Day Trip to Cesky Krumlov

Plan a Day Trip to Cesky Krumlov: Hidden Gem of the Czech Republic

Julia Czech Republic Leave a Comment

The Czech Republic offers a lot of amazing cities and towns. One you should not miss is Cesky Krumlov. It is one of the best day trips from Prague and Vienna and as soon as you arrive, you will immediately fall in love with it. The whole city looks like it is straight out of a storybook. Let’s take a look at how to take a day trip to Cesky Krumlov and the top things to do while you’re there.

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River front scene with buildings alone the side

Top Things to Do in Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov is a compact city with just a few main sights but a lot of charm. This makes it the perfect place for a day trip, as you’ll be able to hit most of the highlights in just a short amount of time. Coming into the city you’ll be greeted with some amazing views, and they will only get better as you make your way into the cobblestone maze. It’s time to explore the magical city of Cesky Krumlov!

Wander the Historic Old Town

With just one day in Cesky Krumlov, you’ll want to spend a lot of your time exploring the Old Town. Just get lost in the narrow alleys admiring the stunning medieval buildings and crossing all of the bridges to admire the views. This is the best way to really get to know (and love) the city!

Cobblestone streets lined with flowers and quaint buildings

Visit Cesky Krumlov Castle

The most popular thing to do in Cesky Krumlov is to visit Cesky Krumlov Castle. It is not only one of the largest castle complexes in Central Europe and dates back to 1240. It also sits grandly over the city. While you’re at the castle, climb the 162 steps up Castle Tower to get stunning views over the whole town, spend hours exploring the castle grounds, and visit the Castle Museum. And, you won’t want to miss the bears that live in the moat!

Admire Cloak Bridge

Technically, Cloak Bridge is part of the Cesky Krumlov Castle. It is a stunning bridge that has 5 tiers and is structured kind of like a Roman aqueduct. It also connects the four main courtyards of the the castle being 30 meters long and about 40 meters tall. While Cloak Bridge is worthy of a visit during a day trip to Cesky Krumlov simply for its impressive structure, you’ll also want to wander across it to take in some of the most amazing viewpoints over the city.

Taste a Traditional Trdelnik

As you explore the Old Town you’ll see many restaurants serving trdelnik and even more people walking around eating them. You need to take part in this! A trdelnik is in essence a cylinder of dough grilled and topped with various items like walnuts, chocolate or cinnamon sugar. It’s everything you would expect in a desert.

Visit the Church of St. Vitus

One of the prominent steeples you’ll see in the city skyline is that of St. Vitus Church. It’s a Roman Catholic Church and the burial place of many important Bohemian families. Whether you visit to photograph the amazing architecture or you make it to one of their memorable classic concerts, it’s worth a stop.

Prime view of a circluar city surrounding by a river

Take Amazing Pictures

With such a photographic city, you will come away with some amazing pictures! One of the can’t miss locations is a platform over near the castle that enables you to take panoramic pictures of the river encircling the stunning city.

Explore the Museums of Cesky Krumlov

If you’re visiting Cesky Krumlov as a day trip, you won’t be able to see all the sights in the city, but if you opt to stay for longer, the Cesky Krumlov Card is a great value! It gives you entry to 5 of the top museums in Cesky Krumlov for just CZK 400, which is under $20 USD.

Of course you can still visit them on a one off basis as time permits!

Consider a Tour Around Town

There’s some great ways to learn about the city, and taking a walking tour or river cruise definitely rank up there! You’ll get unique perspectives of this beautiful city, and really maximize your time in Cesky Krumlov.

Riverside scene with red roofed buildings and people canoeing

How to Get to Cesky Krumlov from Prague

There are multiple options of how to get to Cesky Krumlov from Prague. Which route you take will largely depend on what your timeline looks like.

Rent a Car and Drive Yourself

The most flexible option for a day trip to Cesky Krumlov, and also a more expensive option, is to rent a car. The drive is a short 110 miles and will take just 2 hours. It is also the easiest way to make it from Prague to Cesky Krumlov and back in one day without having to maneuver around limited public transit schedules.

Book a Shuttle Bus

The next easiest ways to take a day trip to Cesky Krumlov from Prague is to take a direct shuttle bus. It will be a bit more expensive than public transport, but it is also a direct shot with them usually picking you up from your accommodation. CK Shuttle is a great option for this route and will run right around $45 USD.

Try the Bus Routes

There are buses that run from Prague to Cesky Krumlov a couple of times per day. It will take about 2 hours and 45 minutes one way and is a more affordable option running right around $10 – 15 USD one-way. Check the FlixBus schedule and Leo Express schedule to see if it will work for you!

