Also known simply as “Budweis,” České Budějovice is the largest town in South Bohemia. Founded in 1265 by Czech King Premsyl Otakar II, the town sits at the scenic confluence of the Vltava and Malse Rivers.
Situated between the popular Czech tourist hot spots of Prague and Cesky Krumlov, České Budějovice makes the perfect stopover to escape the tourist crowds for a bit.
In fact, to get from Prague to Cesky Krumlov, you pretty much have to change buses or trains in České Budějovice so why not hop off that train or bus and explore this charming little bit of Bohemia?Read More
If Rothenburg ob der Tauber is Germany’s fairy tale village, Český Krumlov is definitely the Czech Republic’s ode to storybook fairy tales. Like Prague, Český Krumlov is situated on the Vltava River which curves its way romantically through town in a way almost reminiscent of streets of Venice.
Added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1992, Český Krumlov’s historic old town is a jumble of 750 years of architectural design including Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance-inspired facades. Its most spectacular feature is the castle that towers over it – Český Krumlov Castle – the second largest in the Czech Republic, after Prague Castle.Read More
Also known as Karlsbad, Karlovy Vary translates as “Charles Bath” and was named for Charles IV, King of Bohemia who founded the city in 1370. The town is famed for bubbling hot springs, colorful, whimsical architecture and, most importantly, the Karlovy Vary spa experience!
In the eighteenth century, Karlovy Vary was a popular tourist destination for both elites and creatives. High profile visitors in those days included Beethoven, Tolstoy, Wagner, Brahms, Karl Marx and Tsar Peter the Great. But the start of World War I brought tourism to an abrupt halt and it never fully recovered its former glory.
But thanks to a wealth of Karlovy Vary spas and hot springs, today this charming town has begun a bit of a tourism resurgence. And now is the time to go before the rest of Europe discovers it!Read More
To get to Prague from Krakow, we decided to take an overnight train – hotel and transportation in one! Since we are cheap, but not that cheap, we elected to splurge on a 2-person sleeping compartment so at least we could get a little rest without worrying about our belongings (something that is apparently an issue on trains in this area).
And since we both enjoy an evening cocktail, we decided to buy a bottle of wine for the ride. The train departed Krakow at 10:15pm and was scheduled to arrive in Prague at 6:54am. Plenty of time for sleep, we thought! We had no idea what to expect from our sleeping compartment – the last time I slept on a train was in Vietnam and that was a mostly unpleasant experience so I had low expectations.
But we were pleasantly surprised to discover that our little cabin had two bunk beds each with soft pillows and duvet, a little closet and a small vanity with a sink. The bathroom was just next door in the hall. All in all, not bad. Not fancy, but comfortable and certainly very functional.Read More