So, you’ve probably landed in, and explored the Czech Republic capital, Prague, but what else does this country have to offer?
If you’re planning your Czech Republic itinerary and looking for elsewhere to discover, then I highly recommend getting away from the crowds of the capital and heading to the South Bohemia region of the country.
Whatever your travel style, you find an abundance of things to do in South Bohemia, including UNESCO cities, beautiful castles, adventure travel and of course delicious cuisine. The region is also home to the original Budweiser beer!
This article covers a range of great ideas to add to your Southern Bohemia itinerary and delves into the best that the region has to offer.
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Things To Do In South Bohemia - At A Glance
No time to find out about the best places to visit in South Bohemia right now? This section is for you.
If you’re just after the low-down on what to see in South Bohemia, then below is a list of all the best things in the region to help you plan your south Czech Republic itinerary. If you’re exploring the country, then why not download this Czech Republic bucket list straight to your inbox and see how many you can tick off?
Best Things To Do In Southern Bohemia
- The UNESCO City Of Český Krumlov
- The City Of České Budějovice
- The Chateau Of Hluboká
- Treetop Walkway in Lipno
- Visit the Original Budweiser Beer Factory
- The Historic Village Of Holašovice
- The Adventure Sport Scene
What you can expect in this article...
I’ve partnered with South Bohemia Tourism to bring you this travel guide. This article is based on the destinations and experiences I took part in. All views and opinions are my own
7 Unmissable Things For Your Southern Bohemia Itinerary
Although there are numerous things to do in the South Bohemian region, these places have been hand-picked as the best. If you only have a couple of days to explore the region, then Český Krumlov and the Chateau Of Hluboká are definitely must-see places. If you’re on a limited time and you love adventure sports, then stick to the area around Lipno.
Visit The UNESCO City Of Český Krumlov
Quite possibly, the number one place to visit in Southern Bohemia is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Český Krumlov. This is one of the most stunningly beautiful historic towns in southern Bohemia, which could have been plucked straight from a fairy tale.
The city does draw crowds, especially during the peak season, and after the city of Prague, Cesky Krumlov is the Czech Republic’s second most visited tourist attraction.
Located on the meandering banks of the Vltava River, nestled next to a rocky slope with a dominating 13th-century castle perched on top, the mediaeval city of Cesky Krumlov is filled with a labyrinth of cobblestone streets and alleyways wind their way out into courtyards, footbridges and colourful historic buildings.
The castle, which dominated the skyline, is built in a mix of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. Two of the most striking elements of the castle complex are the ornate rotund bell tower and the arched Cloak Bridge.
Ideally, you’ll want to allow at least a full day here, I’d highly recommend staying overnight to enjoy the city at a more casual pace. If you are limited on time, then make sure these things appear somewhere on your Cesky Krumlov itinerary.
Related Article: Cesky Krumlov 1 Day Itinerary
Cesky Krumlov: Things To Do
- Climb the Bell Tower
- Walk over the Cloak Bridge
- Get lost in the cobblestoned alleyways
- Ride a traditional wooden raft along the Vltava River
Check Availability: Cesky Krumlov Day Trip From Prague
Explore The City Of České Budějovice
The other unmissable destination for your South Bohemia itinerary is the city of Ceske Budejovice. It is located in the valley at the confluence of the Vltava River, and the Malše. Like many other cities in Bohemia has its origin dating back to Medieval times.
If you’re planning a Czech Republic road trip, Ceske Budejovice is a great city to base yourself in, as there are plenty of things to see in the city itself, as well as being a short drive to the other places of interest I mention in this article.
Although the modern city of České Budějovice is quite sprawling, the historical centre still has its old-world charm. In the centre of the town, you’ll find Přemysl Otakar II Square, the city’s main square is the fifth largest public square in the Czech Republic. It’s surrounded by 48 arcaded buildings varying from Baroque to Renaissance style, as well as the triple-spired Old City Hall. In the centre of the square, you’ll find Samson’s Fountain.
The square dates back to the 13th century and has had different remodelling over the years, although it has remained the heart of the city and hosts various events, markets and art displays.
Two fun facts about the square. The first is that the square isn’t actually square. The corners have been cut off! This was to make it easier for the trams in the 50s to go round corners. The other interesting fact is the little stone with a cross in the centre a few metres from the fountain. Legend says if you step on it after 10 pm, you’ll be lost until morning. In reality, the cross marks the spot where they used to chop heads off criminals.
