Magnificent Renaissance castle, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, a historical center with cute colorful houses and the longest square in the Czech Republic, the birthplace of the famous composer Bedrich Smetana. All this is Litomysl – a city whose cultural heritage extends far beyond the borders of the country. Despite the abundance of historical artifacts, he welcomes modern architects, artists and sculptors. Thanks to the harmonious symbiosis of old and new, the Czechs call Litomysl a modern historical city.
Note: according to allcitypopulation, the population of Czech Republic is 10.7 million (2021).
How to get to Litomysl
It is most convenient to get to Litomysl through Prague. Unfortunately, there is no direct communication between the cities, you will have to travel with transfers. The best option is to take a train to the city of Ceska Trebova (1.5 hours on the way, 180 CZK), from where it is only 13 km to Litomysl, which the bus will cover in 20 minutes. The latter depart from the bus station located next to the railway station. You can also take a taxi there – they will take you for 200 CZK.
Fans of rail travel may not exchange for vehicles. The transfer will be in Chocene and/or Vysoka Myto. A detailed schedule is available at website of the Czech Railways (in English).
The historic center of Litomysl is small in size and is a 10-minute walk from the bus and railway station. Therefore, public transport, represented by the only route number 10, will not be needed to explore the sights. It is better to walk on foot, but you can hardly rent a bicycle – there are several rental offices in the city.
It is better to refuse a car here: the town is compact, there are few parking spaces. You can leave your car in the parking lots near the station or the castle – there are both paid guarded and free parking lots. Taxis operate at the same rate: 90 CZK, regardless of the distance.
Litomysl hotels are almost always small family hotels in old houses. Prices are sparing – 30-50 EUR per day for a standard double room in a “treshka”. The cost can only increase when demand is high – for example, during the days of the Smetana festival (end of June-beginning of July). Daily rent of apartments will cost a little more: 40-70 EUR per night. There are no hostels, as well as fashionable five-star hotels, in the city.
Cuisine and restaurants
Despite its small size, in Litomysl there is a place for gourmets to turn around. There are both conceptual establishments, for example, a vegetarian cafe El lamino with DJ sets in the evenings, and classic restaurants at hotels, such as Aplaus. In the first one, you can have a bite of pea porridge or carrot soup for 70-100 CZK, and in the second one, you can arrange a feast for the whole world by ordering a roast goose for 400 CZK or a Czech classic – “svičková” for 300 CZK. On average, a dinner for one person in a good democratic cafe will cost 200-250 CZK with beer.
Local fast food is kebab shops with shawarma for 70-90 CZK and coffee houses where you can take coffee with a croissant for the same money.
Sights of Litomysl
It is better to start a tour of Litomysl from the main square, named after its famous native Bedrich Smetana. The longest in the Czech Republic, it was once part of an ancient trade route leading to the Baltic. Today, the square is surrounded by bright baroque gingerbread houses, in some places adjacent to more ancient gothic ones. Almost along its entire length, an arcade gallery stretched out, under the arches of which numerous cafes and shops were hidden.
The main place of relaxation for citizens is the Monastery Gardens (Klasterni zahrady). Flower beds and shrubs surround the old limestone walls. The idyllic picture is complemented by fountains and sculptures by contemporary Czech artist Olbram Zubek.
A little east of the Smetana is located the Puppet Museum (Jiraskova, 4). The exposition includes dolls and toys from different eras: from 1850 to the present. A special pride of the collection is doll houses. Here are medieval huts, and village huts, and American farms, and royal palaces.
The symbol of Litomysl is the Renaissance castle of the 16th century, they say, the most beautiful in Bohemia (Jiraskova, 93). With an abundance of authentic details, unique arcades and sgraffito-decorated facades, it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. In the garden of the castle, ancient buildings have been preserved: a brewery in which Smetana’s father brewed an intoxicating drink, an arena with stables, outbuildings.