Conveniently located between Prague, Vienna (Austria) and Bratislava (Slovakia), the second largest city of the Czech Republic often gets overlooked by visitors to central Europe.
However, if you’re looking for a less touristy city break compared to the surrounding capitals, then it’s certainly worthwhile spending at least one day in Brno.
One of the perks you’ll find if you visit Brno is that it’s less crowded and much more affordable than its counterparts, while still being packed with rich culture as well as an incredibly photogenic historical centre.
Whether you’re planning a short city break or you’re exploring more of the South Moravian Region, you’ll find an abundance of things to do in Brno.
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One Day In Brno Itinerary - How To Use This Guide
This one-day Brno travel guide is divided into three sections. The first section gives you a list of the best places to visit in Brno and an overview of what to do during the day.
The second section goes into more detail and gives useful information about what to see, where to find it, and getting about from one place to the next.
In the final section, you’ll find FAQs to help you plan your Brno visit, like where to stay, getting there and suggestions for trips outside of the city if you want to extend your stay.
Guide To 1 Day In Brno - At A Glance
In a hurry? Then this section is for you. Here’s a quick look at the best things to do in Brno in one day. One of the great things about Brno is that it’s compact enough to get around by foot, failing that, there’s an excellent tram network making it easy to get about.
If you’re wanting to explore the country in more depth, why not download this Czech Republic bucket list.
What to See in Brno, Czech Republic
- Špilberk Castle
- Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul
- The Vegetable Market
- Labyrinth under The Vegetable Market
- Old Town Hall & Tower
- The Dragon of Brno
- Liberty Square
- Villa Tugendhat
- Ossuary at the church of St James Church
- Enjoy Brno’s craft cocktail scene
Brno One Day Itinerary - Day Overview
This Brno attractions guide starts the day at the first of two landmarks that dominate the Brno skyline. Walk up the hill to Špilberk Castle to take in a stunning panoramic view. From the castle head towards the second iconic building, the twin-spired Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. Head down through the historical Vegetable Market square before heading underground to the labyrinth.
Visit the Old Town Hall and climb the old tower before visiting Liberty Square to see the astronomical clock. Depending on how energetic you’re feeling, either walk or catch the tram out to the exemplary UNESCO-listed Villa Tugendhat. After your visit, head back into town via the Ossuary at the church of St James.
Brno is home to a multitude of craft cocktail establishments. After enjoying traditional Czech cuisine, end the day by checking out some of these great bars.
What you can expect in this article...
The Complete Brno in One Day Itinerary
No worthy Brno sightseeing guide would be complete without a visit to the iconic Špilberk Castle (Hrad Špilberk) which can be seen from pretty much everywhere in the Old Town.
To get there, follow any of the paths uphill. Some routes are a slope, others steps, either way, it’s a decent leg and lung workout through beautiful gardens and trees. At various points on the way up, stop, turn around and look at the city views.
Although Spilberk Castle dates back to the 13th century, not much of what you see today is from that time. The style that you see is a mixture of Gothic and Baroque. However, the castle has always played an important role in the city’s history. Its uses have ranged from a royal residence to a fortress, barracks and prison. Today it’s used as a museum, an exhibition space and rented out for events.
You can wander about quite a bit of the outside and courtyards for free, and depending on how long you want to spend here, join one of the guided tours to access the Casemates, Bastion, View-Tower or Water Tanks.
This is one of the best spots in the city to come up and watch the sunset from.
Related Article: Best Things To Do In Brno
Time spent here: 1-2 hours (depending on how much you want to see)
Opening Times & Address: Castle grounds are open from 5:30 am – 11 pm – exhibition times and tours all vary | Špilberk 210/1, 662 24 Brno
If you have time, then visit the 10-Z bunker which is under the hill going up to the castle. This was originally designed as a nuclear fallout shelter, today it’s a museum containing memorabilia from the Soviet times. In the gardens, look out for the secret hidden door.
Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul
From most places in the city, you’ll be able to see the twin spires of St Peter and St Paul Cathedral. If you have a head for heights, this is also one of the best places to visit in Brno for stunning panoramic views (even better from the view from the castle!).
To get there, walk back down the hill through the gardens and back up the hill towards the cathedral (yeah, Brno is a moderately hilly city). The Roman Catholic cathedral is located on Petrov hill.
Unless you’re a fan of churches and cathedrals, then there’s not so much to see inside, however, head around the back of the building and you’ll find the doorway up to the bell towers. These are certainly worthwhile doing.
