Brno is the second-largest city in the Czech Republic and can be easily reached from Prague (two and a half hours) and Vienna (two hours) by train.
The city can be visited quite easily on foot or, if you want to be faster, using the tram, which is very efficient and widespread considering the size of the city.
The railway station is close to the old town and, since I came by train, my tour started here.
Brno in a nutshell
The following interactive map includes monuments and highlights, marked with blue pins, and the bars and the restaurants in which I have been, marked with yellow pins.
Cathedral of Saint Peter and Paul
The Cathedral is one of the city landmarks and is located on the Petrov hill right in the center of Brno. Its towers, built in neo-gothic style, are visible from quite anywhere in the city.
Špilberk Castle and Park
The castle is located on the top of a hill and was formerly a military citadel and a prison. It hosts now the Brno City Museum. The castle can be reached by walking uphill through the park that surrounds it.
You will find a lot of monuments and points of interest by just roaming around on foot through the streets of the old town. Zelný trh (Market Square) and Freedom Square with the Astronomical Clock are well worth a visit since the whole area is full of fountains, sculptures, and historic buildings.
Close to these squares, you will also find the New City Hall (this baroque building was once a Dominican monastery), and the baroque St. Michael’s Church.
Other Churches in the Old Town
The Evangelical Church of J.A. Komensky (also known as the Red Church), the Church of St. James (gothic), the Church of St. Thomas and the Church of the Assumption (both baroque), are other religious buildings located in the Old Town at just a few minutes walking distance from each other.
The Mahen Theater (a mix of neo-baroque, neo-renaissance and neoclassical styles), the Janáček Theater, and the Art House are some of the most important cultural buildings in the historical center of Brno.
Old City Hall
The Old City Hall is one of the oldest buildings in Brno. I strongly suggest climbing up to the top. You need to purchase a ticket, but the view from above is amazing.
If you have extra time
- Villa Tugendhat (UNESCO Heritage Site) is a building designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a milestone of modernism style. It is located about 4 km from the historical center.
- St Thomas’s Abbey. In the monastery garden, Gregor Mendel made his famous experiments mixing different sorts of pea plants.
- Brno Circuit. It hosts the Moto GP.
Things to drink and eat
The most famous beer in the city, also very popular in the surrounding countries, is Starobrno. Brno citizens say that it is now a commercial brand and prefer ordering the local craft beers like Hauskrecht, Richard, and Lucky Bastard.
If you want to try local cuisine in the city center without spending a fortune, I recommend the restaurant Stopkova Plzeňská Pivnice.
For those who want to play it safe instead, BBK (Best Burger Kitchen) could be the best choice. We had an excellent hamburger here.
Finally, a mention for Café Placzek. The brunch and the various breakfast menus were really interesting, it was a great surprise.