Leisure

Arts & Culture

South Moravia’s chequered history, being at the “crossroads of Europe”, has always been marked by many nations with aspirations of making it their own. It has been attacked, conquered and liberated time and again from hordes of aspiring imperialists. This has meant that in cultural terms, South Moravia combines the better aspects of what the invaders left behind with the immovably deep-rooted Moravian culture. This has provided a mix of cultural options unrivalled anywhere else in terms of variety, quality, widespread popularity and, of course, cost. Language of course may be a barrier, but what we will do here is guide you to the sources of information, rather than the actual venues, enabling you to clearly judge for yourself.

Moravia loves its festivals, and just about every genre in the arts and culture seems to be celebrated in some way. The best way to find out about these is to keep your eyes open for posters (the main arts advertising media in Brno) and check out the Jižní Morava section of Mladá Fronta Dnes, especially for events outside of Brno. More up-to-date information can be found in the Information centre of the Brno (TIC Brno, www.ticbrno.cz) or at www.gotobrno.cz.

A useful contact is also the Multiplex Cinemas, Olympia Centre & Velký Špalíček which are the two largest multi-screen cinemas in Brno; www.cinemacity.cz. The alternative cinema scene is representated mainly by two cinemas: Art (Cihlářská 19, 602 00 Brno, www.kinoart.cz; because of the reconstruction (11/2017) at TIC Gallery, Radnická 4, Brno) and Lucerna (Minská 19, 616 00 Brno, www.kinolucerna.info).

You can find some more information on cultural events in the region in a free Cultural Bulletin (Kulturní bulletin) published monthly by Regional Development Agency of South Moravia (in Czech and German only). You can subscribe to it by sending an email to: lucie.karpiskova@rrajm.cz.

There is also a network of tourist information centres scattered around the region of South Moravia, most of which are very helpful and keen. However, their information service will usually cover only the immediate surroundings of the town where they are located, and some of them may have difficulty in answering queries in foreign languages.

Festivals

Many festivals take place in South Moravia every year, especially in Brno, and they represent all kinds of culture from “high” to folk. The most numerous are festivals of all different kinds of music, but there are some interesting film and other festivals too. Here are some of the better known ones that take place regularly on an annual basis, but we strongly encourage everyone interested to check for up-to-date information with one of the tourist information centres or at the posters around the region. You can also try the Website of the City of Brno www.brno.cz, in the Leisure section. They have a list of leisure activities (section Culture – Calendar of Events) in and around the city, provided in German and English, and a number of other useful hints.

Festivals elsewhere in South Moravia

  • Folk Festival and the “Ride of the Kings” (jízda králů), Vlčnov, late May – one of the most spectacular folk festivals in this part of Europe, attracting large numbers of tourists and ethnologists. Some of the most interesting folk costumes can be seen here together with folk bands and choirs.
  • Ivančice Asparagus Festival, Ivančice, May – a small, 2-day festival that tries to revive the old traditions of growing this delicious vegetable.
  • International Folk Festival, Strážnice, late June – the largest folk music festival in the country with an international reputation. It attracts music lovers, musicologists as well as tourists from a number of countries.
  • Horňácké slavnosti (folk festival), Velká nad Veličkou, July – a more humble but cosier version of the festival in Strážnice with the added bonus of the unique musical tradition of Horňácko, a distinct etnographic region on the Czech–Slovak border, which gave the nation some of its most renowned folk musicians.
  • Znojemské vinobraní (Znojmo Wine Harvest Festival), Znojmo, September – the largest festival of wine and wine-making in the country. Apart from a number of concerts, a parade in historical costumes and street preformances, this is one of the best opportunities to sample the best of South Moravian wines.
  • Pálavské vinobraní, Mikulov, September – next famous festival of wine and wine-making in the country.
  • Anniversary of the Battle of Three Emperors, Slavkov (Austerlitz), Tvarožná, Pozořice, beginning of December – a number of events organised at different locations of the former battlefield commemorates one of the most epic battles fought on Czech territory, in which the French Emperor Napoleon I defeated the united armies of Austrian Emperor Franz I and Russian Tsar Alexander I in 1805. The most spectacular is the reconstruction of the battle that usually takes place in Tvarožná and attracts as many as 1,000 volunteers from all across Europe dressed up in period military uniforms.

