserved gardens, admire the flowers and the statues and sit on a bench to soak up the views. 

long empty paths inside the Castle Gardens

10. Indulge in the local food and coffee scene

If you’re into specialty coffee, then Cesky Krumlov won’t disappoint. You can savor the magic liquor and soak up the views in many places around the town.

The Czech dishes won’t disappoint, either. Although it is a tourist town, there are a few places where you can indulge in the local food. 

Tucked away in a backyard, you will always find a tiny cozy place to enjoy a delicious Czech lunch accompanied by a regional beer. The roast pork ribsthe pork knuckledumplings filled with meat and the local take on goulash are some of the choices for meat lovers. 

One of the best things to do in Cesky Krumlov is to eat at a restaurant with a terrace next to the river for delicious food. While sitting on the river, we fancied fish, so we opted for a fresh carp deep fried in breadcrumbs as a starter and a fish plate as a main course. 

For those who don’t prefer meat, you should try a traditional garlic soup with cheese and croutons, a deep-fried cheese meal, or a marinated cheese salad. 

If you’re into sweets, you should try the freshly made Trdelnik, a sugary treat from Hungary that is very popular in Český Krumlov. 

indulge in the local food at one of the many restaurants in Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov Travel Tips

About Cesky Krumlov

Carved by the Vltava River and dominated by its 13th-century castle, Cesky Krumlov is one of the best-preserved towns in Central Europe. It began to expand around the castle, which was built in the 13th century by the Vitkova family.

Fortunately, the city escaped the bombings of World War II, which is why the old town is so well preservedIn 1992the historic city center (including the Castle) became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is home to 13,000 inhabitants, but only 500 of them live in the historic old town.

Attracting almost 2 million visitors each year, Cesky Krumlov should be high on your list. 

How long do I need in Cesky Krumlov?

The city of Cesky Krumlov is pretty tiny, and you can visit almost all the places mentioned in the article in one day. You can easily walk from one side to the other, marvel at the architecture and indulge in the traditional cuisine. But there is definitely enough for you to do for one or two days.

Best time to visit Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov is a popular city in the Czech Republic. Although it doesn’t see as many visitors as Prague, that doesn’t mean it isn’t packed.  

It can get crowded during summer, but who doesn’t want to enjoy a cold drink on one of the terraces along the river bend? Spring and fall attract fewer tourists, but be prepared to face many Asian groups. Between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., Český Krumlov can get busy as most tourists visit for a day trip from Vienna or Prague.

lovely river view over the Castle Tower in Cesky Krumlov

How to get to Cesky Krumlov

Located in south Bohemia, the town is a perfect day trip from many cities. The easiest way is to RENT A CAR AND DRIVE ON YOUR OWN, as it gives you more freedom. 

It takes about 2.5 hours from Prague to Cesky Krumlov (175km), about 3 hours from Vienna (200km) and 1.5 hours from Linz (80km). Once you get to the town, there are several parking lots around Cesky Krumlov, and you often get a discount on your accommodation. 

The train also travels between Prague and Cesky Krumlov, taking 2.5 hours.

Another popular option is to get to Cesky Krumlov by bus. The bus station is on Nemocnicni Street, just a short walk from the center. 

TIP. Just a few steps away from the bus station and towards the city center, on Objizdkova Street, you will discover a breathtaking view of the city and all its beauty. 

Day Trips to Cesky Krumlov

From Prague. Embark on an All Inclusive trip to Cesky Krumlov. Walk through the town’s charming lanes, learn about its history, and visit the wonderful castle. BOOK YOUR DAY TRIP FROM PRAGUE

From Vienna. Join a small group of a maximum of 8 travelers and discover Cesky Krumlov on a day trip that includes lunch. After reaching the Old Town of Cesky Krumlov, a local English-speaking guide will show you the best places. BOOK YOUR DAY TRIP FROM VIENNA

Secure your travel insurance

We never leave home without travel insurance designed to cover our expenses if something goes wrong during the trip. If you’re still on the lookout for travel insurance for your trip to Europe, I highly recommend HEYMONDO, a trusted insurance provider for leisure and business trips, backpackers, long-term travelers, and digital nomads. Their travel insurance protects against theft, flight delays, injury, illness, cancellations, and much more. Don’t forget to travel smart!

Get an eSim before your visit

Because phones have become our most important devices, it’s necessary to have a data connection as soon as you step foot in a different country. Your home data plan might only work if you paid for a much more expensive package, finding wifi connections in airports or train stations might be tricky, and seeking a local store to buy a SIM card might be exhausting. Forget all of that!

You just purchase an e-SIM, install it on your phone, and activate the plan when you’re ready to use it. Getting out of the plane and instantly connecting to data was a game changer for me. I didn’t have to waste time standing in line to get a local SIM card or finding a wifi connection to book a taxi to reach my hotel.

If you ask me, getting an e-SIM is a quintessential part of traveling. There is no physical installation and no long-term commitments. And the best part: You can always top up or purchase a new plan through the app. Pretty convenient, right? Find the best data plan for Europe HERE.

Final thoughts on Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov is wonderful, yet I didn’t capture it all! just couldn’t fit all that beauty in one frame. But I hope my travel guide made you curious about these amazing places to visit in Cesky Krumlov and that you are eager to visit them in the near future! Happy travels!

Pin IT for Later

10 best things to do in Cesky Krumlov                         10 things to do in Cesky Krumlov, CZ

Looking for further European cities? Check out my articles:

ONE DAY IN BRUGES ITINERARY

THE PERFECT ONE-DAY IN GHENT ITINERARY(MAP INCLUDED)

ONE DAY IN BRUSSELS ITINERARY

THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN VALENCIA(SPAIN) ON A SHORT TRIP

THE PERFECT 2 DAYS IN SIBIU ITINERARY FOR FIRST TIMERS

THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN RASNOV, ROMANIA

ONE DAY TRIP TO THE STORK TOWN MARCHEGG, AUSTRIA

25 FREE THINGS TO DO IN BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

10 REASONS TO VISIT MISKOLC, HUNGARY

Share this...
Share on pinterest
Pinterest