Looking for an alternative to Prague and wondering is Brno worth visiting?
Brno has a special place in my heart. It’s the place where I met my current wife Jana, had my first full-time job, bought my first car, and lived in two different apartments in the area of Cejl and Kralovo Pole for over two years. But is Brno worth visiting?
Brno is a great city, but I also know that there is much more to see around Brno. I would also love to share my personal list of day-trips.
In this article, I’ll take you on a journey and share my experience about Brno and share my best day trips from Brno. These trips will show you some of the beauty and history that the surroundings of Brno have got to offer you.
Let’s dive in!
Is Brno worth visiting?
This might not sound as a surprise to you after my introduction, but yes, it is! Brno, located in the Czech Republic, is a hidden gem in the heart of Europe that is absolutely worth visiting.
Brno, in the Czech Republic, is a secret gem right in the middle of Europe that you should definitely go see. This city, which is the capital of South Moravia, has a great mix of rich historical roots and a lively modern energy.
As you walk through the city centre, you’ll see beautiful buildings like the Špilberk Castle, which is perched on top of a hill and gives you amazing views of the city. The iconic Gothic Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul is a great place to learn more about the city’s past.
Brno is also a city of education and innovation, with a number of tech companies and colleges. This makes for a lively cafe culture, hip bars, and a lot of events and festivals that appeal to many different types of people.
Don’t miss the underground labyrinths or the famous Villa Tugendhat, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a gem of modernist architecture. And Brno has a lot of events and art shows for people who like the theatre and the arts.
Plus, the city’s location makes it a great place to start exploring South Moravia’s beautiful vineyards and beautiful scenery. In short, to me, Brno is a wonderful mix of old and new that is sure to win over the heart of any traveller.
I can really recommend the Brno Historical Walking Tour to explore the city in a unique way with a professional guide:
✅ Check prices and book your historical walking tour here!
Why is Brno famous?
After Prague, Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic. It has a unique charm and a rich past and culture. Here are some things that Brno is famous for:
- Education and a Young Vibe: With several universities, including Masaryk University, Brno has a large number of students, which gives the city a lively and energetic vibe.
- Špilberk Castle: This castle has a view of the city and was once a royal home. Later, it was used as a fortress and a jail. Today, it stands as a sign of Brno’s past and how far it has come. It was the place of the first date I had with my wife!
- Vila Tugendghat: This modernist villa is a masterpiece of functionalist architecture from the 20th century. The famous German-American architect Mies van der Rohe designed it. It’s now a part of the UNESCO World Heritage list.
- The underground labyrinths: These labyrinths of Brno are a network of tunnels and passageways, some of which date back to the Middle Ages. They are a unique way to learn about the city’s past below ground!
- Brno Circuit: If you’re a motor racing fan, you may know Brno for its world-class Masaryk Circuit, which is often called the Brno Circuit. This track is where international motorcycle and other motor racing events take place.
- Gregor Mendel’s Experiments: Gregor Mendel, who is known as the father of genetics, did his important research on pea plants at the Augustinian Abbey in Brno, where he lived and worked.
- Brno Dragon & Brno Wheel: The legends of the Brno Dragon and the Brno Wheel are well-known in the city, and you can see things connected to them in the Old Town Hall.
- Cultural Events: Brno is also known for its culture scene, which includes many theaters, art galleries, and festivals, such as the famous Ignis Brunensis international fireworks competition.
- Gothic and Baroque Architecture: This is my favorite part of the city. The city has many different kinds of buildings, but the Gothic churches, like the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, and Baroque buildings really stand out.
- Local customs: It’s good to know that Brno has its own traditions, like the noon bell, for example. It rings to remember how the city fought off Swedish troops during the Thirty Years’ War.
I can honestly say that Brno is a well-known and popular city in the heart of Europe because it has a rich history, beautiful architecture, a lively culture, and a modern appeal. It has everything that you need!
How many days should I spend in Brno?
Besides all the great day-trips you can do, Brno is a unique city with many things to see and do. I would definitely recommend staying for 3 to 4 days if you really want to feel its charm and discover its wonders.
This amount of time gives you time to walk through the old streets, see famous places like Špilberk Castle and Villa Tugendhat, and spend time in the city’s lovely parks and shops.
You can also try some local food, buy some unique souvenirs, and maybe even go to a cultural event or festival. Brno also has a lively nightlife to check out!
But if you’re on a tight plan or just passing through, you can still have a great time in 1 or 2 days. You can choose a few important places to see, eat at a local restaurant, and get a sense of Brno’s magic.
No matter how long you stay, I promise that Brno will always stick with you.
Is Brno an expensive city?
Most people think that Brno is cheaper than many places in Western Europe, but it is slightly more expensive than some other cities in Central and Eastern Europe.
But this can be different for different people depending on your habits and tastes. Here are some examples of typical costs:
- Accommodation: A night at a mid-range hotel can cost you between €40 and €80. Hostels are a lot cheaper where you can find a bed in a shared room for as little as €15.