Foreign Culture Centres and Networks

South Moravia and especially the city of Brno are also home to a number of expatriate groups and ethnic minorities, many of whom have established their own associations and clubs. Some are more active than others, but most of them tend to offer a good opportunity to meet with one’s co-nationals and tap into new networks of contacts.

  • Alliance Francaise Brno, Moravské náměstí 15, 602 00 Brno, info@afbrno.cz, www.alliancefrancaise.cz/brno/
  • Association of Friends of Italy (Společnost přátel Itálie), Přístavní 14 b, 635 00 Brno, PhDr. Pavel Ciprán, +420 728 664 613, ciprian@spilberk.cz, www.prateleitalie.eu
  • British Council, Solniční 12, 602 00 Brno, +420 545 211 069, info.brno@britishcouncil.cz, www.britishcouncil.cz
  • German Culture Association – Brno region, (Německé kulturní sdružení – Region Brno), Jana Uhra 12, 602 00 Brno, www.freunde-bruenns.com
  • Greek Community in Brno (Řecká obec v Brně), Radnická 8, 602 00 Brno, : +420 542 216 125, robrno@robrno.cz, www.robrno.cz
  • Polish Club in Brno (POLONUS – Klub Polski) (Polský klub v Brně), Radnická 8, 602 00 Brno, polonusbrno@post.cz, www.polonusbrno.org
  • Southern Slavs Friends Society (Společnost přátel jižních Slovanů), Mikulovská 211, 691 44 Lednice, info@spjs.cz, www.spjs.cz
  • Union of Hungarians Living in the Czech Lands (Cseh-és Morvaorsyági Magyarok Szövetsége) (Svaz Maďarů žijících v českých zemích), Radnická 8, 602 00 Brno, +420 602 471 167, info@mkic.cz, www.mkic.cz

Eating & Drinking

The main types of place where you can get a meal and/or a drink are as follows (The Czech name for the type is often, though not necessarily, found in signs advertising the individual places): Restaurants (“restaurace”) offer a full range of food and a good selection of beers and wines. Pubs (“hospoda” or “hostinec”) have a similar range, though probably a smaller selection of food, beers and wines, and cheaper prices. Beer halls (“pivnice”) usually have a more limited menu, comprised of mostly “typical” Czech meals, sometimes they may not serve any meals at all; usually they serve no wine either (or only the cheapest kind) but the draft beer is mostly very cheap here. Winebars (“vinárna”) and wine cellars (“vinný sklep”) will have a good menu, and an excellent selection of (mostly South Moravian) wines. Beer (usually available) will probably be bottled rather than served on tap. Buffets (“bufet”) offer a reasonable range of meals; as they are (mostly) stand-up places, prices are very low – a Czech version of fast-food of sorts, but usually not in the most appealing environments. Cafés (“kavárna”) are quite varied; in Brno there has been recently an upsurge in the number of cafés and the choice is reasonably good, although you can usually find one or two cafés in most district towns too. The larger ones have a good menu but most offer only snacks – and, of course, their speciality: a selection of cakes, ice-cream sundaes and sweet things in general. Bars (“bistro”) only provide snacks and drinks and should be used as a last resort only. Discos (“disco”, though the word is not very common in the names of places) usually offer nothing but drinks and loud music.

Tipping, in the normal sense of the word, is not done. Instead bills are “rounded up” by the customer. For example, if the bill for the meal comes to, say, 84.50 Kč, you might leave 85 or 90 Kč. The normally expected rounding by Czech standards is between 5 to 10 % of the price. Not leaving any tip at all is not regarded as impolite, but will most probably be interpreted as dissatisfaction with the service.

