“It seems Cesky Krumlov is the holiday from people’s holidays,” the hostel owner remarked to me when I told her what a chilled out time I’d had in Cesky Krumlov. It’s definitely true too – things in Cesky Krumlov move a little slower in the best way possible. I spent most of my time strolling around the castle and river, eating goulash, trdelnik (a baked sugary chimney of goodness) and drinking a lot of hot chocolate and tea.
My hostel even had a strict no bunk rule, so I got to sleep in an actual bed, as well as huge kitchen and a cozy lounge stocked with books and a piano! Taking a break in Cesky Krumlov from the classic Euro trip of whizzing from capital city to capital city was one of the best things I did on my five-week trip. It’s a complete tourist town but my visit in winter was great, I didn’t find the tourists overwhelming at all.
How long should you spend?
I stayed for 3 nights, which at the time seemed a little too long, considering the castle interior and the river rafting are closed in winter. Looking back on it though, I’m glad I stayed for 3 nights. Spending my last day eating strudel and reading with this amazing view was all in all, a very good day.
Climb the hill to Krizovy Vrch (Hill of the Cross)
You’ll see the signs around town and your hostel/hotel is bound to have a map. It’s a nice short walk (under an hour return) to a church overlooking the whole town. Bring your camera for the amazing views! We went just before sunset.
Hike up Mt Klet
Mt Klet is a definite highlight of Cesky Krumlov. You can get there without a car too! Get the train to Holubov, then just follow the markers up to Mt Klet. Wikitravel has a decent guide for how to get there. It’s a lengthy walk over farmland, so wear decent shoes and have Google Maps on hand in case you get a little lost; the trail is a bit unclear in places.
You can climb up or take the dinky one-seat chairlift. We chose the chairlift because it’s super steep and duh, chairlifts are fun!
At the top, there is a restaurant with Czech food and it is so reasonably priced! Any mountain restaurant in New Zealand would be hella expensive, so it was a nice surprise that this restaurant was cheaper than some of the restaurants in the town.
The best part for me though was that it snowed at the top! I was super excited about this, I went to Europe in winter for 5 weeks and at the top of Mt Klet was the only time it snowed. For the whole trip, I missed out on the snowy cities I’d hoped to see because I’d leave a city to find it was covered in snow the next day!
Wander over the bridges and river
There’s a “tip-only” walking tour in Cesky Krumlov which was quite good but any stroll in Cesky Krumlov is a good one!
The Vltava river winds in an s-bend shape around Cesky Krumlov so everywhere in town is crazy picturesque.
Grab a trdelnik (or two…) and just wander around the town – you won’t be disappointed. Don’t forget to head up to the castle; if you’re there in summer you’ll be able to go inside.
Cesky Krumlov is also full of cute squares and there’s heaps of souvenir shopping to be had.
I stayed at Krumlov House, a super cute hostel with real beds – no bunks here! It has an amazing kitchen, comfy beds, a social vibe and friendly hosts. Highly recommended.
To get to Cesky Krumlov, I took a Student Agency bus (with screens in the back of the head rests!) from Prague for about $8 USD. It was dirt cheap and easy as to book online through their website.
I took a shuttle to my next stop Vienna. More expensive (around $35 USD), but they take you door-to-door and there aren’t that many options for getting out of Cesky Krumlov. There are a few shuttle companies, this is the one I took.
Like the rest of the Czech Republic, food and drinks are super cheap. I had goulash at a different restaurant every single night I was there and they were all great. None were overly touristy either, there were plenty of locals as well – this is probably different in summer though.