What to do in Brno? Why are you traveling to Brno? Isn’t that in the Czech Republic? These and many other questions I had to answer when talking to friends and family about my plans on going on a short trip to the Brno, which is situated only 1 1/2 hours by train from Vienna. It had been on my list for monthly adventures with which I came up earlier this year as part of my new year’s resolutions. As I have already been in Prague last year and Budapest just a few months ago I kind of fell for “eastern” cities which is why I thought traveling to Brno would be a nice idea. And damn, I was right!
Christoph and I only stayed there for one night – which is more than sufficient time for a tourist to get a first great glimpse at the city and seeing its major sights. The city might have 800.000 inhabitants but the old town is rather small but really beautiful and make Brno the perfect destination for a short trip. And now I want to share my top 7 things to do in Brno with you.
#1 stroll the Špilberk Castle hill
Like in my post about Budapest wandering the castle hill is the first thing I would recommend anyone to do if one wants to get a nice overview. The park is beautiful and you get a first great view over the city and can spot one or two of the main sights which are almost all situated in the city center. The castle itself isn’t much to see though – there is a museum (of course) and the history might be a long one but not as adventurous as others – so we didn’t went in and rather enjoyed the place itself.
where? Špilberk 210/1
#2 have coffee at Skøg
Okay, this is hands down one of the coolest places I’ve ever been to and if I would ever open a café myself it would look like Skøg (Urban Hub). The owners mastered a great balancing act on this café which becomes a super nice bar at night. Beside the amazing interior, which I still dream about, they offer delicious coffee from two roasts – one from Tanzania and the other from Rwanda, which I prefer more (btw.). Moreover they have a small menu for lunch and cakes that are to die for. Also try one of their homemade lemonades and enjoy the busy life that is going on there, while diving into Brno’s young and vibrant society.
where? Dominikánské nám. 187/5
#3 visit the Ossuary at S.James’ Church (and the Labyrinth)
Honestly, we had only been to the Ossuary as we have missed the guided tours through the Labyrinth under the vegetable market twice (but it is on our list for next time). But the Ossuary was amazing though horrifying and after that we had our fair share of horror scenarios – even though they had only been playing in our heads. This attraction in Brno is in the underground of a church which once was surrounded by the city’s graveyard. When the place got to crowded to bones had been removed and stored in the cellars beneath the church of S. James. The underground has been opened to the public in 2012 and since then one can wander around and see remains of around 50.000 people. Crazy but definitely worth a visit.
where? Ossuary: Jakubské nám. | Labyrinth: Zelný trh 21
#4 eat at Burger Inn and Soul Bistro
Brno has become Czech’s secret food capital and I have to admit that the town has truly earned that title. As we have only been there for one night we sadly weren’t able to try everything but two restaurants are definitely a must for everyone visiting Brno. First, the Burger Inn. It is a quite small restaurant and looks a bit like a take-away shop but in a very good way. Two young men do all the work from cooking to serving. The kitchen equals the Bar (counter) and one can see how one’s burger is made. And my Cheddar Bacon Burger turned out to be the best one I’ve ever had in my entire life! The other Restaurant is the Soul Bistro which takes Czech vs. International cuisine to a whole new level. We had dinner there and enjoyed the laid back atmosphere and amazing food. The menu was quite small but filled with delicacies from around the world with a slight Czech twist. Moreover the interior is lovely and the stuff super friendly and helpful when reading the czech menu became a problem, which it did 🙂
where? Burger Inn: Běhounská 9 | Soul Bistro: Jezuitská 7
#5 climb the tower of the city hall
The city hall is the oldest remaining mundane building in the city and has got a tower (70m) which I recommend anyone to climb when in Brno. From there you have a marvelous view at the S. Peter and Paul Cathedral, which is the most famous building in Brno, but if you are not interested in church architecture you don’t have to go in, and from the city hall tower you have a much better few.
where? Radnická 8
#6 enjoy a signature cocktail at Bar, který neexistuje
Okay, this place is a must for anyone visiting Brno. The Bar, který neexistuje is one of Brno’s hotspots on weekend nights and after being there I do understand why. They serve amazing signature cocktails, have the biggest menu for Rum, Wisky and such that I’ve ever seen and the bar has got a great atmosphere crowded with many young people all eager to celebrate life. Sadly the light was so dark at Bar, který neexistuje that I couldn’t take any nice pictures to show to you how amazing the (main) bar looks like but if you google it you will see what I mean. Little tip on side: ask for a table on the ground floor!
where? Dvořákova 1
#7 sleep at Barceló Brno Palace
We stayed at Barceló Brno Palace and definitely landed a great deal. After carefully studying all the hotels and other accommodations in the city I believe that this hotel situated between S. Peter and Paul Cathedral and Špilberk Castle it is the perfect home base to explore the city. Moreover the hotel’s building is amazing. It’s an old palace and the inner yard has been transformed into a beautiful lobby. The rooms are quite large and nicely furnished just like the rest of the hotel, but I think I will tell you more about it in a little hotel review soon.
where? Šilingrovo nám. 265/2
What is on your short trip list? I need some inspiration for my monthly adventures!