The inside starts with a winding staircase leading up to the small ticket office. From here, the stairs continue until you get to the upper level, which is directly beneath the bells. Beware here, the bells chime every 15 minutes and they are LOUD! I wasn’t expecting it the first time.
From this level, there are two old wooden doors leading out to what I think are some of the best views in the city. The first one you get to features the larger of the two balconies. You could comfortably fit three people on it, and the view looks out over the south of the city.
Cross the inner bridge, and through the second wooden door leading out to the other balcony. If you’re uncomfortable with heights, then this is more like a pulpit, you may feel uncomfortable with how exposed it is. You can only fit a single person here. The view from here looks out over the Old Town and is a great panoramic spot to get the castle and the Old Town all in one shot.
Related Article: Beautiful Brno Viewpoints & Best Photo Spots In Brno
Time spent here: 30 minutes
Opening Time & Address: Cathedral opening times daily 8.15 am – 6.30 pm (7 am – 6.30 am Sundays), Tower opening times daily 11 am – 5 pm (12 pm-5 pm Sundays) | Petrov 9, 602 00 Brno
The Vegetable Market
Whether you call it The Vegetable Market, Zelný trh or the Cabbage Market, it’s all the same thing. This historic square is home to the traditional marketplace in Brno and for centuries has been where local farmers’ produce has been sold. Expect to find fruit, vegetables and flowers here, as well as other locally made products.
This is one of the oldest and liveliest hubs in the city, with a bustle of people selling and buying local and fresh goods. In the centre stands a large Baroque fountain, as well as a smaller statue to the side of Mozart, as a tribute to his visit and performance in Brno in 1767.
The square is surrounded by colourful and sometimes decorative buildings. Amongst others, these include the Dietrichstein Palace ( Dietrichsteinský palác) dating from 1614, and two Baroque palaces called the House of the Abbots and the House of the Lords of Fanal. Other buildings feature Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles.
Time spent here: 30 minutes
Opening Time & Address: Open 24 hours | Zelny trh, 60200, Brno
Labyrinth Under The Vegetable Market
For some, this might be a bit kitsch, but as cheesy as it is, I thought this was one of the most fun things to do in Brno (also, if you’re travelling with kids, they will love it!). Under the vegetable market, there are dozens of cellars, caverns and passages.
The ‘Labyrint pod Zelným trhem’ or the Labyrinth under the Vegetable Market was historically used to help keep the food, like the meats, cheese, fruit and vegetables, fresh.
They feature a network of cellars and although they’ve had numerous uses over the centuries (including a torture chamber and wartime shelters), today you can visit what’s known as the Labyrinth.
Take the 212 steps down, underground and beneath the Vegetable Market to find over 1,000 metres of passages and learn about what went on in these cellars. Guided tours are available in English.
Related Article: Read more About Brno Underground Places Here
Time spent here: 1 hour
Opening Time & Address: Tuesday – Sunday 9 am – 6 pm | Zelný trh 21, 65878, Brno
Old Town Hall & Tower
Just a stone’s throw from the Vegetable Market and Labyrinth is the Old Town Hall and its accompanying Tower. Also known as the Stará radnice, this is the oldest functioning secular building in Brno and is also home to the legendary Brno Dragon under the archway. Today it serves as an exhibition centre as well as the main Brno tourism office, this is also where a lot of the Brno city walking tours start.
Another quirky thing to look out for there is the bent turret on the facade of the tower. The Gothic-style turret was sculpted by Anton Pilgram. There are several reasons why it’s a bit on the wonk, and if you read any Brno city guide, it will usually come down to one of two reasons.
The first is that the designer was trying to mimic the shape of flames, so all the turrets have a slightly twisted look about them. It was a new style called ‘flame Gothic’ where the designer tried to incorporate the shape of flames into the decoration.
The second reason is that the designer wasn’t paid the full fee for his work, and so as a bit of a middle finger up to the owners, he made them crooked. Who knows, but it makes a pretty good story.
After checking out the outside of the building, climb up the 63-metre tower for another great panoramic rooftop view of the city.
Book Now: Brno Old Town Guided Walking Tour
About the Dragon of Brno
You might have spotted that it’s actually a crocodile. It was gifted to the town 700 years ago and is based on a legend. The legend tells of a dragon that was tormenting the city, and its people and eating its livestock.
The story goes that the dragon was slayed, by using an animal carcass filled with lime (cement) and water that caused a chemical reaction in its belly which then killed the creature freeing the citizens of its wrath.
