Brno (German: Brünn, Štatl in the local dialect) is the major city of Moravia (a historical region in the Czech Republic). It is the largest city in Moravia and the second largest city in the Czech Republic by population and area. It was founded around the year 1000; and since the 14th century, the city served as the capital of Moravia. Brno is the heart of Moravia and its cultural hub; it's home to many institutions related to Moravian history and culture. At the same time, Brno represents the administrative center of the contemporary South Moravia region. It has a population of around 380,000 people, and it's in a beautiful natural environment between South Moravian vineyards and the Moravian Karst.
Brno is not particularly well known by tourists so you can easily avoid crowds and overpriced services.
Brno is the cultural hub of Moravia, it's the home to a number of notable Moravian institutions, e.g. Moravian Gallery, Moravian Museum, National Theatre Brno, and Brno City Theatre. It's a city with a long tradition in motor racing (on the Masaryk Circuit), huge exhibitions and trade fairs (in the Central European Exhibition Center), and as vibrant university city. There are about 89,000 university students in Brno, a city with 380,000 inhabitants, it makes it the country's largest student city by percentage of population. Since 1998, there is also an international firework competition held annually at the end of May and beginning of June - Ignis Brunensis, it attracts about 100,000-200,000 visitors every day it's being held.
The most interesting places in Brno includes the Brno Underground, a labyrinth of underground cellars which includes the second biggest ossuary in Europe (after the Catacombs of Paris), the two (or three) castles in Brno, the cathedral on the Petrov hill (Pope Benedict XVI. visited the cathedral in 2009), the Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady in the Old Brno District, the St. Jacob's Church, the Moravian Museum (the biggest museum in Moravia and the second biggest in the country), Lužánky Park which is the oldest public park in the country, Denis Gardens, and various historical squares, churches, palaces, and other interesting buildings.
There are also many places which might be worthy of visit outside of the city centre, like an old Jewish cemetery in Brno-Židenice (by area, the biggest one in Moravia), or the Marian Valley in Brno-Líšeň, it's which is a cascade of lakes between forested hills. From the north, Brno is surrounded by hills and very pleasant nature, probably the most notable place is the Moravian Karst.
Brno lost its status of the capital city but it still behaves like a "cosmopolitan" capital, there is a rich variety of various cultural events, clubs, pubs, etc., and several excellent museums and theatres. Also there are two interesting things about theatres in Brno, Reduta Theatre is the oldest theatre building in Central Europe, and Mahen Theatre (part of the National Theatre Brno) is the first theatre in the entire Europe which was illuminated by Thomas Edison's electric light bulbs (in that time, it was only a four-year-old invention). Brno also serves as the capital of judicial authority of the Czech Republic (it's the seat of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court) and many other state authorities, the rest of it is located in Prague.
phone: +420 542 427 150address: Radnická 8
Tourist information centrephone: +420 725 518 113address: Nádražní 1
phone: +420 513 039 035address: Panenská 1
phone: +420 727 923 523address: Letiště Brno-Tuřany 904/1
Brno is an important stop on the Prague–Vienna and Prague–Bratislava–Budapest railway line; all IC, EC and Railjet trains stop here. For some trains originating in Prague, it is a terminal stop.
- Prague: 2½ hr, IC/EC/RailJet trains every 30 minutes to every hour: Standard tickets are expensive (the regular fare is 360 Kč), but there are cheaper ways: You can either get the SuperAkční fare for 119 Kč or a Včasná ticket for 205 Kč. The SuperAkční ticket can be used for a particular train only. There are limited numbers of SuperAkční and Včasná tickets for a particular train or day and they are generally only available when you buy the tickets in advance. You can buy all types of tickets both online and at the ticket office at the train station. For regular journeys it is good to buy ČD loyalty card (In Karta), see Czech_Republic#Train_tickets. A new operator RegioJet provides train service nine times a day. Tickets are generally sold online and start at 99 Kč.
- Olomouc: 1½ hr, every 2 hours: Be careful that you get in to the proper train, because another train to Brno via Břeclav departs at around the same time which will add 2 hours more to your trip.
- Ostrava: 2¼ hr, hourly
- Bratislava: 1½ hr, EC trains every 2 hours
- České Budějovice: 4½ hr, every 2 hours
- Vienna: 1¾ hr, Railjet trains every 2 hours (depart from Wien HbF station, though you can also depart from other stations further from the city center)
(Brno Main Station) is close to the city center; almost all attractions are just within a few minutes walk. These attractions are to the north of the station, to the left coming out; follow the sign marked "Centrum," not the one marked "Centra."
