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Getting There

From Ceské Budejovice, it's about a 45-minute drive to Krumlov, depending on traffic. Take Hwy. 3 from the south of Ceské Budejovice and turn onto Hwy. 159. The roads are clearly marked, with several signs directing traffic to the town. From Prague, it's a 2- to 3-hour drive down Hwy. 3 through Tábor. Once you reach Krumlov, you'll have to stow the car in one of several numbered paid parking lots around town. Choose parking lot no. 2, and follow the road all the way to the end; this puts you within 5 to 10 minutes' walk of the historic square.

The only way to reach Ceský Krumlov by train from Prague is via Ceské Budejovice, a slow ride that deposits you at a station relatively far from the town center (trip time: 3 hr., 50 min.). Several trains leave daily from Prague's Hlavní nádrazí; the fare is 250Kc. If you are already in Ceské Budejovice and you want to make a trip to Krumlov, several trains connect these two cities throughout the day. The trip takes about an hour and costs 50Kc. For timetables, go to www.jizdnirady.cz.

The nearly 3-hour bus ride from Prague sometimes involves a transfer in Ceské Budejovice. The fare is 136Kc, and the bus station in Ceský Krumlov is a 10-minute walk from the town's main square.

Visitor Information

Right on the main square, the Information Centrum, námestí Svornosti 2, 381 01 Ceský Krumlov (tel. 380-704-622; fax 380-704-619; www.ckrumlov.info), provides a complete array of services, from booking accommodations to reserving tickets for events, as well as a phone and Internet service. It's open daily June through September from 9am to 7pm; in April, May, and October from 9am to 6pm; and from November to March from 9am to 5pm.

Be warned that the municipal hall is in the same building, and it's crowded with weddings on weekends. If someone holds out a hat, throw some change into it, take a traditional shot of liquor from them, and say "Blahopreji!" ("Congratulations!") to everyone in the room.

Special Events

After being banned during Communism, the Slavnosti petilisté ruze (Festival of the Five-Petaled Rose) has made a triumphant comeback. It's held each year during the summer solstice. Residents of Ceský Krumlov dress up in Renaissance costume and parade through the streets. Afterward, the streets become a stage for chess games with people dressed as pieces, music, plays, and even duels "to the death."

Ceský Krumlov also plays host to the International Music Festival every July and August, attracting performers from all over the world. Performances are held in nine spectacular venues. Tickets and details are available over the festival website (www.festivalkrumlov.cz) or through Ticketstream (www.ticketstream.cz) or the event organizer in Prague: Auviex, at Perlitová 1820, Prague 4 (tel. 241-445-404; www.auviex.cz).

Though much quieter in the winter, the town comes alive on New Year's Eve when its spectacular setting is lit up by midnight fireworks shot from a hill next to the center of town. Hotels and pensions fill up quickly, so reservations are recommended. Most restaurants and hotels have a special dinner/dancing deal that is also recommended to ensure you have a place to party when you return from watching the fireworks.

Orientation

Surrounded by a circular sweep of the Vltava River, Ceský Krumlov is easy to negotiate. The main square, námestí Svornosti, is at the very center of the Inner Town. The bridge that spans the Vltava a few blocks away leads to a rocky hill and the Latrán area, above which is the castle, Ceský Krumlov Château.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.