Quaint & Quirky
Crowned by a stunning castle, and centred on an old-town square, Český Krumlov's Renaissance and baroque buildings enclose the meandering arc of the Vltava River.
During summer, pigeons dart through busloads of day-trippers exploring the town's narrow lanes and footbridges. Either side of July and August, the town is (slightly) more subdued and secluded. Come in winter to experience the castle blanketed in snow.
For too many travellers, Český Krumlovis just a hurried day trip, but its combination of glorious architecture and waterborne fun deserves more attention.
Wander for free through the courtyards and gardens of Český Krumlov Castle (Tel 380 704 721; 9am-6pm Tue-Sun Jun-Aug, 9am-5pm Apr, May, Sep & Oct); guided tour 1 (adult/concession 230/130Kč) takes in the Renaissance and baroque apartments. The Castle Tower (adult/ concession 45/30Kč) provides superb views. The Theatre Tour (adult/concession 350/200Kč; h10am- 4pm Tue-Sun May-Oct) explores the chateau’s remarkable rococo theatre.
Rent canoes, rafts and rubber rings from Maleček (Tel 380 712 508; http://en.malecek.cz/Boat_rental/; Rooseveltova 28; 9am-5pm). A half-hour splash in a two-person canoe costs 350Kč. A canoe for a full day trip down the river from Rožmberk is 850Kč (six to eight hours).
(Tel 728 676 654; Parkán 105; mains 90-180Kč) Candles and vaulted ceilings create a greatboho ambience in the best little vegetarian teahouse in Bohemia. The riverside setting’spretty fine as well. Order the blueberry dumplings for dessert, and don’t miss the special ‘yeast beer’ from the Bernard brewery.
(Tel 380 717 187; Klášteriní ul 52; pizza90-155Kč) Authentic Italian flavours fromthe authentic Italian Massaro family feature in this pizzeria down a quiet lane. Grab an outdoor table and pretend you’re in Naples.
Divadelní Klub Ántré
(Tel 602 336 320; Horní Braná2; http://www.klubantre.cz/) This arty cafe/bar in the town theatre has a sprawling terrace overlooking the river. There’s free wi-fi, and it’s always worth dropping by to see if any music gigs are scheduled.
(Latrán 106; snacks 50-80Kč; h7am-7pm Mon-Sat, 8am-5pm Sun) Bagels, sandwiches, organicjuices and wi-fi all tick the box ‘SlightlyHomesick Traveller’.
(supermarket; Latrán 55) Self-cateringcentral.
Wonderful. I now dream of living here!"