(Brno Lower Train Station) this train station serves as a replacement for the main stations in times when the main station is closed - which is unfortunately quite often because of the bad state in which the main station is. In such case, there is bus number 61 which goes from this station to the main station. You can also walk from/to this station, it is 2 km to the city center, 1 km to the main station.
By carUsing highways - D1 highway from Prague and Ostrava or using any of the national roads, D2 from Bratislava or D52 from south (it runs towards Vienna, but ends about 25 km ahead of borders). For the highway you have to buy a toll sticker.
By busThere are coach services from various European destinations including Prague where frequent buses run touting assorted amenities and stops (such as Prague Airport). Timetable of all buses (including international) can be found on IDOS.
Two main bus station are used. A few hundred meters north of train station is , used e.g. by RegioJet (formerly Student Agency). A much bigger but also much more remote station is used by local and international buses. Usually buses only stop at one of the stations, check your ticket which one it is upfront.
Student AgencyOffers service with free coffee, newspapers, and movies to everyone. Brno is the main hub and buses travel across Europe, and are known for their high quality.
Tourbus, a.s.Also based in Brno and serves many destinations and is particularly cheap to some international destinations.
Eurolines CZ/Touring Bohemia, s. r. o.International and domestic routes. Some services include free newspapers, magazines and bottled water, some even have Wi-Fi. Book ahead for best price.
TaxiTry to avoid getting taxi on the street (public transportation is always the better option in Brno) and if you have to, try to negotiate the price in advance. For taxis hailed on the street, the maximum price set by the city council is 30 Kč/km.
It's advisable to call one of the major Brno Taxi services:
Brno-Tuřany AirportAlthough it has few destinations, it is highly convenient and boasts an extremely impressive structure. Those interested in modern architecture may want to visit even if they are not lucky enough to fly into the airport.
Ryanair flies in 2017 up to 7 times a week a week to London-Stansted. Wizzair flies to London-Luton 3 times a week and twice a week to Eindhoven. During summer there are also various flights to Bulgaria, Egypt and Greece. Bus 76 runs every 30 minutes from about 04:30–23:30 to the bus and train stations in the city center. Fare is 25 Kč, and you can buy your ticket beforehand in the information centre or the ticket machine in the airport. At night there is a connection by night bus line N89.
Other airports in the major cities "nearby", accessible within 1-2½ hours, include:
PragueVáclav Havel Airport.
WienVienna International Airport/Wien Schwechat. Direct transfer options from Wien include:
Student AgencyIt offers 9 direct daily coaches. It is much cheaper to use local public transport in Vienna to Stadion (station of metro line U2) and catch the same coaches from there, for some reason the trip to the airport costs double, so it is much cheaper to take the Austrian public transportation.
Tourbus, a.s.It offers 1-2 direct daily buses to Brno.
By boatAn unconventional, but beautiful way to get to Brno (well, from just outside town) is to take a boat from the village of Veverská Bitýška, which takes you (in summer season only) on a trip across Brněnská přehrada (Brno dam lake) to Brno-Bystrc. From there you can continue to the city centre by tram.
For journeys within the city, a short transfer ticket (valid 15 min, 20 Kč) and long transfer ticket (60 min, 25 Kč) are available. Tickets are available at yellow ticket vending machines at bus and tram stops, and also at railway station counters. You can buy the 60-minute ticket at driver for 35 Kč.
South Moravia Region is divided into tariff zones. Brno consists of two zones. IDS JMK tickets are valid in all buses and local trains (category Os, Sp and R), the price varies on number of zones you travel over.
One-day network ticket costs 90 Kč for Brno and 190 Kč for the whole region. On weekends up two adults and three children can travel on a single network ticket.
If you decided to bring your bicycle with you, there is a map of bike paths available on Brnonakole.cz. Even though the city centre is flat and easily accesible by bike, it is forbidden to ride a bike in the pedestrian zone (mainly Freedom Square (náměstí Svobody) and surrounding streets) during workdays from 09:00 to 17:00. There is also bike sharing service Rekola (minimum fee is 400 Kč/bike for 2 months). Bike and e-bike rental RentBike.cz is in the city center opposite St. Michael's Church but after reservation via web form they can delivery bike or bikes to you (price is 280 Kč/one way (Nov 2018)). They also do guided bike tours.
The city center is full of historical buildings, old churches, theaters, fountains, sculptures, clubs, restaurants, etc. It is very compact, so one can just walk around most of the places of interest.
phone: +420 539 002 163address: Kapucínské náměstí 5The 17th-century monastery lies right in the city center. It has Baroque statues and a mummified monks exhibition in an underground tomb.
address: Jakubské náměstíThis church is doubtlessly one of the most notable churches in Brno. It's a big gothic church and was founded in the 13th century. It has remained unchanged since the 17th century which is quite rare). Beneath the church, there is the Brno Ossuary, the second biggest ossuary in Europe (after the Catacombs of Paris) and open since 2012.
