Cesky Krumlov: the pocket-sized, mini-me, little sister of Prague. Whatever you like to call her, this cute little town will have you squee with excitement and fighting an uncontrollable urge to pinch its cheek. So what to do aside from looking up at the gorgeous renaissance and baroque buildings?
Cesky Krumlov is one of the most picturesque old towns due to the Vltava River hair pinning its way around the edges. There are plenty of high perches to seat yourself, look down on terracotta rooftops and create your best snap story yet. Better still, if it’s an absolute scorcher of a day, grab your favourite flamingo/unicorn/swan floaty and bob down the river. You’ll actually be best to join a tubing group as they know the river well… Safety first! There’s also an option to hire kayaks if you’d prefer to stay a little dryer.
A small town has small museums but that’s no reason to avoid them! Czechia is the home of the marionette so if you want to see a variety of styles and a puppet theatre (props and all) from the 19th Century, here’s your chance! You can also visit the rather kooky and macabre Museum of Torture which is located in medieval cellars. Just because Cesky Krumlov looks pretty on the outside, certainly doesn’t mean it hasn’t had a scandal or two! Egon Schiele was an artist that lived here and was essentially exiled for convincing all the young ladies (and gents) to pose naked for him! His artwork in sexual expressionism was rather ‘too racy’ for the locals, so he packed up shop. The town seems to have forgiven him as there is now a museum with some of his salacious work on show.
It’s one of the first things you see as you enter Cesky Krumlov… with good reason. Super colourful and standing at almost 55m tall, the bell tower is surrounded by 5 courtyards, gardens and even a moat with bears. You read that right… BEARS! Save your korunas because walking the exterior of the castle and some of the courtyards is free, however it is worth a peek inside the impeccably preserved renaissance interior with a guided tour. There are views for days from the top of the hill and plenty of seats to perch yourself on for a mini picnic. If you’ve been indulging on too much Czech cuisine get thyself to the stairs! To be precise, 162 stairs will get you an unrivalled view from the balcony at the top of the tower. Bonus: you can also pretend to be Rapunzel. BYO wig, of course.
You may find the reason why Czechs are the biggest consumers of beer in the world here in this small slice of medieval paradise. If you’re up for a half-day trip, the Brewery of Budweiser Budva (the original!) is not far from the town. However if you’re too exhausted from climbing hills and swimming in the river, the option closer to home is Eggenburg Brewery. Not many people can say they’ve had a brew from a building dating back to 1630! Guided tours are available as well as beer tasting of their dark and light lagers. With admission set at a meagre 100kc (€4) and the option to add 2 beers for an extra 30kc, it’s definitely not going to break the bank.