A day-trip to Brno

in brno •  last month

A few weeks ago I had the chance to visit Brno for a couple of hours. I had no clue what to expect from the town, except the words of my father-in-law who said it was a boring place (even though he has never been there).

I started the day in Bratislava, jumped into the car, and drove to the city center of Brno. We used the hotel of a garage (the parking price was 60 CZK per hour). From there we could easily reach the city center, and we only walk for 1 minute before we saw this interesting statue next to us.

A lady giving a man a piece of bread.
A lady giving a man a piece of bread.

The statue is from 1962. It wasn't a statue I would stand and admire for hours, but it was a nice way to start exploring the city. As we walked for a hundred more meters, we entered a walking street, and thus the inner city. The shops very fine, but the most interesting was what was above us. It was a large gathering of umbrellas. What made this so cool is that they are there purely for design, because if it would actually start raining and the wind would start to blow, they wouldn't keep you dry for a second.

Cool umbrellas in Brno
Cool umbrellas in Brno

We only had to walk for a few more minutes, and then we reached one of the main squares in Brno. This was a wide square with lots of nice looking buildings on all sides. There are several interesting objects at the square, for example, the plague pillar that was raised after an epidemic plague in 1689. The entire square was renovated in 2006, and as a result, the pillar was also renovated then. Today, this is a fantastic square with shopping opportunities, restaurants, cafés, and almost everything you need.

The Freedom square in Brno
The Freedom square in Brno

The square is normally called the Freedom square (Náměstí Svobody). Since it is located lower geographically than the other big square in Brno, it has also been called the lower square. But, due to its size (it is bigger than the other famous square), it has also been called the Big Square. No matter what you call it, it is an impressing square, and you can easily enjoy a couple of hours watching the architecture, grabbing something to eat, and doing some shopping here.

The black granite at the Freedom square


One of the most special constructions at the square is the black granite clock from which small marbles fall out every day at 11.00. Make sure to check it out if you are in Brno at that time of the day (we weren't). There are other famous buildings at the square, for example, the House of the Lords of Lipá, House of Four Giants, and the Klein Palace.

As we left the main square, we walk in the direction of the Church of St. James (in the opposite direction of the other famous square in Brno). This is a church that is hard to make a photo of, but I managed to grab a photo anyway.

Church of St. James - a church with history spanning back to the 13th century
Church of St. James - a church with a history spanning back to the 13th century

The church has been a national monument in the Czech Republic since 1995. The church is free to enter, so I went on the inside to enjoy the interior for a few minutes before it was time to grab some lunch.

The interior of the Church of St. James in Brno
The interior of the Church of St. James in Brno

We ended up eating our lunch in a restaurant just next to the church after the short church-visit. The name of the restaurant we chose was Forky, and it is something in-between a fast food restaurant and a normal restaurant. What we didn't know is that this is a restaurant in which they use no meat, which is interesting based on all the hamburgers they have on the menu. We anyway ordered, ate, and had a good time. The hamburger "meat" looked a bit strange, but once we understood that it had no actual meat in it, we quickly understood why!

The first time I eat a vega-burger in history
The first time I eat a vega-burger in history

The restaurant itself had a beautiful interior, just look at the picture beneath.

Visiting Forky's in Brno
Visiting Forky in Brno

As we left Forky, we headed back to the Freedom square, and from there we headed in the direction of the other main square in Brno, the Vegetable market (Zelný trh). Before we got there, we ate a pancake with nutella, giving new strength and much needed sugar to the body.

At the vegetable market, we could still see parts of the market (it was a Saturday and the sellers had started to leave the square). In the very middle of the square, you can enjoy the beautiful Parnas fountain, one of the most beautiful baroque monuments in Brno. It was built between 1693 and 1695, by Adam Tobiáš Kracker.

The Parnas fountain in Brno
The Parnas fountain in Brno at the Vegetable Market

At the square you can also find the Grandezza hotel, a perfect place to live if you want to reside in Brno for a night or two. The square also has a glass building in which there was an indoor market on every floor. The building had free toilets in the basement, and if you take the elevator (or the stairs) to the top floor you can enjoy a magnificent view towards the next station on our trip, the Cathedral of St Peter and Paul.

A panorama shot of the Vegetable Market in Brno
A panorama shot of the Vegetable Market in Brno

The most beautiful church of them all in Brno


As we walked the streets of Brno, we felt as if there were churches on every corner. But, the most beautiful of them all was still the one we gazed towards from the Vegetable market, the Cathedral of St Peter and Paul.

Cathedral of st peter and paul
The Cathedral of St Peter and Paul on the top of the hill.

As we climbed the stairs towards the church, we met lots of guests attending a wedding. They were all getting ready for the ceremony in the church, but luckily we managed to get on the inside of the church before it all started. It is free to enter the cathedral, so if you visit Brno, make sure to visit the inside of this church. It is one of the most important buildings in this part of the Czech Republic, and it was built on the location of an earlier church in the 14th century.

