Budweis in the Czech Republic is now known by its Czech name Ceske Budejovice. We are going on a trip from our vacation spot Lipno Dam in Bohemia. There we want to see the sights in the old town of České Budějovice. The city is about an hour away by car, perfect for a day trip. We had driven past it before. On our return from Zeliv Monastery However, there was not enough time to visit the city.
This time, however, the journey to Budweis turned out to be bumpier than expected. As usual I had mine out of ours South Bohemia Travel Guide* (Advertisement) I picked out a parking space before the trip that was well suited for the planned city tour through Ceske Budejovice. We wanted to leave our vehicle at Marianske nam opposite the police station. So I enter the city and the name of the parking space into our navigation system. It also finds the name. However, I am surprised that the journey should suddenly take longer than three hours. In the parking lot in front of ours Apartment in Lipno I still think that maybe a technical error in the navigation system is the cause. But whatever! It will be fine! Yes, the name is correct. We don't have a road map of the Czech Republic with us anyway.
Adventurous journey to Budweis Czech Republic
However, I should be wrong about that. Arriving in Ceske Budejovice, the navigation system sends us onto a bypass road. No trace of Budweis sights and old town. Instead, we follow a route through residential and commercial areas. We can't do much with the place-name signs and names of the descents because we don't understand Czech. When we finally land on the motorway towards Prague, we realize that the town of Marianske nam, to which our sat nav is directing us, is apparently somewhere in the Czech Republic. In any case, it is not in Budweis. It's just stupid that we don't Vignette for the Czech Republic had bought. You need this for the freeways. The old town of Budweis can (still) be reached via country roads. A section of the freeway Cesky Krumlov is just being built (as of February 2023).
So we leave the autobahn as quickly as possible, not without first checking for police checks. After all, we don't want to pay a fine because of the navigation system. In the meantime, we don't care about the high parking fees in the city center of Ceske Budejovice. We enter the old town of Budweis, which we only reach after a small odyssey through one-way streets. It's been a long time since I was so happy to reach a destination that we had planned. We park our car near the Namesti Premysla Otokara II square and have the sights of České Budějovice practically in front of us.
Map of the sights of České Budějovice, Czech Republic
Book your accommodation in the old town of České Budějovice here
We didn't stay in České Budějovice ourselves, but in a holiday apartment in the holiday park Landal Marina Lipno. But these hotels offer accommodation in the Old Town of České Budějovice near the attractions:
- It's right on the main square Grand Hotel Zvon*, which offers paid private parking and valet parking. Reservation is necessary for this.
- The Boutique Hotel U Solne Brany* am Salztor is just a few steps away from the main square. Here, too, there are paid private parking spaces at slightly lower prices. Reservation is also necessary for this.
- Don't see what you're looking for? Here you will find further accommodations in České Budějovice *.
A brief insight into the history of Budweis Czech Republic
České Budějovice has a long and eventful history. This goes back to the early Slavic times. In the Middle Ages, Ceske Budejovice was an important trading and economic location. In the 13th century, the city finally received the rank of a royal city. During the Hussite War in the 15th century, the city was besieged and severely damaged. But it recovered quickly and developed into an important trading location for the cloth and textile trade.
In the 19th century, Ceske Budejovice was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and industrialization brought new growth opportunities. The city developed into a center for the textile and brewing industries, and to this day Budweiser beer is one of the city's best-known export products.
During World War II, German troops occupied Ceske Budejovice. But the city recovered quickly after the war. The Czech Republic has been part of the European Union since the 1990s, and České Budějovice has flourished as a modern and prosperous city with a rich history and culture.
Today, Ceske Budejovice is a vibrant city with an important university, a vibrant arts scene, and a history preserved in the city's many historic buildings, monuments, and museums.