Old Town Halladdress: Radnická 8See beloved Brno symbols the Brno Dragon (Brněnský drak) and the Wheel. Also notice the lopsided tower above the entrance. Legend has it that the city council stiffed the mason who built it and he made the crooked ornament in a fit of pique.
address: Petrov StreetSt. Peter and Paul Cathedral, known as Petrov forms a dominant silhouette of Brno skyline. (Petrov is the name of the hill which the cathedral is built upon, not the cathedral.)
phone: +420 542 123 615Formerly the major royal castle in Moravia, the seat of Margraves (rulers) of Moravia, and once the seat of the King of the Holy Roman Empire (King Jobst of Moravia). Later it become a famous fortress which was for a long time used as one of the most feared prisons in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Many people have been tortured here from all around Europe, mostly during the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It's the city museum with restaurant and there's a nice park around it, open for walks and beautiful sightseeing, the castle and the park are parts of the national cultural heritage of Czech Republic.
phone: +420 545 212 118address: Černopolní 45The villa is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Designed by Mies van der Rohe, it is seen to be a classic example of Bauhaus architecture, and was also the location of the meeting which decided upon the Velvet Divorce that separated the Czech and Slovak republics in 1992. It is possible to visit the Villa by guided tour; tours are led hourly and must be booked in advance (see the Villa website). The building reopened in March 2012 after an extensive restoration.
Veveri streetThis street is a group of outstanding Art Nouveau buildings called Tivoli (tram stop Konečného náměstí), and a number of baroque and other beautiful historical buildings. Nearby, is one of three botanical gardens in Brno. The street goes from the historical center and leads to the north.
phone: +420 778 545 993address: Hroznová 14It was built between 1927-1929 for the family textile factory owner Alfred Stiassni. It was later a government villa that hosted many important state visits, such as President Edvard Benes or Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
phone: +420 549 496 669address: Mendlovo náměstíThe most famous biologist in the history of genetics worked and died in Brno. This interesting museum commemorates his revolutionary research. Information in English available.
phone: +420 532 169 111The second largest art museum in the Czech Republic. Mainly exhibits Moravian art and applied art throughout history. Most recommended is its exhibition of modern Moravian art. The gallery consists of three buildings:
Governor Palaceaddress: Moravské náměstí
Museum of Decorative Artsaddress: Husova 14
Pražák's Palaceaddress: Husova 18
phone: +420 543 248 391address: Pisárecká 5Exhibition on the oldest history of the settlement in Moravia and on the whole European continent.
phone: +420 533 435 282address: Muzejní 1Numismatic exhibition and Moravian fauna exhibition.
Denis gardensIt's one of the most beautiful parks in Brno, there is an obelisk and a colonnade, and it offers a nice view on the city, including the Špilberk castle and the cathedral, also it is the oldest public park in the country which was founded by public administration authorities. It's located in the historical center, between the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul and the Špilberk Castle.
The Open GardenAn NGO project to bring city gardening and nature to the city center. You can walk there for free, have a picnic or join some of their periodic activities.
Freedom SquareIt forms the heart of the city. It's shaped into big reversed "A". Many cultural events take place here and there are always a lot of people here. It is closed for most cars and trams running through the middle. Also most of the interesting places in the city center are within 10 minutes walk from the Square.
Lužánky parkThe oldest public park in the country and the biggest park in Brno. There is an artificial brook with living fishes and a number of similar nice things. It's located north to the historical centere, about 15 minutes by walk, or 2–3 minutes by tram.
Moravian squareThe biggest square in Brno, it's dominated by the Church of Saint Thomas which is the last resting place of Jobs of Moravia, German King and Margrave of Moravia, the nearby former Governor's Palace offers permanent exhibitions of the Moravian Gallery. The square is located in the historical centre near the Freedom Square.
phone: +420 546 432 311address: U zoologické zahrady 147/46A great zoo set in a nice area with hundreds of animals such as polar bears, seals, tigers, chimpanzees and more.
- ExploreBrno - easy walking, treasure hunt game in the city center. Min. 2-3 hours
- Wine-Tours.cz - South Moravia Highlights by minibus (Mikulov, Lednice, Valtice, and big degustation in Wine Center of Czech Republic) or halfday trip to Moravian Karst (boat trip in punkva caves)
Ignis BrunensisThere are four firework competitions on the dam lake and at least two in the town centre. The fireworks begin every evening at 22:30. The show lasts about 22 minutes. Public transport runs longer and more frequently at these times. During the festival there are nights of theatres and museums. Entrance is free, but expect crowds.
