Cesky Krumlov: When, Where, and Why You Should Visit

Jared Holmes  ·  20 / 12 / 2017

Considering when to visit Cesky Krumlov? Wondering what season is best for you, or if a visit fits into your upcoming travels? Year round, Cesky Krumlov is worth the visit. Whether traveling solo or with friends or family, or with your significant other, each season offers a different, special kind of holiday, so we’ve put together this guide of recommendations and tips to the different seasons to help you plan your trip.

Winter 

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If you want a romantic winter retreat and the entire town to yourself, a winter trip to this Bohemian jewel might be for you. As winter is off-season in Cesky Krumlov, the city will be far less crowded, but you won’t find yourself limited on things to do – we suggest private tours, cozy and warm restaurants and cafes, specialty museums and art galleries, or simply getting lost in this time warp of the city. Cesky Krumlov is beautiful under snow and is definitely recommended for couples or families who want a quieter visit without all the hustle and bustle of tourist season.

City and Castle Tours

Some of the castle tours will be closed this time of year, but the castle museum and the castle tower are still open to the public.  Hike up the steep rock promontory formed by the Vltava to the second largest castle complex in Central Europe and enjoy spectacular views overlooking the town and the Vltava below.

Private tours of Cesky Krumlov are available all year round. You can ask your consultant to add it to your itinerary if it is not already included. Walk through the historic center or wander the cobblestoned maze of narrow allies that comprise the Old Town, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Choose a cozy restaurant, café, or pub to warm yourself with hot tea, coffee, or wine and a bite to eat, and consider popping into any of the many specialty museums and art galleries. 

Spring

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If you want to see the city in full bloom and still have a quieter trip, consider visiting in the Spring. This is certainly one of the best times of year to see the Castle gardens, and we also recommend you take full advantage of the castle tours being available to the public again. 

Church of St.Vitus

You may also want to visit the Church of St. Vitus. Dating back to its completion in the 14th century, the St. Vitus is the product of centuries of preservation and reconstruction efforts and shares the rock promontory overlooking the town with the castle. The church’s high tower, along with the Castle tower, dominates the skyline of Cesky Krumlov, both impressive architectural features which have become characteristic of the town.  These days the church is used for religious purposes, but occasionally classical music concerts are held there. Whether or not a concert is available, we do recommend you step in and explore the church’s neogothic interior and all of its inventory when you visit.

Summer

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If you’re a summer person, you really cannot visit Cesky Krumlov without taking a canoe or a raft on the Vltava, or, at the very least, spending a lazy afternoon on one of the many restaurant decks riverside, watching the summer revelers floating by while enjoying lunch and/or a crisp Eggenberg lager. Summer is the height of tourist season, so the restaurants and pubs will be active and lively, and you’ll find more options for nightlife as the day winds down. There are also a number of day trips and excursions worth looking into if you visit this time of year.

Canoe or raft the Vltava

Float companies pick you up and drop you at convenient spots of your choice. Get started from the town or further along the river. Terraced restaurants line the riverbanks through town, and it isn’t uncommon to see rafters popping out for lunch or beer before returning to the river.  There are several options for hiring rafts for single, double, or family use, and the ride usually lasts 3-4 hours or until you call for pick up.

The International Music Festival

The Cesky Krumlov International Music Festival takes place every year from mid-July to the second week in August and is the longest summer music festival in the Czech Republic. Featuring a handful of famous domestic and international artists every year, the music covers genres from the 15th century to modern day and is the festival is known to be the highlight of the Krumlov cultural summer.

Autumn

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This is when you’ll want to get your camera out. Year round, Cesky Krumlov looks like a fairy-tale castle town in a time-warp, but this is especially true for the autumn season. With its well-preserved Renaissance, Gothic, and Baroque architecture, little has changed visually in this picturesque Bohemian city since the 18th century, and in the autumn, with the leaves changing hues to match the multi-colored rooftops around the town and creating a wonderful background for the castle and church towers and spires, this is one of the most beautiful and colorful seasons to snap photos in Cesky Krumlov or simply take in the splendor all around.  If your travels lead you here in autumn, here are some of the must-see sights we recommend. 

The surrounding countryside

The crisp weather this time of year makes it a pleasant time for hiking or mountain biking in the nearby hills of Cesky Krumlov. Take in the view of the multi-colored rooftops of oranges and reds from the town afar, and see where the Vltava bends and forms the rock promontory where the castle overlooks the maze-like town below. And with the rolling hills and distant countryside of autumnal colored trees to match the town’s rooftops, you won’t find yourself in want of a view.

The Castle Viewing Platform

The Viewing Platform near the castle. Sadly this location is closed at night, but during the day it is here where you can find one of the best views from the rock promontory overlooking the city. It opens around 7 am and closes in the later afternoon.

The City Viewing Platform

The Viewing Platform in the city. In the summer this place is often quite crowded, but this time of year you may get lucky. This is a great place to snap pictures in the heart of the city and is open all hours and through the night.

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