If you’re looking for things to do in Brno, you’ve come to the right place!
We live in Prague and know that it can often hog the spotlight. Which is a real shame! That’s because Brno, the second largest city in the Czech Republic, has A LOT to offer visitors. With a population of about 400,000, it’s also the capital of the South Moravia region of the country. Though smaller than the country’s capital, Brno is far from a ghost town. In fact, this quirky little city packs quite a punch and has a lot to offer visitors.
It has beautiful architecture, tiny cobbled streets, and bustling squares. Throw in a historic castle, some unusual statues, a crypt and an Ossuary and you’ve got yourself one hell of a day exploring Brno. It doesn’t stop there either! Once the sun starts to set the city really comes alive. A whole new side of Brno is exposed. A thriving nightlife is ready to be explored. Sound good? We thought so!
With so much to offer, Brno must be overrun with tourism, right? Nope, that’s not the case. Don’t believe us though. Just roam around the city, even in the middle of summer, and you’ll slowly start to realize that you’re one of the few tourists there. At least that’s how it feels anyway.
So, forget being on the lookout for scams and tourist traps. Let your guard down, and enjoy visiting one of the most interesting cities in the Czech Republic. Here’s our list of what you can’t miss out on.
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Things to Do in Brno
Please note – Some of our selections contain affiliate links. These allow us to earn a small percentage every time you make a booking. Using our links enables us to provide all the information found on this site free of charge.
Visit Freedom Square – Náměstí Svobody
Freedom Square (Náměstí Svobody in Czech) is one of the main hubs of activity and interest in the city. It’s also among the top things to do in Brno. The triangular square is surrounded by a number of stunning Renaissance and functionalist style buildings. Sure to please any architecture enthusiast!
The square itself contains a few interesting sites. Among them, two bronze fountains, a Baroque plague column, and one of the most interesting and confusing timepieces we’ve ever seen. The Black Cock, as it’s called, is a phallic shaped granite clock. The downside to this brilliantly designed showstopper is that it’s nearly impossible to tell time from. The exception being at 11:00 am when a glass marble falls out one of its many openings. While the sculpture is an excellent conversation starter, you’ll be better off checking your phone if you need to know the time.
If you’re visiting Brno in the hot summer months, you can refresh yourself with a drink from one of the fountains. If you’re looking for something more stiff, grab a juicy cocktail from the fabulous pop-up bar Na Brno Dobry. We recommend the Parisian G&T.
Visit Zelný trh aka the Cabbage Market
Vegetables, Mozart, hidden underground labyrinths, fabulous vegan ice cream, and Baroque architecture. This and more can be found in Brno’s Zelný trh square.
The most functional reason to visit the square is for what is the best farmers market we’ve visited in the Czech Republic. Sorry Prague, Brno definitely does it better.
The variety of produce on offer at this market is astounding. Stalls stocked with colorful local and exotic fruits and veg set up shop here on a daily basis during warmer months. It’s the perfect place to spend an hour or so picking out naturally sweet and savory treats for a picnic or to have on hand for a healthy breakfast.
The vegetable market (or Cabbage Market as locals call it) is also a great place to see a little slice of Brno life. You won’t find many, if any, other tourists hanging around here.
Bozsky kopecek Vegan Ice Cream Truck
If your sweet tooth isn’t satisfied by fruit, and you’re craving something more intense your’e in the right place. Keep your eyes peeled for a pastel painted truck parked in the square with the a Bozsky kopecek logo on it. These cute little trucks serve up succulent scoops of the best vegan ice cream we’ve ever had. In fact, we might go so far as to say it’s some of the best ice cream we’ve ever had. Vegan or not.
The flavors change daily so the menu is always a surprise. Word to the wise, if they have the raspberry cardamom get it!
Dům potravin for Lunch
If you’re looking for a full-on meal or some local products to bring home you can get that too. Just stop by the indoor food market called Dům potravin. It’s located in one of the few modern buildings surrounding the square. This multi-floor market contains high-end shops, bakeries, bistros, cafes, and restaurants.
