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Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic - California Globetrotter

České Budějovice: Castles, Beer & More!

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Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic - California GlobetrotterThe capital of South Bohemia, České Budějovice is home to a large industrial center, which helped it to grow. The historic city center shows the wealth that the city once enjoyed with colorful, unique, intricate buildings which helps draw people in who are looking for something a little less touristy besides just Prague. Like Cesky Krumlov, the town is a little hidden treasure for the Czech Republic! Just a few hours from the German border, it made for the perfect day trip!

The town is also renowned for their beer, the Budvar Brewery, which they are very proud of. Some might recognize the name as Budweis in English. But it is not to be confused with the Anheuser-Busch Budweiser beer in the States.

And just a short drive of about ten minutes sit the Hluboká Castle, perched upon a hill overlooking the surround village below. Well worth a visit for the magnificent endless gardens and the unique appearance of the castle.

The city of České Budějovice  was founded in 1265 by King Ottokar II of Bohemia. České Budějovice enjoyed economic prosperity due to the position it served between trading routes and those who were loyal to the crown were rewarded.Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic - California Globetrotter

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The city continued to prosper and grow expanding beyond its city walls. Today, there is still a huge influence of German and Czech speaking citizens, who also speak very good English.

The main attraction of the city center is the stunning Town Hall which depicts the wealth the town enjoyed in its past. It sits in the southwest corner of the large square and certainly dominates all other buildings.

IMG_0997Caddy corner from the Town Hall is the St. Nicholas Cathedral and the Black Tower. It is a simple triple-aisled church with a large organ. I always check out the inside of churches so that I can admire the stunning beauty of the architecture and frescos. And when these aren’t available, then I just enjoy the peace of such a sanctuary.

Just in front of the church is the Black Tower, which dates back to 1577 and originally served as a belfry and the town’s observation tower. The tower is open for tourists to walk up the 225 steps to the top only during the tourist season between April-September. Therefore, we weren’t able to go up for a view of the town.

Just a short 5 minute drive outside of the historic city center, you can find the Budvar Brewery. It is one of the Czech Republic’s most successful breweries and exports beer to around 70 countries. In the United States, it is called Czechvar. The Czech Budweiser can not be called Budweiser in the States because of the ongoing lawsuit between them and Anheuser-Busch Budweiser. Only in North America can Anheuser-Busch call their beer “Budweiser”. IMG_0989

The original Czech Budweiser has been in production since 1785 and Anheuser-Busch Budweiser started using the name in the US and registered it 2 years later. Even a third company began using the name Budweiser in České Budějovice which finally led to the dispute between the rights of the name.

For just 120kc (about 10 euros), we did a 45 minute tour in English of the brewery. During the tour, we learned about the history of the brewery, their brewing process and even sampled the beer.

IMG_0998Now, if you’re looking to sit down and enjoy some of that amazing beer with a good meal, I highly recommend strolling through the allies in town before coming upon Masné krámy, a restaurant which is an absolute must. There is an old saying that says, “Those who haven’t been to the Masné krámy restaurant, haven’t been to České Budějovice.”  

We knew we had to go, and so we searched it out before stumbling upon it. You could smell the deliciousness of the restaurant wafting down the street, even before entering the building. We knew we had found the right restaurant!

So we went in, order a beer and enjoyed a wonderful dinner. I order a traditional duck roast with blaukraut and Knödel. It was honestly one of the best ducks I have ever eaten as it just fell to pieces as I cut into with a perfect crispy crust. Hans enjoyed a traditional goulash with Knödel which he said was also quite superb!

And just another 10 minutes from the city, is the small village of Hluboká which one of the country’s most beautiful aristocratic residences sits perched above the town. The Hluboká Castle was built in the 13th century by Wesceslas I, remodeled in the 15th century and again in the 18th century, leading it today to look similar to the English Neo-Gothic style modeled after Windsor Castle in London.

Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic - California GlobetrotterWe enjoyed the early afternoon walking around the castle and the gardens before we made it into town. We chose not to go into the castle as it seemed each part of the castle had a different tour which had a different price. While perusing the website of the castle, I felt that the inside of the castle was as similar as many other castles. So we chose not go in.

The castle has 11 towers which give it a very Medieval look and I could certainly see the similarities between this castle and Windsor castle, having been when I was younger.

This is definitely a castle that the residents of the village below enjoy walking up to and spending their afternoons here. We saw more locals than we did tourists, as we went during the off season. Having researched, the castle is beautiful year round from flowers in the Spring to the colorful fall leaves and snow.

