You could say we have travelled a fair bit over the past few years, but were I to pick out just three highlights of this time, experiences in Japan would likely take two of the top spots, alongside one snowy day in Cesky Krumlov in winter. And this why I am coming back to it now, having only covered our stay in passing through a winter road trip itinerary, when we arrived from the remote Šumava mountains and Bohemian Forests. So before arriving to Cesky Krumlov in winter we had 2 nights already 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 were right next to the main square, in a building that doubles as a museum, and it is just ridiculously cheap in Cesky Krumlov in Winter. But getting there is a bit tricky, as the historical centre of Cesky Krumlov (Unesco zone) is almost entirely pedestrianized, meaning we would park outside in one of three large car parks, where we paid for two-days 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 deceptive given its size. 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). And while Cesky Krumlov is well-known as a major tourist destination in summer, it is almost void of visitors in winter, which maybe due to its far-flung location and lack of travel routes. We obviously arrived by car on a road trip, but otherwise Prague would be the obvious starting point for most tourists. Although there is no direct train route, and buses take around 3 hours in normal driving conditions, so because of this Cesky Krumlov makes the perfect winter getaway, if you can get there. But given Cesky Krumlov’s tourist status, I really expected it to feel somewhat themed in parts, which is not true, as the castle, heritage buildings and architecture are well-preserved, and Cesky Krumlov still feels held in its Bohemian past.
Cesky Krumlov was easily the highlight of our 8 country road, as it brought together everything we wanted from it. It had the cute and quaint surroundings, it had the snow fall, and everything was just extremely cheap pricewise. So we of course made the most of this as we feasted like Bohemian kings, given prices in Cesky Krumllov were near half that of previous destinations in Germany and Austria, 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. The traditional, and national dish of the Czech Republic, would be Vepro Knedlo Zelo, a plate of roast meats, with ‘knedli’ dumplings and sauerkraut, which we would go through in variations with all sorts of cooked game meats like venison, rabbit, and pheasant. All at tiny prices. Days morphed into nights and our stay was a haze of meads, schnapps, ales and grogs in various Bohemian taverns. I would return in an instant.