If you’ve ever wondered, ‘what is Brno known for’, then it’s this. The dragon (or crocodile) is the symbol of Brno, and you’ll see motifs of it dotted on everything from sports teams to socks to cookies to trains!
Time spent here: 30 minutes
Opening Time & Address: Times vary throughout the year, check here | Radnická 8, 60200, Brno
From the Old Town Hall, head towards the city centre. Here you’ll find Liberty or Freedom Square (Náměstí Svobody in Czech), it also goes by the nickname Svoboďák to locals. This is the main central square of Brno and throughout the year plays host to numerous pop-up markets, festivals and concerts.
Despite being called a square, it’s actually shaped more like a triangle. Records of the square date back to the 13th century and were referred to as Lower Market and Big Square ( Dolní trh and Velké náměstí respectively). It was once one of the main trade routes in the city.
Around the Square (ahem…triangle) you’ll be able to see numerous impressive-looking buildings ranging from Renaissance to Functionalism in style, and everything in between.
One thing here to look out for is the black granite obelisk. This serves as the city’s astronomical clock and is supposed to resemble a bullet, although some might think it resembles something else. At 11 am each day, the clock releases a large glass marble. There are 4 different slots at the bottom, and the marble could roll out of any of them. You’ll see residents and tourists all gathered here – sometimes from as early as 9.30 or 10 am, guarding one of the holes with the hope of being the lucky recipient of the marble.
The Horse and Knight Statue
From Liberty Square, take a short walk towards Moravian Square where you’ll find the iconic statue of a knight on a horse. The statue is called Courage (Odvaha in Czech) and took the sculptor Jaroslav Róna over 30 months to complete.
The 8-metre high bronze statue features a horse with disproportionality long legs. You’ll often see people standing under it and looking up from below. Although at first glance, there’s not much to see, however, if you position yourself between the front legs of the horse and look upwards towards its head, you might blush before having a knowing giggle.
Time Spent At The Squares: 20 – 30 minutes
Opening Time & Address: Liberty Square Open 24 hours | náměstí Svobody, 60200, Brno.
Horse & Knight Statue Open 24 hours | Moravské náměstí, 60200, Brno
If you’ve asked yourself, what is Brno famous for? Well, the city showcases the epitome of functionalist design. Whichever Brno guide you read, I guarantee that it will mention a visit to Tugendhat Villa. This is undoubtedly one of the most popular attractions in Brno, and tickets can sell out weeks, sometimes months, in advance.
What makes this villa so special is that it’s one of the best examples of functionalist architecture that features exemplary technologies for its time. The villa is so unique that it even gained UNESCO World Heritage List status in 2001.
The villa is located in the classy Černá Pole neighbourhood just outside of the city. This area is filled with some of the most exclusive properties in the city, so it’s a pleasant walk to get here.
The villa belonged to Greta and Fritz Tugendhat who were given an open check by Greata’s father to build their home. It was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe with construction taking place between 1929 and 1930.
At the time, this was the first private home that utilised a steel load-bearing structure which allowed for non-load-bearing walls and an open plan design. No expense was spared during its construction and materials feature Onyx from Northern Morocco, and exotic woods including rosewood, zebrawood, and Makassar ebony.
The villa was technologically advanced for its time and made use of a hot-air circulating system for heating, as well as (my personal favourite) a whole wall of windows, electrically-operated to open up the entire side of the house to the gardens.
You can visit the house gardens and see the villa from the outside, however, to get the most out of your visit, and to see the inside, then the only way is to book a guided tour.
Time Spent Here: 1.5 – 2 hours
Opening Time & Address: March – October, Daily from 10 am – 6 pm (closed Mondays) | November – February, Daily from 9 am – 5 pm (closed Mondays) | Černopolní 45, 61300, Brno
Ossuary At The Church Of St James
Brno is home to the second largest ossuary in Europe and is the resting place of an estimated 50 thousand people. Historically, there was a churchyard at this site that dates back to the 13th century, but as the city expanded the graveyard became insufficient. The bones are from victims of the plague, cholera, the Thirty Years’ War and the Swedish Siege.
To get around the issue of space, a special system of burial was adopted. After around 10-12 years, and after the body had decomposed, the graves were opened and the bone remnants were removed to make room for another recently deceased body to be placed in the grave. The remnants were moved to special underground areas, called Ossuaries.
