The Best Prague to Cesky Krumlov Day Trips
The small Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlov sits on a dramatic bend of the Vltava, with a 13th-century castle on the hilly outer bank, and a colorful, historic center on the inside, wrapped by the rushing river. Since the city is just a couple of hours from the Czech Republic’s capital, Prague to Cesky Krumlov day trips are a popular way to visit the destination.
With so many tour and transit options, though, it can be hard to decide on the best way to get here. Guided excursions are simple to plan and easy to find, but arranging your own outing is a budget-friendly alternative that allows the flexibility to stay overnight and experience the town without the daytime crowds.
To help you plan your Cesky Krumlov day trip from Prague, we’ll break down the different travel options, from cheap bus tickets to group tours with perks like free lunch and knowledgeable guides to show you around. Read to the end for some of the top things to do in Cesky Krumlov!
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Prague to Cesky Krumlov Day Trip Ideas
Book a Prague to Cesky Krumlov tour
One of the most popular ways to visit Cesky Krumlov is on an organized tour from Prague. These excursions typically last about 10 hours and include transportation on a bus or shuttle and a live guide to provide commentary.
While the exact perks will vary a little depending on which itinerary you book, the general benefits include the ease of not having to arrange travel yourself (some even include hotel pick up in Prague) and the comfort of having an attendant nearby to answer questions and point you to the best spots.
Many of these trips include tickets or a tour of the Cesky Krumlov Castle, which is one of the top sights, and free time to wander around the town square, shop some of the local vendors or visit a museum.
When deciding which Cesky Krumlov day trip to choose, look for details like whether lunch is provided, castle tours are included, the bus offers Wi-Fi and any other stops are made along the way.
The following are a few tour options you might consider for your visit to Cesky Krumlov.
Cesky Krumlov day trip from Prague
Cesky Krumlov and Ceske Budejovice day trip
Private tour to Cesky Krumlov
Visit Cesky Krumlov on your own
While some might like the ease that comes with joining a tour, those who prefer a little flexibility or want to save money can choose to arrange their own visit. This can still be done as a day trip, but if you want more time in town than an organized tour offers, some transit options leave in the wee morning hours from Prague and offer evening departures from Cesky Krumlov.
Attractions in Cesky Krumlov are pretty inexpensive (the castle grounds are free and the Cesky Krumlov card for museums costs less than $15), so you’ll find that visiting on your own will typically work out to be cheaper than joining a tour. And since the town is small, walkable and tourist-friendly, it’s easy to find your way around.
Since Cesky Krumlov is about midway between Prague and Vienna, stopping in the town on the journey from one capital to the next also makes sense if you plan to visit both. While Prague is better connected via direct lines, you’ll still find shuttles that make several runs from Vienna to Cesky Krumlov throughout the day and buses that are increasing service as the town grows in popularity. If you’re coming from Vienna, be sure to look for a route directly to the town and not one with a connection in Prague, which makes for a long ride.
Since there are several transit options you can use to get from Prague to Cesky Krumlov, we’ll break down a few to look at their pros and cons.
Bus to Cesky Krumlov
The Prague to Cesky Krumlov bus is an affordable way to travel between the cities. Budget-friendly options like RegioJet and FlixBus depart downtown Prague locations for the Cesky Krumlov bus station, which is about a 15-minute walk from the castle.
While your ticket will include little more than a seat, luggage space and sometimes outlets and Wi-Fi to keep you connected, the cost is often just $5-$10 each way. The trip takes about 3 hours and buses start departing Prague around 6 a.m. some days and leave from Cesky Krumlov to Prague as late a 8 p.m.
If you’re looking for a direct line from Vienna to Cesky Krumlov, try FlixBus. They offer a route back and forth several times a week that takes about 4 hours.
Prague to Cesky Krumlov train
Another budget-friendly option, the Prague to Cesky Krumlov train offers daily departures. Taking off from Praha Hlavni Nadrazi, these routes end at Cesky Krumlov station, which is about a mile from downtown.
Direct trains are more limited than buses, with often just a single route running in each direction per day, in the morning from Prague and in the early afternoon from Cesky Krumlov. The journey takes about 3 hours and tickets are usually less than $10 each way for a 2nd-class car, with amenities like outlets and Wi-Fi sometimes available.
Cesky Krumlov shuttle
Shuttles offer a more personalized way to travel, though you’ll pay a bit more for the service. A few different companies in the area provide shared and private transfers in vans and cars between Cesky Krumlov and nearby cities in the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany and Slovakia.
CK Shuttle, for example, has perks like door-to-door pick up and drop off, child safety seats and free bottles of water. Shuttles between Prague and Cesky Krumlov run a few times per day with base prices from about $35. For an extra fee, you can arrange a private car or van service for up to eight people and customize sightseeing stops along the way.
Car rentals to Cesky Krumlov
If you plan to do a lot of exploring in an area, it might be beneficial to rent a car for a Prague to Cesky Krumlov road trip. Big brands like Hertz, Budget, Avis and Sixt have locations in downtown Prague. Prices vary greatly, but you can find a weeklong, round-trip rental in summer for less than $100 if you book ahead.
Since Cesky Krumlov’s town center is a pedestrian zone, you’ll have to ditch your vehicle in one of the car parks on the edge of town, but most are a shorter walk than the bus and train station, so you won’t have to drag your suitcase far if you’re staying the night. Daily parking is about $10, but if you’re just stopping by for a few hours, try the lot at the castle garden for a low daytime fee.
Cesky Krumlov attractions and activities
Before you travel to the Czech Republic, be sure to read this article about eight of the best things to do in Cesky Krumlov (with travel tips and hotel ideas, too). Here are a few of our favorites:
With Baroque gardens to stroll, a colorful tower to climb and killer views of the Vltava River, Cesky Krumlov Castle is a must-visit. Entry is free to the grounds, but you’ll pay a small fee for guided tours and the museum.
Full of pastel-painted buildings and stone streets, Svornosti Square is the core of downtown Cesky Krumlov. Grab a bite at one of the sidewalk restaurants, pop into the souvenir shops on surrounding alleys, or simply sit on one of the benches and soak up the buzzing atmosphere by day and peaceful aura by moonlight.
The Vltava River makes a dramatic bend around Cesky Krumlov, a view captured on many a postcard. After you’ve snapped your own frame-worthy shot from the heights of the castle, you can get up close and personal with a raft ride on the rapids here.
History and culture buffs should check out Klastery Cesky Krumlov, a 14th-century monastery turned arts space. Stroll through galleries of medieval art and be sure to shop from local vendors like a potter and blacksmith.