- HOTELS (BEST RATED)
- HOTELS (BEST VALUE)
- COFFEE & DRINK
- SIGHTS & LANDMARKS
- THINGS TO DO
- FESTIVALS & EVENTS
- THINGS TO KNOW
Info Ceske Budejovice
České Budějovice (Czech pronunciation:[ˈt͡ʃɛskɛː ˈbuɟɛjovɪt͡sɛ]; German: Budweis or Böhmisch Budweis) is a statutory city in the Czech Republic. It is the largest city in the South Bohemian Region as well as its political and commercial capital, the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of České Budějovice, the University of South Bohemia, and the Academy of Sciences. It is located in the center of a valley of the Vltava River, at the confluence with the Malše.
České Budějovice, which is located in the historical province of Bohemia, is not to be confused with Moravské Budějovice in Moravia.
České Budějovice (also known as Budweis in German or English) is in South Bohemia, in the Czech Republic. The town has since grown into the metropolitan centre. It is the largest town in South Bohemia region and it has approximately 96,000 inhabitants.
Picturesque village of Holašovice just 16 km west of České Budějovice with a well-preserved folk Baroque center is a UNESCO site.
This South Bohemian metropolis was founded in 1265 by the Czech King Premysl Otakar II on the confluence of the Vltava and Malse Rivers. The Square of Premysl Otakar II with its dimensions 133x137 m is one of the largest squares in Bohemia, with arcades and a range of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque burgher's houses. The other important town monuments include the Town Hall, the Samson's fountain and the 72 metre-high Black Tower which provides a beautiful view of the town and surroundings.
The town is an excellent place to visit if you want to escape the large numbers of tourists in Prague or nearby Český Krumlov. It's well-developed transport links make it the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding region. There are many historic towns and villages nearby, numerous hiking trails, and a vast cycle path network. The most famous cycle path is No. 12 which connects České Budějovice and Hluboká nad Vltavou.
The city was founded in 1256 by King Ottokar II of Bohemia, who granted its municipal charter in 1265. The siting and planning of the city was carried out by the king's knight Hirzo. The settlers were coming from the Bohemian Forest and Upper Austria. The royal city was created as a platform of the king's power in South Bohemia and to counterbalance the powerful noble House of Rosenberg, which became extinct in 1611. In 1256 the Svitavy brewery was founded there (closed in 2002), beginning a long-lasting tradition of fine beer brewing, culminating in the famous Budweiser Budvar Brewery, founded in 1785.
In 1341 King John of Bohemia allowed Jewish families to reside within the city walls, and the first synagogue was built in 1380; however several pogroms occurred in the late 15th and early 16th century. Since the Hussite Wars, the city was traditionally a bulwark of the Catholic Church during the long-lasting religious conflicts in the Kingdom of Bohemia. A part of the Habsburg Monarchy from 1526, Budejovice remained a loyal supporter of Emperor Ferdinand II in the Thirty Years' War. Budějovice underwent a short occupation by Prussia during the Silesian Wars, and the war between the Habsburgs and the French army in 1742.
In 1762 the Piarists established a gymnasium here and Emperor Joseph II founded the diocese in 1785. In 1847, the production of Koh-i-Noor Hardtmuth pencils was relocated from Vienna to Budějovice.
During the Second World War in March 1945, Budějovice was twice targeted by U.S. Air Force raids that greatly damaged the city and caused great loss of life. At the end of the war, on 9 May 1945, Soviet troops liberated the city. On the following day, the Red Army and the American Army met on the main square in a joint celebration of the city's liberation.
Budweis has cooler and wet inland version of temperate Oceanic climate (Cfb) with average annual temperature 8.3 °C (46.9 °F). There are profound four seasons with murky dry winter between early December and early March, sunny and wetter spring between half of March up to half of May changing to rainy and warm summer during late May and early September when start dry autumn lasting to late November. There is between 1550 and 1800 hours of sunshine in most years.
Climate data for Budweis
|Average high °C (°F)||1.4|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−1.9|
|Average low °C (°F)||−5.1|
|Source: Climate Data ORG|
Low-lying city spreads mostly in the plains making it nearly flat in the inner parts with hillier areas in the eastern suburbs. The lowest point lies 375 meters ASL (1233 feet) and the highest point at 452 meters ASL (1483 feet).
Transportation - Get In
Buses leave frequently from "Na Knížecí" and "Roztyly" bus stations in Prague. The trip takes approximately two and a half to three hours. There is also the Yellow Bus line offered by Student Agency, which takes 2 hours, 20 minutes for a similar price. The bus junction in České Budějovice is at the "Mercury Centrum", a two-story shopping mall with the bus station on the roof, located just outside the city center. It is 100m down the street from the train station. For rates and schedules, visit the official transport website IDOS.
Shuttle bus transfer Budweis-shuttle operate comfortable daily bus service between České Budějovice and the following cities - Prague (1.5 hours, 1000Kč): From Austria: Salzburg (3 hours, 1100Kč), Vienna (3 hours, 1100Kč), Linz (1.5 hours, 450Kč), Hallstatt (2.5 hours, 1100Kč). From other countries: Munich, Germany (4 hours, 1600Kč), Bratislava, Slovakia.