Restaurants

Based on the recommendations of foreigners living in Brno and South Moravia we recommend the following places.

Restaurants in Brno

  • BORGO Agnese, Kopečná 43, 602 00 Brno, +420 515 537 500, www.borgoagnese.cz
  • Butcher’s Brno, Dobrovského 29, 612 00 Brno, +420 541 240 685, www.mexicana.cz
  • Havana restaurant, Masarova 9, 628 00 Brno – Líšeň, +420 775 599 528, www.havana-restaurant.cz
  • Koishi, Sushi and seafood restaurant, Údolní 11, 602 00 Brno, +420 777 564 744, www.koishi.cz
  • Lucullus Restaurant, Hotel International, Husova 16, 602 00 Brno, +420 542 122 111, www.hotelinternational.cz
  • Pivovarská restaurace Brno, Mendlovo nám. 20, 603 00 Brno, +420 543 420 130, www.pivovarskabrno.cz
  • Konfit restaurant & wine, Veveří 125, 616 00 Brno, +420 541 235 035, www.konfitrestaurant.cz
  • Restaurace a pivnice Pegas, Jakubská 4, 602 00 Brno, +420 542 210 104, www.hotelpegas.cz
  • Restaurant Don Miguel’s, Palackého třída 35/620, Brno-Královo Pole, +420 541 248 967, www.donmiguels.cz
  • Pavillon Restaurant, Jezuitská 6, 602 00 Brno, +420 541 213 497, www.restaurant-pavillon.cz
  • Satyam Restaurant, Křížkovského 33, Brno, +420 775 265 292, www.satyam.cz
  • Skanzeen, Slovakia-Wallachian restaurant, Pekařská 80, Brno, +420 543 244 962, www.skanzeen.cz
  • Sabaidy, Thai-Laotian restaurant, třída Kapitána Jaroše 29, 602 00 Brno, +420 545 428 310, www.sabaidy.cz

Restaurants elsewhere in South Moravia

  • Park Restaurant Břeclav, Sady 28. října 16, 690 02 Břeclav, +420 519 322 511, www.park-restaurant.cz
  • Penzion Červený Mlýn, Červený mlýn 170, 666 01 Tišnov, +420 739 569 771, www.cervenymlyntisnov.cz
  • Restaurant Albero, nám. Svobody 12, 691 42 Valtice, +420 519 352 615, www.alberovaltice.cz

The Candy Store, Bayerova 8, 602 00 Brno, www.candy-store.cz. Homesick natives of the British Isles may be pleased to know that there is a company that supplies English-style bacon and sausages to most places in the Czech Republic.

Beer & Wine

You’re certainly already aware of the famous quality of Czech beer, and you will see no shortage of pubs. The list of beer places would be endless if we really wanted to present an exhaustive summary, but here are some of the more interesting ones.

  • Pegas, Jakubská 4, 602 00 Brno, +420 542 210 104, www.hotelpegas.cz
  • Plzeňský dvůr, Šumavská 29a, 602 00 Brno, +420 541 212 120, www.plzenskydvur.cz
  • Pivovarská Brno, Mendlovo nám. 20, Brno, +420 543 420 130, www.pivovarskabrno.cz
  • U Bláhovky, Gorkého 54, 602 00 Brno, +420 543 233 310
  • U Čápa, Obilní trh 10, 602 00 Brno, +420 541 210 189, www.pivnice-ucapa.cz
  • Zelená Kočka, Kounicova 83, 602 00 Brno, +420 775 566 570, www.zelenakocka.cz
  • U Třech čertů, Starobrněnská 7, 602 00 Brno, +420 542 211 056, www.ucertu.cz

But, don’t forget wine! Moravia is so proud of its wines that it keeps them all for itself. Again, there are numerous places where you can buy good wine, and that number is growing in most good restaurants. But the best experience is to go and sample some wines right at on location where the wine is made – in the wine cellars of South Moravia. If based in Brno, you can try one of the following:

