Day Night

České Budějovice

South Bohemia, a land as fragrant and good as though taken from the Bartered Bride opera by Bedřich Smetana. Flat meadows without hills, fertile fields, mysterious groves, romantic hamlets with preserved folk architecture and lakes. These are the images of the countryside surrounding the City of České Budějovice.

České Budějovice is the smallest of the large Czech cities and although you can find all modern urban amenities, life seems to flow at a slow rural pace. There is no hustle and bustle here. All the streets and pubs invite you in with the warmth of a fireplace and a homely atmosphere. So if you want some rest and relaxation, České Budějovice is the right place to go. The feeling you will take with you from the City is tranquillity. Budějovice is as quiet and peaceful as the surfaces of the lakes that surround it.

However, you can find some warm-blooded students there who know how to stir up the peaceful atmosphere. One of the most popular student events is Budějovický Majáles. The largest non-commercial festival of live culture in the Czech Republic lasts several days and admission is free. In addition to the traditional pogo and moshing, you can also visit a drive-in cinema or participate in the many workshops.

Over the Water

If you want to go on a tour of the City, start at the broad Přemysl Otakar II Square (Náměstí Přemysla Otakara II.) with Samson’s fountain (Samsonová kašna) at its centre. When walking across the square, make sure you don’t step on the Wandering Boulder (Bludný kámen), especially after nine o’clock in the evening… The square is lined with traditional arcades and gardens, best seen from the top of the Black Tower (Černá věž). And if you stand on your tiptoes, you might see all the way to the lakes in the north of the City. The rivers and lakes are the alpha and omega of local life.
For centuries, this level countryside and its inhabitants have been formed by the all-embracing water. Its presence is reflected in local crafts, traditional cuisine, folk songs and legends. Even most nature reserves include lakes and lake systems, and they are often in the cadastre of the City, such as the extraordinary ornithological Vrbné Ponds (Vrbenské rybníky) reservation.

Beer Legend

The City, just like the countryside, changed in time with the development of fishpond cultivation. It grew and prospered in the midst of the wealthy region and in 1495 obtained the right to brew beer. Thus, the tradition of brewing that has lasted to this day started in České Budějovice. Despite being in the shadow of its west Bohemian sister Plzeň, who gave the world Pilsen beer, Budějovice makes an equally good beer in Budějovický Budvar (Budweiser Budvar). You can tour the brewery (from 9 am to 5 pm every day) and learn how this ancient beverage is born from the best local ingredients and water drawn from the brewery’s own wells, often up to 300 metres deep. You will see with your own eyes how the 700-year-old tradition combines with modern technology and what unique beer is created.


You can also stop at one of the local microbreweries. For example, in 2014 a 15th century microbrewery Krajinská 27 was reopened. It might have received a new modern face, but they still brew the beer according to old Bohemian recipes in the traditional way from Bohemian malt, hops and yeast. The purely natural, unfiltered and unpasteurised golden drink is served with some homemade specialties.

There is also Beeranek, a family-owned microbrewery, located in one of the side street of Přemysl Otakar II Square. It is currently the smallest brewery (when it comes to square metres) in the Czech Republic, but that does has no bearing on the quality. The microbrewery is attached to the pleasant and somewhat hipster Singer Pub and the affordable and stylish Singer Pub Hostel.
Even though we mentioned Kněžínek last, it was the first brewery in České Budějovice. In addition to excellent beer, Kněžínek also offers accommodation and rural-style restaurant services. You can easily leave the City behind on your tour of local breweries. In addition to Budweiser and Samson, the South Bohemian Beer Trails (Jihočeské pivní stezky) will lead you to six other breweries: Eggenberg, Platan, Bohemia Regent, Nektar, Lipan and Zvíkov.

Beyond the City Boundary

If you think that the city of České Budějovice is too small for you and feel like exploring, feel free to explore beyond the city borders. The flat amicable countryside invites easy cycling, and you can ride to a lake and go swimming or just sit down on a bank with ancient oak trees and rest. Visit Třeboň with the largest fishpond in the world, Rožmberk or Český Krumlov – a beautiful town with a preserved medieval ground plan and many Baroque, Renaissance and Gothic buildings. Český Krumlov is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

You can complete your wandering through history with an unusual dinner of old Bohemian cuisine, such as jáhelník (salty or sweet pie made from millet), žahour (a blueberry sauce, usually served with sweet curd dumplings), houbový kuba (baked barley with mushrooms) or buckwheat porridge, all of which can be found at the “Krčma U dwau Maryí” pub.


České Budějovice is easily accessed from Prague (by bus or direct train), from Linz, or with a transfer from Passau or Vienna. The city centre is easily covered on foot and there is public transport system that will take you farther. 

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