Brno Racing CircuitMoto GP Grand Prix every year takes place here in August.
address: Výstaviště 1The largest trade center in the Central European region with many important fairs. The largest are Autosalon, MSV (International Engineering Fair), Invex (International Fair of Information and Communication Technologies), IDET (International Exhibition of Defence and Security Technologies and Special Information Systems) and of course a Vinex (International Wine Fair) and Pivex (International Beer Fair).
One World BrnoDocumentary film festival on human rights held every March.
phone: +420 542 211 935address: Čechyňská 8Treasure Hunt Brno is a dynamic team competition, that makes use of modern technology and GPS-enabled tablets and lets you visit a wide range of Brno's historical monuments in a record time. Suitable for larger groups and companies.
Jakubské náměstíGrab a few friends and go have a drink at Jakubské náměstí during summer. After work or school, lot of people came here to have a drink. The area behind the St. James church has become a living part of Brno, recently. Many pubs, wine cellars and cafés make a unique atmosphere. If you are lucky, you can run into a concert or screening. Almost every day there are dancing lessons at Café Savoy (salsa, tango, swing....) If you are talented, you can use a free-to-play piano on the square.
phone: +420 515 201 000address: Křižkovského 554/12Launch a hydrogen rocket, star in the TV weather report, freeze your own shadow, experience an earthquake, set free a tornado, and get to the bottom of the Bermuda Triangle. Near the Brno trade fair complex, playful explorers of all ages will find more than one hundred and seventy interactive exhibits over an area of nearly 5,000 square meters that will give them a better understanding of the world around us.
address: Ve Vaňkovce 1A large shopping centre converted from an old industrial center dating to the beginning of the 19th century. Many of the historical industrial buildings were saved and integrated into the new shopping center.
address: SkandinávkáSouth of the center in the metropolitan area of Brno-jih, Avion Shopping Park is a huge shopping mall with dozens of shops, from small boutiques to large Ikea.
A good option is to visit one of the many pubs or restaurants that usually offer traditional Czech food all day long. You could easily find a restaurant where you get a meal and a drink for around €5, even in the city center. Many of these places also offer cheaper special (limited, pre-prepared) menus at mid-day. Cafés offer a nice selection of rolls and pastries if you're looking for breakfast food. Visit the cukrárna near the House of the Four Idiots on nam. Svobody and try a rakvička ("little coffin", small pastry covered with cream). This is the only place in the Czech Republic to find the chocolate ones.
There are plenty of restaurants in the city centre, where you can have a decent dinner. Both czech and international cuisine can be found. A very incomplete list of the good restaurants may include:
address: Údolní 4.Czech cuisine, good Pilsner beer and daily menu even during weekend.
address: Josefská 2 and Veveří 6.Fresh pasta, good wine selection. Has two branches, both close to city centre.
address: Jakubská 4.Goulash, roasted ribs, pickled cheese and many other "go-with-beer" courses. Self made beer.
address: OC omega, Náměstí svobody 9.Italian restaurant with fresh fish and sea food, pizza and pasta. Nice collection of Grappa.
The go-to bar is the cramped and smoky Charlie's Hat (know to most locals simply as Charlie's), east on Koblizna street from the north end of Freedom Square (50Kč entry, includes drink voucher). A cluster of more down-tempo bars frequented by students can be found along Dominikánská (Kavárna Trojka - students caffee and bar) and Starobrněnská just west of the Zelný trh (cabbage market square). Around the main square you can find a lot of clubs, pubs, restaurants, coffee houses and lounge bars.
Bars in and around Dvořákova street in the city centre include:
address: Mendelovo náměstí 20It is a big pub & restaurant owned by Starobrno brewery
Bar, který neexistujeaddress: Dvořákova 1Cocktail bar featuring a huge menu of rums and whiskies
Lokál U Caiplaaddress: Kozí 3Traditional pub, featuring lots of typically Czech dishes and beer served from big metal tanks
address: Dvořákova 3Beer speciality pub - serving Dalešice beer (made in a brewery 60 km famous for appearing in the film Postriziny) as well as a selection of beers from around Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria which changes every day.
Pegasaddress: Jakubská 4Already above mentioned pub with self-made beer.
Rotoraddress: Dvořákova 12Cosy little bar with good wine, spirits and coffee
Výčep Na Stojákaaddress: Běhounská 6Probably the most popular bar in Brno during summer, where locals and foreigners alike drink cold Chotěboř (lager type beer) soak in the evening sun in the square.
