Ok, I lied in the title. I had about 30 hours when I explored Brno the other weekend. But as most of my time was spent in the dark halls of Klub Fléda – 60% social media barcamp, only 40% party, I swear – I had significantly less than 24 hours to roam the streets of this colourful little town. But let’s just assume you have a day to spend – what should you do?

24 Hours in Brno - Kathi Kamleitner

Brno is actually the second largest city of Czech Republic, but with its cozy old town it feels much smaller. The city lies right by the Czech-Austrian border and is well-connected to Prague and Vienna. The car ride from either city takes around 2 hours – the bus probably a little longer.

Although the roads in the centre are windy, they are quite easy to navigate. Best point of orientation is the Petrov church, the main square Námesti Svobody and the castle Spilberk in the distance. The city is quite hilly, so pack good shoes to walk around.

24 Hours in Brno - Kathi Kamleitner 24 Hours in Brno - Kathi Kamleitner

Where to stay

Although Klub Fléda also houses a hostel, we wanted to be more in the city centre and booked us into Hostel Eleven which is literally in the midst of it. After a few sketchy hostel experiences in Scotland earlier this year, I was a little sceptical. However, I was positively surprised. The beds in our private room were soft and comfy, the kitchen area was small, but clean, as were the bathrooms and there was complimentary WiFi. Both receptionists we encountered were very accommodating and super helpful with recommendations. Compared to the standards in other countries we got a lot for our money’s worth. Speaking of which: the night was just over €10 per person – a real bargain! Be aware of the nightclub situated in the building’s basement though. The rooms are not directly above it (so the floor is not bouncing), but you will hear the people arriving, leaving and standing outside for a cigarettes. Bring earplugs! One of the best things was, that there was a Tesco supermarket right around the corner which is open on Sundays – not something you can take for granted in these parts of Europe!

24 Hours in Brno - Kathi Kamleitner 24 Hours in Brno - Kathi Kamleitner

How to navigate?

Once settled in I ventured through the old town. Without a map (or clue what there is to see) I walked around and found beautiful patios, adorable houses, amazing views and cool architecture. If you prefer a little more guidance I can highly recommend the Use It map, which is a beautiful fold out paper map created by locals for young travellers. One of our Facebook followers sent me the link and I loved using it on day 2. You can download it or pick it up in your hostel or the tourist office.

Brno is a green city – great to spend a day outside and do it as the locals do: enjoy the sunshine. Park benches are occupied by elderly women chatting away, plenty of al fresco restaurants lure with big umbrellas and yummy food, there are beer gardens on every corner. It was a pleasure seeing life being enjoyed so thoroughly by the locals.

24 Hours in Brno - Kathi Kamleitner 24 Hours in Brno - Kathi Kamleitner 24 Hours in Brno - Kathi Kamleitner

What to eat and drink?

Food and drinks in Brno are generally very affordable. We hardly paid more than €10 for a full meal plus pint and pints at Klub Fléda were less than €1,50. You can imagine our feasts. I mainly munched on the delicious catering by B-Cake at the barcamp, but found a few recommendations for you. For dinner we decided for an easy way out and ordered pizza and salad at Ristorante Roma, which is only three houses down from Hostel Eleven.

More research went into finding the perfect breakfast/brunch spot – which is without a doubt cafe Kafec. I had already found out that several streets just north/west of the old town are lined by artisan cafés brewing their own speciality coffee ( in particular streets Gorkého and Veveri). Cafe Kafec is situated on the latter and particularly well-known for its mouth-watering waffles, which were carried past our hungry eyes frequently. We decided on hangover-friendly eggs with bacon, and without a joke the best coffee I have ever tasted in my entire life. After weighing the whole beans, grinding them, letting me smell the result and demonstrating her skills at the aeropress, the barista reached me a cup of coffee from heaven. As she and her colleagues have to taste every cup before it is sold across the counter, they are an entertaining group of hyperactives. I had a blast.

24 Hours in Brno - Kathi Kamleitner 24 Hours in Brno - Kathi Kamleitner

Hardly any people is as proud of their beer culture as the Czech. Truly they know what a good brew is, and Starobrno (the local brand) is surely one of the best beers there is. Give it a try, it’s being sold everywhere!

What to see?

There are really only three things I managed to do myself.

1) Get lost in the old town and take every turn you find. There are so many hidden lanes opening up to beautiful patios, squares or parks.

2) Climb the tower of the Old Town Hall. It costs less than €2 and the view is absolutely worth the workout. There is no elevator!

24 Hours in Brno - Kathi Kamleitner 24 Hours in Brno - Kathi Kamleitner

3) Leave the centre behind and explore the “village in the city”, Kamenná Kolonie, which is a small area consisting of a few streets close to the city centre. The tiny houses were built by poor factory workers in the 1920s, but taken over by bohemians and artists in the 1960s. Today it still feels miles away from the city rush and makes for a different experience. The local pub,  Duck Bar, has a pretty outdoor seating area, the houses are decorated and colourful, the cats roam free and everything seems very tranquil.

24 Hours in Brno - Kathi Kamleitner 24 Hours in Brno - Kathi Kamleitner 24 Hours in Brno - Kathi Kamleitner

Wedged in between three European capitals (Prague, Vienna, Bratislava) Brno doesn’t make its way onto many EuroTrip itineraries – although it totally should! It’s cheap, beautiful and full of life, I can’t wait to go back and spend more time!

How about you – have you ever been to Brno? Would you go?

All photos by Kathi Kamleitner.