Cesky Krumlov, the best excursion from Prague

Cesky Krumlov, the best excursion from Prague

The small town of Cesky Krumlov is one of the best-kept secrets in the Czech Republic, and is probably the best option if you are considering a day trip from Prague.

Its historic center was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO back in 1992, and you just need to take a walk through its streets to understand why.

Once upon a time, on a bend in the Vltava river …

Like so many other European cities, Cesky Krumlov grew out of a small rural settlement established next to a large medieval castle. Construction of the Cesky Krumlov fortress began around 1240, so we can date the origins of the city around the middle of the 13th century.

As the castle was built next to a meander in the Vltava, the small village had no choice but to settle on the other side of the river, in the middle of the meander.

Thanks to this, today we can enjoy one of the most peculiar and beautiful cities in central Europe.

How to go from Prague to Cesky Krumlov

The distance from Prague to Cesky Krumlov is about 170 km, depending on where you are from the Czech capital.

By road it takes about 2 hours to get to Cesky Krumlov, although if you do it by public transport (I recommend the bus) it will take a little longer, around 3 hours.

Doing the excursion in one day is perfectly feasible, but yes, it is convenient to get up early to make the most of the day.

You can also go by train, although if I remember correctly it took a little longer and there was a stopover in the city of České Budějovice, so in my opinion the bus is still a better option.

The impressive Cesky Krumlov Castle

How could it be otherwise, we started our tour of Cesky Krumlov with the famous castle of the city.

For centuries it was owned by the Rosenberg family, known for playing an important role throughout the history of the Bohemian region.

After passing through several more owners, in the middle of the 20th century it ceased to be private property and passed into the hands of the Czech state, who has managed it ever since.

Much more than just a fortress

Cesky Krumlov Castle is actually a complex made up of several buildings, with many separate courtyards and rooms. Here are some of the most important ones.

The Red Door, which gives access to the entire complex
The stables, located in the first of the five courtyards
The house of salt
The lapidary of the castle
Small castle with a tower (which you can climb and enjoy magnificent views)
The House of coin
The upper castle (the area of ​​the castle itself and where the guided tour takes place)
The spectacular Layer Bridge (Plášťový most)
The castle theater

The castle gardens, at the highest point of the complex. Unlike other European castles and palaces, the gardens of the Cesky Krumlov Palace have the peculiarity of being at the highest point on the ground.

They are a good place to enjoy a pleasant walk, especially in good weather. Among its highlights are a square pond, a small open-air theater, and the main fountain in the center of the venue.

The imposing Layer Bridge

After leaving the gardens and stables behind, we finally reach the extraordinary Layer Bridge, which allows direct access to Cesky Krumlov Castle. From this point you have magnificent views of the historic city and the Vltava River.

The main square of the castle

The main square and its central fountain are usually the main meeting point of the castle. From here you can take very cool photos of both the castle and the great tower.

Leaving this square there is a moat inhabited by several very friendly brown bears. Quite a curious thing, really.

The Catholic Church of Saint Vitus.

The Cesky Krumlov Church (Kostel svatého Víta) is located on the opposite side of the castle, on the other side of the city and very close to the main square.

The church is at a somewhat elevated point, which together with its own height makes it practically visible from anywhere in the city.

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