This old royal city located 154 km outside of Prague grew rich from salt and silver mining. The town - also known for giving its name to Budweiser Budvar beer - is a UNESCO protected area with amazing architecture.
The town's main square, named after Přemysl Otakar II, was originally laid out in 1265, a perfect square lined with old burgher homes and arcades. It is the largest square in Czech Republic, and one of the most beautiful. Not far from the square, the St. Nicolas Cathedral is one of the city’s most important buildings. Built in the 12th century, St. Nicolas is a Catholic bastion. During the Thirty Year War, the crown jewels of Bohemia and royal archives were protected in one of its chapels.
Next to the cathedral stands the 72-metre high Gothic and Renaissance Black Tower. Since the 16th century, it has offered fantastic views of the town, the nearby Novohradské Mountains and the Bohemian Forest.
Train enthusiasts will want to visit the Horse-drawn Railway Museum (Mánesova 10). This railway line once linked Budweis with the Austrian town of Linz. At the tourist centre and museum, visitors can see old sections of the tracks and view related memorabilia.
České Budějovice is the home of the original Budweiser beer. The brewery began production of Budweiser in 1855. American Budweiser, which is owned by Anheuser-Busch, is a different formula. Anheuser Busch began brewing their version of Budweiser when a Czech immigrant went to work in their US factory. Beer tradition in Budějovice dates back to the Middle Ages. Visitors will find a tour of the brewery (Karoliny Světlé 4) very interesting - during the one-hour tour, guests see all the production rooms including the bottling area.