If you’ve ever wondered if a fairytale place exists in the world, I can tell you with no doubt that yes, it absolutely does. Rustic medieval surroundings, enchanting castles, narrow cobbled streets and if lucky a perfect snowfall, exist in charming Cesky Krumlov. This magical town is located a little more than three hours by bus from Prague (direct or via Ceske Budejovice) and is one of my favourite Christmas destinations. If you’re wondering why just scroll down to see the pictures from this city that seems to be lost in time.
I have been there before during springtime when I used to live in Prague. It was absolutely magical so I thought it should be even dreamier with a bit of snow. The other bonus of travelling there in the winter is that you avoid the crowds.
We arrived in Cesky Krumlov in the late afternoon and it was already dark outside. It was cold for December, maybe around -3 degrees Celsius so we went to have a proper Czech dinner to warm up. Czech food tastes even better when it’s cold outside with its thick soups, rich meats and the best dark beers I have ever tried.
By the time we have finished our Czech feast (with prices near half of Holland where we came from) and went out it was already around 11 pm. It started to snow heavily and all the tourists have already left the city and the locals went to sleep. All this deserted paradise with the snow we had to ourselves. We wandered around the cobble streets till 1 am and it was one of my favourite nights ever.
We were so happy that we spent the night in Cesky Krumlov with no need to rush back to Prague the same day. But the most precious thing was that we woke up before the sunrise to capture some beautiful images and it was still snowing. We instantly left the hotel to capture the snow with no footprints and crowd.
The Christmas markets just started to open that early morning. The main one – the Bohemian Advent market – is located at the Svornosti Square. Why not have some soup in a bread bowl to warm up?
To still catch daytime light we left Cesky Krumlov in the afternoon and took a bus to Hluboka nad Vltavou. It was almost on the way to Prague so why not check out another castle of South Bohemia. By the time we reached the place, it was snowing so heavily.
To come back to Prague we took a bus to Ceske Budejovice and from there a direct train to Prague’s Hlavni Nadrazi.
Overall, from my experience, Czech Castles in South Bohemia were much more of a fairy-tale experience in the winter compared to my summer trips. If you love Christmas the same as I do, I definitely recommend travelling there during this time. The only downside is that all the main attractions will be closed for holidays and you won’t able to see the interiors of the castles. But I think it is worth it when you have the whole town for yourself.
In terms of accommodation, Cesky Krumlov will be a better place to stay overnight as it has more options and activities to do. This place is very affordable and you can find plenty of lovely homestays. We stayed in a cute Penzion Prelat, about €50 including a simple Czech breakfast and a great river view.
Images by Thitiphol Owen Charoensri.