Situated on a rocky hill overlooking the city, Špilberk Castle was originally a royal castle, then converted into a huge Baroque fortress and secure prison known as the ‘Dungeon of Nations’ because of its international guest list of rebels against the oppressive Habsburg regime.
With Spilberk Castle as its beautiful seat, the Brno City Museum was founded in 1904 and it's one of the main cultural venues in the city. "Gateway to Time", for example, is a long-running archaeological exhibition showing visitors primeval localities and medieval finds from Brno and surroundings.
Discover the history of the Capuchin order - and have a somehow morbid experience - while paying a visit to this venue, where you will get the chance to see the Capuchin monastery’s crypt! Here, mummified bodies of 150 monks are displayed and preserved naturally since 1784 in the dry atmosphere (visitors will also notice that many were buried with their boots on).
This spot was the first UNESCO world heritage site-listed monument of modern architecture in the Czech Republic, and only the fourth worldwide to receive such a distinction: this fact alone should convince you to discover it as soon as possible. This glass-fronted villa was designed in 1928 by the famous German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and its minimalistic design is still relevant and charming. Make sure to book a visit to Villa Tugendhat even months before your get there.
This is a popular resort and an ideal place for all kinds of water sports: the banks are lined with sport facilities, restaurants and pubs. Moreover, the reservoir/lake stretches up for 15 km to the lost-in-time hamlet of Veverská Bityská. A ferry boat chugs between Brno and Veverská Bítýška from April to September and will take you to this beautiful site.
This is the oldest secular building in Brno, combining various architectural styles, and was also the seat of the city administration from the 14th century to 1935. In the passage of the tower, you will also notice the famous Brno Dragon (actually a crocodile) and a wheel hanging from the ceiling.
It's undoubtedly great to just walk around the city, grabbing some traditional food every now and then, but if you really want to get to know more about the culture of the place you are visiting, the best thing to do is to visit a museum like this one. Here you will admire numerous exhibitions regarding the origins of Romani people and what they have been through, especially in the last centuries.
You don't necessarily need to go far away from the city to enjoy a peaceful and natural environment: the renowned Botanical Garden, for example, is located right in the centre of Brno. Sit on a bench during a sunny day and have a chat with friends, or just contemplate the beauty around you.
Brno is Czech Republic's second largest city, and consequently there are millions of things to do and see; a funny and fast way to do it is riding a Segway! Two hours will be enough to discover the most popular attractions in town, guided by an experienced guide who will make the trip even more interesting sharing anecdotes about different spots!
Koupaliště Kraví Hora, surrounded by the stunning nature of Brno, is the perfect place to chill with some friends, have fun with the family or just work out by yourself. There is a small pool for children, a sauna and a big outdoor pool with a great view over the city.
Are you a tech-enthusiast? Then, visit the famous Technical Museum of Brno, where countless disassembled machines and motors are displayed for you to understand how they work, with a little help from the guides that are always available for clearer explanations. Don't miss out the cars, airplanes and steam engines.
Founded in 2008, this restaurant prepares Mediterranean dishes such as "mushroom ravioli" cooked to perfection, using fresh and seasonal products. The atmosphere here is slightly fancy as proved by the impeccable service, always available to advice the guests on the wines or the menu.
While reading the menu of Leonessa you will start believing to be in Rome or Naples because of the richness of their offer: you'll find plenty of pizzas and all the other traditional Italian dishes, that, once at your table, will delight you with their authentic taste.
One of the best places in Brno to grab a burger is "The Immigrant": here, in fact, the portions are very generous and meat and fries are just delicious. Plus, it's a foreigner-friendly spot where you'll find lots of tourists (but also locals) indulging in a yummy, international meal. Pay a visit during football or rugby matches and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere created by all the people from different countries who watch a game while drinking good beers and getting to know each other.
A welcoming pub and pension situated in a very convenient area, right by the Špilberk Castle and one of the most important Brno squares, Liberty Square. Grab one of their peculiar beers with a tasty meal, such as perfectly grilled meat with fries, or sausages accompanied by yummy sauces.
At Butchers you will probably eat the best steak in Brno, cooked to perfection by the knowledgeable hands of the chefs. The name is not the most appealing for vegetarians, but you'll also find a wide variety of meat-free dishes, such as delectable pasta with different sauces and rich side dishes.
This sophisticated, spacious restaurant is characterised by modern interior design and a bright environment, due to the glass wall dividing the indoor and outdoor rooms. Come to Pavillon for a business dinner or another special occasion and try their elegantly presented creations, such as the Caesar salad with marinated salmon.
If you are looking for the perfect spot for a romantic dinner out, Tulip is the answer: this restaurant has an incredibly romantic and vintage decor with wooden furniture and colourful, fresh flowers everywhere. This hidden gem will treat you with delightful dishes from starters to desserts, no exceptions.
At Cattani you will satisfy every desire you may have when it comes to pasta: there are infinite options of homemade pasta and sauces whose quality is simply excellent. Try a classic tomato sauce pasta or one of the most peculiar ones, such as "gorgonzola con noci": you simply can't go wrong here.
