Brno is a city in South Moravia and also the second-largest city in the Czech Republic. There are many things to do as Brno has been flourishing now more than ever, many companies raising up, new cafés and restaurants popping up, still cozy but dynamic and attracting not only tourists but also international companies that set up their office here. In this article, we have collected some places you must visit once you are in Brno – no matter if only just as a tourist or a long-term resident. Enjoy!
1. Freedom Square – Náměstí Svobody
On the Freedom Square, there is a famous Brno machine clock, a black stone monument designed by Oldřich Rujbr and Petr Kameník. Every day at 11:00 AM the clock releases a glass marble, which the spectators can catch from one of the four openings in the monument and they can take it home with them as a very original souvenir. People make fun of the clock because of its shape so it got many nicknames (google it) and some people also say that the glass marble never comes out! (I heard that but never tried).
2. Špilberk Castle
Špilberk Castle has been built on a hilltop in the center of Brno. Its construction began as early as the first half of the 13th century by the Přemyslid kings and completed by King Ottokar II of Bohemia. In this castle, cultural events, concerts, festivals, and theatre performances are being hosted throughout the year. In the past the castle was used as a prison – it was the most famous jail in Europe at that time. You can visit the inside of the castle and look around to see what it used to look like then. Špilberk’s gardens are a popular place to go for walks. Every summer, The Summer Shakespeare Festival takes place here – if you are visiting Brno during this time, don’t miss out on this unique outside theatre experience!
3. Brno Vegetable Market (Zelný trh)
In order to buy fresh vegetables, fruits or flowers you can go there, where local farmers and sellers set up their stalls and place out their fresh products. They might talk to you and offer a piece to taste.
And this place has more to offer like vegan ice cream or coffee stalls. You can find a mobile coffee shop DobroKava on Zelný trh, where you do not pay for coffee with money, but with a good deed (we already mentioned this in the article about unique things in the Czech Republic. Another unique experience one can enjoy at this market square is a visit to an underground labyrinth. The paths in the Labyrinth under the Vegetable Market lead to interesting and hidden spots including medieval basements concealed six to eight meters below the ground. You can check out how wine and lager were once stored and how this underground space used to be lit up, even observe a collection of archaeological discoveries.
4. Moravian Square (Moravské náměstí)
Moravian Square is a very attractive place. Here stands the Moravian Museum which was built in 1817 and which displays both contemporary and classic art. Also, the square is well-known thanks to the eight-meter tall statue of a knight on a horse with unusually long legs. Also, in winter there is a ferry wheel – a big attraction for kids, locals, and visitors. Annually, the Christmas market takes place in this square where you can enjoy a pleasant evening with a cup of mulled wine.
5. The Capuchin Crypt
The Capuchin Crypt in Brno, groups of individuals buried there and transformed into mummies because of the geographical structure of the ground and the system of airing in the place. The grave was founded in the mid-seventeenth century in the center of Brno. The mummies are a tourist attraction today.
6. The Brno Dragon
A hanging crocodile in the Old Town Hall of Brno is a popular statue that Brno visitors simply must-see. Visiting the crocodile is a regular part of Czech school trips. The story goes that once this dragon threatened the people of Brno. It’s said that the dragon was savaging the citizens and their livestock and no one had any idea how to stop it. That is until this one butcher got an idea. He placed a big juicy piece of meat for the dragon as bait so that he could capture the creature, and it was a successful plan! That’s how he saved the people of Brno. Though it is, in fact, a crocodile, everybody calls it The Brno Dragon.
7. The second-largest underground ossuary in Europe
The Ossuary under St. James Church [Kostnice u svatého Jakuba] in Brno is the second largest underground ossuary in Europe, after the Catacombs of Paris. The ossuary, estimated to contain bones of over 50 000 people, was discovered during an underground survey of Brno in 2001. The bones date back to the 13th century and come from a cemetery located adjacent to the church.
8. Nuclear Shelter 10-Z
This place was originally built by the Germans in World War II. When the world war was over and the Czech Republic (at the time called Czechoslovakia) came under Soviet influence, the bunker was taken over by the People’s Army and planned to be a top-secret hideout in case of nuclear war. Today, this place is open for everybody as a retro hotel. This place has kept its original Genius Loci. For example, there are these old fixed-line phones, from which you can contact the reception.
Other than that, there are plenty of other interesting places like:
- The Indecent Little Man on the Church of St. James
- 11-Year-Old Mozart Statue
- Villa Tugendhat
- Moravian Karst
- Veveří Castle
Feeling like taking a break when exploring these many places? Check out our guide for Brno’s best coffee places!