‘Boring Brno,’ as it’s often referred to by Prague dwellers, is experiencing its moment in the sun. The Moravian capital’s impressive list of bars, restaurants, and sights have officially put Prague on notice as trending urban city-break destination.
There’s a nuclear bunker, a bar that doesn’t exist, and a massive motor racing circuit that a lot of people have never even heard of. They seem to know coffee pretty well too…
Here’s everything you need to see, eat, and drink when you finally get on a train or bus, leave Prague (there is more to this country), and visit Brno – thanks to Facebook group Living in Brno for suggesting some of these insider tips:
Nominated for best bar, and an addictive and fun in-and-out atmosphere. Drop in for a cold one while you’re doing the tourist thing.
‘The bar that doesn’t exist’, a cocktail bar whose delectable cocktails are only matched by its boisterous atmosphere – something that no other cocktail bar in the country has managed to capture.
The same owner as Bar Ktery Neexistuje, and as much a vibrant and illustrative art space than just a bar. They won Best Cocktail Bar at the Czech Bar Awards, and with their drinks served in baby bottles and other bizarre vessels, it’s easy to see why Brno is beating Prague’s cocktail scene at the moment. Brno: 1, Prague: 0.
The minimalist design of modern Scandinavia captured in a small coffee house. Skog boasts one-of-a-kind coffee beans with a fruity edge, and the staff are more than happy to point you in the right direction if you know nothing about coffee, like myself.
Kafec prides itself on its impeccable selection of beans provided by the well-known Brno based roastery Fifty Beans. If you’re not sold on that, they also have three kinds of hot chocolate. Yes, please.
A more traditional Czech café and music bar with a hell of a view, great if you’re doing the tourist circuit and need a bit of a break, or if you’re looking for a night out and a bit of house music.
A brilliant microbrewery and restaurant with a superb selection of tasty beers on tap. Try their unique unfiltered lager.
A hidden gem that’s perfect for fans of craft beer. Brew Lab is modern, sleek, full of beer, and full of atmosphere. You’re bound to make a few new friends on a visit to this bar.
A Czech restaurant with classic dishes like svíčková and pork knee that’s served in about every way imaginable. They also have a decent rotating daily menu, and Pilsner beer on tap. It’s the place where locals go to eat.
This stunning attraction was a 13th-century castle overlooking the city but was eventually turned into a Baroque fortress. One of Brno’s major tourist attractions and a place rich in history. Organised tours will give you the most out of it.
A place filled with legends including the one with the infamous Brno dragon and wheel. The three different halls combined with the observation tower are stunning and certainly worth a look, but they’re only open in summer so make sure you time it right.
The centre of Brno’s historic Old Town and the place with the most spectacular views, especially if you go up the towers of Brno’s postcard Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. It’s worth the walk, even if you’re not much of a walker. Just remember that at the top of every Czech hill there are always refreshments in the form of delicious beer.
Perhaps one of the most interesting sites that Brno has to offer in terms of economic growth and change. There have been multiple changes to surrounding buildings both in style and purpose. The standout feature at the moment, amongst an already beautiful square, is the Baroque column that acts as a memorial to victims of the great European plagues.
One of the main streets in the centre of Brno. A great place to arrange to meet someone, and a nice view of the Gothic Church of Jan Komenský, not to mention the gateway to shopping in Brno.
Straight out of a fairy tale, this vegetable or ‘Cabbage market’ dates back to the 13th century and is one of Brno’s signature sites with fresh fruit and vegetables and other irresistible treats that’ll keep you going. Open weekdays and Saturday mornings in spring and summer.
This labyrinth is a system of underground tunnels open to the public with detailed tours. Among the maze of endless corridors, you also have the chance to see an old alchemist laboratory and pillory. An absolute must for history buffs.
From Gothic to Modern, the Moravian Art Gallery exhibits a variety of works and thought-provoking exhibitions that are sure to capture your attention. Check out the gallery website to keep up-to-date with visiting exhibitions as well.
Open from Tuesday to Sunday, this villa is the only example of modern architecture listed as a UNESCO heritage site in the Czech Republic. The building is a popular destination for its gardens, unique look, and the exhibition on its ground-breaking architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
The 10km-long reservoir is a huge recreational area and although it’s a little out of the centre of town, you can easily spend a day there. Perfect for swimming or sunbathing in summer, and there are a lot of bicycle tracks through the surrounding forests. There’s also a picturesque view of the lake and forest from Veveří castle, one of the oldest in the country, above.
Also located near the lake is the internationally renowned Masaryk racing circuit where multiple Grand Prix Championships have been held over the years, attracting some of the best drivers in the world. Time it right and you can also see some big- league motor exhibitions.
In the south-western suburbs of the city, Červení kopec (Red Hill) is a unique rock formation and national park that offers great views, and various hikes for those who want more of an outdoor experience.
A place that’s also a bit off the beaten track, but in the centre of a beautiful forest that allows for some nice outdoor strolls and of course beautiful views. The hotel prides itself on its popular terrace café and restaurant, where you absolutely have to try the famous apple tart.
Underneath the beautiful Špilberk castle is one of the most highly classified nuclear bunkers built by the Nazis as a stronghold to protect themselves against American and Soviet forces. Tours are available to see the technical aspects of the facility. It’s probably one of the edgiest and most interesting attractions Brno has to offer.
An abandoned workers quarter which was left to ruins some time ago is now a flourishing space for art and culture. Kamenka hosts multiple festivals, theatre performances, concerts, pop-up galleries, workshops, and much more. The perfect hangout and party place during the summer months.
The Ossuary of St James is the second largest in Europe and was established in the 13th century directly under the cemetery of St James’ Church. A truly eerie but captivating experience that you absolutely have to check out.