Things To Do In Brno
Brno, Czech Republic, is the second biggest city after Prague. The captivating city is accessible from Prague via the D1 Highway and about one and a half hour away by bus or train ride from the city of Vienna, Austria. It is the financial, social, and major economic center of the South Moravian region.
The Villa Tugendhat built since the 1920’s can be found in this city and is widely recognized as one of the prominent ideas of German architect Mies Van Der Rohe. This masterpiece is encompassed by all glass and greenery from all sides and corners. Aside from being historical, it exemplifies what an avant-garde architecture should be. The Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, or more locally known as the Petrov Cathedral is located on a hill not far from the Stadtzentrum, a famous hub in the city center. Built around the Neo - Gothic style architecture, the church is also famous for striking its bell daily before noon.
When To Go:
Because of its strategic location amid the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands and the Southern Moravian marshes, Brno enjoys a fine weather all year round. It has a relatively good air quality, no pollution, no violent storms, strong hurricanes, or any other tragic natural calamities that ever hampered the beauty of this city.
But if you hate the sight of a light drizzle, then don't come here. Each and every month sees rain by and large, with the summer month (March) still showing a normal score of 8 downcast days. Overall, the climate here is decently moderate and tolerable even in summer.
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When the winter months come from December to January, temperatures can register a freezing temperature range of about 1 degree Celsius. This is considered normal, and with this cold, there is a chance that you will see only 3 hours of sunlight every day.
The ideal time to see Brno is in the middle of the year, during the summer season because most of the major attractions remain open around these months only and it is the perfect time to get around the city without working out a sweat or chilling out in extreme cold. Be sure to carry a bottle of drinking water with you if you decide to explore the entire attractions of the city on foot.
The peak season months of June, July and August atmosphere registers a humid 78 degrees Fahrenheit or a cool 20 degrees with a considerable amount of dampness too but it is all easy to endure due to the presence of the cold breeze from its oceanic climate.
These are the famous attractions and things to do when in the city of Brno.
Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul (Katedrala sv Petra a Pavla)
Built since the12th-century, the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul (Katedrala sv Petra a Pavla) in Brno dominates the panoramic skyline of the city. Not to be missed is the crypt, the pulpit, the tower (84 meters high) and the altar. You can also take part in guided tours to learn more about its historic significance to the Czech Republic. It is filled with so much detail and located on a hill that is visible from almost every corner of the city. Climb up on top of the towers and it will make you enjoy a wonderful view of the old and modern city plus its surrounding attractions.
When you get to the interior it is simply breathtaking. You will see an old but still functioning organ equipped with 6000 pipes, renovated 3 years ago and classified as the second largest musical organ in the Czech Republic. The church has beautiful stained glass windows and if there is no service on ordinary days it is so quiet and comfortable. Aside from the guide, you will be greeted at the entrance by its amiable and young caretakers that speak good English and can tell a lot about the history of this sacred place. The Petrov Cathedral is great and worth a visit even if the ascent to the hill is a bit tiring, the rewards are very comforting to the eye and to the senses.
The visit to the Tugendhat Villa is highly recommended for people who are interested in the history of modern architecture and design. It successfully imparts the value of "functionalism" for the last century. The villa was conceptualized and assigned by Mr. and Mrs. Tugendhat, the rich industrialists in the textile industry in Brno in the hands of modern architectural genius Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe.
In addition to adding innovative forms for those days, it is also interesting to observe the technical solutions used for air conditioning/ heating functions, as well as the intricate layout of the interior and its adjacent beautiful garden.
Clearly, this is one of his most successful works. There is a large onyx stone across a wall that changes their light environments depending on the time of day. Reservations are required on the web site of the villa. Without a reservation you can only see from the outside. Book your visit in advance; otherwise you will not have the opportunity to see the beautiful and unique interiors that the villa offers.
The Macocha Abyss is really a must for those visiting the area. It is important to book a few days in advance to avoid the possibility of not being able to enter. This place is just one of the interesting caves you can visit along the Moravian Karst territory. The enchanting caves are located about 30 minutes from the city center and it is quite hard to reach unless you have a navigator because along the way there are no road signs or highway markers leading to this attraction. The complete tour lasts around 2 hours and 30 minutes. If you are not great walkers or you do not feel the walk in the woods, a cable car takes you up in no time and after admiring the abyss you can take refreshment in one of the rooms or buy some souvenirs.
You can purchase a combined ticket for the funicular that will take you up to the top of the abyss. In reality, you cannot see any structures down below because the vegetation is so thick that it allows you to see the top crown of the trees. The tour to the cave Punkva is beautiful and obviously very cold, even in summer, so wrap up well. Take the boat trip on the inside that passes along a door just up out of the groove in which you can enjoy the view from the bottom of the abyss. The cons - the explanation is all strictly in Czech and there are no tours in English. Also the place is chock full of wasps, which can be quite annoying.
Brno Historic Center
It is worth taking a tour of the Brno Historic Center where you can enjoy a quiet walk in the city without the presence of too much crowds. You can go window shopping or see the white and red tram that runs through this highly pedestrian place. Every bar, café, and brewery has tables and benches outside, where you sit, unwind, or simply enjoy a glass of excellent beer offered in all kinds.
You can take a tour of the Duomo (Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul), head to the town hall, photograph the symbolic dragon or the hanging crocodile, and wheel of the city, or combine your visit with a tour inside the courtyard of the Spilberk Castle and admire the scenic view of the city. The center may be simple, but it has a wealth of surprises that will make your holiday in Brno a memorable one.
