Last Updated on May 21, 2023
Pronounced “burr-no,” this destination has a totally different feel from other Czech or Moravian cities.
Nestled in the South Moravian region, Brno is a captivating city seamlessly blending rich history, modern innovation, and a vibrant cultural scene. As the Czech Republic’s second-largest city, Brno offers a unique atmosphere characterized by its architectural beauty, thriving nightlife, and a strong sense of local identity.
Whether you’re exploring its stunning landmarks, indulging in delicious cuisine, or immersing yourself in its thriving arts and music scene, Brno promises an unforgettable experience.
This medieval fortress offers breathtaking views of Brno. Perched high on a hill, the citadel dates back to the 13th century.
The castle served as both a royal residence and a fortress during wars. One of its notable uses was as a political prison during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, where several prominent figures were incarcerated.
Today, visitors can explore its well-preserved fortifications and walk along the ramparts.
In addition, it houses the Špilberk Castle Museum with exhibitions showcasing the castle’s history and its role in the region. Inside the castle, displays include medieval arms and armor, historical artifacts and interactive displays.
Cultural events, concerts and festivals are hosted here throughout the year and the castle’s courtyards are lively gathering spaces, featuring outdoor concerts, theatrical performances and markets.
A remarkable architectural masterpiece, this villa is considered one of the most influential and iconic examples of modernist architecture in the world. In 2001, it was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Built between 1928 and 1930 for the Tugendhat family, the villa showcases Mies van der Rohe’s innovative and minimalist design principles. It features an open floor plan, large glass walls, and a seamless integration of interior and exterior spaces, allowing natural light to flood the rooms and offering panoramic views of the surrounding garden.
One of the villa’s most striking features is the ‘onyx wall’ that separates the main living area from the entrance hall. This translucent wall can be illuminated from behind, creating a stunning visual effect.
Visitors can take guided tours to explore its interior spaces, including the living room, dining room, bedrooms, and terrace and learn about the villa’s architectural significance, historical context and the lifestyle of the Tugendhat family.
Brno Town Squares
Freedom Square (náměstí Svobody) is often called the heart of the city. The bustling area is surrounded by beautiful historic buildings, shops, cafes, and restaurants. It’s a popular meeting point for locals and visitors alike, and serves as a venue for various events and cultural activities throughout the year.
Moravské náměstí (Moravian Square) is located near the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. The picturesque area is known for its architectural landmarks, including the beautiful Baroque Parnas Fountain and the Reduta Theatre, one of the oldest functioning theaters in Europe.
Zelný trh (Vegetable Market) is a fascinating area dating back to the 13th century where locals would sell their produce. Today, it still boasts a mix of food stalls, shops, and cafes. And it’s a great place to try traditional Czech delicacies.
Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul
Commonly referred to as Brno Cathedral, this one of the most prominent architectural treasures in the city and a significant symbol of Brno’s history and spirituality.
Construction of the cathedral began in the 11th century, making it one of the oldest buildings in Brno. Over the centuries, it has undergone various architectural transformations, resulting in its current stunning Neo-Gothic appearance. The cathedral’s twin towers, reaching a height of approximately 84 meters (276 feet), dominate the city’s skyline and are visible from various parts of the city.
The interior of the cathedral is equally impressive, featuring striking stained-glass windows, intricate vaulted ceilings, and a rich collection of religious artworks and artifacts. Visitors can admire the exquisite High Gothic-style altar, the ornate pulpit, and the remarkable organ, which is one of the largest in Central Europe.
Climbing up the towers of Brno Cathedral leads to breathtaking panoramic views of the city, its historic center, the castle, and the picturesque landscapes beyond.
This extensive underground network of tunnels and cellars beneath the historic center of Brno is also known as the Labyrinth Under Vegetable Market. The unique complex stretches for several kilometers and its origins can be traced back to the Middle Ages when the cellars were initially built for practical purposes such as storage, wine production, and trade. Over time, the underground spaces expanded and became interconnected, creating a labyrinthine network beneath the city.
The complex served various functions throughout history, including as a refuge during times of war, a secret escape route and a hiding place for valuable possessions.
Visitors can take guided tours to explore a section of the Underground offering an intriguing journey into the depths of Brno’s history while venturing through narrow passages, dark chambers and vaulted cellars. Knowledgeable guides share stories and insights about the complex, shedding light on its historical context and the lives of those who once inhabited or utilized these spaces.
This underground burial site also known as the Capuchin Crypt is located beneath the Capuchin Monastery. It’s a somewhat creepy, but fascinating place that houses the remains of approximately 50,000 people.
The ossuary dates back to the 17th century when the Capuchin monks began using the underground crypt as a burial place for their order. Over the years, it became a resting place for members of the local nobility, clergy, and other individuals from various walks of life.
Visitors can descend into the underground chambers and explore the eerie corridors lined with carefully arranged skeletal remains. The bones are arranged in patterns, creating an atmosphere of both reverence and macabre fascination. The arrangement serves as a reminder of the transient nature of human life and the inevitability of death.
The ossuary also offers a unique insight into the burial customs and practices of the past. It is a place where visitors can contemplate mortality, reflect on the impermanence of life, and gain a deeper appreciation for the passage of time. It’s important to note that photography is not allowed inside the ossuary to further respect the sanctity of the space.
A picturesque lake located just outside the city is a popular recreational area offering a variety of outdoor activities. The surrounding landscape is characterized by rolling hills, forests, and meadows, providing a scenic backdrop for the reservoir.
One of the reservoir’s main attractions is its beach areas, ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing during the summer months. During the winter, if weather conditions permit, the frozen lake is popular for ice skating and ice fishing.
Water sports enthusiasts will find plenty of activities to enjoy at the Brno Reservoir. Sailing, windsurfing, paddleboarding, and canoeing are top choices, with boat rentals and equipment available for hire. Anglers can try their luck with fishing, as the reservoir is home to a variety of fish species.
The area surrounding the reservoir offers hiking and cycling trails that meander through the surrounding forests and along the shores, providing opportunities for scenic walks, bike rides and picnics. The diverse flora and fauna in the area make it a great spot for birdwatching and nature photography.