Visit the fairy tale town of Český Krumlov in Czech Republic.

Your Cesky Krumlov Itinerary for 2023

If visiting fairy tale towns in Europe is on your bucket list be sure to add Cesky Krumlov. Most visit Cesky Krumlov in one day, but you’ll see with this Cesky Krumlov itinerary it’s better to stay for longer.

Located in the deep south of the Czech Republic in the Bohemian Forest Foothills this charming town makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it offers a fascinating history and great architecture. With so many things to see in Cesky Krumlov let this be your guide to help plan your trip.

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Cesky Krumlov Itinerary for 1 Day

  1. Explore Cesky Krumlov Castle Complex
  2. Climb the Castle Tower for the highest viewpoint
  3. Admire the panoramic view from Mantelbrucke
  4. Stroll the Krumlov Castle Garden
  5. Have lunch on Namesti Svornosti square
  6. Wander the cobbled streets of Old Town
  7. Treat yourself to a Trdelnik

Spending one day in Cesky Krumlov is possible. Split your day between touring the Krumlov Castle complex and Old Town as the top two things to see in Cesky Krumlov.

Cesky Krumlov Itinerary for 2 Days

  1. Explore Cesky Krumlov Castle Complex
  2. Climb the Castle Tower for the highest viewpoint
  3. Admire the panoramic view from Mantelbrucke
  4. Stroll the Krumlov Castle Garden
  5. Have lunch on Namesti Svornosti square
  6. Go paddling on the Vlata River
  7. Treat yourself to a Trdelnik
  8. Tour St Vitus Cathedral
  9. Enjoy a candlelit dinner riverside or in a centuries-old cave
  10. Wander the cobbled streets of Old Town
  11. Explore the shops, galleries, museums

For a 2-day itinerary, it means more time, plus the added bonus of enjoying a romantic, quiet evening in one of the restaurants. These are the recommended Cesky Krumlov things to do, and might just be the highlight of your trip!

The Cesky Krumlov Attractions

1. Explore Cesky Krumlov Castle Complex

CR Cesky4

A great starting point for your Cesky Krumlov itinerary is to visit the immense castle that dominates the skyline of this fairy-tale town.

It’s the second largest castle complex in the Czech Republic, beside the massive Prague Castle. Tour the inside of the Krumlov castle and get a glimpse into the life of the Rosenberg family from centuries ago. Highlights of this castle tour include St. George’s Chapel, a Baroque Theater, and Eggengerg Hall with a golden carriage. 

As you come upon the Castle, you can’t help but notice the castle moat which is protected by bears. Yes, real bears. This tradition dates to 1707 when there were up to four bears kept here.

2. Climb the Castle Tower for the highest viewpoint

The main tower of the castle features a beautiful and colourful façade.

Climb the 162 steps to the top for one of the best viewpoints of Cesky Krumlov. The Castle Tower was built to guard the medieval river crossing.

3. Admire the panoramic view from Mantelbrucke

CZ Cesky Krumlov Itinerary 4

As you walk through a series of courtyards, you’ll come across an elegant bridge that can look out over the entire Cesky Krumlov town.

The 15th-century Mantelbrucke bridge provides an impressive viewing platform of this fairytale town with the striking castle tower and the twin towers of the St. Vitus church together.

4. Stroll the Krumlov Castle Garden

The exterior grounds of the Krumlov Castle can be toured for free. This includes a viewpoint along the Castle wall and the Castle gardens.

The garden boasts a mix of French and English styles in its design. A fun thing to do is to go through the hedge maze and try and find your way out. But the real highlight is the Neptune Fountain from 1745.

5. Have lunch on Namesti Svornosti square

After exploring the Cesky Krumlov castle complex, it’s time for lunch. Cross the river and you’ll now be in the charming Old Town. The main square called Namesti Svornosti is the best place to stop for lunch.

It’s surrounded by charming cafes and restaurants.

6. Wander the cobbled streets of Old Town

Walk through the winding streets of Old Town made for strolling. Marvel at the old cobblestoned town full of Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

All the historic buildings curve with winding streets and at the heart is the main square. Many of the frescoes that you see today date back centuries ago.

One of the oldest sections of the Old Town is Lekarna. Seek out the most important building in this area- a pharmacy from 1620. And, it’s still a pharmacy today.

Experience | Half-Day Medieval Architecture Walking Tour. Hear the stories behind the beautiful facades, and get enchanted by its beaty. Includes Skip-the-Line Entrance ticket to Cesky Krumlov Castle complex. Click here for more information.

7. Treat yourself to a Trdelnik

pastry on spit over open coal fire in cesky krumlov

Trdelník is a kind of spit cake. Let your nose be your guide to finding them. It is made from rolled dough that is wrapped around a stick, then grilled over an open firepit and topped with sugar and walnut mix. You definitely have to try this Czech Republic specialty treat.

8. Go paddling on the Vlata River

vltava river in cesky krumlov

One of the best ways to see this fairytale river town is from the water. Renting kayaks is a popular thing to do. Rafting companies offer different packages to suit how much time you might want to spend and even combine this with bicycle rental. Paddle down the river and ride a bike back to town.

Plan on spending a couple of hours on this activity, and can be added to your 2-day itinerary.

9. Tour St Vitus Cathedral

Another important landmark and top thing to see in Cesky Krumlov is the Roman Catholic church of St. Vitus.

This 13th-century cathedral, with its beautiful steeple added in the 19th century, is also part of the town’s skyline. One more important historical religious site is Minorite Monastery.

If you are spending more than a day in Cesky Krumlov, be sure to add a visit to this incredible cathedral.

Explore the shops, galleries and museums

While you’re exploring Old Town, and if you are spending longer than a day in Cesky Krumlov, check out some of these galleries and museums.

