Brno, the second-largest city in the Czech Republic, offers a unique blend of traditional Moravian charm and a modern city. Often in the shadow of Prague, Brno is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. This vibrant city is not only an important economic and transport hub, the cultural and administrative center of the Southern Moravia region but also an excellent destination if you are in the area and looking for a day trip destination.
In this article, you can get an overview of the best things to do in Brno, find out what to explore during a short visit, and get answers to frequently asked questions.
Is Brno worth visiting?
Definitely! Brno has its own special appeal, making it a great option for those exploring the area. It’s especially recommended for a quick trip from nearby cities like Vienna, Bratislava, or Prague. While Brno may not have famous sights like those big cities, it’s a top choice if you have extra time in the area. The city’s unique character and charming spots are sure to make your visit enjoyable.
How to get to Brno
Brno is an important transport hub in the Czech Republic, with highway access from almost every direction. Whether you travel to Brno from Prague, Vienna, Bratislava, or Poland, you can reach Brno quickly and on good-quality roads.
If you want to travel to Brno by public transport, we recommend you check the FlixBus timetable, as the most frequent means of public transport to Brno is the FlixBus.
Getting around Brno
We traveled to Brno by car and found parking and getting around the city to be generally easy.
Within the city, the main attractions are close together and can be reached on foot.
If you choose public transport, you can find more information about ticket conditions on the city’s official website.
How many days to spend in Brno?
There are many sights in Brno, but almost all of them are close to each other in the city center, so you can easily get around on foot. Therefore, one or two days is enough to explore the city.
What to see and do in Brno in one day
With our one-day Brno guide, you can visit the city’s main attractions, enjoy the best views, and sample the famous Czech gastronomy.
So here are the best things to see and do in Brno in one day:
Walk around Špilberk Castle
An unmissable attraction on a visit to Brno is Špilberk Castle, a historic fortress on a hilltop that has served as a royal residence, fortress and prison in different eras.
The castle is now home to the Brno City Museum.
You can also take a walk in a large park around the castle, from where you can enjoy a wonderful panorama of Brno. One of the best views of the city is from a point on the south side of the castle called Altánek.
Visit the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul
A short walk from Špilberk Castle is the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul.
This iconic cathedral, located at the top of Petrov Hill and visible from several points of the city, is a mix of architectural styles, predominantly Gothic.
The church is beautiful inside, but the real tourist attraction is the view from its tower. You can buy a ticket to the tower for a few euros and access it via spiral staircases. From the top, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Brno.
Explore the Bunker 10-Z
Bunker 10-Z is a fascinating historical site in the Czech Republic, offering an insight into the city’s wartime past.
This underground bunker was built as a shelter and command center during World War II.
Today, visitors can explore the well-preserved rooms and corridors that give an overview of what the city looked like at the time. The bunker also features exhibitions and guided tours to show its role in history.
Visit the Freedom Square
Freedom Square, or Náměstí Svobody in Czech, is Brno’s most popular square. This lively square is surrounded by historic buildings, shops and cafés. Take a walk here and discover the many interesting buildings, sculptures, and fountains located on and around the square.
The square’s modern Astronomical Clock, a unique black stone monument, is also a popular attraction.
Nearby, the Plague Column is a historic monument to the city’s past struggles and resilience.
Church of St. James
The Kostel sv. Jakuba, the Church of St. James, is also an important attraction in Brno. Just a short walk from Freedom Square, it is worth stopping by for a quick visit.
Visit the Old Town Hall
Also in the city center, the Old Town Hall offers a glimpse into Brno’s medieval past. The tower of the hall offers spectacular views of the city, and the corridors of the tower tell fascinating stories, including the legend of the Brno dragon.
We think the Old Town Hall and its surroundings are one of Brno’s most iconic and photogenic places, so don’t miss it if you’re in the old town.
Take a walk around Zelný Trh
If you’re spending a day in Brno, you can also take a leisurely stroll to Zelný trh, a traditional vegetable market in the heart of Brno. This is a vibrant area, offering a taste of local life and culture.
The Parnas Fountain in the middle of the square is a fine example of Baroque architecture and a popular meeting place.
Visit Villa Tugendhat
One of Brno’s architectural landmarks is the UNESCO World Heritage Site Villa Tugendhat, an icon of modernist architecture designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
At first glance, this may not seem like a very special building, but it’s actually nearly 100 years old!
Pre-registration for the guided tour is required to visit this uniquely designed and historic villa. Exploring the interiors and gardens is a unique experience for architecture lovers.
If you want to visit most of the attractions listed, we recommend buying a BRNOPAS, which gives you a discounted entry to Brno’s main attractions.
Furthermore, when in Brno, in addition to the highlights, don’t forget the following:
Try the Czech dishes
Brno is the perfect place to sample traditional Czech cuisine.