Over the years, the Ossuary at St James’s lay forgotten until building works happened. The Ossuary was rediscovered in 2001 by an unfortunate builder who fell inside a hole and stumbled on it. Imagine the shock of discovering the resting place of over 50,000 people!
You can visit the Ossuary during the day, however, a few times a year, they allow visits by candlelight.
Related Article: Unusual and Quirky Places To Visit In Brno
Time Spent Here: 30 minutes
Opening Time & Address: Daily from 9.30 am – 6 pm (closed Mondays) | Jakubské náměstí, 65878, Brno
As your one day in Brno comes to an end, finish off by visiting some of the outstanding craft cocktail bars. There are loads to choose from, however here are my top suggestions; you won’t be disappointed!
Super Panda Circus
Behind an unassuming door, you’ll find one of the most playful cocktail bars. When you enter, you’ll be greeted by one of the hosts who will invite you to play a game by following the story of a character.
You can of course just go for a drink and not follow along with the game if you’re more pushed for time. The cocktails are beautifully presented, handcrafted and strong.
Opening Time: Daily from 7 pm – 2 am, closed Sundays
Address: Šilingrovo nám. 3, Brno
Hidden in one of the underground Labyrinths, from street level, this cocktail bar doesn’t look like much. Inside, you’ll find a myriad of cellars leading off in every direction, decorated with trendy lighting, and quirky art with the sweet smell of shisha smoke wafting about. The word Slast (in Czech), translates to pleasure, which sums this place up nicely.
I loved the artwork on the menu here, and the drinks are handcrafted with unusual mixes of flavours that strangely work. Like Super Panda Circus, this is a unique place to drink.
Opening Time: Sun – Thurs from 4pm – 1am, Fri – Sat from 4pm – 2am
Address: Zelný trh 10, Brno
Where to Stay In Brno
There’s no shortage of places to stay when you’re visiting Brno. Because this is a jam-packed itinerary, I suggest staying centrally where everything is within walking distance to all the Brno must-see places. Becasue I was here for a week, I rented an apartment.
Bishop Apartments, Brno
These apartments were centrally located, in the heart of the Old Town. They had large and bright rooms as well as decent wifi and a fully equipped kitchen.
Easy Day Trips From Brno
If you’re wondering what to do in Brno, and you’re lucky enough to have 2 days (or longer) you’ll find an abundance of easily accessible attractions. The city is well connected via public transport, so even if you don’t have use of a car, you can enjoy some great Brno day trips.
Here are my top three suggestions of things to do near Brno. You can find out more details about these great day trips from Brno here.
The region of Lednice- Valtice Cultural Landscape is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. It can be visited as an easy trip from Brno. Chateau Lednice is one of the most popular monuments in the Czech Republic, and a definite must-see if you’re a fan of fairytale castles.
This absolute stunner of a palace was built in the 1800s in a Renaissance and neo-Gothic style. Both the exterior and interior feature opulent decor. It sits in beautifully manicured gardens. You can visit all year round with daily guided tours of the interior in English.
Whilst you’re visiting this picturesque region, it’s also worthwhile calling in at one of the numerous vineyards. If you’re interested in visiting one of them, Annovino is just a 20-minute walk from the Chateau and offers guided tours and tastings at their vineyard and winery.
Related Article: 7 Easy Day Trips From Brno
If adventure and natural scenery are more your thing, then head to the nearby Moravian Karsts. There are several options here. If you’re feeling energetic, opt for one of the adrenalin tours inside the caves.
If you’re not sure about crawling and scrambling about on your hands and knees then alternatively you can opt for the walking karst tour and boat ride in one of the caves.
Boating on Brno Lake
If you’re looking to escape the city, then head to Brno Reservoir. This is an easy 30-minute journey by tram. The reservoir is surrounded by cafes, restaurants and leisure facilities, so you can make a full day out of it. Take the boat that meanders its way through the picturesque countryside and woodland. It stops off at Veveří Castle where you can idle away some time exploring the ruins.
Self-Guided Walking Wine Tour
The Czech Republic is home to over 1200 wineries and they are pretty much all found in two regions: Bohemia and Moravia. Of the two, Moravia is where 90% of the wine is produced. It’s no surprise then that you’ll find vineyards close to Brno.
Take the train to the little village of Popice. This does feel like the middle of nowhere. From here you can easily visit three fantastic vineyards on a self-guided walking wine tour. This loop walk is best done over a full day to allow you to enjoy each of the three vineyards at a comfortable pace before catching the train back to Brno.
