Did you know that Brno is only a good hour away from Vienna? Thank you, fast highway and train connections! My third visit to the second largest city in the Czech Republic is a rather “official city trip”: I was travelling there for four days to join the international blogger conference Traverse. While doing so, I tasted my way through a wide variety of restaurants, cafes & bars, got to know the charming old town of Brno and climbed the tower of the Old Town Hall early in the morning (alone, being the first – a dream!).
Since my friend Simona, whom I know from a joint Camino hike in northern Spain, and fellow blogger Tomáš Hájek both live in Brno, I will likely continue to travel here in the future (then probably with the whole family, so I can tell you more about Brno as a family destination later).
Today, let me share the following tips for you on how to spend a few days in Brno.
Where to stay, eat & drink in Brno
Since the main reason for my trip to Brno was to attend the blogger conference Traverse, I deliberately looked for a hotel (or rather it became an AirBnB accommodation) very close to the venue. A little outside the immediate Old Town center, but within walking distance of the main sights, I can definitely recommend the main street Lidická with numerous accommodation and restaurant options.
We really enjoyed the pizzas of “La Speranza” in the evening, plus coffee & breakfast at Mymika in the morning; for a typical Czech lunch I recommend you to head over to Stopkova restaurant in the middle of the old town near the central tourist information.
Tour of the Old Town Hall (plus ascent of the tower)
And since we are already at the Old Town Hall: Not only can you climb the great lookout tower with a view over the entire Old Town (by the way, do it in the morning when no one is there yet!). There is also very good information in English about the city in the attached tourist office, the famous “Brno Crocodile” (or is it a dragon?) and many nice souvenirs in the small store area. I picked out a dragon puzzle for my older son, he loves it! Also, many tours of the old town (and the town hall itself) start there.
Check this out.
Cathedral of Saint Peter and Paul
The city’s cathedral, perched on St. Peter’s Hill and visible from afar, was completed in the 18th century (I would have estimated it to be much older!). It can also be seen on the Czech ten-crown coin that city guide Jan holds out to us.
Speaking of coins: Did you know that you can pay almost everywhere with € ? It was really convenient that besides credit card payments, the tedious exchange of money in most stores, bars and restaurants was therefore not necessary.
As participants in the blogger conference Traverse, we had the very good fortune to attend a magnificent evening event in the innermost ring of the massive Spielberg Fortress. The view from the extensive terraces is likely reserved for invited guests, but most parts of the fortress can normally be visited. The 360° panorama of the city and the surrounding countryside alone is worth the climb up this highest hill in the city with its imposing fortress.
A little off-beat: Visiting Villa Stiassni
Villa Stiassni is located just a few kilometres outside the immediate Old Town centre. It is one of the villas worth visiting in Brno (Villa Tugendhat has longer waiting times, so it is best to book online in advance). In addition to a classic guided tour with audio guides, Villa Stiassni can also be visited as part of a guided tour; advance booking is also requested for this.
During the tour, we dive deep into the life of the Jewish textile manufacturer Alfred Stiassni, who had the villa built for himself and his family. However, they did not even live in it for eight years before they had to flee the Nazi regime and sell the villa again. You can find out more about the eventful history of the building, with some of the original furnishings still present, on this English website about Villa Stiassni.
Check out my entire picture gallery about visiting Brno:
If you are keen on heading further to Prague, I have written this article about our trip there in 2019.