That Time I Went on a Rafting Pub Crawl

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It's not exactly the safest scenario to picture. And it certainly would NEVER fly in America. But, regardless, I quite thought the idea of a rafting pub crawl sounded like fun.

And I don't even drink.

Cesky Krumlov Rafting

It all started out with whispers in Prague from other Busabouters about an epic afternoon to be had in the Czech town of Cesky Krumlov. There, they said, you could rent a raft and paddles and cruise off down the Vltava River for the afternoon, stopping off at a handful of riverside pubs.

Despite the fact that others would perhaps balk at the idea of floating down an unfamiliar river in an inflatable raft with a handful of people you only kinda-sorta know while they are all very drunk, I actually thought it sounded like fun.

And, of course, it was.

The adventure began at noon with a meeting at Hostel99 in Cesky Krumlov, where we all paid our 300 Koruna (about $15 USD) and made a verbal pledge with our hands in the air that we would not ruin any of the equipment or act like douchebags on the river. (I maintain that most of our group only lived up to the first half of the pledge, but we'll let it slide for now.) Then it was off to the river.

Cesky Krumlov Rafting

The Vltava River twists and turns lazily through the countryside surrounding Cesky Krumlov. We were dropped off a few kilometers away from the town, and told that, rafting straight through, it would probably only take about an hour and a half to get back to the town. We had nearly 6 hours at our disposal, though. Our large group divided into 3 smaller ones and launched our 3 rafts into the river.

Cesky Krumlov Rafting

The next hours were spent splashing, drinking, laughing, navigating ourselves down the concrete weirs that control the river, drinking, and laughing some more. We stopped at a handful of pubs that ranged from quite predictable and normal to shacks and tents along the river.

Cesky Krumlov Rafting

And of course the scenery wasn't bad, either.

Cesky Krumlov Rafting

Cesky Krumlov Rafting

Cesky Krumlov Rafting

I was lucky to be in a raft with some Aussies, Kiwis, and an English girl who were fine with just having a few drinks and enjoying the nice weather as we floated down the river.

Cesky Krumlov Rafting
Apparently Simon missed the leaning memo.
Cesky Krumlov Rafting
The awesome raft crew!

The other boats in our group were a little rowdier, however… But clearly everyone had a great time.

Cesky Krumlov Rafting

In the end, I'm so glad I signed up for this unconventional “pub crawl” — despite the fact that I don't drink and that there are probably a ton of safety liabilities involved. I would definitely do it again!


If you go…

You don't HAVE to do a pub crawl, of course. Rafting or canoeing down the Vltava can be a fun activity for anyone visiting Cesky Krumlov. Here are a few things to know, though:

  • Raft/canoe rentals are available in various locations around the city.
  • Most of these rentals will NOT include a guide — you will be responsible for getting yourself down the river.
  • The river is generally pretty shallow, but this means you'll need to look out for rocks and parts of the river that your boat might get caught up on.
  • You will have to navigate down concrete weirs. There are chutes/ramps made for boats to make this safer, but you'll need to pay attention to what side of the river the ramps are on.
  • I won't say that the Vltava is dirty, but you should be aware that a handful of travelers I rafted with who dove into the river repeatedly ended up getting sick with stomach bugs a day or so later. I, however, was fine since I stayed in the boat!

Cesky Krumlov Rafting


Is this something YOU would want to do?



*Note: I visited Cesky Krumlov as part of my Busabout trip around Europe. They provided me with transport on all 3 of their Europe loops, but all opinions of the destinations I visit are entirely my own!

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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38 Comments on “That Time I Went on a Rafting Pub Crawl

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  1. I’ve never been on a pub crawl before, even though I had many chances in New Zealand, but THIS sounds like an amazing time. Like you said, just being able to cruise down the river and stop here and there for a drink and enjoy the weather is awesome.

      It’s a really fun afternoon, no matter how you look at it! I’m really glad I signed up for it. $15 WELL spent.

    What an awesome idea! Almost a g as tubing pub crawl in Vang Vieng, Laos!

    Sounds awesome! A rafting pub crawl is definitely something I’d go for if I had the chance. I’d just hope no one on the crawl is easily seasick!

      Haha, yes that’s true! Though, the river is quite calm, so it’s not a huge concern!

    This looks like a ridiculous amount of fun! It kind of reminds me of tubing in Vang VIeng, but less out of control.

      Definitely less out of control. But still could be dangerous if everyone in the boat got ridiculously drunk!

    Looks fun! We have something kind of similar in Phoenix, AZ. In summer you can tube down the Salt River. There aren’t any bars to stop off at, but everyone rents a tube just for their cooler full of beverages. Nothing like drinking at 9am in 110+ degrees in a tube on a river with mini rapids. 😉

      They rent tubes just for their coolers? Haha, that is awesome!

    That looks like a lot of fun! Although there was far too much screaming for that tiny little wave – I’m guessing that was after a few bevvies had been consumed. 🙂

      Ha! Yes, definitely after a few beers – though no one in our boat got really drunk! The Aussie girl in the front just liked to scream apparently.

    The only way to enjoy a raft or canoe is with a beer in hand. I like the idea of a pub crawl.

      Haha, you would definitely enjoy spending an afternoon like this then, Lance!

    This sounds like such a cool and unique adventure!! Sign me up!

    Also, gorgeous pictures.

    Happy travels 🙂

    Looks like a fun way to spend an afternoon, even without the alcohol as I’m like you.

    sounds amazing!!! I so want to do this. its on the bucketlist

      It was a lot of fun. Though, rafting through a beautiful places usually always is!

    It was the best day of my life, and I didn’t get sick, think the alcohol killed the bugs. At least I was well behaved

      Hahaha “the alcohol killed the bugs” – good to know! I had a blast, too!

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