Once your stomach is full, a walk or three around the square is highly advised. You can admire its many sites. Including the beautiful Baroque fountain that dates back to the 1600s. It features a statue of Heracles holding a three-headed dog on a chain. Seriously, that’s not a joke. There is also a Baroque sculpture celebrating the Holy Trinity, and the statue of young Mozart in the square. And if that’s not enough, check out the beautiful buildings surrounding the square.
If you still haven’t walked off that second scoop of ice cream head underground. There you can explore the nearly kilometer long labyrinth of passageways and cellars that exist six meters below the vegetable market. You can learn how these tunnels were once used for food and drink storage, see some archaeological finds, and end up in either an old wine cellar or a historic tavern for a frothy brew. Definitely one of the more interesting things to do in Brno for tourists!
Hike Up to Špilberk Castle
Špilberk Castle sits perched above central Brno. It seemingly beckons visitors from above. “Make your way through the winding pathways of the surrounding park to pay a visit.” it calls. Once you submit your efforts will be rewarded with sweeping views of the entire city, especially from the castle’s tower.
This whitewashed castle with happy red roofs was built in the 1300s. Currently, it’s home to the Brno City Museum. Additionally, it hosts cultural events, concerts, festivals, and theater performances throughout the year.
Špilberk Castle wasn’t always such a desirable place to be though. In fact, for much of its history it was used as a prison. It even had a reputation for being the most harsh jail in all of Europe. Hardened criminals were housed in massive cells with up to 200 other prisoners and sentenced to intense manual labor.
Don’t worry though, the harsh vibe of Špilberk Castle is a thing of the past. Today visitors can enjoy a peaceful setting just outside the city center. This and an awesome view of the city make it one of the best things to do in Brno.
Visit Moravian Square (Moravské náměstí)
Despite being directly across from a busy road and tram rails, Moravian Square is one of the more peaceful and quaint squares in Brno.
It’s home to the Church of St. Thomas, the Moravian Gallery in Brno, and what’s probably the most noticeably out of place feature in the square. The eight meter tall statue of a knight on a horse is the one we mean, incase you couldn’t tell. The knight is Jobst of Luxembourg and the horse is…well we don’t know his name. However, we do know that if you stand under his chest and look up he’ll bring a big smile to your face! Trust us.
Ossuary at the Church of St. James
Visitors that dare to scratch the surface of Brno will find…well, the remains of dead bodies. Over 50,000 to be precise.
Brno is home to the second largest ossuary in Europe. The area beneath the Church of St. James contains the bones of the poor souls who succumbed to plague and cholera in Medieval times. Oh, and those who died during the Thirty Years’ War battles.
All but forgotten, the ossuary was rediscovered in 2001. Now visitors can pay respect to the dead on 30 minute tours. Just be sure to book in advance since they’re quite popular.
If tours aren’t your thing you can go it alone. Grab one of the printed “guides” at the reception desk, head down stairs, and spend as much time in the ossuary as you like. Reflect on life and death while listening to the custom composed music track being pumped throughout.
The Capuchin Crypt
The Capuchin Crypt in central Brno is the final resting places of the mummified remains of Capuchin monks. A self-guided tour with an English pamphlet is a good way to kill half an hour, especially on a rainy day.
The Capuchin monks were quite simple. In fact, so simple that their burial practices didn’t even include a coffin. Their bodies were simply laid on the ground of a tomb and left to their own devices. Today you can view a few of these tombs, including what remains of the monks who were laid to rest in them. It’s absolutely one of the most unusual things to do in Brno.
Take a Walking Tour of Brno
If you’re looking for an easy way to see Brno and cover a lot of ground, a private walking tour is a great option. We recommend this four hour walking tour with a private guide. It will bring you to some of the best sites in Brno. You’ll see the Capuchin Monastery, Parnassus Fountain, the Church of St. James and more!
The Top of Old Town Hall
Brno’s Old Town Hall dates back to 1240 and is the oldest secular building in the city.
For one of the best 360 views of central Brno head to the Old Town Hall. Buy a ticket for 70 kc ($3.00). You can get it from the ticket booth next to the Brno dragon, which is actually a crocodile but never mind. Then climb the 63 meter tall tower to the top. Head out to the observation deck and take in the wonderful view.
The best time to go, in our opinion, is the afternoon as the sun is setting. If you only have a few hours in the city this is a MUST DO activity in Brno.
