Brno, often referred to as “Little Vienna”, is the second largest city in the Czech Republic. The sights of Brno, of which, believe me, are many, make it one of the most interesting cities in the country. The beautiful architecture, which absorbed the centuries-old history of the streets, the cozy and calm atmosphere prevailing in the city, attract tourists from all over the world. So why not go there and you and me?
Church of St. Jacob
Built in the 15th century, this austere cathedral is well known in Brno thanks in large part to the Baroque pulpit dating from 1525 with a relief image of Christ, beautiful stained glass windows, soaring Gothic columns and the atmosphere of grandeur reigning within.
However, many tourists come here not to enjoy all this splendor, but to look at the little “prank” of the church builders – a small stone sculpture known as “Nehanba” (Shameless). Above the window of the second floor on the south side of the clock tower, looking closer, you will see a figurine of a man whose bare buttocks are turned towards the cathedral. Local legend says that it was the farewell “greetings” of the disgruntled Mason to his competitors who worked on the construction of the Peter and Paul Cathedral.
Address: Kostel sv. Jakub, Jakubské nám. 101/2, 602 00 Brno-center-Brno-city, Czech Republic.
In the 1920s, Brno became the first city in the Czech Republic where architects began to actively practice the newfangled Bauhaus style at that time. Perhaps the best example of this style in residential construction is the 1930s family villa designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for Fritz and Greta Tugendhat.
By the way, it was this house that served as a source of inspiration for the British writer Simon Mower, who published the bestseller The Glass Room in 2009.
Address: Vila Tugendhat, Černopolní 45, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic.
Old Town Hall Brno
Your visit to Brno would not be complete if you do not take a look at the medieval town hall, built in the 13th century. Today the city administration is located in a different building, while the Old Town Hall is rented by a travel agency.
The main attractions of this place are two unofficial mascots of the city – a stuffed crocodile hanging from the ceiling of the arch, which the Brno people affectionately and respectfully call Dragon, and a wooden cart wheel. Both the dragon and the wheel have long been the subjects of many legends that any Brno resident will gladly tell you. If you wish, you can also climb the Town Hall tower.
Address: Stará radnice, Radnická 8, 602 00 Brno-center, Czech Republic.
The Capuchin monastery in Brno has become widely known for its crypt located deep underground. Here in the 18th century, the deceased monks, abbots and representatives of the local nobility were buried. By 1784, about 150 corpses were housed in the crypt. Due to the dry soil and good ventilation of the crypt, many bodies did not decompose, but were mummified.
Address: Church of the Finding of the Holy Cross, Kapucínské náměstí 303/5, 602 00 Brno-center-Brno-city, Czech Republic.
Catacombs under the Vegetable Market
An extensive, well-branched network of tunnels is still preserved under the historic center of the city. More recently, several sections of this underground labyrinth have been opened to the general public.
It takes about 40 minutes to explore basements located 6 to 8 meters below ground level. These cellars were built under the Cabbage Market, which for centuries served as the city’s main food market, with two purposes – to store food and shelter people during wars.
Address: Labyrinth under Vegetable Market, Brno, Zelný trh 320/21, 602 00 Brno-center, Czech Republic.
The eerie Špilberk Castle, perched on top of a hill, is considered one of the city’s main attractions. The history of the castle dates back to the 13th century. Then it was home to the Moravian margraves, and later a fortress. Under the Hapsburgs, in the 18th and 19th centuries, it served as a prison.
Today it houses the Brno City Museum with several temporary and permanent exhibitions. The most interesting from the point of view of visitors are excursions “From castle to fortress” (about the history of the castle) and “Prison of peoples” (about Shpilberk as a prison from which it was almost impossible to escape).
Address: Špilberk Castle, Špilberk 210/1, 662 24 Brno, Czech Republic.
Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul
This cathedral on the top of Petrov’s hill was built in the XIV century on the site of the pagan temple of Venus. Since then, it has been reconstructed many times. The exquisitely decorated main altar of the temple, 11 m high, with the figures of Saints Peter and Paul, was created by the Viennese sculptor Josef Leimer in 1891. You can climb the tower for stunning views.
Address: Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, Petrov 9, 602 00 Brno 2, Czech Republic.
The Moravian Museum of Natural History and Ethnography has about six million exhibits and is the second largest in the country. Of great interest are the archaeological values stored there, “covering” the little-studied period of history – from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages.
Address: Moravian Museum, Zelný trh 6, 659 37 Brno-center, Czech Republic.
The churchyard at the Church of St. James
In 2001, during the reconstruction of the square located next to the Church of St. Jacob, the remains of about 50 thousand people were discovered who had died from wars, hunger and epidemics over the centuries and were buried in crypts under the church.
In 2013, the ossuary was opened to the public, however, not everyone agrees to this 20-minute excursion.
Address: Kostnice u sv. Jakuba, Jakubské nám., 658 78 Brno-center, Czech Republic.
City Zoological Garden
The Brno Zoological Garden is located in a rather picturesque place on the outskirts of the city, about 5 km northwest of the city center. It contains a fairly large number of species of wild animals. The official website of the zoo contains photographs and descriptions of all the animals that live in it.