  • Petit Cru, Údolní 11, 602 00 Brno, +420 774 497 787, www.petit-cru.cz
  • Vinárna U královny Elišky, Mendlovo nám. 1b, 603 00 Brno, +420 543 212 578, www.ukralovnyelisky.cz
  • Moravská vinotéka, Mojmírovo náměstí 26, 612 00 Brno, +420 549 212 680, www.moravska-vinoteka.cz

Cafés

You don’t need a history book to realise that Brno was a bastion of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The café, that great symbol of imperialist extravagant leisure, has made a dramatic comeback in Brno since 1989, and we recommend the places where you will find the best coffee, the best people and the most relaxing atmospheres.

  • Academia, nám. Svobody 13, 602 00 Brno, +420 221 403 879, www.academia.cz/knihkupectvi
    On the first floor of a large bookshop. Good if you want a coffee and to check out the latest books in English / German / French.
  • Café Mitte, Panská 11, 602 00 Brno, +420 734 622 340, www.cafemitte.com
  • Coffee Fusion, Jánská 25, 602 00 Brno, +420 604 382 032
  • Café Práh, Ve Vaňkovce 1, 602 00 Brno, +420 539 051 130, www.cafeprah.cz. Training café staffed by slightly mentally handicapped people.
  • V Melounovém cukru, Františkánská 17, 602 00 Brno, +420 774 422 478
  • Café Tungsram, Kapucínské nám. 7, 602 00 Brno, +420 603 444 754

Hotels

These are the hotels that have been recommended by resident foreigners and business people during surveys in recent years.

Hotels in Brno

  • Barceló Brno Palace, Šilingrovo nám. 2, 602 00 Brno, +420 532 156 777, brnopalace@barcelo.com, www.barcelo.com
  • Grandhotel Brno, Benešova 18–20, 657 83 Brno, +420 542 518 136, www.grandhotelbrno.cz
  • Holiday Inn, Křížkovského 20, 603 00 Brno, +420 543 122 111, www.hibrno.cz. Business hotel right by the Exhibition Grounds (BVV).
  • Hotel International, Husova 16, 659 21 Brno, +420 542 122 111, www.hotelinternational.cz
  • Hotel Slavia, Solniční 17, 602 00 Brno, +420 542 321 249, www.slaviabrno.cz
  • Hotel Voroněž, Křížkovského 47, 603 73 Brno, +420 543 141 111, www.voronez.cz. Convenient location for Exhibition Grounds (BVV).

Hotels elswhere in South Moravia

  • Hotel Hranični zameček, K Zámečku 16, Hlohovec u Břeclavi, 691 43, +420 519 354 354, www.hranicnizamecek.cz
  • Hotel Pavlov, Klentnická ulice 174, 692 01 Pavlov u Mikulova, +420 519 324 246, www.hotelpavlov.cz
  • Penzion Červený Mlýn, Červený mlýn 170, 666 01 Tišnov, +420 739 569 771, www.cervenymlyntisnov.cz

Nightlife

Looking at the streets of the centre of Brno any night of the week, one would wonder how the city ever sleeps… and the answer is – it doesn’t! Moreover there are so many bars, clubs, discos, etc., and of such mixed styles that we dare not even begin to name any. Suffice it to say that once you have had a meal and some drinks in any of the places listed for food above, you’ll experience no shortage of friendly neighbours to recommend you someplace suitable

Sports

Unlike other countries, it does not require VIP-priced membership in elite clubs to gain access to the best facilities. Everything from golf to tennis, squash, skiing, swimming, fitness and much, much more is available on a “pay-as-you-play” basis in many locations. More individual sports like cycling or water sports (canoeing, rowing, etc.) are also widely popular, though one’s own equipment is a must. Rugby, soccer, baseball – just about everything is enthusiastically played here. However, these all take second place over the winter months to the fanatical passion for ice hockey and over the spring and autumn to the football – make sure you get yourself taken to a game.

