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Crooked narrow lanes of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance facades facing off across the cobbles, all occupying a loop in the River Vltava and overlooked by a fairy-tale castle hugging the brow of looming hill – this is the South Bohemian town of Český Krumlov, deservedly one of the Czech Republic’s most popular destinations and an easy day trip from Prague. Built up over at least eight centuries but rarely seriously ravaged by war or natural disaster, Krumlov has layers of history going back to the earliest dynasties that ruled the area. But the star attraction is the famous castle, second only in size among Bohemia’s strongholds to Prague ...

Crooked narrow lanes of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance facades facing off across the cobbles, all occupying a loop in the River Vltava and overlooked by a fairy-tale castle hugging the brow of looming hill – this is the South Bohemian town of Český Krumlov, deservedly one of the Czech Republic’s most popular destinations and an easy day trip from Prague. Built up over at least eight centuries but rarely seriously ravaged by war or natural disaster, Krumlov has layers of history going back to the earliest dynasties that ruled the area. But the star attraction is the famous castle, second only in size among Bohemia’s strongholds to Prague Castle and containing some very rare interiors such as an original Baroque theater. The beauty of Český Krumlov has attracted many an artist over the centuries, but Viennese painter Egon Schiele had family ties here. He was eventually driven out of town for using local girls as models for his explicit studies, but now a superb art center has been built in his honor. Some say that Krumlov is like one huge work of art and many locals have created guesthouses, eateries and boutiques in the spirit of the place, making a longer stay here very much worth your while.

Marc Di Duca
About the Expert

Marc Di Duca has written and updated more than 40 guides, mainly for Lonely Planet but also for AA, Thomas Cook, Berlitz and Bradt. Having spent the last 20 years exploring the former communist world, his main field of expertise is Eastern Europe and Siberia.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic bordering Austria.
  • Language: Czech
  • Currency: Czech Koruna
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Late spring to autumn