Burno, bruno, brrrr-no… however you pronounce it, Brno is the underdog city of the Czech Republic, being fiercely out-done by it’s more beautiful sister, Prague. However, it’s not a place to be overlooked, especially if you’re in the Czech Republic or at least passing through – it’s a main stop on most coach routes from Budapest through to Vienna.
After a very long coach journey in the evening from Budapest, I arrived in an illuminated Brno, engulfed by the Autumn night and chill – it was a spontaneous surprise trip, which made it all the better. Although I had eaten way too many Hungarian pastry snacks on the bus and my stomach gurgled to no end after I had to begin to use my legs I was eager to explore upon arrival.
We attempted to soothe my pastry-induced stomach gurgles doing a mini evening tour of the city centre, led by a friend of a friend who had just moved to the area. Resigning to a tiny food market in the main square of the centre, I managed to distract myself with the twinkly string lights and colourful bunting overhead whilst citizens chugged Czech beers and steaming street food.
A city can be radically different between day and night, but so far I liked what I had seen. It wasn’t until the following day that I could really get a feel of the city exploring Brno’s streets and corners and squares and parks, despite the drizzly weather.
Discovering the most hipster (yet delicious) breakfast spots…
The grey clouds made the communist architecture of the city seem all the more encroaching, but the commercialised centre, featuring recognisable shops and stores, made the city feel more city-like. The rain seemed to deter locals from going outside, and so Brno was sullen even at the weekend. We strolled around, walking in and out of historical sights and buildings and churches (and even some spooky Catacombs), stopping for drinks and snacks along the way.
We were in luck when we discovered a small nearby park filled with small food stands and a tiny stage upon which dance troupes performed traditional Slavic-style dances and musical interludes. The food stands were giving away free local dishes (yes, FREE) and so we didn’t need to blow our bucks to feel immersed in Czech culture.
Back to strolling around the city…
The Czech version of Budapest’s Chimney Cake.
Heading toward a big hill with a great view of the city…
Toward the end of the day, a view of the city from a rooftop was in order, alongside a medley of snacks and drinks to escape the cold and wet weather. The miserable rain dragged into the following day as we said our goodbyes to Brno, ending our brief encounter with another short stroll around the city before hopping onto a coach to Bratislava.
(The next day…)
Brunch at “Moment” café.
This pastry was to die for…