For a quick city break from Prague, or a stop between Prague and Vienna, Budapest or Bratislava, head to the Czech Republic’s second city of Brno. A roughly two hour drive/three hour train ride will land you in this university town brimming with interesting architecture and a burgeoning food scene.
Our first recommendation, if you are interested in architecture, is to book ahead to get a tour of Tugendhat Villa. This Ludwig Mies van der Rohe house is a gorgeous example of modern architecture and interior design. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Brno’s top attractions. Book the tour for either the afternoon you plan to arrive, or the morning you are going to leave.
Plan to get to Brno around lunchtime and after checking in to your hotel, head to Koishi for sushi. We know, it’s a strange choice in a landlocked country far from Japan, but Koishi is consistently rated one of the top ten best restaurants in the country and has a gorgeous interior. The secret to their excellent sushi? Their team includes a sushi master, meaning they have their pick of the very best sushi-grade fish from importers in nearby Vienna. If you aren’t a sushi fan, the very capable chef also does magic with a fusion of Japanese and European cuisines.
If your Tugendhat tour is for this afternoon, head there. If not, head to the Old Town. Your hotel can probably supply you with a city map which lists all the notable city sights. If not, there’s a tourist information office on Radnicka Street. Items to note include the Old Town Hall, the daily Cabbage Market (farmers market) surrounding a fountain featuring scenes from Greek mythology, the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul and the Capuchin Church and Monastery. Be sure to head to the church crypt for a look at the mummies. In Freedom Square, you can’t help but notice the rocket shaped statue – it’s actually a very expensive, and much discussed, clock.
By now you are ready for dinner at Pavillon. This place completely wowed JayWay’s own Charlie, read about his meal and then try not to go! After that, take your pick of Brno’s many bars. Beneath Pavillon, in the same building is the Runway bar, once a favorite hang-out of pilots from Brno’s airport, or relax at Cohiba Club Conti, a rum and cigar bar with live piano music. They have a nice Czech and international wine list, plus a rum tasting menu.
After breakfast at your hotel the next morning, you can either go on your Tugendhat tour, explore the Old Town or head up to Spilberk Castle for a visit to the Brno City Museum and a nice walk with views over the town. By the evening you are back in you next destination, via regular direct trains to Prague, Bratislava, Vienna and Budapest, having enjoyed an historic and tasty 24 hours.
Villa Tugendhat by Lukemn via Creative Commons on Flickr
Spilberk Castle by sakic75 via Creative Commons on Flick