Cesky Krumlov is a town in the Czech Republic that we love love love! The town is amazing and absolutely should not be missed on a trip to the Czech Republic.
Located in Bohemia, Cesky Krumlov is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town escaped the bombings in World War II, which is the reason why the old city is so well preserved.
This city is a delight to walk through. It is small and compact and very, very photogenic. It doesn’t take very long to visit, just a few hours on the fastest of itineraries or worth an overnight stay on a longer visit. But Cesky Krumlov is worth the visit, even if it requires going out of your way.
Cesky Krumlov is one of our favorite small cities in Europe.
Tim and I visited Cesky Krumlov on a drizzly day in April. On the day we visited Cesky Krumlov it was overcast and chilly, but at least it had stopped raining. We were here on a day trip, driving from Vienna to Prague.
In this article, visit Cesky Krumlov through our photo tour and then learn how you can visit this charming city.
To get from Prague to Cesky Krumlov, you have multiple options.
If you have a car, it takes approximately 2.5 hours (175 km) to drive from Prague to Cesky Krumlov. In Cesky Krumlov, there is parking near the city center.
Taking a train is a great option if you do not have a car. Trains connect Prague and Cesky Krumlov throughout the day. Most journeys require a transfer in Ceske Budejovice although a direct train was recently added.
There is a direct train that leaves Prague at 8:01 am and arrives in Cesky Krumlov at 10:55 am. To return to Prague, the direct train leaves Cesky Krumlov at 2:02 pm and arrives in Prague at 4:57 pm. Now, if you booked a direct train both ways, this would only give you three hours in Cesky Krumlov. Is three hours enough time? Barely, but it may be best to take a train with a connection on the way back to Prague.
The trains with transfers only take about 10 to 30 minutes longer than the direct train. To get back to Prague, you can take the 4:57 pm train the connects through Ceske Budejovice, arriving in Prague at 7:57 pm. It’s a long day but it would give you plenty of time in Cesky Krumlov.
Of course, if you are visiting Cesky Krumlov on the way to another city, trains can be booked one way.
This is a good website to get the timetables and prices for the direct trains to and from Cesky Krumlov. If you want to get the timetables for the trains with connections
LEO Express runs two buses per day between Prague and Cesky Krumlov. The cost is €7.5 one way for economy class and €12 for business class. They get terrible reviews on Trip Advisor. I’d take the train instead.
There are also numerous shuttle companies that connect Prague to Cesky Krumlov and other nearby cities such as Vienna, Salzburg, and Bratislava. These shuttles are more expensive but offer a door-to-door service. They can pick you up right at your hotel and drop you off at the city center in Cesky Krumlov. It takes about three hours of travel and costs approximately 1000 CZK ($50 USD) one way.
CK Shuttle connects Prague with Cesky Krumlov and Vienna, so if you are planning to visit Cesky Krumlov in transit between Prague and Vienna, this may be a convenient option.
It takes approximately three hours (200 km) to drive from Vienna to Cesky Krumlov. To drive in the Czech Republic, you will need a special highway sticker that you place on your windshield. This sticker costs CZK 310 ($14 USD) and can be purchased at petrol stations and at the post office. We purchased our sticker at the first gas station we came to after crossing the border from Austria into the Czech Republic.
Note: You will also need a vignette for Austria. It costs €9 for a 10-day sticker and this is the cheapest option.
From my research, both the train and the bus options take up a lot of your time. If you do not have a rental car, your next best option is to use a shuttle service. These services pick you up in Vienna and transfer you directly to Cesky Krumlov. CK Shuttle gets great reviews. To travel from Vienna to Cesky Krumlov it costs approximately $45 USD per person.
If you have plans to visit Cesky Krumlov while traveling between Vienna and Prague, what’s the best way to do it?
The most convenient way to travel is by rental car. Pick up the car in the morning in Vienna, drive to Cesky Krumlov and tour the town, and in the afternoon or evening, drive to Prague and return the car. Of course, this can also be done in the other direction.
In recent years, the price to drop off a car at a different location than the pick-up point has skyrocketed. It could cost several hundreds of dollars to do this (in addition to the rental car fee!!). If you like the idea of renting a car, check the prices, but you may get hit with a huge drop charge.
If that’s the case, you have several options.
Skip the rental car and use the CK Shuttle. While you are visiting Cesky Krumlov, you can store your luggage in the tourist information office. Just be aware that CK Shuttle is not cheap. But if you are traveling solo or with one other person, this works well (since you pay per person). However, if you are a family or group of four or more people, the rental car could still be the cheaper option.
Using the train does not work well since there are no direct trains between Vienna and Cesky Krumlov (that I could find).
You can also travel by bus, but this can be time-consuming.
Your final option is to rent a car and day trip to Cesky Krumlov from one city. For example, rent the car in Prague, see Cesky Krumlov, and then return to the car to Prague the same day. This takes additional time since you are not conveniently visiting Cesky Krumlov as you travel past it, but this could save you a lot of money.