There are a couple of places to go in Ceske Budejovice for beautiful panoramic views. The first is onto the roof of the Old City Hall, you can book a tour at the Tourist Information Centre. The second great viewpoint is by taking the 225 steps up the 72-metre-high Black Tower.
České Budějovice is one of the main beer-producing regions in the Czech Republic, and is affectionately known as the ‘city of beer’. This is thanks to the two historic breweries situated here, the Samson brewery since 1795 and the Budweiser Budvar brewery founded in 1895. There are also numerous microbreweries to visit in the Old Town each selling its local brew. It would be rude not to visit at least a few of these establishments!
Read a more detailed guide to České Budějovice here.
Related Article: ‘What To See’ Guide To České Budějovice
Ceske Budejovice: Things To Do
- Climb the Black Tower
- Explore the pretty streets
- Visit the Town Hall for a rooftop view
- Drink local beer from one of the many microbreweries
Marvel At The Chateau Of Hluboká
Hluboká is an ornate château located in the town of Hluboká nad Vltavou about 15km from the city of České Budějovice. It’s said to be one of the most beautiful castles in Bohemia, some even rank it up there as one of the most beautiful castles in the whole of the Czech Republic. Either way, it’s absolutely magnificent and certainly worth adding to your Czech Republic bucket list.
Every surface of the Chateau, both inside and out, is lavishly decorated and features pristine examples of wooden carving that adorn every surface of the interior – it’s no surprise that the craftsman took more than 30 years to complete these wooden carvings.
There has been a castle at this site since the 13th century, however, what stood then is nothing like the version that you will see today. In 1661 the castle became the property of the Schwarzenberg family.
The current style chateau drew inspiration from a visit to Great Britain. Prince Jan Adolf II Schwarzenberg was invited to attend the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838. On his visit, the prince was inspired by the beautiful buildings of London, including the royal Windsor castle, as well as books on the nation’s architecture that he brought back with him and used as a reference.
After his visit, the chateau was rebuilt in the Baroque style during the first 30 years of the 18th century. It was then given a romantic reconstruction during the mid-19th century which now has a Neo-Gothic appearance.
Related Article: The Complete Czech Republic Bucket List
No expense was spared, and every surface, including the ceilings, is richly decorated with murals, carvings, paintings and textiles. You’ll also find heavily decorated chandeliers and colourful stained glass windows in this summer residence.
The purpose of the castle was to host parties, hunting trips and anniversaries. It was never lived in the full time since the winter temperature inside the castle was too cold (even though some rooms have stoves), and in summer it would be too hot. If you’re a fan of fairytale castles, then Hluboká Chateau is a must-see southern Czech landmark.
Climb The Treetop Walkway In Lipno
At one point, Lipno only really attracted tourists for the winter sports, however, since the introduction of the gigantic treetop walkway, Lipno is now home to a multitude of adventure and adrenaline sports and one of the most visited, year-round South Bohemian holiday destinations.
Treetop Walkway Lipno was the first walkway of its kind in the Czech Republic and was opened in July 2012. It was created by a German-based company called Erlebnis Akademie AG, which has created similar structures all over Europe. This Treetop Walkway was the second design of theirs I have visited. If you’re interested in visiting the one in the Black Forest, Germany, then you can find out about it in this Bavaria Road Trip itinerary.
This scenic observation tower stands proud on top of Kramolin Hill, at 901 metres. It consists of a 675-metre-long treetop walking platform, leading up into a spiral tower. The lookout tower is 40 metres high and offers views over Lipno Lake and the Austrian mountains.
Once you’ve finished admiring the views, you can either walk back down the same route you came up, or ride down the centre of the tower on the spiral slide. It boasts of being one of the longest dry toboggans in the Czech Republic at 52 metres in length.
The treetop trail in Lipno is family-friendly, and along the trail, you’ll find a total of 11 educational and interactive stops, making this a great option if you’re travelling with kids. The walkway is also a barrier-free attraction, making it suitable for wheelchair and pushchair users. As travel tips go, it’s worthwhile taking something warm with you. At the top of the platform, it’s quite exposed and if you feel the cold easily (like I do) you’ll be thankful for a warm jacket.