Address: Brno Zoo, U Zoologické zahrady, Brno-Bystrc, Czech Republic.
The chic Bishop’s House has a rich history, but today it is part of the Moravian Museum of Natural History and Ethnography. The exhibits presented here will introduce you to the Moravian wildlife, including mushrooms, as well as the history of money in Moravia.
Complementing the fauna exhibit is the country’s largest freshwater aquarium.
Address: Biskupský dvůr, Muzejní 298/1, 602 00 Brno-center-Brno-city, Czech Republic.
Museum of gypsy culture
There are gypsies in almost every corner of the world. But museums dedicated to the culture, traditions and life of this people, you will find only in our Kostroma and Czech Brno. The museum that we invite you to visit reflects the colorful gypsy culture.
His collection includes Roma household items, various books, documents and historical photographs collected throughout Europe. Museum visitors will have the opportunity to get acquainted with video and audio materials directly related to the designated topic. In addition to the permanent exhibition, the museum regularly offers special temporary exhibitions.
Address: Museum of Romani Culture, Bratislavská, Brno-střed-Zábrdovice, Czech Republic.
In the center of the Cabbage Market, in the very heart of the Old Town, there is a curious Baroque Parnassus fountain, installed here in 1695. It is a cave “inlaid” with allegorical figures. Inside the grotto is Hercules holding back the three-headed Cerberus, the watchdog of the underworld.
On various sides, the cave is surrounded by three female figures symbolizing the ancient empires – Babylon (crown), Persia (cornucopia) and Greece (quiver of arrows). Triumphantly towering above all this, the majestic female figure personifies Europe.
Address: Parnas Fountain, Zelný trh, 602 00 Brno-center, Czech Republic.
Brno Technical Museum
The exposition of the Technical Museum, located 3 km north of the city center, highlights various aspects of the technical and industrial progress that has taken place over the past two centuries. The museum is definitely very interesting and you will not regret spending a few hours visiting it.
Don’t miss the Panopticon on the 2nd floor: this huge wooden stereoscope allows 20 visitors to view images from antique glass slides at once, which are regularly changed.
Address: Technical Museum in Brno, Purkyňova 2950/105, 612 00 Brno-Královo Pole, Czech Republic.
Observatory and Planetarium
The impressive Brno Planetarium, located just 2 km northwest of the city center, is able to amaze not only children, but also adults. Here you can make a great journey through time and space to discover the solar system, underwater life, microcosm and much more.
Unfortunately, most of the shows are held here in Czech. However, if you contact the staff in advance, they can arrange a presentation for you in English.
Address: Brno Observatory and Planetarium, Kraví hora 522/2, 616 00 Brno-center, Czech Republic.
Gregor Mendel (1822-1884), an Augustinian monk whose research on peas and bees at the Augustinian Abbey of St. Thomas in Brno formed the basis of modern genetics, undoubtedly deserved to be in the city where he lived for several years and worked, a museum named after him was opened.
The museum contains photographs of the great scientist, his manuscripts and documents, as well as various tools that Mendel used in his work. The foundation of Mendel’s greenhouse has been preserved in the garden.
Address: Masaryk University – Mendel Museum, Mendel Square, Brno-center, Czech Republic.
Mintzmistrovsky basement (basement of the mint)
These medieval cellars were discovered during earthworks in 1999. Going down into the underground, you can see an exposition dedicated to the minting of coins during the Middle Ages. A self-guided tour of the cellars usually takes about 20 minutes.
Address: Mintmaster’s Cellar, Dominikánské náměstí, Brno-center, Czech Republic.
House of arts
The House of Arts gallery hosts traveling exhibitions of contemporary art. The focus is on works by Czech, Moravian and other Central European artists. Typically, the House of Arts is open only during screenings.
Address: House of Arts of the City of Brno, Malinovského náměstí, Brno-center, Czech Republic.
House of four boobies
Walking along the eastern side of Freedom Square, it is impossible not to notice the house, the balcony of the third floor of which is supported by four Atlanteans, at the same time trying to hold on to their loincloths. The people called this building the House of the Four Boobies.
Why? The fact is, the word “atlas” in Czech sounds like “atlas”. Over time, “atlas” in the name was transformed into “mamlase”, which means “blockhead”. It must be admitted that such a nickname did not appear by chance: the stone faces of these muscular guys are really not disfigured by their intellect.
Address: dům U čtyř mamlasů, nám. Svobody 74/10, 602 00 Brno-center-Brno-city, Czech Republic.
Home gentleman from Lipa
On the opposite side of Freedom Square, you will see the House of Lords from Lipa. It is a Renaissance palace built in 1589-1596 with a rich 19th century sgraffito façade and an arcaded courtyard.
Address: House of the Lords of Lipá, Svobody Square, Brno-center, Czech Republic.
Caves Moravian Karst
While in Brno, be sure to visit the Moravian Karst, famous for its cool air and stunning caves. The Karst area is about 100 square kilometers, the number of caves and gorges in it exceeds 1100 (and this is only known!). Four caves are open for independent visits (routes are clearly marked with an indication of their level of difficulty).
