Visting Český Krumlov With a Dog

On a rainy morning in Prague, we rented a car to drive 2 to 3 hours south to the beautiful town of Český Krumlov. I was extra happy that day because after a week of flying solo with the bipeds, we were going to meet up with our dear friends Michaela and Jeremy, and their two Chi, Chloe and Oliver. They were in town for their wedding, to take place in a few days. (More on that later!)

Because Michaela is from the Czech Republic and knows her way around, the plan was for us to follow them. Well, needless to say, as we got onto the busy out of Prague, we lost sight of our friends. THREE letters, Dear Reader: GPS.

We went back to the car rental, got a GPS, and plugged “Český Krumlov” into the finder. We sent a message while we could, using the car rental’s WiFi, to let our friends know we would meet them in town, near the tourism office at the town hall. (When we travel, we avoid the outrageous Canadian cost for roaming and the nuisance of a second SIM card and local mobile account, so our cellphone access is limited to free WiFi hot spots.)

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Okay let’s go! We are totally off schedule now!

Český Krumlov reveals itself as you drive into the valley that is home to the town. It’s a beautiful sight from above with the Vltava, the longest river in the Czech Republic, looping through the city’s Inner Town, almost making the Inner Town into an island. A pretty castle tower rising above it all is fairytale-like in shape and hue. My only regret was that the rain had still not eased up. That was going to be a bit of a bummer.

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hard not to go …. oooooh!

Parking is not a simple thing, we discovered, so give yourself a little time to figure that out. We found parking at a great rate in a privately owned spot in someone’s garage!

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Seriously how cute is this street?

Once parked, we were off to find the tourism bureau in the main square and meet up with our friends!

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A little map to help you out!

While we waited, we took it all in. The Náměstí Svornosti building caught our eye. It’s the town hall, and occupies an entire corner of the square. It is actually two Gothic houses that were combined.

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The beautiful square!

The Plague Column in the middle of the square, topped with a statue of the Virgin Mary and eight saints, is a somber reminder of the Great Plague that swept much of Europe in 1682. Český Krumlov was spared the sweep of death; in thanks, the town erected the column.

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It’s curved streets are enchanting.

My nose told me there was also an old brewery nearby … but just then, we spotted our friends entering the square! I got distracted and forgot the brewery!

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We shared lots of hugs and sniffing. (That is, the humans hugged. We canines sniffed — just in case you wondered). Our collective tummies were grumbling so the first order of business was to eat! We found a sweet restaurant nearby that even allowed we canines to dine inside. (They didn’t even blink at three dogs!) The décor was so charming. The food? Delicious traditional Czech fare.

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HOW pretty is this place??

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waiting for our meal!

Latran

As we headed out of the restaurant, we decided to make our way to the castle. The rain had stopped, but the sky was still grey. At least it wasn’t as cold anymore. We crossed the pretty little bridge that separates the old town from an area known as Latran.

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Streets to fall in love with!

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Crossing the bridge!

Latran was once a village of its own with a population of mostly merchants and craftsman. These folks supplied the castle so it made sense that they would live along the castle wall. Mom came across a milliner still making hats the way they have been making them in the Czech Republic for hundreds of years. True to her nature, Mom tried one on and she looked so adorable in it that Dad bought it for her as a gift right there on the spot!

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That is a lot of castle … wow.

We enjoyed walking these streets with their beautiful small homes, Gothic and Baroque buildings, and the convent of the poor and its church.

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Loved the dome on the Church!

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and … a tiny little sign that says NO DOGS> Whaaaaat?

We finally we made it to the Budějovická Gate. The Renaissance gate is the only one left of the original nine town gates.

Krumlov Castle

Krumlov Castle, second only in size to the castle in Prague, is a town of its own with its 300 rooms. The castle is known for the “dolni hrad” (lower castle) and its tall, cylindrical tower painted in colourful designs. That was built around 1580.

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The prettiest tower EVER!

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Inner courtyard – subtle designs on the stones.

Sadly, pets are not allowed in the castle — not on the grounds or inside. But, as we have been known to do, we went into stealth mode and entered anyway! My friends Chloe and Oliver, inside their own carrier, went so far as to even tour the inside! The bipeds and I saw the sun come out, so we opted to visit the grounds before heading back to the Inner Town.

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I am NOT here! Not sure WHO dad is saluting!

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You can’t see me!!

We arranged to meet up again with our friends in an hour’s time to climb the castle tower together. During our hour, we first walked across the Plášťový most, an arcaded bridge, and went toward the famous theatre. The view of the city from up there is stellar; I recommend it.

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Let that soak in for a moment.

I was beginning to get annoyed at being in stealth mode – and the bipeds annoyed too — so we left the castle walls and headed back down.

The Inner Town

This was my favourite part! Paws down! After crossing the bridge, we took an immediate right and headed toward a little garden on the edge of the river. From there, we were rewarded with the most amazing view of the arcaded bridge. AND the sun came out!

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So magical

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Pretty awesome right?

We followed the rocky banks of the river and found some cute streets …

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almost like a tiny Bohemian Venice!

… and the market. The entire Inner Town is pedestrian! So with glee, the bipeds left me off-leash for the most part to follow them in the zig zag streets.

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Now THAT is a balcony!

I discovered a fun children’s book character … a MOLE named Krtek! One that travels all over the world too!

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Little mole Krtek that traveled around the world! We are totally talking travel tips.

Soon our hour was up, so we returned to the gorgeous tower to meet our friends. But before going back into the castle, it was back into the carrier bag for me.

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Like a fairy tale!

