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In Český Krumlov, Prague and romantic Bohemia, charm abounds

In Český Krumlov, Prague and romantic Bohemia, charm abounds

A visit to Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic is like stepping back in time

Have you ever visited Český Krumlov? Have you ever visited South Bohemia? If not, then you need to make your way to the Czech Republic right away, and be awed by its beauty.

Earlier this year, I had the chance to visit this land of castles and dragons, ancient heroes and charming princes and princesses, a land of rivers and history: at my core, this is how I see much of central Europe.

Cesky Krulov is definitely one of the most beautiful Renaissance cities in Europe and, we must note, after Prague Castle, the most visited place in the Czech Republic. Being part of the UNESCO World Heritage List, this town will delight you with its little square, exquisite meals, the stunning State Castle Český Krumlov [main picture] and lush green gardens.

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In this town I experienced what Central European cuisine really is. I sampled freshwater fish, pumpkins, pumpkin oil, rare vegetables and the locals’ unique hospitality. The best spot to enjoy the Bohemian food was at Jacub’s Restaurant. I ate pike fillet, a fish which is impossible to find in London, which was juicy and fragrant. Having lived along the coastline for much of my life I was pleasantly surprised that freshwater fish can give your palate a thrill here t.

Cesky Krumlov was home to Egon Schiele, one of the most famous expressionist painters. Here he lived for some years and the Egon Schiele Art Centrum keeps his memory alive. The Seidels, a family of photographers, are also celebrated in the Museum Fotoatelier Seidel, a new addition to the city.

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During my stay in Bohemia, we decided to head to Holasovice, a wonderful village made up of late Baroque country houses which are now part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. When we arrived, a group of local men and women wearing their best dresses and suits welcomed us with cheese pastries and sweets. This is one of the best-preserved examples of a traditional central European villages I’ve ever seen: no wonder the UNESCO folks love it.

We then stopped at the Relaxing and Regeneration Centre Hluboká, one of the most serene spas I have ever been to. The hot tub was modern and quiet, the building itself new but welcoming. Forget about those old spas in Budapest where sometimes you have to zigzag among flocks of tourists.

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The spa was the perfect way to get ready to another wonderful visit, my discovery of the State Chateau of Hluboka [above]. It looks straight out of a Disney film; perhaps you’ll find your charming prince or princess waiting for you at the glorious entrance. The experience at Hluboka is simply unforgettable, thanks to the white walls, the delicate decorations, and the sense of history which reigns in this building. The Czech Republic is a land of castles, we know: Hluboka is its quintessential feature.

A quick word on Prague: if this country is considered to be one of the most romantic nations in the world, this is largely thanks to its capital, on the Vltava River, a city of bridges and towers, old cemeteries and Baroque squares, Medieval buildings and small and crowded alleys.

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You really don’t want to ignore the views next to the Charles Bridge or the melodic music from the street artists. This was my second time in Prague and after a couple days I really felt like I was in heaven. Be sure to check out Kampa Island, next to the bridge: it’s an oasis of calm and quiet, with charming houses by the water and a stunning contemporary art museum, the Museum Kampa. This area of the city is called ‘The Venice of Prague’ and you should view the beauty of the city before exploring the crowded and huge Prague Castle. And don’t forget, Prague is the city of romance and love, try to book a holiday with someone you adore.

Where to stay

Lindner Hotel Prague Castle

A romantic, relaxing ‘Germanesque’ hotel, not far from Prague Castle, in the Western part of the city center. Ask for a room overlooking the courtyard. The bed was soft, pillows comfortable and the carpet incredibly clean. The breakfast is really rich; you can even find a machine to make your own waffles. Walking from the hotel to the city center is incredibly pleasant.

Hotel Nautilus

This is one of my favorite hotels in Bohemia, in the city of Tabor. A quiet, clean and well designed boutique hotel, the Nautilus will also delight you with its restaurant, the Goldie, one of the best spots to have a drink and a nice Czech meal in Tabor. Incredibly, in the middle of Bohemia they serve a fish menu. Their beds are also a treat: linen is so soft you will feel like a prince.

For more information about the Czech Republic, click here.

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