You will have the opportunity to admire the numerous stalagmites and stalactites that are easily visible from the well-lit passageways, and for an additional fee, you can also take a boat trip along the underground river. Truly adventurous travelers can visit the less well-known caves with a qualified speleologist as a guide.
Also worth noting is the Macocha Abyss – a karst sinkhole, the depth of which exceeds 100 m. You can admire the beauty of Macocha from the observation platforms erected at the edges of the abyss.
The Moravian Karst is located about 25 kilometers north of Brno. The caves are very popular with tourists, so be sure to book your visit in advance.
Address: Moravský kras, Czech Republic.
Veveří Castle, which is only 15 kilometers north-west of the city center, looks especially majestic due to the fact that it stands on the top of a hill, strongly towering over the Svratka River. Built in the XI century, it has undergone many reconstructions and changes, made mainly in the Middle Ages.
Over the centuries, the castle has repeatedly changed its owners and even “nationality” (there was a time when Moravia was part of Austria-Hungary). In the XX century, Veveří became a national treasure, but for several decades it remained abandoned – empty and inactive.
After recent reconstruction and restoration, the castle was transformed again. Today it is open to tourists, which means that the list, which could be titled “What to see in Brno”, has increased by one item. We advise you to pay special attention to the beautiful frescoes and the collection of exquisite furniture.
Address: Veveří Castle, 664 71 Veverská Bítýška-Brno-Bystrc, Czech Republic.
Moravian Gallery in Brno – Governor’s Palace
The Moravian Gallery in Brno, founded in 1961, is the second largest art gallery in the Czech Republic and one of the most important. It is located in several historic buildings of the city that are important from a historical point of view, including the Prague Palace, the Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts and the Governor’s Palace.
The exhibits of this museum-gallery are not only paintings, but also sculptures, photographs, and objects of applied art. Since 1963, an international graphic design competition has been regularly held here.
Address: Moravian Gallery in Brno – Governor’s Palace, Moravské nám. 680 / 1A, 662 26 Brno-center-Brno-city, Czech Republic.
Freedom Square is the main square of the city of Brno, located in its very center. Thousands of people come here every day: in the morning, locals enjoy their morning coffee in one of the cafes, and in the evening Czech beer and Moravian wines flow like rivers in the pubs. The atmosphere of this historic square with beautiful townhouses around is more than cozy.
Relatively recently, an interesting modern monument appeared on Svoboda Square, which immediately became the subject of jokes, which, however, did not affect its rapidly growing popularity. This is a watch in the shape of a huge bullet made of polished black stone.
Popularly, these watches are often called Astronomical, although they are not (such a name, apparently, appeared because of the “astronomical” cost of the watch – they cost the city budget 450 thousand euros).
Moreover, looking at this black stone, you cannot even recognize the usual time. But on the other hand, every day, at exactly 11 o’clock, the clock “shoots out” a glass ball, which can be caught in one of the four holes and taken as a souvenir.
Address: Freedom Square, nám. Svobody 96, 602 00 Brno-střed, Czech Republic.
Lake Brno and its surroundings
Lake Brno, surrounded by beautiful forests and fields, is the largest recreation area in the city. On the shores that are closer to the city center, there are several hotels and restaurants, and the far side is a rocky coast, on which Veveří Castle stands.
On warm days, locals enjoy spending time on the shore of the lake or in its vicinity – relaxing on the beach, cycling, hiking or canoeing. Various cultural events are regularly held here (if you come to Brno in May or June, you can visit the amazing international fireworks festival).
In the vicinity of the lake there is a zoological garden, which is home to 1450 animals, polar bears are the most popular among visitors.
Address: Brno Reservoir, vodní nádrž, Brno 635 00, Czech Republic.
Luzhanki is the largest and oldest park in Brno. It was founded in the 18th century by Emperor Joseph II. In 1809, when Brno was occupied by the French army, it was here that the solemn celebration of the 40th anniversary of Napoleon Bonaparte was held. Today the park is perhaps the best place to relax in the city center.
Here you will see a magnificent fountain, many historical monuments, as well as a beautiful neo-Renaissance building that used to be a casino. Among the trees and flower beds there are many playgrounds, tennis courts and even an artificially created stream (in ancient times, a real river flowed through the park, but it no longer exists, and people made every effort to recreate the former atmosphere of this place).
Address: Park Lužánky, Pionýrská, 602 00 Brno-center, Czech Republic.
Kravi Gora (translated from Czech it sounds quite prosaic – Cow Mountain) is another recreation area in Brno, located, as you might guess, on the mountain. It is a pretty park where locals flock on warm days to take a walk, lie on the grass or go jogging.
Here you will find several playgrounds, a swimming pool with jacuzzi and sauna, and one of the city’s biggest attractions, the Brno Planetarium. On the territory of the planetarium there is an observation deck, from where a magnificent view of the day or night city opens. From the platform, you can also admire the night sky, not only with the naked eye, but also with the help of a portable telescope.
GPS coordinates: 49 ° 12’15.0 ″ N 16 ° 34’24.0 ″ E.