Brno is the Czech Republic’s second largest city, only the capital is larger, and situated at only 210 kilometers away. Brno is an interesting city, because not only does it not suffer from an inferiority complex due to its proximity to Prague, but despite its population of only about four hundred thousand, it behaves like a cosmopolitan capital.
It is actually the capital of Moravia, so the cosmopolitan vibe can be better understood, however interestingly enough it almost looks a bit Parisian thanks to its wide boulevards and large parks. The French-style influence is even more poignant when you observe how the population shows a similar enthusiasm for caffeine – although that can be said about many other European countries – chatting and culture.
These factors add up to create a very energetic bar scene which might seem to clash a bit with the city’s rather reserved after-dark reputation, however after spending a few hours in a local pub, after the sun goes down, you’ll see the traditional Moravian reserve melt away.
Brno isn’t crowded with legions of tourists like the capital is, and while this may be due to real reasons such as the relatively small historical centre Brno sports when compared to Prague, the place still holds its own with quite a varied array of great art galleries, museums and a castle fortress with a dark history.
One interesting historical sight that you should visit is the Capuchin Crypt and Church located on the eponymous Capuchin Square. The Crypt is most interesting because thanks to the geological soil structure and the intricate system of air-holes, the bodies buried here got mummified, it’s a great visit indeed.
Freedom Square is a place that you just can’t miss, it’s the biggest square in the city and the oldest one to boot. It dates from the 13th century and has survived more or less unchanged.
Brno offers you a different sort of experience for your Czech Republic trip, less crowded than Prague, but still rather cosmopolitan, you shouldn’t pass it over.