The Czech Republic starts with Prague — everyone thinks so, but not the people of Brno. The history of this ancient Czech settlement dates far back to the Middle Ages. At that time, it was a fortress that played an important defensive role in Moravia. Later, due to its successful location at the crossroads of trade routes, Brno grew and developed, becoming a center of trade, culture, and science. Today, modern and ancient motifs are very harmoniously intertwined in the city. At the same time, Brno and its surroundings are completely unfairly left without the attention of travelers. And in vain because there is much to see here. On the other hand, such disregard makes it possible to enjoy the city without any fuss or tourist bustle.
Districts of Brno
Having a favorable geographical location, Brno actively developed and, over time, became a cultural and economic center of Moravia. International fairs were held there yearly, attracting people from all over Europe. Brno remains to this day a major international exhibition center. Dozens of exhibitions and forums take place there during the year.
In the XIX century, Brno saw rapid industrial development. A huge economic potential of the Czech Republic is concentrated here. Large enterprises of heavy machinery and the chemical and printing industries are in the city.
In 1899, the first Brno University appeared. Today, there are five state universities and seven private ones with thousands of students.
Although Brno is an old Czech town rich in customs and traditions, today it is dynamically developing, and modern technologies enter densely into the life of citizens. This is also seen in the city's architecture; the streets have no vulgar garishness. Old facades are harmoniously combined with the creations of modern architecture. If something modern appears in the historic center, it does not "burn the eyes" with its futuristic nature.
The best time to visit Brno
In addition, there is always something going on in Brno. For example, at the end of May, there is the Ignis Brunensis Fireworks Parade, which has become the city's trademark and attracts crowds of tourists. For two weeks, the best fire show masters entertain visitors and residents. In summer, you can see hundreds of balloons and hot-air balloons over Brno. This is another, no less colorful fair, Balloon Jam Festival.
And in August, Brno residents celebrate City Day. At this time, there are various fairs and many artists and shopkeepers on the streets. The main action is reconstructing the events during the siege of Brno by the Swedes.
In the autumn, there is a week of coffee and a festival for electronic music lovers. In addition, various exhibitions and student festivals take place almost every week. So you don't get bored in Brno!
The main mode of transport in Brno is the streetcar. In the city, there are 13 lines. There are also non-stop bus routes. The use of public transport in Brno is very simple and convenient. You can buy a ticket, which is valid for all modes of transportation, from a special yellow vending machine. The ticket for the whole day costs a little more than €3.
Brno is a very clean city. So, don't litter on the streets. Otherwise, you can't avoid a fine. Smoking in public places is also forbidden. Restaurants and bars have special places for smokers.
It is customary to leave tips for employees in hotels and restaurants, usually 5-10% of the order amount. Cab drivers will also be happy if the fare is rounded up.
Almost all interesting places in the city are located in the center. There are many hotels for every taste and purse. So feel free to choose a hotel near the Old Town.
Things to do in Brno
- Visit Špilberk Castle, built in the XIII century to protect the city, and under the Habsburgs, it was converted into a prison. The less impressionable can visit the gloomy casemates, where political prisoners used to be held and tortured. But it's best to climb up to the top; the view over the city from there is magnificent.
- Take a stroll around Liberty Square. Back in the XIII century, it was the center of the secular life of the Brno people. And so far, there is always a festive atmosphere. Here the citizens celebrate Christmas and hold various festivals, celebrations, and fairs. Virtually every building deserves to be told about. Everything here has a rich history, whether it is the Old Plague Column or the Brno Eagle modern clock.
- Go to the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. Its high spire can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. It was built in 1296, although later rebuilt several times. The bells don't strike here at noon, as it is customary in the world, but at 11 o'clock, so Brno is called the "city of wrong time." Why? This is another reason to visit the cathedral.
- Check out Saint James' church. It is beautiful from the outside and interesting in its interior. The columns of lower jaws, skulls, and other human remains, including those of the city's patron saints, strike the imagination. You can learn all about the history of the ossuary with a guided tour.
- Go to at least one of the 20 theaters. The National Theater in Brno complex, which consists of three venues, offers a wide theatrical variety. Opera and ballet can be tasted in the Janáček Theatre, the Mahen Theatre's dramatic productions, and the city's oldest theater, Reduta, which presents various concert programs.
- Visit the Brno Observatory and Planetarium. Here you can fly into space and visit Mars before Elon Musk. It is virtual, of course, but very realistic.
- Visit the abode of the genetic genius. Those interested in the history of this science can go straight to the Starobrnensky monastery of Augustinians, which houses the museum of Mendel, the founder of modern genetics.
- Try a piece of local pork loaf with a variety of spices. And, of course, eat toast of pork neck and baguette with chili peppers. A glass of velvet beer or young wine will brighten up any meal. For dessert, grilled cherry strudels or lemon wedges with blueberries are perfect. Food prices, thanks to the student community, are moderate.