Following my friend's departures from Europe on Sunday and Monday, I spent a day recovering before heading back out into the world in full-on travel mode. Though I'm traveling for nine months straight, everyone still needs a recovery day or two every once-in-a-while, so I helped myself to that on Monday before setting off on Tuesday again to one of my favorite day trips thus far, Český Krumlov (pronounced like Chess-key Krumlov and I will type it without the accents from here on because the divots are hard to type).
Cesky Krumlov is a small town buried in the southern countryside of the Bavarian part of the Czech Republic. Just looking at Cesky Krumlov on a map, I knew it was going to be a fun place to visit, as the entire city sits underneath a castle on the opposite side of the Vltava River (the same river that passes through Prague). Just for some perspective on how the city is situated, here's a map of the entire city.
Cesky Krumlov is a very old city, dating back several hundred years, and has been ruled by a number of different families over its history. I decided (like I do in most cities) to start the day with a walking tour, a way that I feel you can best see the city quickly and identify where you want to focus your time the remainder of the day or week in that one place.
My walking tour was fantastic, with our guide taking us through entire city in a little over an hour. We visited the old town between the river, the castle, gardens, and everything in between. This city is the definition of "old European city", with its medieval charm and feel.
Following the tour I decided to spend the day roaming the city to get a feel of what it would be like to live in this small Czech town. It had numerous shops (though more touristy than I thought it would be) and several places to enjoy a lunch down on the river looking up at the castle above. I did just that for lunch and loved every second of my meal. It helped that the food itself was as enjoyable as the view.
I continued to walk around the city following my lunch, taking in the winding streets and views of city. Beyond the river (on the other side of the castle) are the castle gardens which are definitely worth visiting, and within the gardens is an outdoor theatre where live shows are put on throughout the summer months. Throughout history this has been used when dignitaries visit the city to host functions and dinners alike.
Overall, Cesky Krumlov was one of my favorite day-trips thus far, providing a different take on the Czech Republic than I'd seen up to this point. Though quite touristy, it was more than I expected it would be, with the towering castle, winding river, old houses, and even good beer from the Eggenberg Brewery (shoutout to my former high school government teacher Mrs. Eggenberger, who has traced her husband's family routes back to this brewery and this town as the Eggenbergs used to be a noble family in the area and were former monarchs in the castle). I'm sure there are more hidden Czech cities out there to find, but this was one of a kind to me.