Admire the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul
The Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul dates back to the 11th century. It sits atop Petrov hill and is one of the most noticeable symbols of Brno.
The cathedral, which started as a Romanesque chapel, has undergone several transformations over the years. After being damaged by war the cathedral was rebuilt over the years and currently has a Gothic Revival style exterior and a Baroque interior. Its most noticeable feature, the two 84 meter high clock towers from which bells toll each day at 11:00 am rather than noon, were added in the early 1900s.
Entry, unlike many cathedrals in Europe, is totally free to enter. The cathedral is open to all from Monday to Saturday from 8:15 am – 6:30 pm and on Sunday from 7:00 am – 6:30 pm except during mass, funerals, or weddings.
Visit Villa Tugendhat
Villa Tugendhat is the only modern building in the Czech Republic on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. The inclusion on the list is well deserved both because of its historic and architectural importance.
The former home to Greta and Friz Tugendhat was built in 1930 and designed by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The villa was a monument to modern design and technology at the time. Even today, it’s an impressive spectacle.
The Tugendhat family left the villa only eight years after its construction when they were forced to flee the country during WWII. Over time the home was used as apartments and offices for the Gestapo and the Soviet military. It was heavily damaged during WWII and reconstructed to its original state, including exact furniture replicas, between 2010 and 2012. Additionally, the villa played host to the signing of the agreement to divide Czechoslovakia into two independent countries in 1992.
Today the villa, which is owned by the government, is open to visitors for tours. Advanced reservations are required to visit Villa Tugendhat. Since it’s one of the best things to do in Brno they usually fill up a full 3-4 months in advance! So book your space the moment you know you’ll be visiting the city.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
For a truly spectacular experience a hot air balloon ride over Brno on a clear and sunny day is a must. There is no better company to transport you one kilometer over Brno than Balon.cz.
Their fantastic pilot and crew can take up to ten people at a time on a flight. They last about an hour and float over the center and outskirts of the city. Once you land safely they’ll even treat you to a glass or two of bubbly (called Sekt in Czech). Plus, there’s a baptism ritual to memorialize your first hot air balloon ride.
Flights start at 3,600 kc per person. If you like to add a thrill to your travels put this down as a thing to do in Brno.
Explore the Nightlife in Brno
We’ve been living in the Czech Republic for a few years now and are quite accustomed to Czech nightlife. Throwing back a few drinks at the local pub every night is common. However, Brno nightlife feels pretty extreme. Walk around the city center on a Monday night and you’ll start to question whether you’ve gotten your days mixed up. Every night here feels like a Friday night in Brno.
How does anyone in Brno get anything accomplished during daylight hours? It’s a mystery, and we don’t really care to focus on that. We’re too distracted by all their amazing bars. Visiting them should be on everyone’s list of things to do in Brno. Here are some of our favorites.
Bar, který neexistuje
The name means “the bar that doesn’t exist”. Ironically it’s one of the most well-known bars in Brno. The stunning interior was intentionally designed to make patrons feel like they stepped through a time warp and landed right in the middle of Manhattan. Drinks are innovative, service is spectacular, the view is stunning, and the food is pretty good too. It’s a must visit destination in Brno.
Super Panda Circus
Super Panda Circus has a big reputation! So, if you’ve read anything about Brno chances are you’ve heard of this bar. There is a lot of buzz around it and it’s pretty well deserved. Central Europe isn’t exactly the best place to get innovative and exceptional cocktails but Super Panda Circus hits the mark. Additionally, the decor is quite special to say the least. It seems like whoever designed it was recounting an acid trip from their youth. So, you really can’t leave Brno without trying it at least once. Tip: Roll the dice at the bar. Trust us, you’ll be happy you did.
Anyone and everyone who has a taste for Whiskey should head straight to this bar. It has the best Irish, Scotch, and even Japanese whiskeys to choose from. Plus, there are a number of tempting whiskey cocktails on the menu. So, for the best service we experienced in Brno, superior drinks, and lovely food head to Whiskey Bar.
Fancy yourself a rum cocktail? Then Rum Bar is for you. This bar has hundreds of different rums on offer. Don’t know your rum from your Malibu from your Mount Gay? Don’t worry! The friendly staff is there to help you choose one that’s right for you!
