Construction of the town and castle began in the late 13th century at a ford in the Vltava river which was important in trade routes. Most of the architecture of the old town and castle region dates from the 14th century through 17th century, structures are in Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. The core of the old town is within a horseshoe bend of the river, with the old Latran neighborhood and castle on the other side of the Vltava.
The Krumlov castle is unusually large and fine for a town of Krumlov's size; within the Czech Republic it is second only to the castle complex of Prague.
Cesky Krumlov is the Czech Republic's important cultural center, hosting a number of festivals and other events each year. The best known one is the Five-petalled Rose Festival, which is celebrated on the weekend of summer solstice in June. The whole downtown area is cleared of traffic and turned into a "medieval" town again, brimming with craftsmen, artists, musicians, and local people dressed in costumes ranging anywhere from peasants to members of the court and nobility. Various activities such as jousting, fencing, historical dance performances, and folk theatre plays take place all over the town including the castle, local park, and the river bank. The festival is concluded by a spectacular firework show above the castle.
Krumlov is also a great place to try Czech food. Over 80 restaurants have been established in the area since the Velvet Revolution in 1989. Among the best known ones belong Don Julius, Papa's, the tavern Marketa in the Castle gardens, the pub Na louzi, and pizzeria Latran. Many restaurants are located along the river, and one can watch canooists paddling down Vltava or study the architecture of the castle while enjoying a meal.
Less than two kilometers from Cesky Krumlov is one of Bohemia's oldest monasteries called Zlata Koruna (The Golden Crown), and about 15km from Krumlov is the castle Hluboka, established in the 12th century and later remodelled according to the English Windsor Castle.
Old Cesky Krumlov is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Cesky Krumlov is home to the Eggenberg Brewery.
The town suffered from damage in the great flood of the Vltava River in August of 2002.