  • Egon Schiele Art Centrum (ESAC), a large art gallery featuring classical and contemporary 20th-century artwork by Austrian painter Egon Schiele | Address: Široká 71 | 200 CZK
  • Museum Fotoatelier Seidel – photographers will love this museum dedicated to the history of photography, including a collection of vintage cameras and photographs | Address: Linecká 272 | 140 CZK or 170 CZK guided tour
  • The Museum of Torture – one of the unique things to do in Cesky Krumlov is to visit this museum where you’ll find displays of medieval torture instruments | Address: náměstí Svornosti 1 | 100 CZK
  • Museum of Regional History – dedicated to the history of the Bohemian region that includes a collection of artifacts and exhibits on the town’s past and the surrounding area | Address: Horní 152 | 60 CZK

There are several wonderful boutique shops in Cesky Krumlov that are found spread out in the winding streets of Old Town. Be sure to duck down the tiniest of streets to find all of them. Most of the shops feature handmade crafts, jewellery, woollen sweaters, slippers, leather goods and glassware.

There are even some great antique shops, and that’s where I found my handmade Christmas ornaments which I now treasure.

This is why exploring the shops, galleries and museums needs extra time and if you’re only in Cesky Krumlov for one day it will be difficult to see it all.

Best Restaurants in Cesky Krumlov

  • Le Jardin – a French-inspired menu that is in the beautiful Bellevue Hotel | Address: Latrán 77
  • Laibon – the only fully vegetarian restaurant (that is so good!) that is Middle-Eastern inspired that’s located in a cave or outside terrace dining by the river | Address: Parkán 105
  • Krčma Saltlava – for a real tavern experience – stone walls, open grill pit for meat and fish (or do what we did, go here for late night dessert) | Address: Šatlavská 157
  • Restaurace U Vejvodu – is located in a historic building and serves traditional Czech cuisine and local beer | Address: Jilská 4
  • Jakub – pub-style food in a great location with terrace seating | Address: Kájovská 54
  • Pizzeria Ristorante Pizzolo – if you’re in the mood for Italian, you’ll love the wood-fired pizzas and pasta dishes here | Address: Latrán 37

Day Trip or Stay the Night

Most travellers make Cesky Krumlov just a day trip. Don’t. If your Czech Republic itinerary allows for it, add at least one night.

Why? It’s absolutely magical at nighttime. With the tourists gone, the streets become quiet. The restaurants become dark, lit only by candles or lanterns. They become more cozy and intimate in the small cave-like rooms.

Cesky Krumlov is one of the most romantic places I’ve been to.

Where to Stay in Cesky Krumlov

  • Bellevue Hotel Diamond Suites – a 5-star property offering a large terrace and incredible views a short walk to the main square, includes a breakfast
  • Largo – a 4-star property near the Krumlov castle with a bright modern interior, breakfast is included
  • Orangerie – a 4-star property set in a building from the 16th century sitting on the bank of the Vltava
  • Or, start your search here

Day Trips from Cesky Krumlov

  1. Climbing Mount Klet. Located on the outskirts of Cesky Krumlov, is the 1,084 m viewpoint. Getting there is half the fun, you can reach the summit on foot using the marked trails or by a chairlift.
  2. Ceske Budejovice. This is the largest city in South Bohemia and it’s known for its beautiful square, the Budweiser brewery, and the Black Tower, which provides great views of the city. (24 km or 20 minute drive)
  3. Hluboka nad Vltavou. This town is known for having one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic. (33 km or 30 minute drive)
  4. Linz. This Austrian town is known for its Christmas markets, river cruises and Baroque architecture in the Old Town. (70 km or 60 minute drive)
  5. Tabor. This town is known for its well-preserved medieval center and its beautiful Gothic church, which is one of the most important historical monuments in the Czech Republic. (85 km or 60 minute drive)
  6. Telc. This town is known for its well-preserved Renaissance architecture and its beautiful square, which is considered one of the most beautiful in the country. (110 km or 90 minute drive)

Czech Republic Travel Resources

To provide even more travel inspiration and help with your planning, be sure to check out these other travel resources for the Czech Republic.

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How old is Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov was founded in the 13th century. The first mention of Cesky Krumlov dates back to 1253 when Krumlov was called Chrumbonowe.

How did Cesky Krumlov get its name?

The name Krumlov is derived from the German word “Krumme Aue” which means “crooked meadow”. That’s how the Vltava River meanders through the town.

What is Cesky Krumlov known for?

Cesky Krumlov is known for being a picturesque town with well-preserved medieval architecture that’s been designated UNESCO status.

Is Cesky Krumlov worth visiting?

Yes, Cesky Krumlov is worth visiting due to its well-preserved attractions of the Old Town and Cesky Castle. It is also a great base to explore nearby towns and countryside.

When is the best time to visit Cesky Krumlov?

The best time to visit Cesky Krumlov is in the spring and fall when there are fewer crowds and the temperatures are still pleasant. Cesky Krumlov receives the most amount of visitors in the summer and Christmas markets.

How many days do you need in Cesky Krumlov?

Cesky Krumlov in one day will be enough time to see the two top attractions- Cesky Castle complex and the Old Town.

How to get from Prague to Cesky Krumlov?

Prague to Cesky Krumlov is 172 km and a 2-hour drive. Buses and trains run regularly between Prague and Cesky Krumlov and the journey takes about 3 hours. Lastly, a full-day group tour is another option.

As a holidaymaker…

For a small town, there are surprisingly a lot of things to see in Cesky Krumlov. About two hours south of Prague, you could easily make this a day trip. But with so many things to do in Cesky Krumlov, it’s so much better to spend a night. Come nightfall, this fairy tale town is so wonderfully atmospheric. It’s definitely the way to experience it.

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