At the ticket office, with our friends behind us, we discovered the tower was closing! We got the LAST tickets to go up! They literally closed the doors behind us to stop others from coming in. THAT was close! So, armed with our tickets and with only a few people about thanks to our last minute timing, we climbed …

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Our dear friends … Michaela and Jeremy!

… And what a view we earned! As we walked around the tower, the town below seemed like something out of a big budget movie. To know it was real, that people lived and worked there, made it all the more special. It’s why we love returning to the old world, I think: that sense of history and permanence, and all of it “built to last and for beauty” … it’s addictive.

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Mom’s new hat!

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Am I right? Stunning!

We finished up and headed back down, and made our way back to the car. This time, we managed to follow our friends out of town and on toward our next adventure.

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I love these two crazy love birds!

In review: Paws down, the most beautiful small town we saw in the Czech Republic. Restaurants, little stores, and so on are pet-friendly. The castle, however, is not, so if you are not comfortable with “stealth mode,” a hand-off will be required. This is easy enough to do with an abundance of perfect little restaurants and coffee shops to choose from. Or just walk the old streets with a pastry or gelato. Oh, and do not forget your camera. This little town will drive you shutterbug crazy!

For WAY more pics head over to our FB page.

38 Comments on “Visting Český Krumlov With a Dog

  1. Ohh how wonderful! Monte you brought back fantastic memories of that day :-)
    Yes it did start out little rocky, and even got the horrible news of the seemstress ruining my brother’s wedding suit while touring the castle , but the wonderful company of great friends and family and the gorgeous views made it all better. We will definitely return because we didn’t get to see much of the city. Weekend would be nice! :-)
    Thank you for the lovely photos :-)
    Michaela, Oliver, & Chloé

    • It was a really fabulous day. I do hope you get to go back. It’s too pretty to only see once! And thank you for meeting us there and getting us home after!

  2. Just wow, these photos are amazing! I love the architecture – and of course all the doggie photos. :-)

  3. Stunning! I am truly amazed with all your travels and how many of your adventures you are able to bring dogs into the restaurants without an issue. I wish the same was true here.

  4. Your pictures are awesome and the dogs looked like they enjoyed themselves as well. I have been to Prague but not any of the places you mentioned unfortunately. I had left my dogs at home but it’s amazing how many dog friendly places are out there. Good to know!

    • I find Europe to really be very pet friendly. I think people need to know that and I am now looking at other places … if there are places where pets can take public transit AND eat indoors… I want to know. :)

  5. You guys go to THE most exotic, interesting places! I’ve heard Prague is magnificent but I’ve never been there. I’d love to see it one day. One of my goals is to travel abroad (outside the US) with Phoebe one day. I love how Europeans allow dogs almost everywhere, even in eating establishments! The US is not so savvy in that area, not yet anyway.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    • Canada isn’t pet friendly either. Can’t take the train .. can’t dine … not even on patios … it’s annoying. So … we travel overseas!

  6. Wow – what a place. It is the one thing I miss about Europe, the architecture. All the wonderful old buildings that go back generations and their treasures like the decorative painting and furniture.

    Thank you for letting us join you for a wonderful trip!

  7. I have been to Prague many years ago and it was mind blowing but I didn’t get to travel with my dogs! I love that Montecristo was there and you had to Chi friends to join you! The pics are amazing… they let you all dine together in a restaurant! Europe is so awesome. The pic with the Mole is hilarious too… love your pics and adventures!

  8. Wow! That is a beautiful destination! It does seem like something out of a fairytale. I am always a little startled at how clean the places you visit are. My town is not bad for litter, but compared to your photos it is. I remember when I lived in Europe that the people scrubbed their outside steps. Is that still a common event?

    • Oh yes people still do that. Largely because legally you are responsible. But also, there is less room between a home and the sidewalk compare to North America where everyone has front lawns etc. I have seen that behaviour in NYC mind you.

  9. I enjoyed seeing all the architecture and reading about all the adventures. My favorite part is where everyone went in stealth mode so that the dogs could see the castle. :-)

    • Even in super pet friendly Europe – we run into this silly stuff. I think the issue is that there is little difference made between the tiny “bag size” dogs and bigger dogs. Cause really … what POSSIBLE harm could a 3.5 pound dog do?

    • yeah … Europe is pretty awesome and SO pet friendly It’s why it’s our go to. BUT we are look gin at Peru, Puerto Rico, Thailand and Costa Rico these days so stay tuned!

  10. We just love reading your adventures – and this one was no different, the venture looked amazing! You must come to the Pacific Northwest sometime – we’re a very dog-friendly part of the US!!

    • Mom is super claustrophobic. It was over very quickly. Now … the Florence Duomo? She had to medicate for that! Still worth it!

    • We miss it when back home. We can’t even do patios here. Ridiculous. (Mom says thank you – she is in love with that little hat too.)

  11. Wow! You sure do find some incredible places. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Glad you got the GPS and found your way!

  12. What a wonderful way to see the sites! You should check out the book “Ahound the World.” Oscar is the world’s most well-traveled dog. His owner did crazy things to get him places (pretending to be blind to get him on the Great Wall of China).

    It’s wonderful to get to know new “fantasy” destinations through your lens!

    • I have seen the book … I love the idea but I am on the “fence” about how far the owner was willing go in terms of breaking the rules. But yes … I mean we do often employ the stealth mode but see that as a victimless crime. Faking a disability? that’s … different. I am a PTSD anxiety alert dog – so I feel very sensitive about “fakes” you know?

  13. All your adventures including this one are wonderful. The photos look amazing and have some vintage things to them. Reading your words make me feel like I am actually traveling. Thank you :)

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