Not many people venture from the Czech Republic’s capital, Prague, and decide to visit the centre of Moravia – Brno. The country’s second biggest city attracts not only students from across Europe, but other generations as well, with its lively club and entertainment scene, whose modern cafes, bars and restaurants have put Brno under the spotlight thus making it quite a competition to the capital, and here’s why exactly!
Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul – Every sightseeing of Brno starts with this cathedral, perched on the Petrov Hill in the very heart of the city. Due to its impressive architecture, the cathedral is considered to be a national cultural monument. Other highlights include its splendid Baroque interior and the 84-meter-tall twin towers dating from the 20th century (most of the building was built in the mid-1700s). Also, you get to see the cathedral’s interesting crypt and the remains of the original city walls.
Moravian Karst and Caves – Your tour must have a visit to these stunning caverns, situated only 25 km north of Brno which cover more than 100 sq km and contain over 1 100 known gorges and caves, four of which are open to the public (trails are marked based on their level of difficulty). Make sure to book your visit in advance as the caves are always crowded with tourists and to put some time aside for the Macocha Abyss, a deep pit overlooked by platforms and footbridges with great walking trails.
Špilberk Castle – Once you get back to the city, you’ll find this charming castle, built by Czech king Pøemysl Otakar II which has a long history of being a royal castle, prison and fortress. Today it is a home to the Brno City Museum displaying exhibitions of Brno’s architectural history and hosting various cultural events. If you climb the lookout tower, you will be surprised by the fine views over the city.
Moravian Gallery – Next stop is the second largest gallery in the Czech Republic, founded in 1961 and spread widely among a distinctive number of important historical buildings, such as the Governor’s Palace, Pražák Palaceand theMuseum of Decorative Arts. The gallery’s highlights are an eclectic mix of paintings, sculptures and paintings, and a big display of photography, applied arts and graphic design.
Dietrichstein Palace – A building that reveals more about the interesting Moravian history, dating from the 17th century, a splendid example of Brno’s Baroque architecture style. With this visit, you get to see the excellent Moravian Museum, the country’s oldest and one of the largest museums, located inside the palace and hosting over 6 million historical items. The museum also displays five permanent exhibits which cover a large number of topics and time periods, from history and Middle Ages to fantastic overviews related to WWI and WWII.
Tugendhat Villa – Brno’s famous UNESCO World Heritage site, considered to be one of the exquisite examples of modern architecture from the 20th century. The villa is the first ever masterpiece built in the Czech Republic and is known for its open-plan structure and materials as chrome and ebony. Guided tours must be booked in advance in order to avoid waiting in lines.
There is hardly a better place to see and experience the real, authentic Czech culture and traditions than the capital of Moravia region. Brno offers a fantastic choice of their food and gastronomic industry in general.
Soul Bistro – this restaurant situated in the heart of the city serves delicious Czech food made of fresh and local ingredients, ranging from fish to pasta dishes and salads, all accompanied by a delicious wine collection and friendly staff.
Pavillon – a place favorite both among locals and tourists whose menu changes every season to ensure to best taste and newest trends offers you dishes as jelenobot, made of deer and octopus
Simplé Restaurant – a place where you can taste traditional Czech recipes influenced by chefs’ creativity, which is why the menu changes every week
Špaliček – for those of you looking for a restaurant where you can try traditional dishes made of duck, rabbit, pork schnitzel, and plenty of other meats, this tavern is the place for you
Sabaidy – unlike any other place which can be found in Brno, Sabaidy serves authentic Thai and Laotian food at affordable prices
Tulip Restaurant – this place offers a great mixture of Czech dishes with the rest of the Europe’s specialties, from beef tenderloin to mushroom risotto
It is not a challenge to find a decent place to stay in Brno, so check out the following suggestions: Penzion’s Bird Nest, Atrium Apartments, EEL Brno Apartments, H+M Pension, Penzion Ruland, Hotel Atlantis.