Happy Travel Tuesday! I am back from the English camp in the mountains, exhausted and full of good stories (which I will be sure to share!). However, I couldn’t wait to share more about my new favorite little Czech town, Cesky Krumlov (chess-key krum-LOV, in case you were wondering).
After our boating trip in Cesky Krumlov, we came back to finally explore the old, UNESCO heritage streets.
Cesky Krumlov has been the star of many movies, and for good reason. The cobblestoned streets are charming and full of cute little shops, and there are dozens of tiny little alleys everywhere, which is one of my favorite things! One of the best things about the streets and the alleys in this little town is the fact that as you wind down one, you’ll suddenly be faced with an incredible view of the castle, a little peek of the river, a glimpse of one of the many gorgeous churches.
There are so many things to do in Cesky Krumlov, and we definitely did not get a chance to do them all. I recommend going medieval there, as the town in designed for it! Here’s how:
1. Sample hot mead at the Tavern of the Two Marys.
I was pretty exhausted after the boat trip, so we hunted down an old tavern, the Tavern of the Two Marys, where we had been wanting to sample some hot mead. The location ended up being right on the river…perfect!
We “sampled” two giant mugs of homemade mead, almond and cinnamon flavored, as well as trying out a medieval cabbage pastry and traditional Czech cake. Both of the cakes were somewhat dry to me, which is supposedly authentic, but they tasted delicious with that mead. Especially the almond mead!
If you want to go really medieval, there are many other items on the menu, including a giant medieval feast!
2. Go to the castle and happen upon a movie being filmed.
If you want to shell out the moola, you can go inside the castle. This time, we decided not to, but luckily you can walk through the castle grounds to the entrance, which gives you a stunning view and the feeling that you are at a castle. While we were there, we happened to wander onto a movie set! Some movie starring Adrien Brody was currently being filmed in Cesky Krumlov and the set we walked into looked just like a medieval marketplace might look.
3. Try the local beer.
The Eggensberg brewery is located here in Cesky Krumlov. You can taste the beer all over town. I would recommend going straight to the brewery for a taste or a tour if you fancy, as it is housed in this amazing old church. The bar was actually full when we were there, so we didn’t get to taste it at the brewery, but it still was a beautiful building to see!
4. Eat at Na Louzi.
Although not quite medieval, this restaurant bar has been around for about a century. The wood paneled room, the community seating, the meat-and-cheese dishes, and the local beer all make it feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
5. Find the bear pits.
Right at the entrance to the castle, there are giant bear pits that hold, you guessed it, a family of European brown bears. Bears are seen as sacred symbols of power throughout Europe (apparently neither Czechs or Russians refer to them directly), and one of the most prominent historical families in Cesky Krumlov, the Rosenbergs, were no exception. The brown bears have been there since around 1707 as a gift to the family to demonstrate their connection to other great families in Europe.
6. Wander around the Main Square.
Wandering anywhere in Cesky Krumlov is the best thing you can do, I think, but make sure to find the Main Square. It’s well-preserved and not difficult to imagine the place as a medieval market…especially when you see the occasional horse! Of course, it’s not medieval times, which means the place is overrun with tourists, but if you find a quiet corner to soak up the sights, you will love it.
7. Rent a boat and float down the river to the Zlata Koruna Abbey.
What is more medieval than an abbey? Even though we didn’t actually go inside the abbey, it was an awesome ending to our river float to watch it approaching from the alley. I would like to go back and visit one day–maybe after I’m a little more prepared for a day-long river event!
8. Find the Gypsy Pub.
We didn’t actually have a chance to do this one, but it’s highly recommended. Roma, formerly known as “gypsies,” have traditionally be persecuted throughout Europe, and continue to be so (read more about it here). However, Cesky Krumlov is one town where Roma and Czechs seem to live peacefully, and this pub is a demonstration of that.
9. Stay at Krumlov House in their riverside cottage.
It’s not too medieval (and let’s face it, I definitely did not want to deal with a “medieval” bathroom), but it was certainly cute and old-fashioned. Since Krumlov House is a hostel, it’s also a great deal, even for the cottage, which is a small apartment complete with a kitchen.
10. Finally, climb up for a higher view of the town.
Seeing the town from a distance, it will make it even easier to imagine how little it has truly changed in centuries. Plus, it’s beautiful!
This week I am spotlighting Sarah from Daydreams of Summertime and her post about the Poppy Installation at the Tower of London. I was immediately struck by her incredible pictures of the installation–those colors!–but the more I read about the reason behind the installation, the more I loved it. The installation is a beautiful way to commemorate every fatality in World War I. Her pictures and story make me feel like I am seeing it myself. Be sure to check out her post to read more!
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