January is hard in Vienna. The Christmas Markets are already gone, the days are short, dark and cold… So with this panorama, the best plan would be staying at home watching Mad Men. Actually, while doing so, we had an idea: a weekend getaway. Where? Perhaps skiing would have been a great choice. However, we came through a lovely article from American in Vienna who wrote about a medieval town not so far away from Vienna, in Czech Republic. It looked so pretty and well-preserved that we thought it would be worth it even in winter. And it was, indeed!
So here is our little guide for a weekend getaway in Cesky Krumlov:
How we got there: We booked train tickets through ÖBB’s Webpage from Vienna to Ceskz Krumlov. It takes around 4:30 hs to get there, even travelling with a shuttle bus. The only way to make it shorter is going by car.
Where we stayed: Penzion Na Špičáku. We got a great deal through Booking, and it couldn’t have been better. Friendly staff, delicious breakfast and a few blocks away from the castle. What we liked the most is that it’s a tiny Pension with few rooms, which makes it cozy and special.
What we did:
-Visited the Castle grounds, we especially enjoyed the breath-taking views from the balconies above.
– Strolled around the historic city center. This is something not to be missed. It is so well-preserved that we felt we were walking into the 13th Century. The street layout is intact as well as many building which still preserve the roof shapes, decorations and baroque facades.
– Took Wiseman’s Free walking Tour and donated 🙂 I recommend it if you want to get to know a bit more about historical facts and appreciate the architecture knowing what exactly to look at. We thought it was very interesting and fun, since our guide was helpful and showed us unique places we probably may have missed being on ourselves.
– Had a delicious lunch and tried the smoked Beer (!) at the local Brewery Eggenberg Pivovary.
-Had dinner at Two Marys (U dwau Maryí) and ordered the vegetarian platter with dark beer. This is an old tavern that looks ancient and keeps up with the charm of Cesky Krumlov. Definitely worth the visit and the food was delightful!
And to close this article here’s our little anecdote from our way back to Vienna. Remember I told you we travelled by train? Well, we had to take 3 trains in total. This was not the problem though. The thing was, on the first train we took back, the ticket controller started checking everyone’s tickets. Even though we showed her our’s (which according to OBB covered the whole way back to Vienna) she claimed that this was not true, and wanted to give us a fine (!) To make matters worse, she didn’t speak English, or German, which made it impossible to understand each other. Fortunately next to us there was an 18-year-old boy who translated everything between us 3, and who understood the unfair situation and took our side. As he explained everything in Tzchech the whole train heard it too, and took our side as well, and started arguing with the ticket controller. It got to a point where it was embarrassing and we even got to understand the word POLICE! In the end, everybody calmed down, even the ticket controller who left without saying a word. After all, we had already paid for the ticket. We had forgotten though, to pay for a translator !