The old town of Budweis Czech Republic
Most of the sights of České Budějovice are located on and around the main square Namesti Premysla Otokara II. The square owes its name to Przemysl Otokar II. He was king of Bohemia in the 13th century and is considered one of the most important rulers in the country. He made Bohemia one of the most powerful states in Europe of his time and promoted the economy and culture in the country. He founded many towns, including Ceske Budejovice. Art installations can also be seen in the town square in summer. However, since we are here in February, we instead enjoy the first warm rays of sunshine on one of the benches by the fountain and let the square work its magic on us.
The town hall of Ceske Budejovice
The city hall is unmissable and beautiful. It is an example of Renaissance architecture in Bohemia and one of the main attractions of České Budějovice. The town hall originally served as the seat of the city government. The building was built in the Renaissance style between 1727 and 1730.
The town hall is richly decorated with carvings and ornaments typical of Renaissance architecture. The facade is decorated with interesting facade paintings. The bell towers of the town hall are a distinctive feature of the building and still serve as the clock and bell tower today. A carillon sounds from there every full hour.
Inside the town hall there are several magnificent halls. These rooms are richly decorated and offer an impressive testimony to the art and culture of the Renaissance period.
The tourist information is also located in the town hall. There you can also find out if and when the next guided tour of the town hall will take place.
The Samson Fountain
In the center of the main square is the Samson Fountain. This attracts not only visitors but also locals. Even in February we have to struggle to find a seat on one of the benches around the fountain that invite walkers to take a break. The first warming rays of the sun and the deep blue sky tempted us to take a break in the main square of České Budějovice even at the beginning of February. Not only do we feel comfortable here, but also numerous pigeons buzzing around Samson's head. Others pick crumbs from the pavement in front of our feet.
The fountain was erected in the 18th century and is one of the most beautiful baroque sculptures in Bohemia. The central figure of the fountain is the biblical hero Samson opening a snapdragon. It symbolizes the strength and power that has also distinguished the town of Ceske Budejovice throughout its history.
The fountain was designed by the sculptors Zacharias Zorn and Joseph Dietrich and is an example of the late Baroque style. The sculptures are richly decorated with ornaments and reliefs. The fountain is supported by four figures.
The Black Tower In Budweis Czech Republic
A tip for everyone traveling to České Budějovice in summer is the Black Tower. It is unmistakable that it towers behind the main square of Budweis. It is one of the most famous towers in Ceske Budejovice. The tower was built in the 16th century as part of the city's fortifications and served as a watchtower and storage for war material. In summer you can climb the 225 steps to the gallery and enjoy the view.
During the Thirty Years' War, the Swedes attacked Budweis. The Black Tower played an important role in the defense of the city at that time. In 1768 the tower was also the scene of a famous duel between two noblemen. Therefore, the tower was later given the nickname "Duel Tower".
The tower is 72 meters high and offers spectacular views over the city and surrounding countryside from its observation deck. The tower is an important part of Ceske Budejovice's cultural heritage and attracts thousands of visitors every year. It is open to visitors from April to October.
The St. Nicholas Cathedral
St. Nicholas Cathedral is right next to the Black Tower. The church is one of the most beautiful baroque churches in the Czech Republic. It was created in the years 1679-1727 and is dedicated to Saint Nicholas of Myra.
St. Nicholas Cathedral is an impressive example of Baroque architecture with its imposing façade and ornate interior design. The church is decorated with frescoes, stucco work and numerous sculptures, including the main altar painting depicting the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
Visitors to St. Nicholas Cathedral can admire the magnificent pulpit and valuable organs that date from the 18th and 19th centuries. The church is also known for its beautiful stained glass. St. Nicholas Cathedral is open all day.
The Dominican Monastery in Budweis Czech Republic
At least from the outside you can see the Dominican monastery in České Budějovice. The monastery is just a few steps away from the main square. The Piarist order ran a school inside from the end of the 18th century. At the end of the 19th century, the Redemptorist order took over the monastery and stayed until 1949. Since then, the building has served as an adult education center, a school canteen and even as a tax office. Today the diocese of Budweis uses the building as a primary school. You can visit the monastery church of the Sacrifice of the Virgin Mary.