Related Article: How To Visit Three Vineyards Near Brno
How to Get To Brno
Brno is well connected to Prague, Vienna and Bratislava and can be easily accessed via regular and affordable public transport. Check Omio App for comparission prices fom all these options.
From Prague to Brno By Bus
Several buses depart from Prague Florenc Bus Station to Brno Bus Station a day, the journey takes between 2hr 40 minutes and 3hr 30. Prices start at under 10Euro for a single journey if you book in advance.
From Prague to Brno By Train
Trains between Prague and Brno take a similar time to the bus and depart from Prague Main Station, arriving at Brno Train Station. Depending on what class ticket you purchase prices can start from about 10Euro for a one-way journey.
From Vienna to Brno By Bus
It takes around 2 hours to travel by bus between Vienna and Brno, and prices start from 8 Euro for a single journey bought in advance.
From Vienna to Brno By Train
Several trains run a day between the two cities, and take around 2hr 20 minutes if you opt for a train with changes or as little as 1hr 40 for the direct train. Prices start at around 6 Euro for a one-way ticket when booked in advance.
From Braslavia to Brno By Bus
If you’re travelling between Bratislava and Brno by bus, it takes between 2 and 4 hours to make the journey, depending on the service you opt for. Tickets cost around 15Euro if you book in advance.
From Braslavia to Brno By Train
To get from Brastlvia to Brno by train, it takes between 90 minutes and 2 hours and prices start from 5 Euros for a one-way ticket.
Compare Transportation Prices: Omio App
Brno 1 Day Itinerary - Travel Tips and FAQs
What currency do they use in Brno?
Even though the Czech Republic is part of the European Union, it hasn’t adopted the Euro. the currency used is the Czech Koruna, although lots of places will accept Euros (you probably won’t get a favourable exchange rate). Cards are widely used and there are loads of ATMs around the city.
Is Brno expensive?
Compared to other European major cities, Brno is very reasonable. Typically a meal costs around 120-300 CZK (Czech Koruna) which is equivalent to about $6 – $12. A beer is equivalent to about $3. Public transport is also very good value for money. Accommodation ranges in price, with a bed in a shared dorm costing from $15 a night equivalent, right up to high-end 5*hotels.
So, is Brno cheap? Yes, compared to lots of Europe. If you’re being frugal with your money, you can get by on less than $40 a day.
When is the best time to visit Brno?
Late Spring, Summer and early Autumn are the best times to visit Brno. Winters get cold, so unless you’re a fan of chilly weather, or you’re visiting specifically for the Christmas markets.
If you’re after good weather, then visit in May through to September. The warmest months are July and August when the weather averages in the mid-20s. The coldest month is January, with temperatures barely getting above freezing.
Weirdly the wettest month is supposed to be June, however – I visited in September and we had a lot of rain which we were told is uncommon. So whenever you visit, remember to pack a raincoat or umbrella.
Do they speak English in Brno?
In the cities and tourist destinations, the level of English was superb, I had no issues speaking with people. The one time that it was slightly more challenging was when I did the walking wine tour, which was in a small village.
So as a generalisation, there is no problem speaking with people in the cities, but in the villages, it was a little more tricky. Google Translate became my best friend.
One thing I did find everywhere I visited in the Czech Republic, was that the people were very friendly and helpful, even when there was a language barrier.
Getting around Brno
Brno has an excellent public transport system. The main forms in the city are the tram and the electric bus. The central part of the city is very compact, and most of the time I opted to walk. They are user-friendly and work on a tap-in-and-out system with your cash card.
If you have mobility issues, (or a suitcase with wheels!) It’s worth taking note that most of the city, both the roads and pavements, are cobbled and with hills in places.
What can I see in 2 days in Brno?
If you don’t want to take a day trip outside of the city, then other great things I highly recommend visiting in the city are the Nuclear Shelter 10-Z, Lužánky Park, Vila Stiassni or Museum of Applied Arts.
Related Article: Fabulous Things To See In Brno
How’s Your Trip to Brno Shaping Up?
So how’s your one day in Brno looking, are you ready? I absolutely adored my time in Brno, it was a city I hadn’t heard much about, since Prague always steals the glory when it comes to the Czech Republic.
There’s a lot to see in Brno, and although you could just stick around the city, it’s also a great hub to base yourself in for more exploration of the southern area of the country.
If you’re planning a trip to Brno, or other parts of the Czech Republic, check out these useful guides.
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