It’s rare that a place not only lives up to its hype but exceeds it. Český Krumlov, the official residence of the Rožmberk family for some 300 years, is such a place. It’s the only must-see in Southern Bohemia, with a storybook landscape so perfect it resembles a movie set. Hordes of other tourists pass through, but if you stay overnight you can experience the city after the tour buses have departed, and in the evening when quiet descends, the town is twice as spellbinding.
Český Krumlov’s lovely looks can be put down to a castle and a river. Krumlov castle is one of the most gorgeous in the country; perched on a hill watching over its quaint village with the Vltava River doing its picturesque winding best. The castle area offers plenty of sightseeing, and the extensive gardens are worth an hour or two. Down in the town, the medieval streets are beyond charming.
As in the rest of Southern Bohemia, outdoor activities are plentiful here. Check with the local tourist information office about places to rent bikes or rafts, or pick up an area hiking map.