After our full day checking out the castle, the town and doing the Budvar Brewery tour we headed back to the castle to get some sunset pictures of the castle and the lake below. While the sunset didn’t quite reach the castle, we did enjoy a STUNNING sunset of pinks and purples reflected back on the lake! I’ve never seen anything so beautiful before!

If you’re interested in visiting the Czech Republic and are looking for more information, I highly recommend using the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide! Without these guides, I would be lost! This is my travel Bible!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I might make a little extra spending money, at no extra cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own and these products/services have been found useful during our travels and come highly recommended to you from yours truly!

Be sure to check out some other amazing places to visit in the Czech Republic:

Prague

Cesky Krumlov

Karlovy Vary

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Author: California Globetrotter

At 14 I started traveling the world with my parents and was hooked! By 21 I was studying abroad in Heidelberg, Germany. By 26 I sold all of my belongings and bought a one way ticket to Germany to teach English. Little did I know, I'd meet the love of my life and end up traveling to the most romantic and idyllic towns in Europe and becoming a long-term expat in Bavaria! My name is Lorelei and I'm just your typical CaliGirl, Sunset Chaser, Fairytale Dreamer, Dress Lover, Traveloholic, Beer Drinker!

28 thoughts on “České Budějovice: Castles, Beer & More!

  1. Hi, thank you for the nice blog about my native city Ceske Budejovice. It is a pleasure to hear that you, an American lady, you have visited this smaller city on the south of Bohemia. Most of foreigners know only Prague. Maximally they travel for one day trip to Cesky Krumlov or other touristic towns (such as Karlovy Vary, Kutná Hora, Karštejn Castle etc.). Have a nice trips to other Czech cities!

  2. I really wanted to see CB when I was in Prague, and booked accommodation there for one night. Unfortunately, I missed the bus there so had to cancel and stay in Prague. I hope to get there one day, but until then I enjoyed reading about your visit. Cheers!

  3. How beautiful is the town hall square? And where are the people???

    • I know! It was so empty but I think it was because it’s just the off season. Many shops were closed up for the winter, which I had no idea of! But when we were leaving in the evening, people were coming in possibly to watch a soccer game

  4. What a colorful town!! And the castle is soo charming!

  5. Looks and sounds wonderful. Can you get there by train?

  6. beautiful photos, I’ve never been here:) #monday escapes

  7. I am a fan of castles, so, it will be cool to see this one. Recently, I have discovered several places to add to a Czech Republic itinerary.

  8. This place is beautiful!! I love castles and this one looks amazing, I never heard of it before. I also didn’t know about the story of Budweiser, I always thought they were the same. Interesting.
    Ohh how cool, that’s a great option for a day trip from Prague😀

    Thank you for joining us on #MondayEscapes

  9. Have only visited Prague before but Ceske Budejovice looks well worth a visit – love the charm of the old buildings and always love knowing the history of a place. Rosemary #MondayEscapes

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  11. You don’t often read about Ceske Budejovice, but it’s such a beautiful place to go at least for a day. Love your photos.

  12. Wow – such a beautiful place. I especially like the look of Hluboká Castle – I’d love to visit it!🙂

  13. This looks like a a good place to visit to escape the crowds isn’t it? I particularly love the castle, it looks so different from the other European castles I’ve seen.

    PS The duck looks like a huge portion, I’m salivating and craving for some crispy duck right about now. :p

  14. We took a day trip to Ceske Kromlov from Prague years ago and it was very interesting. the buses were very hard to figure out so we didn’t manage to make it to this town as well, though we wanted to. Clearly we missed out. I guess we’ll have to go back!

  15. So that’s what the Castle looks like… it was shrouded in an eerie fog the day we visited. I missed the Old Town as we had limited time driving between Cesky Krumlov and Prague. Now I wish I had more time.

  16. That town square and colorful town hall are picture perfect! Definitely adding this to our dream Czech itinerary! #TheWeeklyPostcard

  17. This is so beautiful, I love your photos – and those old buildings are stunning. I really haven’t explored the Czech Republic beyond Prague, although I’ve been there a few times, and it’s lovely that it’s still so quiet to explore, and still very much about the locals (which sadly Prague isn’t any more). Definitely one for my list. Thanks for linking up to #citytripping

  18. So interesting to see and hear more about the Czech Republic beyond Prague. This looks like a beautiful place and certainly not as busy as the capital. Great to hear about its history too. Thanks for linking to #citytripping

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