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Fountain at town center of Cesky Krumlov
Fountain at town center of Cesky Krumlov

This is the fourth installment in a five-part series following Hundredbacklinks.com writer Cynthia Cunniff through her experience of touring Bohemia with Insight Vacations. Check out Part 1Part 2 and Part 3, and then stay tuned for Part 5 tomorrow.

If you’re in the Czech Republic, Cesky Krumlov is a must-do town. I’m grateful Insight Vacations had this magical UNESCO World Heritage site on the itinerary. Cesky Krumlov is often a day trip for tourists and rarely a place to stay overnight, but in Insight Tours’ unique and off-beat fashion we were booked in Hotel Růže, a 16th-century Jesuit dormitory overlooking the Vltava River, which bisects the village. Every room was different; mine had an ancient prayer bench under the iron-rimmed window that swung out, giving a view to the bend of the Vltava, the park across the river and clear blue skies above. It wasn’t hard for me to envision a monk at the bench saying his morning prayers and being grateful for all God had given him. Some of my fellow travelers had antique throne-style chairs incorporated with a modern toilet. History and whimsy down to the core.

The Vltava River in Cesky Krumlov
The Vltava River in Cesky Krumlov

The town’s focal point is its 13-century castle that, through the course of time, was home to the South Bohemia ruling families the Vitkovicis, the Schwarzenbergs and most notably the Royal Hapbsburgs, among others. Our local expert guide was a wealth of information about the historic site and left no question unanswered. There was an aloofness about him that made me feel like he was the real Czech deal, though we did get him to smile a few times.

The Cesky Krumlov Opera House
The Cesky Krumlov Opera House

The State Castle of Český Krumlov still feels lived-in, and touring through it was like walking back in time. I believe we all walked away with some fascinating history and side stories. Our guide did a great job with a short amount of time, and created an excellent Cliff Notes version of the deep history of this fairytale-like town. The Castle Theater is a particular eyegasm treat of pastels and gild. It is in working condition and currently used for opera and other productions.

Worth the wait: a warm trdelnik pastry
Worth the wait: a warm trdelník pastry

Tip: The trdelník is a cheap, sweet, bready piece of wonderful. You’ll find stands in several Bohemian cities, but I knew they had to be good in Cesky Krumlov when a team of Russian folk dancers was lined up outside of the local trdelník maker. It was worth the wait.

Night at the Cesky Krumlov Castle
Night at the Cesky Krumlov Castle

The town closes early and there aren’t a lot of tourists in the evenings to give the locals reason to keep their businesses open late, but it is a perfect venue for a night walk or ghost hunt. Much of the castle grounds are left open and you’re free to stroll through them—and there’s a very spooky Bram Stoker feel to them at night.

Tip: If you’re on the Insight tour, make sure to ask the local expert about ghost stories. There are plenty.

Biking the Cesky Krumlov forest
Biking the Cesky Krumlov forest

The romance of Cesky Krumlov is punctuated by the surrounding dense rolling woodland that gives a traveler the chance to break from the usual tourist to-dos and get time in nature. Some of us chose the option to mountain bike through the Bohemian forest. Our expert leader for the bike ride was a chemistry and physics teacher from a local school who spoke English beautifully and not only made sure none us of perished on the bike ride, but also answered countless questions about the area. The bike rental company he works for, Vltava Sport Service, also has river trips, which I will definitely do the next time I visit Cesky Krumlov.

Tip: If you’re a Renaissance Faire nerdling as I am, there’s an annual Five Petalled Rose celebration in Cesky Krumlov usually held in June, where the town comes alive in the times of the Renaissance.

Golden carriage in Cesky Krumlov Castle
Golden carriage in Cesky Krumlov Castle

This is the fourth installment in a five-part series following Hundredbacklinks.com writer Cynthia Cunniff through her experience of touring Bohemia with Insight Vacations. Check out Part 1Part 2 and Part 3, and then stay tuned for Part 5 tomorrow.

Queen's chambers, Cesky Krumlov castle
Queen's chambers, Cesky Krumlov castle
Old world charm of Hotel Ruze
Old world charm of Hotel Ruze
Making friends in Cesky Krumlov with Russian folk dancers
Making friends in Cesky Krumlov with Russian folk dancers
The Cesky Krumlov Opera House
The Cesky Krumlov Opera House
View from the castle
View from the castle
Golden carriage, Cesky Krumlov Castle
Golden carriage, Cesky Krumlov Castle
Cesky Krumlov local
Cesky Krumlov local
Streets of Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
Streets of Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
Guarding the castle
Guarding the castle
Along the Vltava River
Along the Vltava River
Making trdelniks in Cesky Krumlov
Making trdelniks in Cesky Krumlov
Quaint shopping in Cesky Krumlov
Quaint shopping in Cesky Krumlov
Entrance view of Cesky Krumlov
Entrance view of Cesky Krumlov
Fairytale village of Cesky Krumlov
Fairytale village of Cesky Krumlov
Delicious street treat in Cesky Krumlov
Delicious street treat in Cesky Krumlov
Night at the Cesky Krumlov Castle
Night at the Cesky Krumlov Castle
Eery evening walk in Cesky Krumlov
Eery evening walk in Cesky Krumlov
Cesky Krumlov streets at night
Cesky Krumlov streets at night
Biking the Cesky Krumlov forest
Biking the Cesky Krumlov forest
Fountain at town center of Cesky Krumlov
Fountain at town center of Cesky Krumlov

 

 

Cynthia Cunniff

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1 Comment On "Off-Season Week in Bohemia, Part 4 — Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic"
  1. Prague Active|

    I would also recommend Bohemian Paradise UNESCO Geopark just 45min drive from Prague. The best way how to get there is with small tour company Prague Active. They also offer special tours even to Cesky Krumlov.

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