The Czech town of Ceske Budejovice in South Bohemia may be best known for the beer that has been brewed there since the 13th century. Even if you aren't a beer lover, this charming provincial capital it is well worth a visit thanks to its vast main square, winding lanes, and role as a good base for exploring the region.
Guided tours in Ceske Budejovice generally begin in Old Town, with impressive sights such as the large Ottokar II Square (one of the largest main squares in Europe), the 16th-century Black Tower, the baroque Samson's Fountain, and the three-spired Town Hall. Visit this picturesque town on a day trip tour from Prague or Cesky Krumlov, as a stop on your way between those two cities, or as part of a multi-day South Bohemia tour that includes Cesky Krumlov, Hluboka, and Prague.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Black Tower's 225 steps reward climbers with panoramic views of Ceske Budejovice and beyond.
- History buffs will enjoy the Museum of South Bohemia, which dates to 1877 and houses a large collection of historic weapons, coins, books, and other artifacts.
- Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes.
- Sample Ceske Budejovice's famous beer responsibly—don’t drink and drive.
How to Get There
Ceske Budejovice is a two-hour drive from Prague and just 30 minutes from Cesky Krumlov. Buses run hourly from both cities, leaving from Prague's Na Knizeci and Roztyly bus stations. A Ceske Budejovice–Prague train leaves hourly and takes about two and a half hours.
When to Get There
Ceske Budejovice is best visited in the summer, when various festivals create a buzz throughout the city, or in December, when traditional Christmas markets take over Ottokar II Square.
The Breweries of Ceske Budejovice
Founded in 1895, the largest brewery in Ceske Budejovice is the Pivovar Budejovicky Budvar (or Budweiser Budvar Brewery), which retains the right to market its beer under the Budweiser brand throughout much of Europe. Hour-long tours take place at 2pm daily. The town's oldest and second-largest brewery is the Pivovar Samson Brewery, which dates to 1795, but it is not open to the public.