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Kids in Prague

Cesky Krumlov with Kids, South Bohemia

Weekends Away, Sports and Fitness on 21 June 2009 by Larissa (5 comments)


The UNESCO World Heritage listed Cesky Krumlov is a stunning, authentic medieval town that rolls down towards a tear drop bend in the Vltava River. Towering above the town and set into the cliff face is the second largest Castle in Czech Republic. Interesting little shops, restaurants and accommodation is bountiful and the region is renowned for it’s beautiful nature which you can easily experience on foot, canoe, horseback or bike. Our preferred method of exploration over summer is by canoe…

We’ve been coming here for years in all seasons, pre and post children. No matter what our circumstances or the season, we’ve always found lots of interesting places and things to do. Here we share the best activities and places to visit when planning a trip to this beautiful part of CZ.

Highly Recommended:

Join the ‘Vodaci’ (translates as ‘watermen’ - a colloquialism for the many canoeists that you will join on your river journey) and slowly float along with the river currents, stopping for beer or sausages at the many snack bars (obcerstvi) along the way. Observe the costumes and homemade flags that the Vodaci make for their annual summer pilgrimage down the Vltava and don’t forget to return the many greetings of ‘ahoy’ that you will receive - these are Czechs truly at their happiest!


Hear the roar of one of the many approaching weirs and brace yourself for a thrilling ride down their chutes. The toughest chute on the river would have to be the one right underneath the Castle at Cesky Krumlov, here as an observer on dry land you can laugh and cheer on the canoeists as they take on the challenging weir, many craft simply flip out their passengers right underneath your nose.


We took Lucie on her first canoeing trip last summer, she was a few months past 2. The hire company recommended a rubber canoe, these are more stable and very unlikely to flip. We also chose a route that had small weirs and was the shortest trip available (around 1 hour), ending right in the town of Cesky Krumlov. The company drove us out of town (a car seat was installed for Lucie) and upstream to our chosen starting point. We were provided with all equipment including lifejackets. (Lifejackets are available for children 1 year and up). Lucie was a little nervous as it was her first time in a boat, the weirs also made her nervous, so for our cautious little one it was a bit too much. We did pass a family with boys of a similar age and they were having no problems at all. Now that Lucie is 3 I’m confident that she would handle the same trip much better.


If you have older children or no children at all, consider a full or half day trip starting in Cesky Krumlov and ending in either Zlata Koruna or Borsov. We always use a small hire company in Hradebni ul who do not have a website but take a look at this site from Vltava Travel Agency in Kajovska ul for an idea on prices and routes available.


Other Recommended Activities:

1. The Castle - Just walking around the complex, climbing the tower and feeding the ducks in the formal gardens can fill half a day. As a trained ceramic artist I also enjoy visiting the sculpture and ceramic gallery located in the bowels of the castle. Even if you have no interest in the works on display the architectural space is amazing with it’s huge stone ceilings and rock floors - it’s like exploring a series of caves, which really capture kids imaginations.


2. Hiking - Choose one of the coloured walking trails that guide you out of the town and into the gorgeous landscape of South Bohemia. We regularly walk up to the Chapel on the hill opposite the Castle and then follow the trail towards a deep forest, emerging in the town of Pridoli, from here you can wind back towards Cesky Krumlov, passing through lovely, small villages such as Nove Spoli.


3. Egon Schile Centrum - Another interesting architectural building, once a brewery, which regularly shows world renowned artists alongside talented Czech artists. There is also a permanent exhibition devoted to the talented Egon Schile, once a resident of the town. The centre also has a great book shop and a cafe attached.


4. Walk to Austria for Lunch - Drive to Lake Lipno, take a swim and then head south on the dirt roads into the deep forest. At a marked intersection leave your car and walk about 5km to the town of St Oswald over in Austria. The trail is fine for strollers. About half way in you will come to ‘no mans land’ where the border fence once stood, this is marked by a signpost. In St Oswald you can find a bankomat for Euros and then join local village folk in the pub for a hearty Austrian lunch.


5. The Playground - Cesky Krumlov has a newly built riverside playground with lots of play equipment for kids of all ages. Within the fenced area is a pizza restaurant with a large sunny terrace. Here you can sit and watch the kids and the passing parade of river craft whilst enjoying a coffee or an afternoon cocktail.


6. The Town - Just walking through the town on dusk or during the evening is magical. The Castle, streets and buildings are dramatically lit and tourists are few and far between. During the day, the town offers many interesting shops, cafes and museums. Of particular interest to families are the many wooden toy stores.


