Cesky Krumlov: A Bohemian Dream

I’d say we’ve travelled fairly well in the winter months over the past few years, but were I to pick 3 highlights in this time, it would have to be our rail travels in Japan, and maybe our winter road through the Scottish Highlands, then there’s that time in Cesky Krumlov in winter snow. This highlight, at the time, came during a rather extensive winter road trip itinerary covering 8 countries in East Central Europe, when we arrived through the remote Šumava mountains and Bohemian Forests to find Cesky Krumlov blanketed in snow.

At the time we had 2 already nights booked in a 2 bedroom apartment (Cesky Krumlov Hotels here) in the historical centre of the city, for just £30 quid a night (Residence Muzeum Vltavínů). We would be right next to the main square, in a building that doubles as a museum. So it is just ridiculously cheap for accommodation in Cesky Krumlov in Winter.

But getting there can be a tricky, as the historical centre of Cesky Krumlov (Unesco zone) is almost entirely pedestrianized, meaning we had to park outside in one of three large car parks, where we paid for 2-days of parking and left the road trip behind.

Picture Book Scenes

Cesky Krumlov is a compact and easy to navigate city, although the term “city” seems somewhat wrong given its size, as you could probably circle the entire perimeter, leisurely, in under an hour. And I would recommend doing so, as the scenes are straight from a picture book, a fairy tale of Bohemian Europe. Which goes more so with Cesky Krumlov in winter. And it was on our first morning when we woke to the perfect snowfall, to explore the empty streets heaped in snow (it’s hard to share the sincere beauty through photos – so we made the video below).

Cesky Krumlov in Winter

Cesky Krumlov is well-known as a major tourist destination in summer, yet, at the same time, it is almost void of visitors in winter. Which may be due to its far-flung location and just lack of people travelling these routes at this time of year. And while we obviously arrived by car on a road trip, there are otherwise a handful of train and bus routes from Prague to southern Bohemia and Cesky Krumlov in winter (between 2-3 hours). In short, it is the perfect winter getaway, if you can get there.

So with Cesky Krumlov’s obvious tourist status we expected it to feel somewhat themed and tacky in parts, but this is not true; where the castle, heritage buildings, and architecture, are well-preserved, and the historical centre still feels left behind in its Bohemian past.

Bohemian Taverns

Cesky Krumlov was easily the highlight of our 8 country road trip, where it brought together everything we had hoped from it. It had the rustic medieval surroundings, it had the perfect snowfall, and, with prices near half that of previous destinations in Germany and Austria, it was just extremely cheap. We therefore made the most of our time there, as we feasted like Bohemian kings. So we reserved tables at the best-rated restaurants and bohemian taverns for every meal of our stay (check out: Krčma Šatlava, Krčma U dwau Maryí, Na Louzi. Where we would eat until we near puked.

Medieval Feasts

The traditional/national dish of the Czech Republic would be Vepro Knedlo Zelo, a plate of roast meats, with ‘knedli‘ dumplings and sauerkraut. And in each tavern, we would go through variations of all sorts of cooked game meats, including venison, rabbit, and pheasant. Again, all at tiny prices. The days morphed into nights, and our stay in Cesky Krumlov became a haze of meads, schnapps, ales and grogs through the various Bohemian taverns of the town. I would happily return in an instant.

Leave a Reply