One of the most remarkable characteristics of this popular restaurant in Brno is its spectacular location: make sure to book a table and get comfortable on the terrace that will offer you an astonishing panorama of the whole city. Moreover, the service is particularly attentive and will take good care of you with tasty dishes from the local tradition.
Founded in 2009, this cafe used to serve only standard Italian espresso, but it has now extended its menu to several types of high quality coffee prepared with local roasters. They are so concerned about their products that they also organise the "Roaster Degustation", through which they show their guests how the coffee is prepared!
This brand new coffee shop is located right opposite the already mentioned Kafec and it's a gathering spot for coffee-lovers because of the quality of every item on the menu. Moreover, the modern interior design creates a laid-back ambience and also features a world map showing the origin of their coffee brews.
This hidden gem is not located in one of the crowded major touristic destinations, but it's still pretty easy to reach from the city centre. Adding to the charm of V Melounovém cukru (literally: "in a sugar of water melon"), delightful homemade cakes are also served every day.
You will definitely fall in love with this cafe, not only because of the welcoming atmosphere prevailing here, but also for the obvious quality of every item on the menu. Founded in 2011, it's located in the city centre, so it also has a perfect location for a quick stop from sightseeing.
If you want to immerse yourself in the Czech culture, you have to pay a visit to Stopkova Plzeňská Pivnice, an authentic pub in Czech style! This long-running beer bar is now very appreciated and visited by tourists, but it keeps serving excellent pilsner and traditional Moravian cuisine, maintaining a traditional feel.
This spacious venue has 210 seats reserved for the restaurant and 120 for the pub, while the lovely summer garden can accommodate 300 guests. Pivovarská Brno is extremely professional especially when it comes to beer: they have their own brewery, where a knowledgeable sommelier is always ready to introduce visitors to the "basics of beer".
Unpretentious pub-disco where a friendly ambience prevails, featuring a courtyard, a spacious cellar and occasionally DJ-sets where lots of international and local students gather to party wildly. Having said that, this spot is also a good fit for the more mature guests who prefer to grab a drink and chat as in every other pub.
This well known, elegant restaurant features a club which is now one of the most visited venues when it comes to traditional jazz or blues concerts. Moreover, the setting is idyllic and the beers and wines are excellent; so surf the website, check the upcoming events and have fun.
For unique, fashionable pieces of clothing head to Rebelion, a well-reviewed boutique with a clear fashion concept in mind: the brand focuses on creativity and high quality materials, and each of its items is locally designed and produced. Combining innovation and timeless elegance, Rebelion a must-stop for those interested in fashion.
Find typically Czech food specialities to bring home - or to taste locally - at this gourmet shop in the centre of Brno. "Olomoucké tvarůžky" is the name of a must-try typical rustic cheese which has been produced in the region from the 15h century, and it's the main focus of the shop; however, you will find plenty of other local delicacies.
In Brno's atmospheric city centre and beautiful natural surroundings, you may feel the need to capture the magic with some proper photographic equipment. In this case, head to Polagraph: the shop specialises in the famous Polaroid cameras, whose warm, vintage feeling has gained many fans worldwide. The place also constitutes a community hub for Polaroid enthusiasts, organising photography exhibitions, and can be a spot to make international, like-minded friends.
The Czech Republic can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens of most European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are unsure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend contacting the embassy or consulate in your country. International (non-Schengen) travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the Schengen zone. Citizens of Schengen countries can travel without a passport, but must have a valid ID with them during their stay.
Brno's beauty is probably at its peak during Spring, when the weather is dry and chilly, and there are not so many tourists around. In March you might still find snow; the most pleasant months are probably May and June. Summer (July-August) is the high season, and prices can be a bit higher; the temperature is not too hot (around 25 ºC), but it can get humid. Winter is the low season in Brno and some hotels close, but the city awakens again, briefly, in December: Christmas markets are worth seeing.
Brno Airport is situated within the city limits, next to the D1 Brno-Olomouc motorway, so look for the exit called "Slatina" because the airport is just 2 km away from there. Bus No. 76 from Brno’s main railway station leaves every half an hour between 4:30am and 11pm, and will take you to the airport in just 20 minutes. Taxi stands are right outside the airport arrivals terminal and the fare to the centre is approximately 300Kč.
Brno's excellent system of buses and trams makes it easy to navigate the city and the surrounding region. It is easy to travel by train to surrounding cities of interest: Olomouc, Bratislava and Vienna, for example, make great day trips, as well as Pernštejn Castle and Telč with its gorgeous 16th-century square. Transport Service of the City of Brno (www.dpmb.cz) provides information on tickets, routes and prices in Czech and English. Integrated transport system of the South-Moravian region (IDS JMK): tel: +420 543 174 317 www.idsjmk.cz
Brno is well equipped when it comes to taxi. Here you find a selection of two major companies whose taxis are respectively yellow and red and whose service is available by calling the numbers, or just by stopping a taxi on the street (you will find plenty of them everywhere, especially in the most touristic areas of the city). City Taxi Tel: +420 777 014 004 www.citytaxibrno.cz [email protected] Lido Taxi Brno Tel: +420 542 214 221 www.taxi-brno.eu