Brno is a cultural hub with many things to do, lots of things to see, and a variety of local breweries to taste, but there is a lot of general information that can really help us enjoy this beautiful city..
Your arrival in Brno can be overwhelming – especially if you had a long journey, or have never been to the Czech Republic/Brno before – like me. I flew from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, so after 4 flights and 18 hours, I finally landed in Prague.
I used foreigners.cz airport taxi service – after the long journey, and with two 26kg bags, I wanted the most convenient way to my flat in Brno.
The morning after I arrived, I caught a train to Budapest to catch a ride to Croatia – (planes, trains, and automobiles. :) ) I didn’t have much time to figure out Brno (it was confusing for me just to get to the train station), so I would have a lot to learn when I got back from vacation.
* Some important things that I have learned..
Public Transportation Tickets – The operation is ran by Dopravni Podnik Mesta Brna (DPMB).
Tickets can be purchased at yellow ticketing machines; located at important stops,tobacconists, some drivers for a higher price, train stations, post office, and outlets of the DPMB.
Don’t forget to immediately ‘time-stamp’ your ticket in a validator machine, which you can find near all entrance doors of vehicles.
If you are going to be in Brno and you need to use transportation to get to work, school, pubs, etc – you will probably want to invest in an one or three month pass. (1month full price: 550 czk/ reduced: 275CZK – 3month full price: 1370/ reduced: 685czk)
The inspectors are in plain clothing, and can come around at any time and fine those traveling without a valid travel ticket and fine you the sum of 40 EUR – on the spot!
– The Public transport website is essential to old and new expats of Brno and the Czech Republic.
I think one of the most important thing to know about the public transport is regular transportation stops running between 23:00-5:00 (but at many stations they stop even earlier) Night buses run every half hour so it is best to know what time you will catch the bus to avoid long waiting. (All night buses leave from the main train station)
–Google maps – You can see stops with the lines running there.
-If you are a going to be here for an extended time, perhaps you want to consider buying a motorscooter/car and foreigners.cz can help with the entire process including insurance.
-Foreign Police- It is important you register with the Immigration Office if you are staying in the Czech Republic for more than 90 days. (address: Cejl 62b) As a non-EU resident I had to register within 3 days.
It is obligatory you have health insurance which complies with Czech law when you register – Foreigners.cz can arrange your insurance and help with the foreign police!
– Bank account – The banks around Brno are accommodating to foreigners and students. Some offer travel insurance, and a type of theft insurance just for opening an account. There are cash benefits and more. I opened my account with Komercni Banka and I’m satisfied with the rewards, options, travelers insurance, and the customer service. :)
Let foreigners.cz help arrange your Czech bank account. :) Having the help of Foreigners.cz will make communication easy and speed up the process. They will also offer their recommendations, but feel encouraged to survey friends and professionals to recommend the best bank for you.
First impressions of Brno Culture
– The city is beautiful, with great art, architecture, and a lot of worthwhile things to see (the Cathedral on Petrov, the Church of St. James, the Red Church, Brno Underground, and walls of Špilberk Castle) and an intriguing culture.
– The people in Brno are generally friendly, and looking for a good time with lots of friends.
– The culture of reserving a table. In Brno you will probably walk in and out of 3 pubs before you find one that has an open table. Many times the tables are reserved, so if you want a good seat in a nice pub, I suggest reserving a table many hours in advance.
– Smoking is allowed in most places. In some restaurants they may be separated by section, but most pubs/bars/restaurants allow smoking throughout the entire place; and the Czech’s seem to be a nation of smokers. So, if you are somebody who doesn’t like second hand smoke or smoking inside; I recommend these pubs:
- U Proutníka on Smetanova 1
- The immigrant pub on Veveří 486/57
- Mju:z at Moravské náměstí 15
What were your first experiences like in Brno? Do you have some useful tips (or corrections) for me and other foreigners? Let us know! :)
Check out Brno from a bird’s eye view :)