Výčep Na Stojáka
A night out in the Czech Republic without having at least a few beers isn’t really a night out. So, for a lively atmosphere and nice brews Výčep Na Stojáka (which means standing pub in Czech). It’s the perfect place for a few pints. Plus, it’s located in St. James Square, one of the hubs of nightlife in Brno.
PETIT CRU wine bar & shop
If you’ve had one too many wild nights in Brno’s and are looking for something a bit more sophisticated, we’ve got you covered. PETIT CRU is the perfect place to head. This shrine to wine offers over 500 different kinds of wine, including some of the best wine produced in the Czech Republic. Plus, they have a very nice menu including oysters, which we’ve never seen in this country before!
Sample Brno’s Best Restaurants
Brno’s foodie scene is massive and spectacular. There is an abundance of excellent restaurants, bistros, and even tasty fast-food style restaurants to choose from. So, eating amazing food is one of the top things to do in Brno! Here are some of our favorite dining spots in Brno.
4Pokoje is a funky restaurant, bar, club, meeting space, and whatever else you might imagine kinda establishment. It serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner to the ultra cool crowd of Brno. Don’t be intimidated! Everyone is welcome and the staff is friendly. You’ll be very happy you decided to visit. Food and drinks are both excellent and will leave you feeling very, very happy.
PAVILLON Restaurant is a four star dining experience in a unique functionalist style restaurant. The restaurant offers superior cuisine from locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. Diners can choose from either the a la carte menu or the multi-course tasting menu. We highly suggest the five course tasting menu with wine pairing. At just under $70 USD, it’s a steal. Also, PAVILLON can easily accommodate those with dietary restrictions like vegans, vegetarians, or those with gluten intolerances.
Cafe Pilat is located inside the Capuchin Monastery. This restaurant serves Mediterranean inspired cuisine in a beautifully decorated setting. Tip: Grab one of the reclining booths in the corner, take off your shoes, order some falafel or hummus, and local Moravian wine for a long and relaxed lunch.
Forky’s Vegan Bistro
Forky’s is the place to head if you’re vegan and visiting Brno. This cute, 100% plant based bistro serves burgers, buddha bowls, fish’n’chips, and desserts. Everything is made with love and a respect for life.
Go – Vietnamese Street Food
The Czech Republic has a sizable Vietnamese community so it’s no surprise that there are a lot of excellent dining options when it comes to Vietnamese food. This restaurant serves all the classic Vietnamese options in a beautiful setting. Bun bo, Pho, Banh ran, and more are all on the menu. There are even a number of vegan and vegetarian options. Note: this restaurant always seems to be packed so be prepared to wait.
Grab a Coffee and Do Some People Watching
Coffee lovers will be stoked to find that Brno is full of amazing cafes. In fact, there are so many to choose from you can visit a different one every day and never even scratch the surface. So, make sure you add coffee tasting to your list of things to do in Brno!
To get you started, here are a few of our favorite places for a cup of káva (that’s Czech for coffee).
SKOG Urban Hub
We absolutely adore SKOG. This spacious cafe manages to have a cozy atmosphere, delicious coffee from the sustainably focused and local Rusty Nail’s Coffee Roasters, and delicious vegan and vegetarian cuisine. Tip: go for breakfast, get the vegan pancakes, and sip the morning away.
A cute little cafe located near the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul and few steps from Capuchin Crypt. The cafe serves nice coffee and wine, friendly service, and has lovely outdoor seating during warmer months. However, be sure to check out the unique interior, which is inspired by 1930’s cinema projector lightbulbs and 16 mm film.
A tiny, yet cozy, cafe located at Hostel Mitte. The coffee is absolutely delicious and cheap. Plus, they have a nice selection of pastries and cakes, including vegan options.
Day Trips From Brno
Take a Day Trip to The Lednice-Valtice Chateau, in South Moravia
One of the best things to do in Brno is to take a day trip form the city.
The former summer home to the Liechtenstein family, the Lednice-Valtice Chateau is a must visit destination for anyone who wants to get a glimpse of how royalty once lived in the Czech Republic. This stunning English Gothic chateau dates back to the 1800s. It has several ornately decorated and adorned halls. It’s also surrounded by beautiful gardens and manicured grounds. All can be visited on organized tours in Czech, English, and German.