Trains connect from Prague to České Budějovice every hour. The trip from Prague takes 2h 40 min. Standard fare is 222Kč for single person (133Kč second person, 111Kč other). Price of the SporoTiket, sold online, starts at 140Kč. From Austria, trains run from Linz four times a day.
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- Naměstí Přemysla Otakara II, wander around the large old town square and surrounding streets to find many specialized stores (i.e. butcher, produce, tea & spices, fabric and so on).
- Lannova Tr, a pedestrianised street leading from the train station to the old town. Has various shops along its length including a Billa supermarket.
- Mercury Centrum, a two-story shopping mall that shares space with the town's main bus terminal.
- IGY Centrum, a shopping mall which also contains a pool and fitness centre (includes gym, squash, solarium, sauna, etc.) located about 20 min. by foot from the train station and is next to the Hotel Clarion Congress České Budějovice.
- Masné krámy, Krajinská 13 - „Butcher’s Market“ Famous local restaurant, formerly a butcher’s market. It was founded in 1364. It is your best chance to try the traditional food of region.
- Budvarka, a really nice little beer hall just off the main town square. It is owned by Budvar and has four of their beers on draft. The food includes lots of traditional Czech dishes and is cheap and very nice.
- Vendetta, an excellent value bar/restaurant on the main square and very nice freshly made pizzas.
- Restaurace Karla IV., Karla IV. 4 – stylish Czech restaurant with large choice and the interior is decorated with Middle Ages legends.
- Green House, Biskupská 3 – healthy bio cuisine including vegetarian dishes, vegetable salads and soups.
- Bar Lanovka, Lannova třída 2 – There is a climbing wall and popular healthy restaurant.
Coffe & Drink
Knock back a pitcher of Budweiser beer, as this is, after all, its hometown. See also Pivovar Budějovický Budvar, above. The best choice for this is to visit one of the pubs operated by the brewery itself as there you can find the widest selection of beers including the specials. Masné krámy and Malý Pivovar are located in the old city center nearby the main square. Pick one of these without doubts, the other choice Budvarka pub is located within brewery complex further from the city center to the north.
Note: You can get free WiFi internet connection in almost all places listed bellow as one of the local ISPs provides the internet connection almost everywhere.
- Kotva, Lidická 2110 - Café sharing the building with a small cinema.
- Cafe au chat noir, Náměstí Přemysla Otakara II. 21 - Small cafe right on the main square near with awesome views on what's happening on the squre as it is on the first floor (don't give up and walk through the stores on the ground floor to the stairs if you want to enter).
- Cafe Placidus, Na Mlýnské stoce 11 - Modern café with Davidoff coffee and wide selection of cakes and other desserts.
- Manon, Náměstí Přemysla Otakara II. 11 - Café on the west side of the main square with highly decorated interior purely in black & white tones. Good coffee, views of the square, but a bit lack of atmosphere.
- Café Plaza, Náměstí Přemysla Otakara II. 7 - "New kid on the block" right next to the city hall. One of the pluses here are particularly quite late opening hours every day.
- Café la Storia, Panská 26 - Café in one of the oldest buildings in the city near city walls. In the hot summer day don't sit outside, but try to find your chair inside in small yard between the buildings where you can avoid the sun and where the temperature stays always comfortable. Take one of the Lavazza coffee magazines to learn something new.
- Café Ionia, Plachého 16 - Small place with a bar, two tables outside during the summer and less frequent coffee brand which also gives a name to this place.
- Rolo and Café, if you want cake then head here! There is one opposite the train station, another on the main square and another just off the main square on the way to Tesco.
Sights & Landmarks
- Přemysl Otakar II Square (Czech: Naměstí Přemysla Otakara II) is the immense square in the middle of the town. Historical landmarks here include St. Nicholas Cathedral, the Black Tower, Samson's Fountain and the distinct yellow-colored Vcela Palace.
- The Town Hall with three towers was built in the Renaissance style in 1555. Today it is an elegant Baroque building from 1727-1730 built by A. E. Martinelli. It is decorated by Dietrich’s statues allegories of Justice, Courage, Wisdom and Caution and symbols of the Town and Bohemia.
- St. Nicholas Cathedral was built as a gothic building in the 13th century. However, it burned down in the 17th century and today’s appearance is Baroque. There are three statues at the frontage – St. Wenceslas, St. Nicholas and St. Auratian. The interior of the church is very simple. The most important part is the main altar from the 18th century.
- Next to the cathedral there is main dominant of České Budějovice, the Black Tower, it is 72 metres high. The renaissance tower was completed in 1577 and there are six bells in the tower, the largest of which is called Bumerin. Season 1 April - 31 October.
- The Erratic Boulder is not far from the Samson’s fountain, marked with a cross. It used by to have an execution scaffold, and legend says that anybody who crosses the Erratic Boulder after ten p.m. will not find his way home and will wander the city until the morning.
