Looking for things to do in Brno? Brno is the second largest city in Czech Republic, and here there are lots of things to do and experience. In Brno you can visit several historical places, eat lots of delicious food, see beautiful castles, and participate in fun activities.
Here are my best tips of things to do in Brno as a tourist:
Visit the 2nd largest ossuary in Europe
The ossuary at the Church of St. James is the 2nd largest ossuary in Europe after the Catacombs in Paris.
In the 17th century, a three chamber crypt was constructed below the floor of the St. James Church. The ossuary was quickly filled during the years, partly due to common plague and cholera epidemics which literally decimated the inhabitants of the city.
The staircase inside the church that lead down to the ossuary was closed with a stone slab in 1784. It wasn’t until 2001 when doing repairs of St. James Square that they rediscovered the crypt and ossuary.
Today you can visit the ossuary of Brno and see all the bones and skulls stacked in piles. It’s very interesting but at the same time a little bit scary to see the remains of all those people.
NOTE: I’ve read that some people, including myself, had a hard time finding the entrance of the ossuary. I though that it was located inside the church, but it’s actually located to the right of the entrance to the St. James Church. Down below you have a picture of it, so you know what to look for when visiting ossuary.
Take a walking tour around the city
If you want to get an overview of Brno and see the most popular and beautiful places in the city, then I can recommend to go on a walking tour. A walking tour in Brno is cheap and is a great way to start of your trip to get to know the city a little bit better.
The local guide will take you to several nice places in Brno, and during the tour you can always ask for recommendations of places to see, day trips, restaurants, etc.
A walking tour is something I always recommend when visiting a new city.
Villa Tugendhat is one of the most famous villas in the world, and is also one of the top things to do in Brno since it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The villa of Greta and Fritz Tugendhat was designed by the architect Ludwig Mies van Der Rohe and was built between 1929 and 1930. It’s today a monument of modern architecture and is a part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site list.
If you’re into architecture and design, then this is one of the attractions you shouldn’t miss in Brno!
Visit the Zelný trh “the cabbage market”
The big square in Brno is one of the most popular places to visit in the city. Here you’ll find Baroque architecture, hidden underground labyrinths, and delicious food.
This square is most famous for its farmers market where you can buy local and exotic fruits, veggies and local sweets and snacks.
Climb up the old town hall
One of my favorite views in Brno is from the old town hall. It only cost 70 kc (about 3 euro) to visit the tower, which is not much considering the view you get from up there. However, it’s good to know that the climb up to the top can be pretty though if you’re not in shape.
From the top of the old town hall you get a 360 degree view of the city, including one of the best view of the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul.
Eat local food
To eat local food is one of my favorite things to do when traveling. There are so many dishes and new flavors to discover in the restaurants of Brno.
One of the most popular restaurants for local food is Lokál U Caipla. I can highly recommend to visit!
Explore the Castle of Špilberk
The Špilberk Castle was built in the middle of the 13th century on a hill in the center of Brno by the King of Czech Republic. First it was a royal castle, and later on a baroque fortress. It has long been a symbol of protection and safety for the citizens of Brno.
Today this castle is one of the most historical places in the city, as well as one of the most popular things to do in Brno. At the castle you can also visit the City Museum, which is another popular attraction in Brno.
Visit Brno Lake during the hot summer days
If you’re in Brno during the summer and feel like having one of those days when you just relax out in the sun – head to Brno Lake! Brno Lake is one of the most popular places to go sunbathing in the city, so make sure to visit if you want to cool down on a hot day.
This place is also very beautiful during autumn if you like to take photos. On a calm day you can see the autumn colors reflect in the lake, which is very beautiful!
Go on a day-trip to the cave Moravský Kras
If you have much time to spend in Brno and want to go on a day trip somewhere close, then I can recommend to visit the caves of Moravský Kras.
The Moravian Karst is one of the most important karst areas of Central Europe. Here you have more than 1100 caverns and gorges, which is pretty impressive. However, only a few of them are open to the public.
You can visit the Punkva Caves that has an underground river, the Macocha Abyss which is one of the biggest gorges of its kind in Czech Republic, and the Kateřinská jeskyně cave with its unique limestone columns.
You can also visit the Balcarka Cave that’s full of colorful stalactitic decorations, and Sloupsko-šošůvské jeskyně with its huge corridors and underground gorges.
If you’re a coffee-lover, then you’re going to love Brno. All over Brno you’ll find several cafés that makes delicious cups of coffee.
Some of my favorite cafés in Brno are SKOG Urban Hub, Cafe Tungsram, Podnik café bar, and Cafe Mitte.
Have a drink at ”the bar that doesn’t exist”
When you’re in Brno you have to visit this bar and go for a drink. In Czech its called “který neexistuje”, which translates into “the bar that doesn’t exist”.
Here they have a great selection of drinks, including non-alcoholic drinks. I had a mocktail (non-alcoholic drink) that I do not remember the exact name of, but it was a drink with cilantro in it. It sounded new and interesting, and I must tell you that it was one of the best mocktails I’ve ever had!
The atmosphere is also great at this bar. It’s a nice place to sit down to chat with your friends over a drink or two. I can highly recommend you to visit!
Pay your respects at the Capuchin Crypt
In addition to the ossuary of Brno, there’s another place that will give you the chills.
