The prestigious magazine CzechDesign has voted Brno the most stylish city of the Czech Republic. And here’s why.
CzechDesign opens with something the residents of Brno – Czech or foreigners – have been saying for some time now. The city offers a slower-paced life without having to renounce on culture or stylish places to eat. In the recent almost three decades, Brno underwent a substantial change and it really did become stylish. After 40 years of communism and isolation when the whole country focused on heavy industry and not much of anything else, when valuable sights and facades of houses were left to decay Brno started investing into its looks and it paid of. The surroundings of the cathedral and the castle got a completely new look, the parks were revitalized and new parks founded, the facades were cleaned and one could suddenly see that their original color wasn’t grey and black. And in the recent decade Brno has gone even further. Efforts are being made to set up certain rules for shops in the center to respect the historical look of the buildings.
The original article is written in Czech and you can read it here. We will resume what CzechDesign found so appealing about Brno an we’ll add some of our own thoughts.
As we already mentioned, the life in Brno is calmer, definitely not as hectic as in Prague. In fact, as for the way of life Brno is kind of a shopping window of the South-Moravian ways. Cozy cafés with sometimes almost incredible offer on desserts, lots of music events and LOTS of authentic wine bars are just some of the pleasures the “southeners” like to enjoy.
The Peculiar Route through the sights of Brno
To enjoy the sights of this city you only need a weekend and you can cross the center in a couple of hours. There are countless corners with hidden treasures and beautiful things to behold. You can walk up the Masarykova street browsing the shopping windows or you can look up and be literally amazed by what’s happening on the facades of the buildings on just a few meters. And if you realize that all the streets in the center offer views like that, you can spend another couple of hours with your head “in the clouds”.
As cleverly pointed out by CzechDesign, if you want a quick and comfy tour around some of the main sights, just hop on the tram number 4 at Main Station (Hlavní nádraží) going up to the main square (Náměstí Svobody). The tram will take you on a route starting in Masarykova street. Looking to the left you can see the square called Vegetable Market (Zelný trh) which is also worth visiting and just a little further you might catch a glimpse of the Old Town Hall at the end of a passage between two buildings.
The tram continues to the main square (you can read more about it in Brno Essentials) and then to Moravské náměstí square with the Moravian Gallery and the recent yet already very famous moder statue of Jobst of Moravia. The next tram stop is Česká which bears the name of the street connecting this point with the main square. It has been the main meeting point of young people for several generations. The route continues to the Úvoz street, not far from the entrance to a mysterious underground cathedral and if you decide to stay on board until the very end you’ll get to the Kraví Hora quarter with it’s aquapark and the Brno planetarium and observatory.
CzechDesign acknowledges the fact that there are many stylish establisments to eat, dring and enjoy life in Brno. Not just excellent restaurants and countless bars and cafés like Skog Urban Hub but also hip new candy stores like SORRY – pečeme jinak or vegan ice cream trucks Božský kopeček where you can get absolutely delicious ice creams even in a little unusual combinations like black coconut. Let’s not forget also the Kofi-Kofi cafés on wheels which definitely contribute to the stylish look of the Brno center besides serving great coffee.
Brno gastronomy deserves a post dedicated to it and so we are preparing for you not just one but several about the top establishments of the city.
Architecture – the Old and the Modern
CzechDesign doesn’t omit to mention the architecture of the city. And how could it when it’s the cornerstone of Brno’s image. And Brno has it all – from the medieval churches and the Old Town Hall, the Art Nouveau buildings that have shaped the face of the city so significantly to the modern buildings, some of them well-accepted, other controversial to say the least.
Brno has preserved many of its historical architecture and it actively works on its maintenance.
One of the most prominent elements of modern architecture in Brno is Vila Tugendhat which is part of the World Heritage Sites. While it’s refered to as an undisputed masterpiece of functionalism, other – more recent – buildings haven’t met with as much public acceptance.
We’ve mentioned the shopping windows. They are an important part of the overall look of the city and they too underwent a significant change in the recent past. Not that there isn’t any work left to do but more and more shops are opting for tasteful shopping windows rather than neon signs.
In fact, there is a contest which aims to crown the best shopping windows in Brno. And the winner for 2020 is the peculiar cane shop Hůlkárna with its windows displaying not only many unusual walking canes but also tiny figurines looking almost alive behind the glass.
When it comes to culture in Brno, there are countless possibilities. Art expositions, music festivals, cinemas, theatres, you name it. Many small establishments (cafés etc.) often feature photo or painting expositions and the Moravian Gallery (Moravská galerie) hosts the larger ones. The Špilberk castle hosts permanent as well as temporary expositions and cultural events such as the summer Shakespearean theatre festival. The university cinema Scala screens Czech as well as international movies. As for music, there’s the Flamenco festival, Greek bands concerts, choir and classical music concerts and much more. There are clubs dedicated to alternative music and in Brno you can also attend famous shows of Pasión de Buena Vista from Cuba or the US-project Postmodern Jukebox. Once again, the cultural life in Brno is so rich that we don’t pretend to describe it all in one paragraph. So there are definitely more posts coming on this topic.
So that’s it, that’s what we had to say about Brno as the most stylish city of the Czech Republic. What do you think, is it the place to be for all design-loving people in 2020?
If you still haven’t decided whether to visit Brno, maybe you should read about these 5 Reasons to Visit Brno and let’s see what you think!