AN INTRODUCTION TO BRNO
I spent a little over a year in Brno, the Czech Republic's second biggest city and I can honestly say I completely fell in love with this little known city. I loved it's narrow winding streets, wide bustling squares and colourful rooftops. I also loved that it was never to early to order a beer and that the pubs were filled with locals as opposed to tourists. Summer in Brno is a blur of beer gardens, wine festivals and lazy days by the lake. Whilst the winter promises christmas markets with steaming glasses of mulled wine.
It's a city which just has something.
The main square is a non-stop buzz of activity, almost every weekend brings a different festival. From wine tasting to Asian street food fairs and buskers in their plenty.
Brno has some stunning architecture including the St Peter and St Paul Cathedral which overlooks the city. Here you can climb to the top of it's spiralling staircase for panoramic views over Brno. There is also a labyrinth of tunnels and passage ways underneath the city which you can explore. And of course, Spilberk Castle, which sits atop a hill looking out over all of Brno, like a king in his throne. The climb to the top is tiresome, however you will be welcomed with open arms by a chilled beer and one hell of a view.
If there is one thing above all others that the Czech Republic is renowned for, it's beer. The largest consumer of beer in the world by population, this is a country which is serious about its pints and Brno is no exception. No visit to this little city would be complete without sampling at least a few of the finest local and national beers alike. From Starobrno to Krusovice, the beer is cold, crisp and delicious.
TOP 5 RESTAURANTS IN BRNO
Mendlovo Nam, 158/20 Stare Brno 603 00
The Starobrno Brewery doesn't only make the best beer in Brno, it also offers some incredible Czech food. In summer the expansive beer garden is also the perfect place to meet friends for some great food and even better beer. I would highly recommend the steak tartare!
Ceska, 163/5 Brno 602 00
Stopkova was one of my regular jaunts as I literally lived next door (above H&M!). However, I undoubtedly would have travelled to eat here. Set in a traditional Czech pub, the food is high end pub grub with specialties such as pork knuckle and goulash!
Behounska 115/4, 602 00
This restaurant only opened its doors in 2016 however it has quickly become one of the most popular in Brno. Go offers authentic Vietnamese street food which took me straight back to the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh. The Czech Republic has a large Vietnamese community which accounts for the large number of Vietnamese restaurants.
Jezuitská 7, 602 00
Just around the corner from Go, Soul Bistro was the perfect place whenever I was feeling a bit homesick and fancied some western food. It is very reminiscent of a typical New Zealand cafe and both the fish and chips and asian noodles are delicious!
Kopečná 980/43, 602 00
Borgo Agnese is a fine dining restaurant perfect for a special occasion. Their tasting menu with wine accompaniment could easily stand up against some michelin star restaurants yet it comes without the expensive price tag. If you want a spot of luxury without the cost, then Borgo Agnese is the perfect place.
TOP 5 BARS IN BRNO
Bar Ktery Neexistuje
Vořákova 1, 602 00
This sleek, stylish cocktail bar known as "The Bar That Doesn't Exist" in English, is a contemporary cocktail heaven spanning two floors with endless alcohol filled shelves. Flick through the magazine inspired cocktail menu, featuring such drinks as The Johnny Depp for rum lovers or The Natalie Portman for those who like their gin. In the summer months, you can relax outside in the evening sun while being serenaded by different musicians.
Super Panda Circus
Šilingrovo nám. 3, 602 00
This is my favourite bar in all of Brno (and most probably the Czech Republic as a whole!). To enter this bar you need to ring a doorbell which is hidden behind a curtain. If there is space you will be invited in with a glass of green tea and offered a cocktail menu on a scroll. The unique cocktails are served in a variety of glasses from glass slippers to tin cans. One comes served with coco powder which you are supposed to snort to enhance the flavour of the drink, while another is served with a polaroid photo of you and your friends resulting in a great keepsake from the night out. Such a unique, inventive bar which i would highly recommend!
Výčep Na Stojáka
Běhounská 16, 602 00
More commonly known as "The Standing Up Bar" in English, this bar is a bit of a novelty in Brno. In this bar, not only is there no table service which is very much the norm in Czech, there is no where to sit. Filled with waist height tables only, you can only stand in this jam-packed bar. However, more often than not, customers spill out onto the cobbled street looking onto the Church of St Jacob, sipping their beer in the afternoon sun.
Jezuitská 7/3, 602 00
There are quite a few Cuban influenced bars in Brno with extensive rum menus. Cubana is my favourite as the cocktails are the best and I love the South American feel of the bar. In the news recently, it was announced that Cuba were looking to pay off their multi million pound debt to the Czech Republic in rum as opposed to cash, so more rum bars may pop up soon!
Divadelní 603/3, 602 00
Utopia is an underground maze of a bar, with various rooms and connecting tunnels and stairways, making it very easy to get lost! Here you can order a sheesha pipe while lying down on a cushioned area, play pool or relax with a beer and a board game.
English Level: The younger generation will speak English however it isn't widely spoken in older generations.
Currency: Czech Koruna
Main Airports: Brno Turany Airport is only 30 minutes from the city centre however Vienna and Prague are also nearby.
Time Zone: GMT + 1
If you want to see a more authentic view of the Czech Republic, away from Prague's hectic city centre then Brno is the perfect solution. It's bars, restaurants, location and it's undeniable charm secure it as one of Europe's hidden gems.
Related Post: Brno: The Czech City You've Probably Never Heard Of