Brno – pronounced (“Br-no”) – is Czech Republic’s second largest city. Never heard of it? Well, this is just another good example for a country that is dominated by a big capital while other cities are hardly on a traveler’s map. However, from Vienna it’s just a stone’s throw away and I can’t believe I just made it there last weekend for the first time… Anyways, it was on my radar and I was happy that I got the chance to be hosted by some motivated, young people who share the same passion for traveling and manage a few visitor apartments in the centre of Brno. And these are themed apartments – each room with a very individual, extraordinary style – and yes! – I called the graffiti room my home for two nights 😀 I was warmly welcomed by Simi and Ondra from Internesto and from that point I knew I was in good hands: They provided me all necessary information and showed me a lot of cool places to get the best Brno experience. Btw, if you’re a travel blogger and interested into staying with them – just drop them a line under [email protected] or check their Facebook page.
Well, as much as I’d have loved to spend more time in the room, I wanted to explore the city too. The old town has a medieval feel with lots of pretty alleys, squares and churches. Trams are plentiful and the main form of public transportation, however not needed if you’re only staying in the city centre.
For those of you who are interested into more eerie stuff – Brno should be added to your travel list – because there’s a lot going on underground: Beneath St. James’ Church is a huge ossuary – 3 chambers full of bones and skulls that quickly piled up after cholera and plague epidemics in the 18th century… And if you haven’t had enough of death – head over to Capuchin Crypt where you’ll find accurately placed mummified monks which surely give you the creeps!
Yes Brno certainly has a weakness for the strange. There is the crooked tower at the entrance of the old town hall, the “dragon” (a preserved crocodile hanging from the ceiling), the horse-and-rider statue (look up when you stand underneath the statue, I won’t say more 😉 ) and the astronomical clock (called “cock clock” by locals, ahem…)
But the most iconic building of all is the stunning Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul with its two gothic towers. The view from up there ain’t bad either…
Simi and Ondra took me to some other spots to catch some great views over Brno. One of them was another Brno landmark, the Špilberk Castle that overlooks the city. We chatted and laughed and I really enjoyed their company!
Of course I had to check that place during daytime too. Best accompanied by a sweet, irresistible Trdelnik (funnel cake)!
Turned out, that view was my favourite!
The Špilberk hill also keeps a secret inside: The mysterious name 10-Z stands for a huge civil defense and nuclear shelter which was fully equipped for up to 500 people. It’s actually a giant underground maze but after a quick orientation tour you can explore the shelter on your own with a map. And also you can spend the night there if you’re up for that! Especially history and retro fans will love it.
Last but not least, a city trip would be incomplete without visiting some nice cafés and restaurants. You can’t miss SKØG – a Scandinavian design heaven and a hipster’s dream!
I had an excellent waffle breakfast at Kafec but they have other breakfast items and a great coffee selection too! (located at Veveří 457/10)
Czech cuisine is tasty but not known for being light and healthy… Therefore Café Pilat is a welcome exception. They have a daily, middle-eastern inspired all-you-can-eat lunch buffet which was delicious and just under 5 EUR!
As an important student city, Brno has a vibrant bar scene for its rather small size. Just walk around and watch the city getting ready for the night… From cheap to fancy there are places that suit every taste and budget. Cheers to Brno!
Brno is easily accessible via train, bus or car from either Vienna or Prague. Bus or train tickets can be purchased for less than 10 EUR if booked in advance (one-way)! For bookings and timetables check for instance here (for trains) or here (for buses).
If you’re into history, culture and arts you may also like these city articles:
*This post is in collaboration with Internesto. The opinion remains 100% my own.