Where to Stay in České Budějovice
Whatever the purpose of your visit, but especially if you are coming for sightseeing, you will most likely want to stay in the historical centre, which is fairly small (10-15 minutes’ walk from one end to the other), but also has the highest number of hotels, most within 5 minutes’ walk from the landmark main square (Náměstí Přemysla Otakara II) and Black Tower. It is also close enough to walk to the train station and bus station (both are in the same place at the other end of the main shopping street).
České Budějovice Hotels
Accommodation options range from small cheap hotels to 4 star hotels, with plenty of good and reasonably priced hotels in the middle of the range. You won’t find much of the typical 5 star or luxury hotels in České Budějovice, but many of the 4 star hotels are of very good quality and highly reviewed by visitors. České Budějovice hotels are generally cheaper than in Prague, although accommodation capacity is of course also much smaller, which means that you may want to book well in advance, especially if you are coming during the main tourist season, on a weekend or on public holidays. Most hotels offer free cancellation up to one or a few days before arrival.
České Budějovice Basic Orientation
Everything important in České Budějovice happens in the historical centre or within easy walking distance from it. The old town (the part that was previously inside the city walls, which you may still recognize in many places) has approximately round shape and is less than 1km in diameter. In the centre of everything (both geographically and in all other ways) is the square-shaped Přemysl Otakar II Square (named after the king who founded the city in 1265).
The old town’s natural borders are the river Malše in the south and south-west and a small channel, Mlýnská Stoka (Mill Channel), in the north and north-east. There is also a very long and very narrow park along the Mlýnská Stoka, named Sady (Orchards), with a busy street (Na Sadech) with good public transport services to the train and bus stations on the other edge of the park.
The stations themselves are in the eastern part of České Budějovice’s greater city centre, about 10-15 minutes’ walk from old town. They are linked with the old town by the main, mostly pedestrian, shopping street – Lannova Avenue.
In the south-east the old town is bordered by a big square, Senovážné náměstí, where the South Bohemian Museum (Jihočeské Muzeum) and the city’s major cultural venue (Metropol) are located.
Attractions and Useful Places
Top landmarks and tourist attractions inside the old town include the main square, the baroque City Hall, Samson’s Fountain, the Black Tower (Černá Věž – you can climb on the top for a nice view of the city), St. Nicolas Cathedral, the Piarist Church, the Salt Storage (Solnice) and the old Meat Markets (Masné Krámy – still operating as a restaurant).
It is also nice to take a walk along the river and see the remains of the medieval city walls. If you like alternative art, there are several small galleries and art stores scattered throughout the old town. All these things are within 5 minutes’ walk from the main square.
Attractions outside the old town include the indoor and outdoor swimming pools (across the river in the west), the ice-hockey arena (in the south-west, 5 minutes’ walk from the old town) and if you want to escape into nature on a nice day, have a walk in the Stromovka Park (Tree Park), 10 minutes from the old town in the west (just walk to the swimming centre and continue in the same direction – on the map you will easily recognize the park as a big green area just next to the city centre).
If you want to buy some food, there are some small shops in the old town, but the best for prices and selection is the Kaufland hypermarket at the beginning of the Stromovka.
Attractions further away (you will need to go there by bus) include the Budvar (Budweiser) brewery (offering tours), which is located in the northern part of České Budějovice, about 15 minutes by bus from Sady, and Hluboká Castle, located in a small town (Hluboká nad Vltavou) 10km from České Budějovice (there are frequent buses from the bus station).