- Food: A meal at a cheap restaurant might cost you between €5 and €10, while a three-course meal for two at a moderately priced restaurant might cost you between €25 and €50.
- Transportation: A single ticket for public transportation costs you about €1, and a monthly pass usually costs you between €20 and €25.
- Coffee: In a café, a cup of coffee will cost you between €1.50 and €3.
- Entertainment: Movie tickets can cost you between €6 and €10, while theater and other live performances can cost between you €10 and €30, based on the venue and the show.
Remember that these prices can change because of things like inflation, the local economy, and a lot of other things. Before you plan a trip, always check up-to-date local sources or travel forums to get a better idea of prices.
Is Brno worth visiting: FAQs
The information below is related to to Brno as well as the best day trips to give you some more great insights!
Best Day Trips from Brno
This list will give you a great overview of the possibilities that you have when you’re staying in Brno but would like to see more of the surroundings.
1. Macocha Abyss
In the middle of the Moravian Karst, nature really brings out its best. The Punkva River flows through the Macocha Abyss, which is a beautiful gorge that drops more than 138 metres.
You can take a guided boat tour through the underground river system. This is highly recommended, but you should check the price a few weeks ahead of time because it is so popular. During the walk, you can see stalactite and stalagmite formations that are really cool.
From Brno, it will take you about 35 minutes to drive to this great place.
Mikulov is very close to the border with Austria and has a lot of history, culture, and natural beauty to offer you. The beautiful Mikulov Castle, from which you can see a wide view of the area, dominates the town.
If you’re a wine lover, I’m sure that you will like that the town has a long history of making wine.
Local wine caves, many of which are in old underground tunnels, let you try some of the best Czech wines. Very recommendable!
Mikulov is about a 40-minute drive from Brno so that’s very doable.
3. Austerlitz Battlefield (in Slavkov)
If you’re into history, I’m sure you will love the rolling fields of Austerlitz (in Slavkov), where one of the most important fights of the Napoleonic Wars took place in 1805. it’ll take you about 25 minutes by car from the city center!
These days, you’ll find a peace monument on the battlefield. You’ll also find several educational plaques and information stands that help you understand what happened here.
When visiting Austerlitz, I would really recommend to book a guided tour so you’ll get the maximum out of your stay:
✅ Check prices and book your Austerlitz Battlefield tour here!
In Znojmo, you’ll find a mix of medieval charm and green scenery. The center of the town is full of historic walls, towers, and other architechtural gems.
Some of the tubes and cellars in the Znojmo Underground date back to the 14th century. And the Thaya River runs through the Podyj National Park, which is just outside of town.
It’ll take you about 50 minutes by car from Brno. But it’s really worth a visit!
5. Pernštejn Castle
This is a masterpiece of a castle in my opinion! Perched on a rocky outcrop, this castle looks like something out of a fairytale. Did you know that it’s often called the Marble Castle because the stone used to build is a unique mix of white and grey?
It took my Dutch family to this place and we had a great day out with a lovely lunch on site.
It also has a lot of strong towers and defenses. Its insides are just as impressive, showing how Czech nobles lived during the Renaissance.
The trip will take you about 50 minutes from Brno by car.
Olomouc is, just like Brno, located in Moravia. It has a beautiful ancient centre, and the Holy Trinity Column, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, really stands out.
The city also has a charming church, a number of beautiful fountains throughout the city, and the remains of its old defences. You’ll also find this city on my shortlist of the best places to live in the Czech Republic!
So, if you’re in Brno and want to have some fun, you know where to go! If you don’t have your own car, I would really recommend to make use of Discover Cars for the best experience and service!
✅ Check your prices and book your car here at Discover Cars!
How do you pronounce Brno?
The name Brno can be hard for English speakers to pronounce. To put it simply, you can think of it as “BURR-no,” but without saying the “R” out loud.
The first “Br” sound is almost like saying “brr” when you’re cold, but it’s shorter and more clipped. The part that says “no” is easy to understand, just like the English word “no.”
Keep in mind that the “r” sound is slightly rolled, which is how most Czechs say it. For most foreigners, this rolling ‘r’ can be quite a tongue-twister!
The Wrap-Up: Is Brno worth visiting?
So, is Brno worth visiting? Well, Brno is a great alternative to Prague (altough that’s a beautiful city to visit as well). I can tell you this from my own experience!
It doesn’t matter if you spend days wandering its streets or if you just stop by for a few hours, its beauty and spirit will impress you! Outside of the city, some great places nearby offer even more interesting things to do.
From the romantic charm of Mikulov to the natural beauty of Macocha Abyss, the area has a lot to offer.
So, when you’re planning your trip to this part of the Czech Republic, keep in mind that Brno and its surroundings offer both nice and cool adventures.
Have a safe trip and enjoy!
Your restless voyager,