Squash

  • Sportovní hala Rosnička, Horákova 7, 616 00 Brno, +420 549 240 047
  • Sportcentrum Ivanovice, Černohorská 22, 621 00 Brno, +420 730 899 399, www.sportcentrum-ivanovice.cz

Badminton

  • Badmintonový klub RSC Brno, Dědická 33, 627 00 Brno, www.bcrsc.cz
  • Sportcentrum Ivanovice, Černohorská 22, 621 00 Brno, +420 730 899 399, www.sportcentrum-ivanovice.cz

Tennis

  • Boby Centrum (indoor and outdoor)
  • Lužánky Park (beautiful in summer)

Baseball

  • Draci Baseball Club Brno, Městský baseballový stadion, Sokolova 2h, 619 00 Brno, www.draci.cz
  • Technika Brno, Rybkova 31, 602 00 Brno, www.technikabrno.cz

Fitness

  • Boby Centrum, Sportovní 2a, 602 00 Brno +420 853 386, www.fitnessboby.cz
  • Fitness Blue Gym, Kotlářská 51a, 602 00 Brno, +420 541 213 450, www.bluegym.cz
  • Zone For You, Třída Generála Píky 2026/11, 613 00 Brno-Černá Pole, +420 548 221 010, www.zone4you.cz
  • Stabil studio, 739 359 688, info@stabilstudio.cz, www.stabilstudio.cz. Dance, yoga, pilates…

Swimming

  • Kraví hora swimming pool, Brno-Masarykova čtvrť
  • Lužánky Olympic Pool, Sportovní 486/4, Brno (beside Boby Centrum)
  • Lesná swimming pool, Halasovo náměstí 826/7, Brno-Lesná
  • Riviéra, Brno-Pisárky 322/7 (next to the Exhibition centre)

Golf

  • Golf Club Austerliz, Na golfovém hřišti 1510,684 01 Slavkov u Brna, +420 544 221 963, www.gca.cz
  • Golf resort Kaskáda, Na Golfu 1772, 664 34 Kuřim, +420 541 511 711, www.golfbrno.cz

Bowling

  • Planet Bowling, Olympia Centre, U Dálnice 777, 664 42 Modřice, +420 515 534 055, www.olympia-centrum.cz/cz/bowling
  • Sport Balkán, Jugoslávská 5, 613 00 Brno, +420 724 744 134, www.sportbalkan.cz

Roller skating

There is a nice cycling and roller skating path stretching along the Svratka river, starting at the junction of Vídeňská and Poříčí street (or can be easily found just behind IKEA in the Avion Shopping Park).

Petanque

  • Carreau Brno, Riegerova 4, 612 00 Brno, www.carreau.cz
  • Park Lužánky (at Lidická street, Brno)

Sailing

  • TJ Lodní sporty Brno, Rakovecká 30, 635 00 Brno, www.lodnisportybrno.cz

Reading, Press, etc.

One major complaint amongst resident foreigners is literary starvation. Many bookstores do have a section with fiction in English, German or some other languages, and most libraries have a rich supply. For foreign newspapers and magazines, we recommend to try newsstands Valmont.

Bookstores

  • Academia, nám. Svobody 13, 602 00 Brno, +420 221 403 879, www.academia.cz/knihkupectvi
  • Barvič a Novotný, Masarykova 409/26, 602 00 Brno, +420 542 218 014, www.barvic-novotny.cz
  • Knihy Dobrovský, Joštova 6, 602 00 Brno, +420 725 941 121, www.knihydobrovsky.cz

Second-hand bookstores

In all of second-hand bookstores you will find books in German, English, or perhaps even in some other languages. Sometimes you can find old prints and maps – if you are lucky, for a very good price.

