Ceske Budejovice is one of those places to visit in the Czech Republic that doesn’t get that much attention from tourists (especially in comparison to nearby Cesky Krumlov) yet it’s definitely worth stopping in. Even if the main reason why Ceske Budejovice is known all over the world is the famous Budweiser Budvar brewery, the city has so much more to offer.
This is yet another lovely Central European city with a charming old town, a laid-back vibe, and numerous monuments and attractions that will keep you busy for at least a few hours. And if you like Czech literature, the name of the city is probably familiar to you as “The Good Soldier Švejk” by Jaroslav Hašek was largely set in Ceske Budejovice.
Over the years, I’ve been five or more times to Ceske Budejovice and with every visit, the place grew more and more on me. Ceske Budejovice can be also a good base to explore the southern part of the Czech Republic which is full of interesting places not far from the city.
If you are wondering what to see in Ceske Budejovice I prepared this quick guide that will help you plan your trip to the city.
Table of contents
Where is Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
Ceske Budejovice, the 7th-largest city in the Czech Republic with a population of almost 100.000, is located in the southern part of the country, not far from the borders of Austria and Germany. Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic is located some 150 km away from Ceske Budejovice.
How to get to Ceske Budejovice
Getting to Ceske Budejovice is rather east, you can easily reach the city by train or bus.
Trains run every hour between Prague and Ceske Budejovice, with the journey time around 2-2,5 hours (depending on the connections). There are also direct trains to Ceske Budejovice from Brno, Pilsen, or Linz in Austria.
Buses operated by Student Agency connect Prague and Ceske Budejovice too, the journey time is 2:15 hours and the tickets are often cheaper than the train. Altogether, both options are good, comfortable, and affordable for the trip from Prague to Ceske Budejovice so it’s up to you which one you will choose.
Where to stay in Ceske Budejovice
There are some fine accommodation options to choose from in Ceske Budejovice. During my last trip, I stayed in Hotel Metropol CB (8.4/10) and I can recommend the place. The rooms are spacious and clean, the place is affordable and the location is really fine, not far from the Old Town as well as the bus and train stations. You can check the current prices and availability here.
Other recommended places to stay in Ceske Budejovice include:
- Hotel Budweis (9.0/10 on Booking)
- Residence U Černé Věže České Budějovice (8.9/10 on Booking)
- Penzion Bohemia (9.0/10 on Booking)
- and more!
What to see in Ceske Budejovice
The heart of the city is its main square – Přemysl Otakar II. Square. Named after the founder of the city, this is one of the largest squares in Europe (with a regular shape, each of the sides is 133 meters long). The square can be a bit overwhelming with its size and it might feel slightly abandoned but it surely is an impressive square.
Right in the middle, you can see a beautiful fountain Samson from the early 18th century, sort of the icon of the city, located in the place where, in medieval times, the pillory was.
Přemysl Otakar II. Square is surrounded by beautiful townhouses, many of them built in the Renaissance and Baroque styles, with arcades along their length that hide numerous restaurants and cafes.
The building that catches your attention right away is the town hall – one of the most beautiful buildings of that kind in the Czech Republic. Dating back to the mid-16th century, the structure you can admire today is from the first half of the 18th century.
It’s worth taking a moment to admire the Town Hall building from a close-up as it’s full of details including statues allegories of Justice, Courage, Wisdom and Caution made by the local sculptor J. Dietrich, or quirky bronze gargoyles. It is possible to visit the Town Hall inside with a tour and it surely is worth it.
Just a few steps away from Main Square you can climb up to the top of the 16th-century Black Tower, located just next to St. Nicholas Cathedral. Inside the tower you can find six bells, with the largest one, the Bummerin, weighing 3.5 tons.
To admire the beautiful panorama of Ceske Budejovice and beyond you need to climb up 225 mostly wooden stairs. It might be a bit challenging but the view is definitely worth it. Form up here you can fully admire the grandness of Přemysl Otakar II. Square.
The Old Town of Ceske Budejovice is a maze of winding lanes, hiding some real gems. The most beautiful and interesting streets are Krajinska (with a stunning art-nouveau building, now home to a bank) and Panska (where it looks like time has stopped).
But all the streets within the Old Town are charming and the best way to explore the area is by randomly walking around, wherever your intuition takes you.
In the past, the Old Town was surrounded by the city walls and still today you can see some remnants of those. The most impressive ones are the Iron Maiden and Rabenštejnská Tower, both dating back to the 14th century.
Since Ceske Budejovice is known for beer, visiting the local brewery is one of the best things to do in Ceske Budejovice. It is possible to take a guided tour through the place and learn more about the iconic Czech drink. You can find more here.
Once you are done with Ceske Budejovice sightseeing you can relax and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the place. There are numerous bars and restaurants where locals enjoy good food and drinks and you are more than welcome to join them.
The area along the riverside, where the Vltava and Malše rivers meet, is a pleasant area to relax. You can even rent a boat and enjoy the place from a unique perspective.
Day trips from Ceske Budejovice
Ceske Budejovice can be a good base to explore the nearby area and with good train and bus connections, you can easily reach many amazing places. That’s what I did during my last trip to Ceske Budejovice and I can definitely recommend it as that way, in the late afternoon/evening you can again enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the city.
Some of the places you can visit as day trips from Ceske Budejovice include:
- Hluboka nad Vltavou with the fairytale-alike castle
- Český Krumlov – a UNESCO-listed town and one of the most popular places to visit in the Czech Republic where it feels like the time has stopped
- Trebon – another picturesque charming town with beautiful center
- Holašovice – a village that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as the best-preserved traditional Central European village
- Tábor – another beautiful town with a medieval vibe, founded in 1420 by the Hussites and important for the Czech history
- Pisek, a beautiful town with the oldest stone bridge in the Czech Republic, from the 13th century
Final thoughts on visiting Ceske Budejovice
Ceske Budejovice might not have as many attractions as other Czech destinations but the city has some really beautiful sights and its laid-back, pleasant vibe is already a good reason to visit the place. This is where you can experience a less touristy side of the Czech Republic, enjoy a traditional Czech beer, and relax in the afternoon in one of many restaurants or bars, after exploring the fascinating region surrounding the city.
When you are planning a trip to discover Central Europe, Ceske Budejovice should definitely be included in your itinerary!
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