Where to Eat:

1. Krcma u Satlavske - Probably the most popular restaurant in town so reservations are essential. Enjoy the romantic, candle lit and cavern like spaces of this former jail whilst your meals are cooked to perfection on the open fire. High chairs available.


2. Laibon - Fantastic riverside vegetarian restaurant including excellent Slovakian Halusky - yum! High chairs available.


3. Papa’s Living Restaurant - Part of the Ambiente chain with a riverside terrace and average food (pasta, salads). They do offer a kids menu and high chairs though.


4. Restaurant Marketa - A medievil themed basement restaurant tucked away on the right hand side of the castle gardens. Most menu items are cooked on an open fire (although not as well as Krcma u Satlavske).


Where to Stay:

Cesky Krumlov has many accomodation options for all budgets. A good starting point for narrowing down and booking accommodation in English is through Cesky Krumlov’s Info Centrum or you could also take the advice of past visitors on sites such as Trip Advisor.

These are just a few of the places and experiences that you can try out when visiting Cesky Krumlov. In reality, each family will naturally create their own unique itinerary based on their interests and ages. So be assured that you can easily rent bikes, horses and even boats (on Lake Lipno) during your stay. You can also pre-book tickets to the popular summer opera and ballet concerts staged in the Castle’s outdoor Theatre. And if your stay coincides with the amazing Five Petalled Rose Festival (mid June) then you are in for a real treat. For one weekend the medieval architecture blends perfectly with medieval costumed townspeople who stage authentic markets, sports, street theatre and reenactments for all to enjoy.

I’m happy to share further my experiences in this beautiful region, so if you have any questions or comments please write below and I’ll answer you in more detail.


  • Sarah on 18 August 2009 @ 12:45 PM

    Having read your review we have just spent a wonderful weekend in Cesky Krumlov. We have two children aged 3 and 5 and rented a raft to do the four hour trip to Zlata Koruna. Four hours includes plenty of time for paddling/swimming and drinks stops. It was great fun and the scenery is beautiful. The children also really enjoyed watching all the other rafts (not us!) coming down the weir in the middle of town, I would say half of them capsize or sink which the children thought was brilliant. In the evening we ate at Papa’s Living Restaurant and, although the food is nothing special, it is worth mentioning that they have a slide and toys for the children to play with which made our meal so much more relaxing for us. The pizza place by the play ground was also a good spot for good value food and happy children. We will definitely go back to Cesky Krumlov as still so much more to see and do.

  • Darina on 21 August 2009 @ 11:35 PM

    “I would say half of them capsize or sink which the children thought was brilliant.”....  Oh Yes - very common sport here in Czech Rep. my parents made us to go down the river every year, and every year we would capsize :-) its so popular here as hiking in Canada.
    You should definitely try it once

  • Diane on 30 June 2010 @ 06:08 AM

    I will be traveling to Cesky Krumlov next year with my daughter who will be 18 months at the time.  I am intrigued by your suggestion of walking to Austria for lunch but in looking at a map of the area, I can’t really see where exactly you leave your car.  Is it more apparent once you are there? 

    Also, great job on this site, I will be studying it quite a bit before our trip!

  • C on 07 July 2010 @ 06:48 AM

    We put all your information to good use and had a wonderful family (2 yo and 4 month old) get-away this past weekend.  High chairs everywhere and between the detsky koutek and the VERY nice service, Papas was probably the best meal we had.  Sadly, the pizza place near the playgournd (I believe it is called Retro) was a disaster.  A nice roll of the eyes when I asked for a plate for my daughter and they actually let us stand there at the register for about 5 minutes with my youngest shrieking before giving us the bill.  Terrible, terrible service but not bad pizza.  Last note, the Hotel Mlyn had 3 family rooms with separate sleeping areas and happily (and for free) put a crib and potty in the room.

  • Larissa on 16 July 2010 @ 05:28 PM

    Hi Diane & C,
    Yes I agree that the pizza place in the playground is a disaster - we have not eaten there for quite a while, it’s only good for a quick drink in the late afternoon when the crowds have died down - disappointing given it’s convenient location.

    Walking to Austria - you will need a decent map, first tip is to stick to the southern side of the lake till you reach the small town of Predni Vyton - take the exit to Austria at the roundabout and then turn right just before the border, the road turns to dirt somewhere along the way. When you reach a t-intersection leave your car here and follow the signs to St Oswald in Austria - Enjoy!

    I can also recommend the canoe trip from Cesky Krumlov to Zlata Koruna - we recently undertook the journey in a large rubber raft with 3 adults and 3 kids (1, 2 and 4) - it was really beautiful and had plenty of places along the way where you could stop for food and the compulsory beer :-)

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