- In the middle of the square there is one of the symbol of the town, the Baroque Samson’s Fountain. It was created in the years 1721-1726 by Zachariáš Horn and the statues were created by Josef Dietrich. On the top is a statue of the biblical hero Samson.
- The Remains of the fortification are on the embankment of the Malše river. The Iron Maiden and Rabenštejnská Tower, parts of the old fortifications and the last remaining part of the fortifications of the middle-age Budějovice. The Iron Maiden dating back to the 14th century. It is named after the instrument of torture, which was located inside.
Things to do
- Pivovar Budějovický Budvar (brewery Budvar), , e-mail: [email protected]. Karoliny Světlé 4. 9AM-4PM (reservations required). Take a tour of the town's largest brewery and home of "Budweiser" brand beer sold in most of Europe. Call in several days in advance to schedule a tour, or if that's not possible, tours for visitors without reservations take place each day at 2PM. Price of admission is 100Kč/person, and visitors age 18 or over are also able to visit their beer-tasting cellar. This is not the same as the "Budweiser" beer sold in the United States and Canada; due to trademark disputes over the name with US-based Anheuser-Busch, this is sold in the Americas under the "Budvar" or "Czechvar" names.
- Museum of the Horse-drawn Railway, outside the historical centre, to the south of it in the Mánesova street, there is the Museum of the Horse-drawn Railway. The museum is in the horse railway station. It is the first railway station in continental Europe. The exposition of the Horse Railway is open from May to September, daily, excluding Monday.
- The South Bohemian Museum from the turn of the 19th century. It has a rich collection relating to the history and nature of South Bohemia. Natural history collections of primeval South Bohemia, history of the Middle Ages, and arts of the 17th and 18th century.
- Alš South-Bohemian Gallery belongs to the five largest institutions of its kind in the Czech Republic. A permanent exhibition South Bohemian Gothic paintings on wood and sculpture 13th – 16th century. Flemish and Dutch paintings of the 17th century. Part of the exhibits are housed in Wortner House in České Budějovice, U Černé věže 22 street.
- Zoo Ohrada can be found near Hluboká nad Vltavou and České Budějovice, which is the capital of the region, lies 8 km away. The zoo can be reached very easily by train, bus or car and it is opened daily all year.
Festivals and events
- Múzy na vodě, traditional festival which we can see on the confluence of the Vltava and Malše Rivers every year, at the beginning July.
- Bread Basket, international agricultural fair. One of the most popular agricultural fairs in Czechia. The Bread Basket offers: renewal and rural development technology, plant and animal production, agricultural technology, food production, forestry and water system, gardening and breeding, services for agriculture, other.
- Ema Destinnová - musical festival is a series of concerts of classical music taking place during August and September. The festival is organised in the centre of town and in churches, theatres.
- Traditional Christmas Markets take over the main square from the beginning of period Advent. There are free concerts and performances, warming foods and traditional crafts ranging from blacksmith-work to the finest beeswax and honey products and a lot more.
- Singer, Česká 55 - Irish style pub in the old town. The name is derived from old school Singer sewing machines on the tables inside.
- Potrefená husa, Česká 66 - A branch of another Czech brewery Staropramen franchise pubs. Select the place on the roof top terrace during the hot summer days to sip the beer or cocktail while look over the river Malse to Stromovka recreational park.
In the main square Přemysla Otakara II. There are a lot of pubs and visitors from which can choose, e.g., B26, and Fantom.
- Modrý dveře, Biskupská 1 - Trendy styled pub/restaurant with occasional live jazz music.
- Velbloud, U Tří lvů 4 - Small alternative music club near city center. The program contains mainly rock, punk & alternative, but it is regularly mixed with other modern styles.
- Horká vana, Česká 7 – café and club in modern space and it organizes regular performances every month.
- SUD, Hroznová 8 – small theatre which is very popular among university students.
Things to know
Budějovice has long been well known for the beer brewed there since the 13th century. For a time, the town was the imperial brewery for the Holy Roman Emperor, and Budweiser Bier (i.e. beer from Budweis) became, along with Pilsner from Plzeň, one of the best-known lagers. Brewing remains a major industry.
The largest brewery, founded in 1895, is "Pivovar Budějovický Budvar" (Budweiser Budvar Brewery) which has legal rights to market its beer under the "Budweiser" brand name in much of Europe. The same product is also sold elsewhere under the names "Budvar" and "Czechvar" due to legal disagreements with Anheuser-Busch over the Budweiser brand. The American lager was originally brewed as an imitation of the famous Bohemian original, but over time has developed its own identity and attained remarkable commercial success. Anheuser-Busch has made offers to buy out the Czech brewing company in order to secure global rights to the name "Budweiser", but the Czech government has refused all such offers, regarding the Czech Budweiser name as a matter of national pride.
The oldest (founded in 1795) and second largest brewery was renamed to "Pivovar Samson", replacing its original German name "Budweiser Bürgerbräu" during the communist period. It also exported, mostly under the "Samson" and "Crystal" labels. Recently, they reacquired naming rights for Budweiser for Europe while offering "B. B. Bürgerbräu" in the US since 2005.