This beautiful medieval city almost encircled by two meandering loops of the Vltava River hasn't managed to escape the modern travails of 21st century tourism. Historical facades are festooned with nick-nacks nobody needs, sidewalk booths hawk takeaway cocktails to thirsty tourists on the fly and drenched rafters gallivant around in Speedos.
Yet despite this, Český Krumlov has retained its dignity. One of Europe's largest castles watches over its citizens from its lofty hilltop perch flaunting its bizarre bell tower so colourful it's almost garish. Ancient oak balconies hang precariously from centuries old townhouses supporting the weight of their inhabitants who prefer the relative seclusion of the second floor to the manic streets below. Finally, the ancient lifeblood of the city, the Vltava, flows past its borders bringing with it commerce, prosperity and scenic vistas much as it did years ago.
Forgo another inebriated night in Prague and taste some country living in this jewel of South Bohemia.