  • AB Antikvariát – Petr Bouda, 602 00 Brno, Kounicova 272/15, +420 549 250 814, www.abantikvariat.cz
  • Antikvariát u Jakubské věže, Rašínova 98/1, 602 00 Brno,+420 542 212 393, www.antikvariat-sobotkova.cz
  • Antikvariát ALFA – Libor Chloupek, Veselá 238/39, 602 00 Brno, +420 542 211 947, www.antikalfa.cz

Libraries

You can find quite a rich supply of foreign literature in most major libraries. These are the most important ones in Brno:

  • Knihovna Jiřího Mahena – KJM (reading, sections with books in foreign languages) – Kobližná 4, +420 542 532 163, www.kjm.cz
  • Moravská zemská knihovna – MZK (academic with books in most European languages; has specialized sections) Kounicova 65a,
    +420 541 646 201, www.mzk.cz

Religious Communities

In South Moravia, the proportion of believers is higher than the national average. The Czechs as a nation seem to be one of the most “atheistic” in Europe. Among believers, the largest group is the Roman Catholics, followed by considerably smaller numbers of Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Jews and members of other faiths. There is a wide range of denominations and faiths represented in Brno, though in most cases their language of worship will be Czech. We list here only select a few churches that offer services in foreign languages.

Roman Catholic

Roman Catholic Church, Brno Deanery, Petrov 269/8; +420 533 033 111, brno@biskupstvi.cz

Tab. 19: Sunday masses in Brno

Church

Time

Regular services – Sunday

Kostel sv. Vavřince, Brno-Komín

7:00 a.m.

All year, every week, 1st Sunday in month Latin

Jezuitský kostel Nanebevzetí Panny Marie

12:15 p.m.

All year, every week, English

Katedrála sv. Petra a Pavla

7:30 a.m.

All year, every week, Latin holy mass

Kostel sv. Janů

6:00 p.m.

All year, every 2nd Sunday in month, Polish

Kostel sv. Maří Magdalény

10:15 a.m.

All year, every week, Greek Catholic liturgy, Slovak

Kostel sv. Tomáše

7:45 a.m.

All year, every week, Latin

Protestant

Many Protestant denominations are active in Brno, among them the Czechoslovak Hussite Church, Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, Church of the Brethren, etc. Perhaps the best-known Protestant church building is the historic “Red Church” on Komenský Square, which belongs to the Evangelical Czech Brethren Church. It holds regular services on Sundays at 10:00 a.m.

Regarding low interest in services in foreign language it is suitable to contact directly:

  • the Czechoslovak Hussite Church, Joštova 7, 602 00 Brno, +420 542 213 866, www.ccshbrno.cz/kontakty/prehled-bohosluzeb or
  • the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren, Opletalova 6, 602 00 Brno, +420 542 211 453, sekretariat@e-cirkev.cz

Orthodox

Russian Orthodox Church, Úvoz 62, 602 00 Brno, +420 542 214 030, pravoslavbrno@volny.cz

The single Orthodox church in Brno is situated near Gorazdova street, on the slope of Špilberk castle. Services are held on Sundays at 7:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and at 7:00 p.m. and some other days. Further information can be obtained from the Orthodox Church community office at Úvoz 62 and at www.pravoslavbrno.cz (in Czech, Russian, Greek and Ukrainian).

Buddhism

The Brno Centre of the Diamond way, Trtílkova 18, 612 00 Brno, brno@bdc.cz, http://brno.bdc.cz

Joint meditation for the public takes place every day at 8:00 p.m. apart from Fridays and Saturdays. On Tuesdays meditation starts at 7:00 p.m. On Thursdays meditation is in English provided there are English-speaking visitors. For newcomers every second Monday there is an introductory lecture on Buddhism.

  • Regional Development Agency of South Moravia
    Královopolská 139
    612 00 Brno
    Czech Republic
    www.rrajm.cz

    Pavel Beránek
    +420 541 212 125
    pavel.beranek@rrajm.cz