Take the Train from Prague

There are trains running regularly from Prague headed to Ceske Budejovice, another great small town in the Czech Republic. From there, you will need to transfer to another train to reach Cesky Krumlov. The whole journey can be as quick as 3 hours and 46 minutes, including the train transfer, and it will cost as little as $11 USD.

Check the schedules online at Czech Railways and Arriva CZ for the most up to date routes. Do note that the train station in Cesky Krumlov is also located about a 30 minute walk outside of town. You can make the walk, or you can take the city bus into the city center from the train station.

Sign Up for a Day Trip Tour

Another perfect way to make the journey is to sign up for a day trip from Prague to Cesky Krumlov. It is by far the simplest and lowest stress way to make the trip as all of the logistics will be handled for you. Most day trips last about 10 hours.

Scenic river scene in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

How to Get to Cesky Krumlov from Vienna

Cesky Krumlov is also a great day trip from Vienna, Austria. It is a little further than coming from Prague, which will make the timelines a bit tighter.

Rent a Car and Drive Yourself

The best way to make the 130 mile journey from Vienna to Cesky Krumlov is to rent a car and self-drive. It will only take about 2 hours and 30 minutes to drive it making it possible to day trip to Cesky Krumlov from Vienna.

As the drive from Vienna to Cesky Krumlov will take you from Austria into the Czech Republic, do make sure to stop at the first gas station you come across in the Czech Republic to purchase the necessary highway sticker to legally use the roads in the Czech Republic. Otherwise you could be stopped and fined. The sticker costs about $14 USD.

Book a Shuttle Bus

A great option to visit Cesky Krumlov from Vienna is to take one of the shuttle buses. They make the journey multiple times per day making it the perfect route for a day trip from Vienna to Cesky Krumlov. While it will take about 3.5 hours each direction, you can spend your time on the shuttle relaxing or being productive. Book your journey on the Bean Shuttle or CK Shuttle. It costs around $40 USD one-way.

Take the Train from Vienna

While it is certainly possible to take the train from Vienna to Cesky Krumlov, it is not your best bet. You will need to take three different trains to get there. The first train from Vienna to Ceske Velenice will take 2 hours and 20 minutes on Austrian Railways. Then you’ll need to switch to a 45 minute train on Czech Railways to Ceske Budejovice. To complete the journey, catch the third train from Ceske Budejovice to Cesky Krumlov. This will add another 40 minutes to the trip.

This adventure will take close to 5 hours making it not very plausible for a day trip, but a good way to get from Vienna to Cesky Krumlov if you have more time. Total cost will be around $45 USD, which is the same as the more direct shuttle bus.

Additional Information about Cesky Krumlov

Determining how to travel to a city, how long you need, what to see, how much it costs, and more can be stressful. Here are some additional details to help you determine if taking a day trip to Cesky Krumlov is for you.

How long do you need in Cesky Krumlov?

One day is the perfect amount of time to explore Cesky Krumlov. It is a small compact city with a few key sights to see, but the whole atmosphere of the city and how beautiful it is does make it a must visit.

Ideally, you would stay overnight in Cesky Krumlov. This would let you visit some of the more popular activities in the morning before the day trippers arrive, but if you only have a day, don’t worry about it. You will not find nearly the same crowds in Cesky Krumlov that you will in Prague.

Nighttime over the city of Cesky Krumlov

Is Cesky Krumlov worth a visit?

If you like beautiful places, Cesky Krumlov is 100% worth a visit. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most charming towns in Europe. Part of what makes it so beautiful is that it escaped the WWII bombings. This makes it more well preserved than many European cities. And, as a plus, it is located close enough to Prague to make it a day trip destination.

What does Cesky Krumlov mean?

Legend has it that Krumlov is derived from the German words “Krumme Aue” which means “crooked meadow”. The city of Cesky Krumlov sits on a bend of the Vltava River so it seems very fitting!

Is there luggage storage in Cesky Krumlov?

Cesky Krumlov can also be a great thorough-point as you travel around Europe. In this case, you can store your luggage at the Infocenter in the historic city center of Cesky Krumlov.

View over the red roofs and river of Cesky Krumlov

Visiting the Czech Republic and the Surrounding Areas

If you’re taking a day trip to Cesky Krumlov, you’ll want to check out other areas in the region. Here are some posts to continue exploring Central Europe:

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Day trip to Cesky Krumlov
Plan a day trip to Cesky Krumlov
Top things to do in Cesky Krumlov

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