Drink Original Budweiser Beer
I already briefly mentioned above that the city of České Budějovice has a huge beer-producing heritage. So naturally one of the top things to do in Southern Bohemia is to learn how it’s made.
The Budvar brewery started brewing its reputable beer on 7 October 1895, with all its ingredients sourced from within the country. Their yeast is prepared on-site, the malt comes from barley grown in the Moravia region, and the hops are sourced from a small town in the northern Czech Republic. Even the water is taken from the source, via a 320m deep well.
As much as the USA doesn’t want to admit it, this is actually the original and (undoubtedly) best Budweiser beer. Their signature Budwiser beer is exported to over 70 countries worldwide, and all of the beer comes from this one factory. They don’t make beer for anyone else, and the fact that they only use locally sourced ingredients means that the profits are kept in the local region.
The factory is synonymous with České Budějovice, and most of the employees have lived here all their lives. The factory even supports local initiatives and has funded public amenities such as the library at the University, local sports clubs and even theatres.
A whopping 1,800,000 00 litres of beer are produced here per year and everything from the creation, through to packaging and distribution is handled on-site. It’s certainly worth visiting the factory to see the entire process of one of the world’s best beers from start to finish.
And yes, of course, you get to drink it – in its purest, non-filtered or pasteurised form before being bottled.
Related Article: Best Things To Do In České Budějovice
Wander Around The Historic Village Of Holašovice
One of the more quaint things to do in South Bohemia is to visit the UNESCO-listed Historic Village Of Holašovice. This small settlement gained its status thanks to it being one of the most complete and well-preserved examples of a traditional central European village.
The ground plan of the village dates back to the Middle Ages, with the buildings dating from the 18th – the 19th century. Part of its charm is thanks to the Vernacular architecture, which means its design is endemic, and this style is only found locally, using traditional materials found in the area. The village gained its World Heritage Status in 1998.
The style of building is known as South Bohemian Folk Baroque. This is what a typical Bohemian village would have looked like hundreds of years ago. The little settlement consists of 23 brick farmsteads, a central green with a fish pond, a forge, and a chapel.
The traditional layout of a farm in the South Bohemian Folk Baroque style, is in a “U” shape. On the front of the houses, there are detailing and simple motifs as a way to show the affluence of the farmers of the village.
It’s located just 16 kilometres west of České Budějovice. It’s certainly worthwhile calling in at this fascinating little time capsule of a village as part of your South Bohemia travel.
Enjoy The Adventure Sport Scene
The South Bohemian region is blessed with numerous things to keep adventure sport lovers occupied. If you’re looking for things to do in Bohemia, one of the main regions for outdoor pursuits is Lipno, the town closest to where the Tree Walk is located that I wrote about earlier.
If you’re looking for things to do in Lipno, the town is blessed with mountains and a lake, so there’s a hive of adventure sports on offer. During the winter, the main options revolve around snowsports, Lipno has decent ski and snowboarding facilities.
During the spring, summer and autumn, popular activities include mountain biking, kick bike and hiking. And if you don’t mind getting wet, then canoeing, sailing and rafting in the lake.
Another place to explore, especially if you want to hike or bike, is the Šumava National Park right on the border between the Czech Republic and Germany.
Another option if you prefer rock sports is the Ferrata Hluboká. There are various difficulties of Ferrata routes, aimed at families/beginners through to more experienced climbers. The routes are all in the Vltava Valley and follow the path of the river.
You can make a whole day of it and visit all the Ferratas, they are accessible along the cycle route. In total there are over 720 metres of horizontal climbing at Ferrata Hluboká, which makes it the longest Czech Ferrata above the river.
Wear shoes with a grip, and trousers if you’re worried about scuffing your knees. You can rent equipment to do the Ferrata at the Hluboká nad Vltavou Sports and Relaxation Complex. The rental shop is next to the beach volleyball court and is 8.8 km from the Ferrata itself.
How’s Your Southern Bohemia Itinerary Shaping Up?
So how many of these things are you adding to your Southern Czech Republic itinerary? If you’re planning to visit South Bohemia, you’ll find more than enough places of interest to keep you occupied for several days.
This article covered the very best of Bohemia. If you’re looking for more ideas on what to see in Southern Bohemia region, or if you’re travelling to other places in the Czech Republic, then take a look at these other useful guides.
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