If you have time for a day trip from Brno, this is your best option!
How to get from Brno to Lednice-Valitce:
- Drive: The Lednice-Valtice is about 40 minutes from Brno by car. Need to rent a car in Brno? Click here for rates.
- By Train/Bus: From the Brno Train Station (Hlavni Nadrazi) take a train to the town of Břeclav in South Moravia. From there you can take the local bus 570 to Lednice Namesti, or Lednice Square.
Take a Day Trip to Mikulov – South Moravia Wine Country
The Czech Republic has a thriving wine industry. Luckily, Brno just happens to be the capital of the largest wine growing region in the country (South Moravia). The most popular town in the region, Mikulov, is an easy day trip from Brno.
In addition to endless wine tasting from amazing small and medium size producers, the charming little town of Mikulov has myriad historic sites to see. Including, the largest wine barrel in the Czech Republic, sweeping views of the Pálava Hills, and the top 100 wines the country has to offer at the Wine Salon of the Czech Republic.
Interested? Read more about visiting South Moravia, and Mikulov in particular, here.
Where to Stay in Brno
Hostel Mitte – The Best Hostel in Brno
If you’re visiting Brno on a budget or looking for a private apartment then Hostel Mitte is your best option. Hostel Mitte is located a 10 minute walk from the central train station and a few minutes from two of the city’s main squares. The hostel offers guests both cheap but cheerful dorm rooms and superb private apartments for rent at very reasonable prices. Additionally, the staff at Hostel Mitte are incredibly friendly and the on-site cafe serves excellent coffee and pastry. If you’re looking for the best hostel in Brno, this is it.
Want more hostel options? Check out our complete guide to the best hostels in Brno.
Best Western Premier Hotel International Brno
If you prefer to stay in a hotel there is no better option than the Best Western Premier Hotel International Brno. The four star hotel is centrally located, just a stone’s throw from Špilberk castle in the city center. Additionally, the rooms are spacious and beautifully decorated, the beds are super comfy, and the room service is excellent. Plus, the hotel has two restaurants on site and a beautiful bar with lovely cocktails. There is also a fantastic fitness center, salt-water pool, hot tube, and sauna for guests to enjoy.
For more accommodation options check out our complete guide on where to stay in Brno!
How to Get to Brno From Prague
Getting to Brno from Prague is easy and there are a few awesome options. Here they are.
Prague to Brno by Train
The easiest way to get from Prague to Brno is by train. Trains depart several times a day from Prague’s main trains station (Praha hlavní nádraží) to Brno’s main train station (Brno hlavní nádraží) which is only a few minutes walk from the city center. We recommend taking the trip with RegioJet and upgraded to either relaxed or business class for a super comfortable ride.
Prague to Brno by Bus
Bus options are also available between Prague and Brno and leave throughout the day. The cost and travel time are about the same as the train. You can also travel by bus with RegioJet or check other bus company schedules here.
Prague to Brno by Car
If you decide to drive to Brno the journey will take you about 2.5 to 3 hours depending on traffic. Directions from Prague to Brno can be found here. Want to rent a car in the Czech Republic? Click here for rates.
Getting Around Brno
Walking: Brno is an extremely walkable city and its small size make it super easy to get around on foot. So, it’s the best and cheapest transportation option, especially when the weather is good.
Brno by Tram
The Brno tram (or Šaliny as locals call it) and bus network is extensive and cheap. Tickets are only about a Euro and Google maps will get you where you need to go.
Brno by Taxi
If you need taxi service while in Brno we recommend Liftago. It’s similar to Uber (which doesn’t service Brno) but focuses on creating greener traffic patterns, optimizing driver routes, and allowing passengers to pick taxis based on proximity. Thus, saving thousands of useless kilometers from being driven by disorganized taxi fleets. A big win for drivers, passengers, and environment.
There you have it guys, our guide of things to do in Brno, the Czech Republic’s second biggest city. If you are visiting Prague we urge you to take AT LEAST a day trip to Brno. That said, you’d preferably stay for at least one night. This city offers a LOT of stuff to see and explore. Plus, its much less crowded and less expensive than the uber popular Prague.
As always guys, travel well, and we’ll see you on the road!
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