The interior of the Cathedral of St Peter and Paul in Brno
The interior of the Cathedral of St Peter and Paul in Brno

Why do the bells ring at 11.00 in Brno?


There is a very cool legend connected to this cathedral in Brno. Normally, all churches ring their bells at 12.00, but here they ring at 11.00. But, as the Swedes laid siege of Brno during the Thirty Year War, they said they would call of the attack if they didn't take the city by 15.00. Some smart citizens rang the bells of the church at 11.00, and the Swedes thought it was the sign that they should retreat.

Since then, the bells of the cathedral has been ringing every day at 11.00 instead of 12.00.

Leaving the Petrov Hill we could finally get a good shot of the cathedral.
Leaving the Petrov Hill we could finally get a good shot of the cathedral.

Before you leave the Petrov Hill (where the cathedral is located), I recommend you to walk around the church. You can enjoy a nice view towards other parts of Brno from one lookout point, and you can also see some very nice houses surrounding the church building itself.

One of the small streets surrounding the Cathedral.
One of the small streets surrounding the Cathedral.

As we left the Petrov Hill we were tempted to accept a welcome drink to the guests attending the wedding, but instead we walked on towards the Vegetable market again.

Returning to the Vegetable market
Returning to the Vegetable market

If you take a look at the picture above, you can see the Vegetable market in Brno again. On the left, you can see the "glass building" I mentioned earlier, which serves as an indoor market. From the top of this you can enjoy a nice view, completely for free. But, just behind it you can also see the Old Town Hall. This is the best place for a panorama view in Brno.

Old Town Hall in Brno


In the Old Town Hall you can visit a permanent exhibition about the history of the hall. There is also a gallery here. During the summer season it is possible to climb the 63 stairs of the tower to get to the top and enjoy a splendid view. If you have the chance, make sure to do so! The entrance fee is 70 CZK for adults, while children under six can enter for free. If you arrive with the entire family, the family ticket is 150 CZK.

A panorama shot of the Vegetable market in Brno
A panorama shot of the Vegetable market in Brno

By now, it was time to return to our parking lot and to pay our parking fee. We had totally enjoyed our stay in Brno, and would gladly return to the city to enjoy its architecture, to eat some real meat, and to visit all these places (and many others) once again.

Earlier, I have only visited Prague and Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic, but Brno was a giant surprise, and I would love to visit the city again (just like I would love to visit Cesky Krumlov and Prague again).

Passing by some cute buildings on the way back to the car.
Passing by some cute buildings on the way back to the car.

Have you been to Brno? Did you enjoy your stay? Did you leave Brno with as many good memories as we did? If I have inspired you to visit Brno with this article, know that it is only 200 km from Prague, meaning you can rent a car and get to the city in less than 2 hours.

Thank you for reading!

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Good writeup @siggiboy81. Thank you for sharing to me who have no chance to visit a place like bruno. By reading your article. It seems like a tourist guide in front of me and i am one of the tourist, you brought us to many places with description and beautiful images. The whole article nicely flow and neat.

I love the pictures you have taken, and you have captured the umbrellas!! I haven't seen anyone decorated umbrellas in this way. Glad you shared it.

I like the Church of St. James in Brno and Cathedral of St Peter and Paul. it look so elegant. By looking at your images, it brought back my memory when i studied in UK. The atmosphere almost similar. Gosh, am I getting old?

I really hope, i can visit this place one day.

I like the photos you took of the churches and emphasis on the old architectures. Those architectural styles have been a favorite subject to practice on during my drawing sessions. This is an interesting post base don the historical value and inputs you had for the place. I noticed the area seems to have less people or is the area just too wide that it makes everyone else look small in comparison? Congratulations on the curie upvote :D

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I guess the size of the square is so big that the crowds disappear... and also, Brno isn't Prague, meaning the number of people actually visiting the city on a Saturday afternoon isn't that big.

howdy from Texas siggiboy81! wow and I thought that town was supposed to be boring! lol. it was amazing with wonderful sites, history and culture. I particularly loved the cathedrals with their soaring high ceilings and majestic architecture, just amazing. Well the whole town was so interesting.
Obviously you do posts of places that you travel to so where is your next destination?

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Maybe Bratislava coming up within shoetly, or Vienna!

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oh that sounds wonderful, thank you!

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czeh orszag marha jo hely! imadom en is. igaz mar vagy ezer eve nem voltam ott de csomo ismerosom van ott.

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I like the umbrellas over the street. They look cool and cute. I just wish they used more variety of colors to make them look more vibrant.

And the interior of the Church of St. James is amazing! It has great architectural design. I noticed the cathedral has almost the same crisscrossing design on the ceiling like that church of St. James. Is that a coincidence or the design means something?

