📣 I’ll say it again for the people in the back – BRNO = BEAUTIFUL! 📣
I know it’s not a replica of Prague. I know people from Bohemia treat Brno like their annoying younger sibling. But this city has a ton of gorgeous elements in its own right!
This includes impressive religious sites, Viennese-style architecture, and even green spaces. Once you’ve seen Vila Tugendhat and our “astronomical clock” (wink wink), here are some lesser-known bites of Brno you won’t want to miss.
Just look up on Masarykova
Masarykova is a main thoroughfare of Brno, leading from the main train station (hlavní nádraží) up through Náměstí svobody and on to Moravian square. The cobblestone street is full of small eateries – chain and local, international clothing stores, and home goods shops.
Like a typical modern city, right? But the majority of people forget to look up.
If you look up, specifically above the Bageterie Boulevard, you’ll see the gorgeous reminders of restored Viennese-style buildings. Much of Brno is not as old as it looks, but these Baroque-verging-on-Art-Nouveau facades will almost convince you otherwise.
Peek through Pekařska street to Pellicova
Pekařska is a street that runs under Špilberk hill and leads towards a favorite tourist location – the Starobrno Brewery. I love this street because it features a bunch of great small eateries and cafés (you’ll literally never run out), not to mention a great secondhand, Nadace Veronika.
Walking there recently, I realized that since the street is one level of a generally downhill slope, and there are a ton of great little peepholes both north and south of it hiding little surprises. One of them is the view on Bethlehem Church on Pellicova, but that’s far from the only one.
Follow the winding path on Husova
If you’re at the top of Pekařska street beneath Špilberk, you’ll see what looks like the entrance to a highway turning right and sloping down from there. This side street that diverts cars from pedestrian areas and leads towards the main station is an alternative walk to good old Masarykova. Not to mention you’ll get a nice view over a residential part of Brno to the west of Špilberk, a good look onto the balconies of some beautiful apartments, and a peek at the butts of anyone who’s on their way up towards the Katedrála svatých Petra a Pavla (Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul) and the relaxing Denisovy sady park next to it.
While you can go right up to the cathedral, I find you get a wider and still quite impressive view looking up at it from this distance. You won’t break your neck as badly as when you’re up close and there won’t be any tourists bothering you here (just a little graffiti, but just kašli na to – forget about it).
Enjoy the Architecture in Černá Pole
If you’re in the neighborhood of Vila Tugendhat or Lužánky Park, you’re not far from the gorgeous residential area of Černá pole, full of impressive buildings that will have you wondering how you walked all the way to Vienna by accident.
Take some time to linger here in the quieter part of the city, enjoying the Art Nouveau bordering on Art Deco influences, the many more trees, and the local branch of fantastic Kavárna Monro on Hybešova 51. (And try not to annoy the dog walkers by gaping upward so much you forget to move out of their way.)
View from the Botanická Zahrada in Lesná
When I was recently in Lesná for my dentist appointment, I decided to walk back towards the center instead of taking the tram, and discovered an unlikely little gem: the Botanická Zahrada a Arboretum.
To be honest, the botanical garden, or at least its surrounding park, ain’t lookin’ so botanical these days. The ground is alternately dry and muddy, it feels pretty desolate and messy, and there are more than a few piles of litter here. It’s really sad because the park has such potential.
I took a wrong turn, though, and ended up on this grassy plain that felt like the edge of the city. Everywhere I go, I try to get as high as possible – altitude wise. 😉 That always gives the best views, and in fact, “overview,” of what a city has to offer.
People who grew up in the countryside might not find this grassy knoll overlooking a Tesco very pretty, and I get it. For me though, a city girl who found myself living in a village, it represents the best of both worlds: A sea of green where I can choose either to stay in silence a while or descend into the (noisy, sometimes dirty) beloved chaos of the city.
With Brno, I love seeing the classic orange roofs and the reminder of the hills in the far background. In Czech Republic, you’re never really that far from nature – or the next adventure.
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I love Brno!