Brno – 10 reasons I love it.

Czech_Rep._-_Bohemia,_Moravia_and_Silesia_III_(en) What can I say about the Czech Republic that everyone doesn’t already know, its absolutely stunning and when the name Prague is mentioned people who’ve been there all swoon in a “ohhhhhhhhhhhhh it’s sooooooooooooo beautiful” kind of trance.  Only problem is I hate tourists, no seriously I absolutely hate them.I think for people who want travel to be part of their lifestyle tourists, as in package tours, bus loads of people and the usual circus that accompanies ruins the authenticity of it.   So when I started to do a bit of reading on the Czech Republic I knew

Brno was the place for me.

I’ve since recommended it to other travelers and all have sent messages thanking me as they shared the same opinion and were delighted they did. Did you know that Prague is ranked in the top ten cities in the world for pick pockets? Brno is not ranked at all 🙂   Brno_-_Cathedral_of_Saints_Peter_and_Paul_II (1)Brno is to the Czech Republic what Cork is to Ireland. A beautiful second city it feels safer. Its less crowded and you feel like someone let you in on a secret that the second city is actually really enjoyable and has so much to offer.  What you dont get and is crowds everywhere. In restaurants, at markets, in stations, overpricing for tourists, scam artists targeting you and filling your head with nonsense of the authentic wares they are selling.  Tram_horse_tram_BrnoBrno is a heavenly break from all of this but still delivers on charm, excellence, authenticity, price, beauty, theater, arts, markets, restaurants and history.

Study in Brno

 

Its a student city with about 90,000 young people living here attending university so it has a great buzz.

For those who want night life you will find it here. And for those who would like a quiet break you will also find that. Brno has it all. In summer you can be at one with nature and in winter there are the winter sport options and Christmast markets.

Brno Christmas markets

Wander around the main square or walk around the city sipping Glühwein a.k.a. Hot Mulled Spiced Wine.  I have had this everywhere from the USA to Austria, Hungary, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Ireland and without a doubt the Czech Republic recipe was the best. The trick, don’t boil the wine just let it simmer with the lovely cinnamon sticks.

you must ring the bell

you must ring the bell

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Christmas Market

I arrived the beginning of December and it was very cold. A cold I had never experienced. Formerly known as Czechoslovakia was at one time a communist country. The Czech Republic in its current state is relatively new. People my age all have vivid memories of living under communism. It was so interesting to experience it first hand.

Culture in Brno


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The city spends about 30 million euro every year on culture. There are many museums, theaters and other cultural institutions.

Brno_Underground_-_Cabbage_Square_-_Well_II

Brno Underground Cabbage Square – Well_II

Since the 1990’s Brno

has experienced a great cultural “rebirth”, facades of historical monuments are being repaired and various exhibitions, shows are being established or extended. In 2007 a summit of 15 presidents of the EU Member States was held in Brno. 4258277-Music_band_BrnoDespite its urban character. Some city districts still preserve traditional Moravian folklore. They Include folk festivals with traditional Moravian costumes. Moravian wines folk music and dances.

Language in Brno

Hantec is a unique dialect that originated in Brno.

Špilberk Castle

Špilberk Castle

Špilberk Castle is an old castle on the hilltop in Brno Southern Moravia. Construction began as early as the first half of the 13th century by the Přemyslid kings. It was completed by King Ottaokar II of Bohemia. As a major royal castle established around the mid-13th century It was the seat of the Moravian margraves in the mid-14th century. It gradually turned into a huge baroque fortress considered the heaviest prison in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Later becoming a barracks. This prison had always been part of the Špilberk fortress. Špilberk entered public consciousness as a center of tribulation and oppression on two more occasions. First, during World War 1. military prisoners and civilian objectors to the Austro-Hungarian regime were imprisoned together. Secondly during the first year of the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. Several thousand Czech patriots suffered in Špilberk at that time. Some of whom were put to death. For the majority of them however Špilberk was only a station on their way to other German prisons and concentration camps. In 1939-41, the German army and Gestapo carried out an extensive reconstruction at Špilberk in order to turn it into model barracks in the spirit of the so beloved romantic historic-ism of the German Third Reich ideology. The Czechoslovak army left Špilberk in 1959 putting its military era to a definite end. The following year Špilberk became the seat of the Brno City Museum.

Brno firework festival.

Brno firework festival.

The biggest festival held in Brno is the fireworks competition. The festival “Ignis Brunenis” Latin for “Flame of Brno” held annually in June. It is part of a festival with a bold name “Brno – City in the Center of Europe”.  Ignis Brunensis is the biggest show of its kind held in Central Europe. Usually attracting one to two hundred thousand visitors daily.

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Brno Trams system

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAThe International film festival Cinema Mundi shows about 60 films competing for Oscar nomination in the category of Best Foreign Language Film. The Theater World Brno is another international festival annually held in the city where the Brno theaters and the city center stages around one hundred performances by both national and foreign ensembles.

The Czech people

are open and friendly. They are hospitable inviting and generous.  They open up their hearts to you and make you feel so welcome. Their culture and traditions are very interesting.

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Kolache traditional Czech dessert

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Jana and Lada

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Jana and Lada’s mamma

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Sandra and Grandma

This trip I was completely solo.  To get to Brno I flew from Dublin to Bratislava in Slovakia, this flight cost 20 Euro.  I stayed here for 2 days and then went to Brno via train.  The train was 11 euro and lasted 1 hour 21 minutes. Tickets can be bought on board the train station or you can reserve them at an extra cost of 3-4 euro.   Buses are also an option and are cheaper.

Accommodation:

 

There are links at the end to help you with this. I actually couch-surfed.  This was the first time I couch-surfed however I had hosted quite a lot.  The people I choose to stay with were in my age group and had traveled a lot. They were amazing and took me into their home, took me around their city and surrounding area and teaching me about local history. Since writing this I have been back to the Czech Republic 5 times.

Useful links

http://ticbrno.cz/en  http://www.brno.me/trips.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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About Sandra

Just a girl from Ireland who wants to live everywhere. Not a planner, a winger when it comes to travel. I don't even like people who plan too much. Without spontaneity there is no depth. A jack of all trades. A great friend, loyal and passionate and I expect the same in return. Always ready for the next adventure at a moments notice.
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