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I have no clue at all :)

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I see. Maybe just a coincidence. 😊

Az az esernyős ötlet hatalmas :D Mondjuk kíváncsi vagyok, mit tenne egy 100 km-es szél a performansszal :D

I've been to Czech republic when I was a kid but never to Brno. My parents on the other hand visited the city once (also a long time ago, during communist times) and told me it's wonderful. The "A lady giving a man a piece of bread" statue is something you saw during communist times. We have many similar statues in Romania. The cathedral is wonderful, both inside and outside, a great piece of history. The chandelier of Forky reminds me of a similar chandelier I saw at a salt mine in Wieliczka, Poland, only that was made of salt crystals.
Anyway, it was nice to see Brno, it's a nice city with old history. Nice blog by the way!

I have never been there or even heard of it until reading your post. I had no idea there was ever a war with Sweden and this place either. You have some lovely photos here, and it looks like a great place to spend some time.

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I didn't know much about Brno before visiting the city either, but we all got to start somewhere :)

Hi! I was aware that the alleys of soaring umbrellas are in many cities around the world. Now, thanks to Your story, I know that this alley is in the city of Brno, too. I liked your story about the trip to this city . Very interesting photos. This 13th-century Cathedral looks very beautiful. We never know what awaits us in the journey to new cities and I was happy to open for me a lot of interesting things from Your trip. And the story about the bell and the interiors inside the Cathedral - all this is very interesting. Thanks @siggiboy81

At first I thought you got the wrong spelling of Brno because I was thinking of a name Bruno.. But I got it wrong myself lol!

There is simplicity the way you described the photos in my own opinion @siggiboy81. I like it because the way you chose those words could easily be understood by the readers like me.
The architecture at Brno is quite ancient but I could see more deeply the peace, harmony and serenity of the place. But I don't know how other people would think or view it, but its my own personal insights. I guess you could feel it yourself because you're in the actual site.

Thank you @siggiboy81 for such interesting tour in Brno, no I have not been there but I heard a lot about that beautiful city my hubby and sisters were in Prague which is normally the usual touristic destination. I enjoyed the photo gallery and the way you describe you way through the town. I love historical places and architecture, therefore, my favorite was of course the Freedom Square with its plague pillar that was erected in memory of plaque in 1689, in my opinion such events should not be forgotten. Also the Cathedral which is white inside made me really surprised because I know cathedrals being in sandstones and dark and sometimes even mysterious, but that one was so light and cheering, but the architecture is amazing.

The Parnas fountain in Brno is also another thing that caught my attention, I bet you spent some time before leaving it. Beautiful destination and really worth to visit, thank you for tip,

Cheers, from Art-supporting blog @art-venture
Unbenannt-2a1.jpg

Hey @siggiboy81 ! Im in love with the czech republic, we had been there for some days a few weeks ago (as you can see in my old posts) ....

Great that you share more of this wonderful country. Brno looks modern and also full of history! While you had me inspired with your awesome post, perhaps i will check it next time out 👍

Greetings from the neighboring country Germany :-)

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Glad to have you drop by :)

Great article, I am happy you liked it in Brno! Btw. do you know why are there those umbrellas? Because of the HC Kometa Brno, two in a row champion of ice hockey league. Blue and white represent Kometa and its colors and 13 yellow umbrellas symbolised 13 historical titles.

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Thanks @ritxi, I had no clue about the reason for the umbrellas at all, but now I have :) Thanks a lot for telling me... maybe there will be even more umbrellas then in the future if HC Kometa Brno will keep on winning!

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I hope so :-)

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Very useful addition. Good to know that fun fact :)

Great work man, I really enjoyed that. I'm glad you took us all on the trip with you, for me it's alway fun to explore new places, even if it's through someone else. The umbrellas were quite interesting as well as the Cathedral of St Peter and Paul story of the 11:00 oclock bells. It's always fun to find the lore and traditions of places like that. l saw someone added an explanation for the umbrellas, that is pretty cool as well.

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@coinsandchains Glad to have you drop by, and I especially enjoyed the story of the bell ringing at 11.00 myself :)

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It is similar to a Bible story I heard, It was something like the sun went backward 3 hours so Israel could finish the battle victorious.

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Almost, only in that story, God did the miracle and kept the sun up for some extra time, here the miracle was kind of human-provided. But, see the similarity, and kudos to you for knowing a Bible story few people have ever heard about!

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lol, depending on your beliefs, God was in control of both. I like the obscure stories, there are many nuggets in those that people don't expand on as much.

Thank you @siggiboy81 for bringing us with you in your daytrip to Brno. The buildings' architectural designs are really beautiful. The small streets surrounding the Cathedral reminded me of my visit to Greece, in one of its islands. I like the cobblestone walkways. Thank you for sharing with us the beautiful photos and also the legend behind the bells ringing at 11:00. Such great history and landmarks need to be remembered. How was the weather then?

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We had nice weather, not too warm, but it wasn't cold either. So perfect weather for discovering the beauties of Brno!

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Nice!! The best weather for sight seeing :)