Quite easily one of the prettiest preserved towns in all of Europe, Cesky Krumlov is a famous UNESCO protected town (since 1992) south of Prague. The atmosphere is unbeatable, as the center of the town has remained untouched since the 16th century except for careful renovations. The massive Cesky Krumlov Castle complex overlooking the winding Vltava River and the labyrinth of cobblestone streets and red tile rooftops dominates this small and charming town; the castle complex is the second largest complex in the Czech Republic after Prague Castle. Cesky Krumlov is small enough to see in one day, but if you stay for a long weekend, the secret nooks and crannies become visible. Wander around the winding lanes and observe more than 300 Gothic and Renaissance houses, most of which house boutique hotels, shops selling traditional Czech crafts such as wooden toys and glass, art galleries, bookstores including a Shakespeare and Sons, jewelry shops and more. Many cozy cellar restaurants and bars can be found here, serving authentic Czech food, some of which offer recipes that are old as the town. In the center of town you can also find the acclaimed Egon Schiele Art Center with a permanent collection of Egon Schiele works plus temporary exhibitions of up-and-coming artists. If you are searching for a cultural event many festivals take place in Cesky Krumlov including the Festival of Old Music, the International Music Festival and a Rose Celebration. Another attraction in Cesky Krumlov is the Vlatva River itself; every year masses of people go canoeing and rafting down the meandering river that curves charmingly throughout the town and passes under the massive castle, providing a unforgettable view of the Renaissance Tower.
Address: Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic. Tourist information center, +420 380 704 621 (623), www.ckrumlov.info
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