Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Sun September 20 2015

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  • Shannon Wolf | September 20, 2015 11:00 PM ET

    Cesky Krumlov: Budget-Friendly Czech Enchantment

    Cesky Krumlov: Budget-Friendly Czech Enchantment

    PHOTO: One of the most spectacular panoramic views is from the top of the Cesky Krumlov’s castle. (photos by Shannon Wolf)

    Do yourself a favor and stay for two nights in Cesky Krumlov, one of the most romantic villages in the Czech Republic. Your visit will leave you wondering if you slipped through a time warp.

    This Central Europe destination is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which initially makes me think “expensive” and thus, “stay away,” but to my surprise, is still budget friendly, even as a touristic place.

    The architecture is breathtaking and enchanting, mostly dating between the 14th and 17th centuries, but apart from checking out the vintage building beauty, you can partake in one of the most unusual tours I’ve ever been on, too — a rafting pub-crawl. It’s a cruise down the Vltava River for the afternoon, stopping off at pubs on the waterway thanks to Hostel99. Something that would never fly in North America, so make sure to add this to your bucket list!  (I never said it was smart, I just said it was worth the experience).

    Getting There:

    Five direct buses go each day to Cesky Krumlov in about three hours. Be advised, not all of them leave from the central bus station Florenc. The bus station is just a short walk from the center of town, and it’s obvious which way to go (via the footpath near stand #20). The train is also possible but it is a confusing 20-30 minute walk to town. Cost: CZK 200.

    Budget Hostel: Hostel Merlin (€9.71 for a dorm)


    • Basic but comfortable dorm beds with reading light.

    • Button-press showers

    • Free tea and coffee

    • Kitchen

    • Safety deposit box and luggage storage

    • BBQ

    • Bicycle Hire

    • Wi-Fi

    PHOTO: Walking through the cobblestoned streets of the village is a highlight in itself!


    • Authentic medieval meal: U Dwau Maryi (both meat and vegetarian friendly).

    • Laibon: A fantastic vegetarian/vegan restaurant.

    • Traditional Pastry: Trdelnik, a cyli coated in sugar and nuts then roasted over an open flame for a mere 40 Kc.


    • Try a delicious nectar called "yeasty beer” at The Eggenberg Brewery.

    Must Do’s

    • Wander through the cobblestoned streets soaking up the beautiful murals all around town as well as the city’s famous frescoes.

    PHOTO: No matter which street you turn down, you will be in love — it’s all magical.

    • Visit Cesky Krumlov castle, through its rococo garden and to the impressive castle theater.

    • Visit the Roman Catholic Church of St. Vitus.

    • Head to Sumava National Park, the Czech Republic’s largest national park, which is close to Krumlov.

    • Attend an Opera show to experience the revolving theater in Castle Park.

    • Climbing Mount Klet and its observation tower: You can either hike up or take the chairlift and on a clear day, you can see as far as the Alps.

    • Get your beer fix at the Pivovar Eggenberg Brewery.

    • Take part in the rafting pub-crawl. Cost: 300 Koruna ($15 USD).

    PHOTO: Make sure to check out the handmade (and creepy) puppets hanging around town.


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Shannon Wolf Tales From the Leap

Shannon Wolf Shannon Wolf is a freelance photographer and writer, traveling across the globe with an open itinerary and no intent of stopping. Originally from Toronto, Canada, she left behind a fast paced life to truly live and not just exist in an attempt to inspire others to follow their bliss. At age 26, Shannon has visited 20+ countries on four continents around the world. She has travelled overland by chicken-bus and tuk-tuks, hitchhiked by fruit trucks and through islands on horse and buggy. She has slept in the jungles of Nicaragua, on benches in London, secluded hidden beaches and she’s only getting started.
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