In the Capuchin Crypt of central Brno you can see the mummified remains of the Capuchin monks. Like most other monks, the Capuchin monks were very simple, so they were buried without coffins on the ground of a tomb.
Inside the Capuchin Crypt you can see some of these tombs where you can see the remains of the monks. It might be creepy to some, but for me this is one of the most unusual and interesting things to do in Brno.
Stroll around at the Moravian Square
The Moravian Square is home to the Church of St. Thomas and the Moravian Gallery. It’s one of the biggest squares in Brno surrounded by beautiful old buildings.
It’s probably most famous for its 8 meter tall statue of Jobst of Luxembourg, the knight on a horse, which is a fun place to take some photos.
Also, during Christmas they have a lovely Christmas market at this square.
Admire the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul
This cathedral is one of the most important landmarks of the country, and is also one of the most popular attractions in Brno.
The architecture of the building goes back to the 11th century when a Romanesque chapel stood on this spot. About 2 centuries later, the chapel was rebuilt into a basilica in Gothic style.
Later during history when the Swedes took over Brno, the church got badly damaged. In the 18th century the church was reconstructed, and hasn’t been changed much since. It’s one of the most important and historical places in the city, so it’s a must to put on your bucket list of things to do in Brno.
Interesting fact: On the Czech 10 Kč coin, there’s a picture of this famous cathedral.
Go on a day-trip to Lednice Castle
Lednice Castle is one of the most beautiful palaces in Czech Republic, and in my opinion, in Europe as well. So it’s not a place that you want to miss when you’re in Brno.
It’s located about 45 minutes from the city, so the best is to rent a car and drive there yourself. You can also go there by public transport, but it takes longer time. First you have to travel to Breclav or Podivín and then change bus to Lednice. However, either way you choose to get there, it’s going to be worth it!
Visit Veveří Castle
The Veveří Castle is a castle from the 13th century and is located above Brno Lake. If you’re planning to visit either of them, I can recommend you to combine the lake and the castle in one day.
The castle is famous for its beautiful surroundings, but also for being one of the most damaged castles in the country with ongoing reconstructions.
Today you can visit the castle and view interesting exhibitions and also attend several cultural events during the year.
Eat a trdelník – a traditional Czech sweet
You cannot leave Brno without tasting one of the most traditional Czech sweets, a trdelník.
It’s basically bread that has been wrapped into a roll and dipped in sugar. You can eat it plain or with several delicious fillings of your choice. I personally love when they fill the trdelník with nutella, it’s super yummy.
You can find places all over Brno that sell these delicious treats.
Go on a day trip to Mikulov
Mikulov is one lovely town that’s located only a 45 minute drive from Brno.
It’s a beautiful and friendly town with lots to offer its visitors. Here you can admire the beautiful architecture, visit historical sites (such as the castle), and also go wine tasting which is one of the most popular things to do around there.
If you have a couple of days in Brno and feel like doing something extra, I can recommend you to go on a day trip to Mikulov.
Stay at the Anybody Hotel
During our stay in Brno we got to stay at the Anybody Hotel, which is one of the coolest hotels in Czech Republic.
It’s a really cool hotel with rooms looking like scenes from famous old movies. Inside your room you can start a game to play the lead role.
For anyone who love old movies and this kind of stuff, I can highly recommend to book a room at this hotel during your stay in the city.
Stroll around in Park Lužánky
If you want to relax and have some peace and quite one day, you should head to Park Lužánky.
Park Lužánky is the oldest and biggest park in the city. It’s full of trees and beautiful flowers, as well as playgrounds, an artificial river, and tennis courts. Here you’ll also find a Neo-Renaissance building, a beautiful fountain, and several historical monuments.
Visit the Christmas markets
If you happen to be in Brno during Christmas season, I’ve got great news for you! Brno is a lovely city when it comes to Christmas markets. Almost all squares of Brno is filled with stalls selling sweets, handicrafts, Christmas drinks, and souvenirs during Christmas.
Some of the most popular Christmas markets you’ll find on Liberty Square, the Cabbage Market, Moravian Square, and on Radnická Street.
This is no doubt one of the best things to do in Brno during Christmas!
Things to do in Brno with kids
Brno is a great destination for you who travel with kids. There are everything from interesting museums and nice parks to castles and cool caves to explore. Here are my best tips of things to do in Brno with kids:
- Stroll around in Park Lužánky
- Visit Brno Technical Museum
- Explore Spilberk Castle
- Eat a trdelník
- Visit Veveří Castle
- Explore the caves of Moravský Kras
- Visit Brno Ossuary
- Climb up the top of old town hall
- Visit the Brno Observatory and Planetarium
Things to do in Brno when it rains
If you’re in Brno when it’s bad weather, do not worry, there are plenty of things to do in Brno when it rains. In Brno there are several historical buildings that you can visit, as well as bars, cafés and restaurants.
- Go see the architecture and design inside Villa Tugendhat
- Eat local food
- Experience the Anybody Hotel
- Have a drink at ”the bar that doesn’t exist”
- Visit the Brno ossuary
- Eat a trdelník
- Visit Veveří Castle
- See the inside of Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul
- Pay your respects at the Capuchin Crypt
- Have a coffee and some sweets at one of the cafés in the city
- Visit the Castle of Špilberk
What are your favorite things to do in Brno? Leave a comment below!