Nestled in a deep curve of the Vltava, Český Krumlov is perhaps the most picturesque, idyllic of medieval of Czech towns. The winding, narrow cobbled streets, quaint buildings, and impressive castle all add to a magical feeling that is hard to find anywhere else.
Located in the Southern tip of the Czech Republic, Český Krumlov has a long history of inspiring creativity and fosters an artistic atmosphere. Registered as a UNESCO world heritiage site, getting lost in the cobbled streets and amoung the old buildings, cafes, and craft shops is undoubtably one of the most relaxing, carefree, and curious experiences for anyone exploring the Czech Republic.
The local brewery of the Český Krumlov region, Pivovar Eggenberg, has roots that go back to 1560. Brewing traditional Czech lagers, Pivovar Eggenberg’s beers are dominate throughout the southern Bohemian region. In all honesty, their lagers can’t be described as impressive or distinctive. Regardless, a visit to their brewery complex is a nice little slice of Czech history.
Of all the things to marvel at in Český Krumlov, the beer scene is unfortunately not one of them. Pivovar Eggenberg is the dominant local brewery. With a deep rooted history in the region brewing typical Czech lagers, you’ll undoubtably see their beer in almost every pub and restaurant. Simple, and in our opinion at best described as ‘drinkable’, Eggenberg’s lagers fill your glass, but that’s about it.
On the pleasantly surprising side, Eggenberg’s brewery tour offers guest an honest and intriguing look into how brewing beer has advanced throughout the years in the Czech Republic. Eggenberg’s brewery is housed in a huge historical building just outside Český Krumlov’s center, and tours happen daily at 11 o’clock, costing you 130 czk which includes a .33 liter mug of 2 of their beers. Verging on the more antiquated side of brewery technology, you have a chance to see some old machinery that is still in use. The tour gives you a good understanding of how the brewing process works, showing you their industrial fermenting vats, taking you through their labyrinth of lagering tanks, and ending in their restaurant for your beer sample. We found the guide knowledgable, friendly, and quite helpful to curious tourists. An hour well spent.
The variety of accommodation in Český Krumlov ensures that you’ll undoubtably be able to find something that will fit your expectations and budget. In the past, we’ve always had a good experience finding something clean, comfy, and affordable. For a classier stay, the Peregrin has gorgeous, well finished rooms located right in the historic center. Pension Svět, located just outside the historic center (which means only a 5 minute walk) has friendly for your wallet prices, is clean, comfy, and run by a very helpful and friendly family.
There are unlimited number of activities to do in Český Krumlov. Visiting the castle and bears that guard its walls is certainly a must, followed by a stroll in the scenic gardens. Get lost in the streets, have a coffee or beer, and stop by the Egon Schiele art center, which hosts contemporary art exhibits, and has a nice little permanent collection as well. In warm weather, canoeing down the Vltava is a relaxing and fun way to see this little town and the nature surrounding it. The area surrounding Český Krumlov is beautiful, perfect for a hike or bike ride along the many marked forrest paths. And finally, spend a late morning touring the local brewery Pivovar Eggenberg, and fill your tummy with some classic Czech cuisine in their charming old-style brewery hall.
Due to the large number of tourist who come to this quaint little town, we felt that in general the restaurant scene has a higher standard when compared to Prague. The variety is impressive; of course, there are many mid-evil themed, stone walled, traditional Czech places, serving heavy, meaty cuisine, like Krčmě Šatlava. Laibon has a nice vegetarian menu, and The Two Mary’s specializes in cuisine from hundreds of years ago, serving simple dishes, more on the healthy side of things. While quite popular, we found Two Mary’s food to be boring. Always a good choice, Papa’s Living Restaurant has a diverse, more international influenced menu, with good seafood, steaks, pasta, and ribs, and the service has always been friendly. Pivovar Eggenberg’s brewery restaurant has probably the best beer you can find, with decent Czech cuisine and very affordable prices, in a charming old-style beer hall.
As for pubs and bars, Na Louzi is a cozy Czech pub, full with a mix of locals and tourists from when it opens to when it closes. On tap, they have Eggenberg 10°, 12°, and perhaps a seasonal beer. They serve typical Czech pub food like goulash, schnitzel, and an astonishing variety of fried cheeses. With well stocked shelves of spirits and skilled bartenders, The Apotheka serves amazing cocktails at decent prices. Their menu includes classics like manhattans and gimlets, to tropical drinks, and even more trendy drinks that combine grapefruit and basil.
Český Krumlov is easily reachable by train and bus from Prague. Student Agency has direct connections and good prices. Your journey should take about 3 hours by bus, about 3.5 hours by train, and most trains have to change in České Budějovice.
Travel links (Czech Republic)
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