Under $100: Český Krumlov, Czech Republic
Český Krumlov is a small city with a grand sense of tradition in the southern Bohemian region of the Czech Republic. The town is built around the historic Český Krumlov Castle, an iconic architectural gem featuring a unique blend of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles.
Old Český Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage Site founded in 1240, features ancient landmarks, iconic architecture and a rich Bohemian culture. The small city is an ideal destination for a daytrip from Czech Republic’s bustling capital city of Prague, offering great food, great sights and experiences unique to the medieval city.
Purchase a Český Krumlov card for only $11, which provides access to five attractions including the Český Krumlov Castle and Castle Tower, the Regional Museum, the Museum Fotoatelier Seidel, Český Krumlov Monasteries and the Egon Schiele Art Centrum, or choose individual attraction tours for as little as $4.
Inside the grounds of the Český Krumlov castle, stroll the expansive Rococo garden, the 15th-century Gothic Church of St. Vitus and its preserved Baroque Revolving Theater, built in 1680 and used only three times a year for performances.
Explore one of Bohemia’s oldest monasteries, Zlatá Koruna, located six miles from Český Krumlov, or enjoy hiking or biking at Czech Republic’s largest national park, Šumava National Park, offering a varied natural landscape from peat bogs and Alpine meadows to old-growth forests, lakes and rivers. You can also take a short trip to Lake Lipno, a man-made lake where travelers and tourists take boat trips to various small towns.
Beer lovers can explore the Pivovar Eggenberg Brewery, which dates back to 1336, for as little as $3 including a tasting, or visit and tour the popular Svachovka Brewery for less than $2.
If you happen to be visiting in the summer, you’ll find the Five-Petalled Rose Festival, when the downtown area is transformed into a medieval town in celebration of its rich history, complete with entertainers, jousting, fencing matches and a fireworks show. You can also catch the International Music Festival, usually held in the summer, and the Baroque Arts Festival in September. Tickets to the festivals can be purchased in advance for as little as $4.
Situated on the banks of the Vltava River, Český Krumlov is best seen on foot, with its picturesque cobblestone streets, quaint cafés and pubs and breathtaking countryside. Enjoy a pint and a hearty meal from more than 80 restaurants in the city for only a few dollars.
Other unique experiences offered include tubing and old-time wooden raft rides on the Vltava, or for $5, enjoy a natural salt cave treatment, known to improve respiratory health and help with conditions such as neurosis, stress, depression and cardiovascular disease.
Český Krumlov is easy to access and traverse. A railway station, served by České Dráhy, offers several local connections, though no local connection to Prague. Student Agency operates a direct bus to Prague, and Leo Express offers a bus connection to Prague. There are also direct shuttle minibuses to several major cities, including Prague, Munich and Vienna.