Sights of České Budějovice

České Budějovice is not usually on most people’s radars when they think of visiting the Czech Republic, but I spent a relaxing four days here while taking in all the small-town charm it had to offer.

Černá Věž

U Černé věže 70/2, 370 01 České Budějovice, Czech Republic

Also known as the Black Tower, this spot is a great place to get a view of the city and the surrounding areas. Your starting point is at its heavy front door.

Start here

You pass by the massive bells of the tower after you climb the spiral staircase and start up the wooden steps.

Huge bells

A marker helps you celebrate your successful climb to the top of 225 steps.

225 steps

You can admire 360-degree views, including of Piaristické Náměstí, Náměstí Přemysla Otakara II, and in the distance, the Hluboká Castle and the Temelín Nuclear Power Station.

My favorite square Main square Look in the top left

Admission and hours

You pay 30 Kč at the top of the stairs, and you can climb the tower from 10:00-18:00 during these seasons:

  • April-June: Tuesdays-Sundays
  • July-August: daily
  • September-October: Tuesdays-Sundays

Getting there and back

It’s just outside the main square if you walk northeast.

Lannova Třída

370 01 České Budějovice, Czech Republic

Known to locals as Lannovka, this street is an interesting place to wander for the interesting architecture and outdoor sculptures. One building you should take a look at is the ČSOB branch, situated in a long-eared house.

An architect's crazy dream

Take some time to look for the sculptures along the street. These are just two of them.

Outdoor art

Admission and hours

You are welcome to wander freely along the street anytime you want with no admission.

Getting there and back

The street is just east of city center, and it’s an easy walk.

Náměstí Přemysla Otakara II

370 01 České Budějovice, Czech Republic

The main square of the city, you can’t miss the beautiful town hall and its huge fountain.

Coloring sheet in the tourist information center

You can also see the Black Tower from there.

Black Tower

While I was there, the Samson Fountain was integrated into an art exhibit that called attention to our lack of focus on public art, so the artist surrounded it with a wall and force people to walk through a hallway to view it.

Stolen fountain

Another point of interest in the square is the Erratic Boulder, which is the site of a former execution ground. Look for it on the east side of Samson Fountain. Legend states that if you step over it after 22:00, you won’t be able to find your way home until sunrise.

Erratic Boulder

Admission and hours

It’s open all the time, and you can enjoy the sights of the main square for free.

Getting there and back

Smack dab in the center of the city, you can get there on foot.

Piaristické Náměstí

Hroznová 156/21, 370 01 České Budějovice, Czech Republic

Northwest of the main square, the Piarist Square was my favorite place to visit. Not only does it have a farmer’s market on Thursday and Saturday mornings, but it also has some intriguing architecture. One of these is the old frog that is climbing the north wall of the Church of the Sacrifice of Our Lady. It’s believed that once it reaches the roof, the end of the world will arrive.

Apocalypse frog

Another unique Gothic building is the Salt Warehouse, which was originally built to store grain. Subsequently, it was used to store armor and later still, salt. The three smiling faces on the façade are said to be beheaded thieves.

Three thieves

Admission and hours

The square itself is free and open all the time, but you’ll have to check specifics on the church and motorcycle museum (in the Salt Warehouse).

Getting there and back

The square is in city center on the west side, so you can get there by foot easily.

Written on September 19, 2016