Lucky Bastard Beerhouseaddress: Bratří Čapků 8The Lucky Bastard Beerhouse takes you to the world of ales where you can play a few songs on the piano and taste some quality gin.
address: Gorkého 54Relaxed atmosphere of the 1930s. Excellent Pilsner and pork knee.
address: Lidická 1860/10The place where the beer connoisseurs gather. 8 types of draft beer and at least 20 bottled in the fridge
address: Šilingrovo náměstí 3Great light show
address: Jezuitská 3Move your hips to Latin American music and have fun with your friends over a glass of Cuba Libre.
Coffee Fusionaddress: Jánská 25Choose your beans from two coffee grinders of different flavors and enjoy a slice of the local, divine cake quickly brought to you by the smiling barista.
address: Dominikánské náměstí 5Cordial service, latte art cappuccino, delicious homemade cakes, and innovative cocktails
address: Veveří 10Besides the excellent locally roasted coffee that you can read about in Kávové listy magazine, you can also try thick cocoa from Tanzania or homemade lemonades made from fresh juices and aromatic herbs.
Punktaddress: Bayerova 7Popular also among people on gluten-free and vegan diets. Come have breakfast and a cup of cappuccino.
address: Panská 11No generic coffee here in Café Mitte; behind every cup you can see the farmer who grew and harvested the beans himself. Tip – filtered coffee!
address: Minoritská 470/4Luxurious desserts, delicious breakfasts, and homemade pastries in various original shapes.
address: Zemědělská 30Are you a fan of functionalism? So when you leave Villa Tugendhat go straight to Café Era. Top-quality service and traditionally prepared Italian coffee.
Cafe SpolekM–F 09:00–22:00, Sa Su 10:00–22:00. This place used to be a bookshop, but now instead of books you can smell excellent coffee, cocoa with rum, and homemade desserts.
phone: +420 731 651 005address: Štefánikova 24Low-budget hostel, 10 minutes walking from the centre, possible discounts in the nearby club Fleda.
phone: +420 734 622 340address: Panská 11Nice little hostel in the very centre.
phone: +420 549 492 713address: Vinařská 5
phone: +420 532 156 777address: Šilingrovo náměstí 2/265Lovely boutique hotel in romantic style located in the center of Brno.
phone: +420 543 211 953address: Preslova 90
phone: +420 547 220 233address: Pisárecká 6Offers a luxurious accommodation in 13 double rooms, 1 single room and 1 suite with a fireplace in a comfortable environment of a new restored stylish villa dating from the beginning of the 20th century. The villa has an enclosed parking lot on the hotel premises.
phone: +420 541 519 111address: Kounicova 6
phone: +420 542 215 080address: Solniční 15
phone: +420 777 479 379address: Křížkovského 33If you prefer an apartment, choose Apt No1. Stylish, renovated rooms, bottle of wine, free tea and coffee available. Cable TV and free Wi-Fi internet.
phone: +420 542 219 262address: Starobrněnská 10Very nice romantic hotel.
phone: +420-543 246 693address: Křížkovského 20Good if you are visiting the exhibition centre, otherwise you will need a taxi to centre.
Avoid the main train station after dark as it attracts a number of unsavory characters, the usual caution applies. Also keep a keen eye out when using Automated Teller Machines in the immediate area for similar reasons. The area is also known be actively visited by pick-pockets. Also avoid the Cejl street during dark hours for the same reasons. Take the tram or a bus between the stops Malinovského náměstí and Tkalcovská.
- Living in Brno: international social group that hosts many events in Brno.
- Couchsurfers Brno: based on the popular travelling website.
- Olomouc: a fine historic university town, with an impressive Plague Column (1½ hour trip)
- Telč is one of the prettiest towns in the Czech Republic (2 hours trip)
- Lednice-Valtice is one of the largest artificial landscapes in Europe dotted with palaces and follies (1 hour trip)
- Třebíč has one of Europe's best preserved Jewish areas (1½ hour trip)
- Žďár nad Sázavou contains a fine pilgrimage church (1½ hour trip)
- Kroměříž: an impressive baroque chateau and formal flower gardens (2 hours trip)
- Beautiful caves of Moravian Karst, with a boat trip inside the cave (45 minute trip)
Places near Brno - trips less than one hour
- Battlefield Austerlitz (City Slavkov u Brna)
- Castles: Pernstejn, Bucovice, Slavkov u Brna
- Vienna is easily accessible as a day trip by train or bus (return ticket by train €33, by bus €14)
- Bratislava is less than an hour away