Not a tourist attraction, but definitely something České Budějovice is known for is the beer. Ceske Budejovice has a long history in beer brewing. The city is known for its beer. It has been brewed in the city for centuries.
The history of Budweiser beer goes back to the Middle Ages. At that time the city was a trading center and attracted thirsty traders and buyers. In the 13th century, the city received brewing rights. This allowed local brewers to brew and sell beer. Budweiser beer was first mentioned in documents in 1265 and is considered one of the oldest beers in the world.
Over the centuries, the art of brewing has been perfected in České Budějovice. In the 19th century, the Budweiser brewery started operations and began to produce Budweiser beer in larger quantities. České Budějovice beer was popular all over the world and received numerous awards for its quality and taste.
The controversy over Budweiser beer
However, the history of Budweiser beer is not without controversy. There is a long-standing legal dispute between the Budweiser brewery and the American brewery Anheuser-Busch, which also sells a beer under the Budweiser name. To settle this dispute, Anheuser-Busch even wanted to buy the Budweiser brewery. However, the asking price of the traditional brewery was too high for them. Instead, the American brewery bought Budweiser Bürgerbräu, which has also been brewing beer since 1795. This settles the dispute over the naming rights. Nevertheless, you should know that the Budweiser beer that is served in German bars actually comes from Budweis. In the UK, on the other hand, it's beer that's brewed in the US. By the way, you can also buy real Budweiser beer in America. However, under the name Czechvar.
Today, Budweiser beer is an important part of Czech brewing and is considered by many to be one of the best beers in the world. The town of Ceske Budejovice and its brewery are proud of their beer tradition and celebrate it with numerous festivals and events throughout the year.
Since we were traveling by car, we decided not to take the tour of the Budweiser Brewery. It tastes just as good in the pubs of the old town of Budweis Czech Republic.
Questions and answers about České Budějovice
What are the main attractions in České Budějovice that I should visit?
In České Budějovice you should visit the historic Main Square, Black Tower, Samson Fountain, St. Nicholas Cathedral and Budweiser Budvar Museum.
What is the best way to get from Prague to České Budějovice?
The easiest way to get from Prague to České Budějovice is by train or bus. The journey takes about 2-3 hours depending on the connection.
Are there good places where I can try traditional Czech food?
Where is the best place to try Budweiser beer?
The Budweiser Budvar Museum offers guided tours where you can visit the brewery and taste the famous Budweiser beer.
What's the best way to get around the city?
České Budějovice is a small city, so you can reach many sights on foot. Buses are available for longer distances. Bus tickets are available from tourist information, vending machines or tobacconists. Tickets are not sold on the buses.
Parking at the airport
Arrival to České Budějovice
For example, book your journey here by flight, bus or train*. There are airports in Linz, Vienna, Munich as well as in Prague. It is also possible to arrive by car.
Do you want to rent a mobile home? Compare motorhome prices here.
What needs to be in the suitcase for a visit to České Budějovice?
- You need walking shoes for wide feet definitely make a stroll around the city's cobbled streets more enjoyable.
- For a visit to the city, one is sufficient a daypack is enough..
- Remember to bring a light jacket with you, which protects against wind and rain in summer.
- You can also find further information about the area here Guidebooks *.
If you purchase via a link marked *, we receive a commission, which we use to run this blog.
Do you know this?
- Czech Republic vacation and travel tips
- Bohemian food
- Rent a holiday home or apartment at the Lipno Dam
- Hotels in České Budějovice Czech Republic
- Visit churches, monasteries, cathedrals
- Cistercian Monastery Heiligenkreuz
- Easter fountain in Franconia: the largest is in Bieberbach
- Stralsund insider tips – Hanseatic City & UNESCO World Heritage Site
- The CN Tower in Toronto
Slow Travel Destinations you can also find here.
Sources České Budějovice sights: research on site. Our opinions definitely remain our own.
Text Budweis Old Town: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright by Monika Fuchs as well as TravelWorldOnline and Wikimedia Commons in the public domain
Video: © Copyright by Petar Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline