23 Exciting Things To Do In Brno Czechia (And Beyond) – – Estimated reading time: 29 minutes
While the ever stunning and majestic Prague is a city that attracts the bulk of tourists visiting Czechia, every once and while, it’s fun to go outside the boundaries of the country’s capital. Czechia offers up plenty of worthwhile cities to visit like Pilsen, Karlovy Vary, Ostrava (just to name a few), and Brno is an especially exciting place to visit.
Not only is it budget friendly and located within close proximity to natural sites like the Moravian Karst, it has a picture perfect Old Town, top notch places to eat and drink, and plenty of off the beaten path locations to explore.
Read on to find out why you should visit Brno and how you can use this uniquely curated list of things to do to shape your vacation itinerary.
A List Of Things To Do In Brno Czechia
So you’re planning to visit Brno and have so many questions. Where should you eat while in Brno? What are the most “must see” places? Are there any weird and offbeat attractions to see? Where should you stay?
This guide of things to do in Brno will help you figure all of this out.
Recommended reading: For even more help from travel experts, read Czech out Brno for a cheaper, calmer city break and The inside guide to Brno, the Czech Republic’s quirky second city.
1) Have lunch at a classic Czech tavern
Admittedly, I only went to Pivní bar Atrium because I’d just arrived in Brno and I needed to hang out somewhere until my Airbnb flat was ready. As this quaint Czech tavern isn’t far from the main bus and train station and I was lugging my carry-on suitcase and backpack, it was a convenient location to grab a bite of local fare.
My meal was hearty and freaking delicious. I feasted on Moravian sausage and creamy mashed potatoes with bacon, pairing it with a cold Czech beer.
At the time of my visit, they didn’t accept card payments, the staff didn’t speak English, and the menu wasn’t in English either. So be sure to have cash on hand and Google Translate at the ready.
For a complete guide of where to eat in Brno, read this overview of my favourite Brno restaurants.
Address: Josefská 514/5
2) Stay in the cutest little Airbnb flat ever
If you want to skip a hotel stay and cozy up in your own flat, I’d recommend staying in this small studio. With a decidedly feminine vibe, the pink and white hued bedroom features a fairy light filled canopy over the bed, an old fashioned vanity table, and fun artwork.
Truth be told, the apartment isn’t as close to the city as advertised, but it’s not more than a 20 or so minute walk to most places. It’s also not located in the most desirable of neighbourhoods, yet is close to several grocery stores, public transit, and at around €30 a night, well, the price can’t be beat.
For privacy reasons, I haven’t disclosed the exact address of this adorable studio. If you want to stay there, just book through the Airbnb link listed above. However, if you want to get an idea of the general area of where the flat is located, it’s not far from the Museum of Romani Culture (Bratislavská 67).
3) Chill out at the hipster SKØG Urban Hub
This place is mentioned in almost every Brno guide there is and for good reason, as SKØG Urban Hub isn’t only a beautiful space to co-work from, it also has sophisticated vegan food that even meat lovers would find tasty.
This salad bowl with cabbage patties was the perfect lunch before I ventured “out and about” to get to know Brno.
Address: Dominikánské nám. 187/5
4) Say hello to Brno’s resident “dragon”
Brno is full of quirky points of interest and well, the Brno Dragon definitely fits the bill. A five meter long taxidermied carcass hangs suspended from the ceiling of the entrance to the Old Town Hall.
Is it really a dragon you wonder? What’s the story behind this oddball beast? Read my profile of the Brno Dragon to find out more. If you have a sense of humour and like digging deeper into some
unbelievable historical folklore, be sure to check out the Brno dragon.
Address: Radnická 8
5) Visit the Old Town Hall for a panoramic view
The Old Town Hall (Stará radnice) in Brno is actually pretty darn old. Standing as one of the oldest secular buildings in the city, it dates back to the 13th century. The Old Town Hall was used by city officials until 1935 when they relocated to the New Town Hall at Dominican Square.
Nowadays, people visit the Old Town Hall to meet the Brno dragon, climb up the 63 meter tower for an incredible 360 degree view over the city, and take in the exhibition depicting the history of the Gothic building.
To further amp up the coolness factor of the venue, cultural events (think concerts, film screenings, and theatrical performances) are also held in the adjacent courtyard during warmer months.
The somewhat arduous climb up the tower is well worth the effort, as you’ll be treated to what’s perhaps the most beautiful view in all of Brno.
Note, access to the Old Town Hall will fetch you about €3 / 75 CZK.
Address: Radnická 8
6) Stop for a glass of wine at Provázek.dvůr
Another trendy spot in Brno is Provázek.dvůr. It’s a rather delightful outdoor locale to stop for a quick drink, be it a chilled white Czech wine or a steaming cup of strong coffee.
Address: Zelný trh 294/9
7) Feel holy at the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul
The 14th century Cathedral of St.Peter and Paul bears the mighty honour of being the most important religious site in not only Brno, but in all of Southern Moravia. Perched atop Petrov Hill, the church boasts a massive altar featuring the namesake saints – Peter and Paul, as well as a tall tower from where you can observe more soaring views over Brno. The outside of the cathedral is Gothic while the interior is very much Baroque.
It’s another climb (!) up the church’s 84 meter high tower and a small fee of around €2 / 35 CZK to be treated with even more photo worthy scenes of Brno.
Address: Petrov 9
8) Check out mummified monks at the Capuchin Crypt
The 17th century Capuchin Crypt in Brno’s Capuchin Monastery houses the haunting mummified remains of 24 monks. When a monk passed away, they were buried beneath the church, a routine practiced for about 300 years.
While Egyptian rulers has their bodies preserved through mummification so they could reunite with their soul in the afterlife, the friars weren’t actually mummified on purpose. Unlike the wealthy Egyptian royalty and nobility who wanted to take their riches into the afterlife as well, the Capuchin monks stuck to their vows of poverty, reusing the same coffin each time someone died. Their bodies would be placed in the crypt on a pile of bricks and between the dryness of the air and the makeup of the topsoil, the monks’ bodies didn’t decay as normal and today, are still almost perfectly preserved.
Visit the crypt and see these friars for yourself. Laying in rows across the crypts floor, they are dressed in robes, some with rosaries and crosses in hand. These religious dudes like to keep it real and there’s a message displayed above them that reads, “As you are now, we once were; as we are now, you shall be.” Damn, that’s harsh.
If dead monks aren’t enough, the crypt also holds the remains of important dignitaries and even, corpses of unlucky people who were buried alive. Yes, you read that right. Back in the day, being buried alive was not uncommon. When people were quite ill or fell into a coma, they were often presumed dead when they weren’t, and sent for burial. Basically, most people’s worst nightmare come true.
Entry to the crypt is around €3 / 80 CZK.
Address: Kapucínské náměstí 303
9) Be puzzled when you see Brno’s phallic shaped astronomical clock
Prague is famous for their astrological clock. But I love the clock in Brno way more because it’s just so … weird.
Toward the end of the Thirty Year’s War in 1645, the local population managed to fend off a siege from the Swedish army. The mighty Swedes attempted to take the city for three long months and the people of Brno held fast, never surrendering. At a stalemate, the Swedes offered to leave if they couldn’t take control of the city by noon. Rather cleverly, locals set the clock back an hour early and at 11:00, the Swedes reluctantly left.
The black marble obelisk was put in place to commemorate their triumph at Freedom Square. The clock is said to resemble a bullet, but anyone with a dirty mind will think it looks like something else. At 11:00 each day, the obelisk releases a bunch a marbles and if you’re lucky, you’ll snag one to keep as a souvenir of your time in Brno.
Read my post about the Brno astronomical clock to find out more.
Address: 10 nám. Svobody
10) Continue your religious pilgrimage at the Church of St James
By now, it’s pretty clear there are a lot of churches in Brno. They are big, bold, and beautiful, with the Church of St. James (Kostel sv. Jakuba) being no exception. Another church done up in both Gothic and Baroque architecture, this 13th century church takes the bragging rights for having the tallest tower at 94 meters high.
I somehow missed it during my visit, but apparently there’s also a statue of man showing off his naked butt cheeks on the Southern side of the tower. Please find it for me and take a picture, as I adore weird statues of people assuming full moon positions and even, peeing stances.
The church is free to enter.
Address: Jakubské nám. 11
11) See more dead people at the Brno Ossuary
By this time, you’ve probably already seen more deceased bodies than you’ve ever wanted to in your life, but if you’re fond of spooky things, head the the Brno Ossuary just outside the Church of St Jacob.
Here you’ll find more than 50,000 human skulls. The ossuary had actually been long forgotten about by Brno’s residents and when renovation work was being done in 2001, a construction crew stumbled across the site. In order to preserve history, the ossuary was restored and is now one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.
As I mentioned in my detailed post about the Brno Ossuary:
Visitors can now stroll through three dimly lit rooms, and learn about the history of this important location. Skulls are stacked from floor to ceiling, with some skulls being shaped into chandeliers and even a coat of arms. As you explore the ossuary, ethereal music composed by local musician, Miloš Štědroň, plays softly in the background.
Tickets for the Brno Ossuary start at about €5 // CZK 140.
Address: Jakubské nám. 11
12) Visit a WWII bunker at 10-Z Shelter
Built by Nazis and later taken over by the occupying Soviets, the bunker became a top secret hideout intended as a shelter for Brno’s Communist elites in the event of a nuclear war. It could house and feed around 500 people for three days. Nowadays, it operates as a hostel and you can stay in rooms with their original bunkbed frames and contact reception using one of the old styled landline phones.
If you don’t fancy a stay at 10-Z Shelter, you can take a tour through the bunker and finish it off with a drink at the shelter’s bar – a seriously fun place to hang out and often, host to live music events.
Walking through the 500 meters of the bunker’s tunnel is a pretty heady experience and you can take a moment to ponder what it would be like to stay in such a place. If you really want to grasp the full history, book a guided tour. You can also opt for a self guided tour (which includes a map in English). On either tour, you’ll see things like the diesel generator, the old switchboard, and former offices.
For more of a lowdown on this unusual place, read our detailed post about 10-Z Nuclear Shelter.
A self guided tour costs about €6 / 150 CKZ.
Address: 14 Husova
13) Stroll around Brno and simply enjoy all of beautiful architecture
As you can see from the photos here and sprinkled throughout this guide, Brno is one heck of a pretty city. You’d be remiss if you didn’t spend hours walking around and soaking up the atmosphere of the place.
This is seriously one of the my favourite things to do whenever I’m on the road. Walking around without a map, devoid of any pressure, taking photos along the way, stopping when and where I like.
Whatever you decide, enjoy your time there, get off your phone, and soak up the atmosphere of Brno.
14) Wear your fancy pants for dinner at Pavillon
Until now, you’ve had meals at more casual establishments, including a trendy café and Czech pub. Now it’s time to dress your best and go for dinner at Pavillon, another Brno restaurant constantly raved about in city guides.
I personally recommend the rabbit if it’s available and if you really want to go all out, try the tasting menu.
Address: Jezuitská 687/6
15) Go on a day trip and get off the beaten path
While there are plenty of things to do in Brno, it’s always fun to venture outside the city limits too. And there’s so much to see in Vranov, Adamov, Křtiny, and Sloup, that I highly recommend cycling to some of the spots I’ve mentioned, renting a car, or booking a trip through a local guide.
Note – I visited all these places by booking a day trip through Airbnb experiences. At time of writing, Airbnb doesn’t have any experiences listed for Brno because of the pandemic. Once they’re live again, I’ll update my post to include a recommendation for the exact trip I took.
16) Gaze upon yet another place of faith at Vranovský klášter
In Vranov, you’ll find Vranovský klášter, a Pauline Monastery dating back to 1240. Restoration of the abandoned monastery started in 1992 and was completed almost 20 years later. Currently, the monastery is home to around 12 monks and is the only Pauline monastery north of the Alps. Featuring four wings and a small clock tower, it’s another notable Czech landmark worth visiting on a day trip from Brno.
Address: Vranov 7, 664 32 Vranov
17) See the old Iron Works in Adamov
Not far from Brno, you’ll find the Old Iron Works in Adamov. It’s now a technology museum featuring the well preserved remains of an 18th century metallurgical industry complex, which includes a large 10 meter high blast furnace. The museum houses a permanent exhibition dedicated to showcasing iron processing, even giving occasional live demonstrations of their long practiced melting procedures.
The museum offers a rare and fascinating glimpse into the history of the Moravian Karst area and is definitely worth a quick stop, even if you only check out the rather remarkable looking industrial buildings.
A museum ticket costs about €2 or 50 CZK.
Address: 679 04 Adamov
18) Walk through a cave across the road from the Bull Rock Cave
Extreme caving enthusiasts can take part in dangerous caving expeditions and go deep underground at Bull Rock Cave, or Býčí skála in Czech. I’m not sure how one can get involved in those expeditions as they’re only open for trained professionals, but just across the road is a small cave that’s actually open to visitors.
It’s very easy to take a quick walk through and offers a pleasant glimpse into the surrounding forest.
Despite my best research (and I
wasted spent a lot of time looking for the name of this cave), just head to the Bull Rock Cave and ask locals about where to find the little cave pictured above.
Address: Hybešova 110/1, 679 04 Adamov
19) Take a gander at the stunning Church of the Name of the Virgin Mary
By now, you probably have cathedral fatigue and are wondering why I’m recommending you visit yet another cathedral. Well, I’ve saved the best for last, my friends! Head to Křtiny to view one of the most stunning cathedrals you’ll ever see.
The Catholic church’s Czech name is far more cool sounding than the “Church of the Name of the Virgin Mary”, Kostel Jména Panny Marie. Designed by architect Jan Santini Aichel in what was considered to be a “radical” baroque style, the church was built on the blueprint of a Greek cross. As you walk around the main part of the church and take in the scene around you, the massive size of the church, the colour, and attention to detail, you’ll surely be amazed. This is one seriously beautiful place.
Kostel Jména Panny Marie is also part of a larger complex with cloisters, a chapel, and summer residences. Underneath the church is another ossuary, much like the one in Brno, but with a smaller number of skulls. The church, along with the nearby castle, make Křtiny a popular destination for those travelling through Moravia.
Address: 679 05 Křtiny
20) Feel important and have a coffee and cake at a manor house
If you like to feel fancy as I often do, stop by Zámek Křtiny, a rather pretty manor house in Křtiny. The hotel is a great place to base yourself if you’re exploring the nearby Moravian Karst. And if you’re passing through as I was, it’s a lovely place to stop for a leisurely afternoon coffee and cake.
Address: Křtiny 1, 679 05 Křtiny
21) Venture underground at the Sloupsko Cave
The cathedral tour I’ve had you on was likely mentally exhausting and maybe a bit dull for your taste, so I knew that I needed to make this Brno itinerary a dash more exciting.
So get yourself to Sloup and book yourself into a guided tour of the Sloupsko Cave.
Visiting this extensive limestone cave system is only permitted via a guided tour. The fairly easy underground walk is around 2 kilometers with well carved out paths and lighting along the way. Your guide will tell you about the cave’s history, it’s geographical makeup, and give you plenty of time to take in some of the awe inspiring sites you’ll see along the way. One fun highlight is stopping and being encouraged to scream deep into an abyss and then listening to the resulting echos.
You don’t need to be an athletic champ to complete one of the shorter tours – wear a decent pair of shoes or even better, hiking boots and you’ll be fine. Do bring a sweater or light jacket as the caves are chilly, even in the midst of summer. Expect some minor hills and lots of stairs during the tour but otherwise, this is not a hard core caving excursion.
As there are a lot visitors during summer months, book a ticket in advance online. If you like leaving things to chance, you can also just show up and buy a ticket on the spot although this will prob mean a long wait. Tours are also offered in different languages and you can book short or long tours which vary in duration and length walked.
An adult ticket to visit the cave will run you about €7 or 180 CZK. Note, if you want to take pictures, you’ll need to purchase an additional permit.
Address: Sloup 237, 679 13 Sloup
22) Visit the second largest library in all of Czechia
We’re now back in Brno! So, what’s next on our list of things to do in Brno? Visit a local library.
Situated in a former villa, it’s the second largest library in the country and is packed with a mind boggling 800,000 books. It’s an especially nice place to visit and if you have time, stop and read amongst fellow literary enthusiasts.
It’s free to enter the library.
Address: Kobližná 4
23) Wrap your trip with a meal at La Bouchée
Bid farewell to your time in Brno by having one last meal at La Bouchée. This Mediterranean restaurant in St. James Square has great tapas plates and an extensive wine list that will leave you drooling.
Address: Běhounská 5/18
This map highlights everything mentioned in this post that’s within Brno city limits:
This map highlights everything mentioned in this post which can be done on a day trip from Brno:
Transportation Options In Brno
All about how to get around Brno, my favourite city in Czechia:
1) To reach Brno’s city center, you can drive, take a taxi, or bus from the airport and main bus/train stations:
- Trains arrive at Brno dolni nadrazi, the city’s main train station. You can use public transit to be in the city center within about 15 minutes. Alternatively you can walk there within 20 minutes. You can also take a taxi – download the Liftago Taxi app to book a ride as Uber and Bolt don’t work here. A taxi ride will take about 10 minutes.
- Buses arrive at Brno Zvonařka, the city’s bus station. Using public transit, walking, or taking a taxi will take approximately the same time as if you were coming from the train station (see above).
- Flights arrive at Brno–Tuřany Airport (BRQ). A bus into the city (E76) runs every 30 minutes throughout the day and will take about 20 minutes to be dropped off at the city’s main train station. A single ticket costs 25 CZK (€1). Driving or taking a taxi will take about 20 minutes to reach the city center. A taxi shouldn’t run you more than €15.
2) Some of the different ways to get around the city:
- Bikes – Ride through Brno with bike share company, nextbike
- Public Transit – Visit Integrated Transport System of the South Moravian Region, for more information about the local public transit network.
- Ride sharing – As mentioned above, use Liftago to move around the city.
- Taxis – Use City Taxi Brno, Brno’s most popular taxi company. Have your hotel call them on your behalf, in case they don’t speak English. Liftago is a better option so you can get a car on your own without having to worry about language difficulties.
- Driving – If you don’t have a car of your own, rent a car.
Where To Stay In Brno
My recommendations about where to stay in Brno, Czechia:
1) Check out your options with booking.com:
Paying For Things in Czechia
What you need to know about how to handle your money in Czechia:
1) The country has its own currency, the koruna (CZK).
- Check xe.com to find out how your local currency fares against the Euro, US dollar, etc.
- While most places will accept bank or credit cards, smaller shops often only take cash. Get yourself some cash at a local bank machine.
- If you do pay by card, you’ll be asked which currency you want to pay in – choose to pay in the local currency (RSD), as you’ll save money on the exchange rate.
Good To Know About Brno
What do you need to know about Brno, Czechia? Some of our top tips:
1) To fully experience Brno, book yourself into a guided tour:
2) Is Brno safe? I can only answer this from an anecdotal perspective – as a woman travelling solo, I felt safe in Brno and didn’t encounter any difficulties. However, the experience for people of colour could be entirely different. It’s not the most ethnically diverse city and back in 2015, there was strong resistance to the mass refugee migration from many citizens. One person in Prague even approached me to sign a petition to not allow migrants into the country! Of course, I refused to sign such an offensive document. Read this interview, done in 2020 where people of colour in Czechia discuss their experiences.
3) If you like guide to Brno, take a look at some of my other popular guides:
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- Travel to Hungary and Spend A Weekend in Budapest – Spend a weekend in Budapest. Visit well known sites, as well as off the beaten path ones, sleep in a boutique hotel, and eat and drink local.
- Visit Burano Italy: A Guide About What To Do, Where To Eat, & Where To Sleep – Visit Burano Italy, one of the most colourful places out there. Let this photo filled guide be your inspiration about what to do, where to eat, & where to sleep.
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