The city’s many restaurants offer classic Czech dishes such as svíčková, a slow-roasted beef with a rich, creamy sauce, dumplings, and cranberries. Guláš, a thick, spicy beef stew, is also popular, traditionally served with dumplings. And smazeny syr, a breaded and fried cheese, is an excellent choice for a lighter meal.
For traditional Czech food, try the following restaurants:
- Stopkova Pilsner Beerhouse
- Potrefená Husa
- Locale U Caipla
Taste the Czech beers
When people think of the Czech Republic, Czech beer often comes to mind. Therefore, make sure to try the authentic Czech beers available in the numerous breweries throughout the city.
The most recommended breweries are:
- Pivovarský dům Poupě
- Beer Exchange 2.0
- Malt Worm
- Pivovarská Starobrno
- Výčep Na Stojáka
That concludes a day trip’s worth of activities in Brno. If you have extra time in the area, there are several attractions just a short drive from Brno, which are worth exploring. Some of these interesting places are described below.
Where to stay in Brno
If you stay in Brno for one or a few nights, we recommend some of the best-rated accommodations in the city:
Barceló Brno Palace: 5-star hotel of a popular hotel chain, very close to the main attractions, at a very affordable price
OREA Congress Hotel Brno: four-star hotel a few minutes drive from the old town of Brno
Masarykova N°30: stylish, four-star apartments in the city center, close to all attractions
Celestial Apartments Brno: very affordable apartments just a few minutes from Freedom Square
Best day trip destinations from Brno
Thanks to its convenient location, Brno serves as an excellent base for day trips to various surrounding cities.
If you’re seeking destinations beyond Brno, be sure to explore these recommended places to visit:
Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is a real cultural and historical gem. The stunning Prague Castle in the heart of the city and the famous Charles Bridge are the most popular tourist destinations. Prague’s Old Town, the Staré Město, with its narrow streets and squares, is a masterpiece of Gothic and Baroque architecture. Don’t miss the magnificent clock, the Orloj, or the colorful facades of the townhouses. Prague’s vibrant café and pub culture and world-famous Czech cuisine make the city even more attractive.
Brno or Prague
The choice between Brno and Prague often arises. Brno, the second-largest city in the Czech Republic, with its modernity and unique cultural attractions such as Špilberk Castle, is an excellent choice for those looking for a less crowded but rich historical location. Prague, on the other hand, with its historical significance and famous attractions such as Prague Castle or Charles Bridge, is recommended for those looking for a classic Czech experience.
Český Krumlov, in the south of Bohemia, is a charming town which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town’s medieval atmosphere, narrow winding streets, and picturesque location on the banks of the Vltava River make it a fascinating sight. One of its main attractions is the Český Krumlov Castle, whose tower offers a beautiful view of the town.
If you’re in the Czech Republic, don’t miss Český Krumlov, a real highlight in the area.
The Prachov Rocks, situated in the Bohemian Paradise, are stunning rock formations offering excellent hiking trails and viewpoints. Winding paths allow hikers to closely explore the region’s unique geological features. Several lookout points provide magnificent panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Ideal for hiking, photography, and appreciating the natural beauty of the Czech landscape, the Prachov Rocks are a must-visit for nature enthusiasts.
Vienna, the capital of Austria, is famous for its historic buildings, stunning palaces, and rich musical heritage. The Hofburg, Schönbrunn Palace, and the Belvedere Palace are the city’s most outstanding attractions. Vienna’s art galleries, such as the Albertina and the Kunsthistorisches Museum, offer world-class works of art. The city’s cozy cafés, such as Café Central or Café Sacher, offer an authentic Viennese experience. Vienna is the ideal place for history, art, and gastronomy lovers.
Lake Neusiedl, on the border of Austria and Hungary, is one of the largest lakes in Central Europe. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the lake, and its surroundings are a great place for birdwatching, sailing, and cycling. The surrounding villages, such as Rust and Podersdorf, offer charming wineries and great beaches in summer. Lake Neusiedl is the perfect destination for nature lovers and active holidaymakers.
Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is an excellent choice for a day trip from Brno. The Bratislava Castle and the Old Town, with its narrow streets filled with cafés and restaurants, offer a perfect opportunity to explore history and culture. Strolling along the Danube, you can enjoy the city’s tranquil atmosphere. Bratislava is home to St. Martin’s Cathedral and several museums, including the Slovak National Museum. It’s just about a one-and-a-half-hour drive from Brno, so don’t miss it if you get the chance.
In summary, spending a day in Brno offers a plethora of memorable experiences and discoveries.
This article’s one-day Brno itinerary aims to guide you in fully experiencing Brno’s cultural treasures, gastronomic delights, and captivating history.
Whether you’re there for just one day or longer, Brno is sure to enhance your travel experience.
From exploring historic sites to sampling local flavors, or simply soaking in the city’s ambiance, this itinerary is designed to help you make the most of your time in this enchanting Czech city.