BrnoWith a skyline dominated by the imposing Špilberk Castle and the soaring twin spires of the Peter and Paul Cathedral, Brno has an attractive and historic city centre. The name, Brno, might sound like a crossword anagram, but the Czech Republic's second-largest city and capital of Moravia is a vibrant, yet traditional place. Brno boasts stunning architecture, great museums, a crypt, a gorgeous lake–just a tram ride away–and an exciting, beer-filled bar scene without heaving crowds.
The CityBrno is the capital of Moravia and the second largest city in the Czech Republic, right after Prague. In the 19th century, Brno embraced the Industrial Revolution with great enthusiasm and the city was nicknamed "the Manchester of Moravia". However, Brno is also a very green city with lots of parks and lakes where visitors can chill out. The town centre is easy and fun to explore on foot and is an ideal weekend destination with plenty of pivnices (beer halls), vinárnas (wine bars), kavárnas (coffee houses), cukrárnas (cake shops) and restauraces (self-explanatory). The city is a network of atmospheric cobbled streets lined with shops and restaurants, clustering around the vast open space of the main square, Náměstí Svoboda. Česká is Brno’s most famous street and favourite meeting place, where you can find the famous Stopka pivnice. Brno also has its fair share of cultural icons: it is the birthplace of Milan Kundera – everyone’s favourite Czech writer, and home to composer Leoš Janáček. The Janáčkovo Theatre is home to a superb opera and also a centre for classical music concerts.
Do & See
In the town centre, easy and fun to explore on foot, tourists can enjoy great museums, historical venues and other interesting sites. Brno is also a very green city with lots of parks and lakes where visitors can chill out and just forget about everyday life.
The national dish of the Czech Republic is roast pork with sauerkraut and knedliky–huge coin-shaped dumplings sliced off from a long roll. All this is washed down with beer–Czech pilsner might be the best in the world. Vegetarians used to be faced with a choice of fried cheese or chips, but now the situation is much better, with an abundance of Italian eateries. Brno also has several first-class vegetarian restaurants, listed below. Desserts are hearty and include exquisite ice cream, thick Turkish coffee, and some interesting liqueurs and digestives to round off a typical blow-out.
This Czech city has a long tradition in terms of coffee, as proved by the famous "Brno Coffee Week" during which coffee tasting, coffee presentations, and coffee-making competitions take place. Wandering around the city centre, you'll come across tons of lovely cafes, but make sure to check the ones listed here!
Bars & Nightlife
The Moravian's love of beer is well-documented. Bars are usually very full, very smoky, and quite often the domain of middle-aged men. However, pick a venue from the list below and you won't be disappointed by the genuine pub experience. As a university town, Brno has a young, hip population and a great nightlife scene with a great choice of trendy discos, raves, alternative gigs, jazz and world music venues, opera and art-house cinema–everyone will find something to do once the sun goes down.
Brno has a great variety of shopping opportunities – from little boutiques and speciality shops to large shopping malls containing everything you may ever need. Several large malls are situated right in the centre of town, so take a walk and enjoy both shopping and cultural attractions.