The Spilberk Castle stands on a hill overlooking the city of Brno. Besides serving as an old military garrison, this building was used especially during the Austro-Hungarian Empire as a maximum security prison. It is here where they locked up famous "Carbonari" Italians like; Peter Maroncelli and Silvio Pellico, who wrote "My Prisons" while being incarcerated and where he narrated in detail the stages of his detention in this penitentiary. The visit to the bunker, which is accessed from the base of the exterior walls relives the oppressive atmosphere that will surely affect not only on the soul of the condemned but also tug at the heartstrings of the observer.
Walking through the corridors and visiting the cells is quite a thrilling ride. You can still feel the pain in the air and the horrific torture to which the Italian prisoners were subjected. Some cells have been decorated with mannequins and objects of the time to make it more realistic. The ticket price is really low and the place is worth a visit even if the road to get there is not marked very well. This historic fortress above the city houses a number of great exhibitions, some with captions in English, and others only with explanations in Czech. However, in the rooms that relate to the Italian patriots who were imprisoned here the explanation is presented in Italian language.
Old Town Hall (Stara Radnice)
The building of the Old Town Hall (Stara Radnice) is very funny and interesting. The peculiar looking towers on the front has one crown that is tilted with a thoron. There is a legend that the crown tilted the master himself, when he found out that he would be paid less than promised. But now it looks odd and funny. Inside you can see a stuffed crocodile (dragon), and one old wheel suspended under the arch of the City Hall.
The origin of these objects and their relation to Brno produces a lot of different legends. They even say that if you touch the wheel it will bring good luck. In the Old Town Hall there is a tourist information center, where you can take a city map, buy souvenirs, and learn about the important attractions of the city.
Capuchin Monastery and Vault (Klaster Kapucinu)
The Capuchin Monastery and Vault (Klaster Kapucinu) is one of the most beautiful Baroque buildings in the center of Brno. However, it is widely visited because of its famous vault or crypt where the mummy of the Capuchin monks and nobility is kept and preserved. You can take pictures and photos but with a fee (worth CZK 30). This is necessary to help the upkeep of the place and preserve the memory of the attraction.
You cannot see anything like this anywhere else. In it are several halls, and in the end part are the mummies of the monks encased in see through glass tombs. It dates back to the 14th century, but some mummies still have their preserved teeth, nails, clothes and so on. When buying a ticket, the cashier gives prints from the description of the crypt in the language you speak to make everything clear and easy to understand.
The Náměstí Svobody is the largest square in the center of Brno. It is in this square where the city celebrates its numerous events, concerts, and much more. Throughout the piazza and just across the tram, you can find fast food chains, restaurants, bars, gardens, shopping centers and the famous clock of Brno in the shape of bullets. You can walk from the northern part of the Liberty square and across a long road that leads to the city center and called the Masarykova. To the south lies the Česká road. This popular square is accessible by tram from the station if you do not want to walk.
A visit to the Brno Ossuary is impressive and at times chilling. This is a really unique and interesting place to explore. However, the trick is done in 15 minutes and the price is a little high. But the work of conservation and layout is all worth a visit. However, even if the time of your visit is a bit constrained, it is savvy to be prepared for what you are about to see there.
For a good heads up about the place, there is an incredible book composed by a man who is familiar with the ins and outs of the Brno underground museum, the crafts to see inside, the structural planning, and even educate you about the burial traditions and culture of the country.
But in case that you favor not to study or don’t have time to read any informative material, you can proceed with a tour of the underground tomb even more than once - it is likewise a smart choice. The place opens everyone’s eyes about the certainty of death.
It explains that passing is also a piece of life and this exceptionally uncommon tourist attraction lets you comprehend the reality of life that you can't find in any other spot. It is not difficult to discover as it stands alongside St. Jacob Church.
St. Jacob's Church
The St. Jacobs Church is a three aisled church located in the center of the city. It contains many interesting artifacts and religious art objects, paintings, frescoes, and icons. The Gothic arch of the church is another interesting facet of this religious structure along with a visit to the tombs and an ossuary. The facade of the church is not too impressive, although the tower proves quite striking.
What it is worth it is the interior, it is indeed gorgeous and the admission is free. Near the church you can find good restaurants and cafeterias. It is accessible from the Central Station (Main railway station) via tram no. 9 or 4 that stops at the terminal of Namesti Svobody.
The Zoo Brno is quite large and situated on a small hill and very organized. Currently undergoing renovation but still open to the public, much of the zoo is still under the construction phase but if you are in the city of Brno it is still worth a visit. It has lots of animals, and all of them are well cared for inside their neat and vast enclosures. The only drawback is the lack of explanations in other languages (only in Czech). It is easy to reach by tram and the entrance fee is very affordable.
Moravian Gallery (Moravska Galerie)
The Moravska Galerie (Moravian Gallery) in Brno is important for guests who need to get well informed about the art, traditions, and culture of the country. The art and cultural gallery houses a few structures and two of them can be found within the Husova street. It is just 5 to ten minutes away from the city. The Prazak Palace shows pleasant pictures and art sculptures. All the exhibits are in good condition and truly impressive, but keep in mind that taking pictures of the brilliant masterpieces presented here is strictly not allowed.
The second building can also be visited and from here you can admire collections about the applied arts and the huge selection of medieval and contemporary furniture, china and glass. Picture taking is allowed in this part and the no flash rule is enforced. After here, discover the third building, which is just a 15 minute stroll away from the previous two structures. Inside you can admire a large selection of European art and contemporary ceramic art sculptures made by the famous modern artists from the Czech Republic.
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