Brno!

BrnoAfter my week in Copenhagen, I directly went on a three-nights holiday to Brno, the second largest city in the Czech Republic. To be completely honest, I only booked this because of the price – it was pretty cheap to fly there.

I arrived on Tuesday and flew back on Friday. It was pretty nice weather for my whole stay there, warm but not scorchingly hot. As I discovered, Brno is mainly inhabited by students, though they usually go back to their parent’s for the summer. It’s definitely not as touristy as Prague is, which I could appreciate a lot. However, that also meant that a lot of  the information in museum was only written in Czech. I’ll get back to that later.

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I stayed in hostel Jacob Brno, located on Jakubské nám. It is smack right in the middle of the centre of Brno, the bar with the best beer -according to the locals as well- is on the same square is hostel is on. Freedom square, or nám Svobody, is just one square over, not even a five minute walk. The hostel itself was a pretty decent hostel. The room was very spacious and even though it held twelve beds, I’ve only seen at most six of them occupied. There’s a kitchen as well as a dining room. The only downside I could think of, was that our room couldn’t be locked. We had lockers, in which my bag fit, so it wasn’t a problem for me, but I can image it could make other guests a bit uncomfortable. Also, the shower curtains could do with a wash.

Brno is a very pretty city. It’s got castle Špilberk on top of a large hill, it’s got beautiful houses and churches. The streets are not very busy, since Brno isn’t largely discovered by tourists yet. I had a lovely time in Brno.

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Some things I would recommend are:
– Castle Špilberk and its museums are definitely worth a visit. Even though not everything in the museums is translated to English, I’d still say its worth it. They hold beautiful paintings which you don’t necessarily need any text for to understand what they’re meant to display. Also, while you’re there, visit the Casemates as well. They’re the dungeons of the Castle and this is not only interesting, but also the only place where I thought the English information actually covered everything.

– Go walk around for a bit and just take in the beauty of Brno. If you want to know more about the City, take the free walking tour, which start every day at 11:00 am from Freedom Square near the astronomical clock.

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– Have a beer from the best place in town, right next to the hostel. It’s name is Výčep Na Stojáka, though just exit the hostel and look at your left at all the people, that’s where you should be.

– More food related: I really like the pizza from PoePoe, just down the street from the hostel. They sell quarters for 16CZK, which is about 50 cents in Euros, and it’s de-li-cious. I went there nearly everyday for lunch. Just order two quarters and that’s your lunch done. I also like the lavendel lemonade at Savoy cafe and the Indian food at Flavours. Both of these restaurants are visible from the hostel.

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Though I liked a lot of things in Brno, I was also a bit disappointed by some things. Here they are:

– Villa Tugendhat. I  realise many people come to Brno specifically to see Villa Tugendhat, but I just wasn’t impressed. I don’t really like the building style and it was very underwhelming to see. My free tour guide also said that there’s a waiting list of six months to see the inside, so I didn’t even bother with that. Getting there was a pretty tiring climb and I just didn’t think it was worth the effort.

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– The Moravian Museum was a let down as well. I went there to learn more about Moravia, the area in which Brno is located and is the capital of, but all of the information was in Czech. They had very tiny leaflets in English, but the amount of information didn’t come close to what was available in Czech. The leaflets also only offered some general information on the history of Brno and Moravia, and not on any of the displays. I think I’ve never gone through a museum this fast before.

All in all, though, I enjoyed Brno. I didn’t really know anything about the city before and now I can honestly say that I would recommend booking a cheap plane flight and see the city for yourself. However, since it isn’t a very big city, the centre is pretty small, and it isn’t aimed at tourists much. I would say to book a weekend trip to Brno, that should be enough. I think spending three nights, as I did, was a bit too much time to spend in Brno. But book two nights and arrive somewhere early in the afternoon and you should be just fine.

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