Why Visit Brno in Winter for One Excellent Day

Visit Brno in winter: views from St. Peter and Paul Cathedral
Brno is the second largest city in Czechia (formerly the Czech Republic) behind Prague. Is Brno worth visiting? Let's consider an even more important question: is Brno worth visiting in winter? We aimed to find out by traveling from Bratislava to Brno for a day and a night. Read on to visit Brno with us and discover all the top things that this city in the Moravia region has to offer even in January, an especially cold time of year. How cold is a Brno winter? Temperatures are typically below freezing and you may indeed see some snow which just adds to the quaint ambiance of the city.

Bratislava to Brno is Super-Convenient

Bratislava Slovakia to Brno Czech Republic takes less than an hour and a half by train. Hop aboard Slovak Rail or RegioJet, a private bus and train service operating in the area. Expect to pay less than 20 EUR each way (based on the exchange rate between CZK and EUR at the time of writing). Getting from Bratislava to Brno and back again is super-convenient and affordable.

Appreciate Brno's Dramatic Skyline

Brno in winter: Brno skyline including St. Peter and Paul Cathedral
The cathedral of St. Peter and Paul dominates the skyline in Brno and adds a dramatic touch to the walled city. The snow-capped buildings add a touch of contrast if you visit Brno in winter.

Parnas Fountain

The old Cabbage Market Square in Brno is anchored by Kašna Parnas (Parnas Fountain). When you visit Brno in winter, you'll have the place practically to yourself; one of the benefits of visiting the Czech Republic in January.
Visit Brno in Winter: Burgerův Dům and Parnas Fountain on the old vegetable market square

Brno Burgerův Dům Tower Courtyard

Peek into the courtyard at the base of Burgerův dům, one of the iconic towers in Brno. If the weather cooperates, you can climb the tower for sweeping views over Brno. Keep your eyes peeled, you may even spot an alligator in the vicinity. of the Old Town Hall. Hint: make sure to look up as you enter the courtyard.

Denis Gardens and the Fortification Wall Circuit

Visit Brno in January: Denis Gardens and the Fortification Wall Circuit
Denis Gardens (Denisovy sady, Opevnění) and the fortification wall circuit is worth visiting in Brno even in winter. Make sure to bring a warm coat, hat, scarf, gloves, and skid-resistant shoes. Look up to see the facade of St. Peter and Paul Cathedral and down for views over Brno city. The gardens may be barren in winter but they still have great atmosphere. Climb the fortification wall circuit to reach Brno's cathedral.

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Looking for inspiration for other places in Europe to visit during the cold season? I highly recommend visiting Zurich in winterPhiladelphia in winter is a great choice for folks who are stateside. Alternatively, if the freezing cold is not your thing, make your way to Lanzarote in January

Climb the Tower at St. Peter and Paul Cathedral for Views Over Brno

St. Peter and Paul cathedral in Brno is totally worth a visit. Definitely climb the winding stairs of the tower for awesome views over the town framed by the windows of the church itself. It cost 40 CZK (about 1.50 EUR at the time of writing) to climb the tower. There is a narrow path that leads past the church bells and connects the two spires.
Visit Brno in winter: St. Peter and Paul Cathedral

Fantastic Coffee at Monogram

Travel in winter often means a focus on indoor activities. When we visited Brno in January, we sought out the best coffee that the city has to offer at Monogram. Settle in at a bright wooden bench for a single-origin filter coffee paired with a rich piece of chocolate cake.

Lunch at Local U Caipla in Brno

For lunch, seek out Czech comfort food at Local U Caipla (a local chain restaurant). We enjoyed yummy sour lentils and sausage washed down with a dark beer.
Where to eat in Brno in winter: Local U Caipla

St. James Church and Ossuary in Brno

Exploring the area around St. James Church in Brno including a stop at the second largest ossuary in Europe was definitely one of the most unusual things to do in Brno. Located underground across from the church, the ossuary can be a little difficult to find. Look for a sturdy brutalist monument and staircase leading down on the corner of Jakubské nám and Rašínova streets. We think the ossuary is worth visiting if you visit Brno in winter but felt it was a little overpriced at 140 CZK (about 5.50 EUR) per person. While the ossuary is the second largest in Europe, it really only takes about 15 minutes to see it.
St. James Church and Ossuary in Brno in winter

The Bullet-Shaped Clock in Freedom Square

Check out the triangular shaped Freedom Square in Brno. Considered a Brno must see, the most prominent feature of this historic square is the bullet-shaped clock. At 11 am each day, marbles are dispensed to passersby. Sadly, we were unable to time our visit to coincide with this tradition but rather visited in the afternoon. The clock sculpture contrasts greatly with the heavily ornamented buildings nearby.
Visit Brno in winter: Bullet-shaped clock on Freedom Square

Czech Craft Beer and Comfort Food in Brno

It's always beer o'clock in Brno! When visiting Brno in winter, seeking out some Brno nightlife, including fantastic craft beer places. We sampled great craft beer including Pivo jako Křemen (a Czech pilsner) and Adamova suchá pinta (a Czech take on an Irish stout) from Brewniverse at Pub u dvou přátel.

Zelena Kocka Pivarium can be quite crowded on a weekend evening so be prepared to get creative with storing your coat and other winter gear while sitting down for a beer and dinner. Caramelized brisket with onion chutney paired well with a hoppy pale ale: Apollo Galaxy by Pivovar Matuška. There is no finer way to spend a Friday evening in Brno in winter than at Zelena Kocka Pivarium.
Visit Brno in Winter: Craft beer at Zelena Kocka Pivarium

Sample Moravian Wines

Did you know that the Czech Republic is also known for wines? Your 1 day in Brno in winter is not complete without sampling Moravian wines. Squeeze into an intimate table at justWINE in Brno and ask for some recommendations. The staff will be happy to oblige and recommend some merlots and pinot noirs which are typical of the South Moravian wine region. Expect to drink light and fruity reds with a lot of character.
Visit Brno in winter: South Moravian wines at justWINE

Go On A Winter Wildlife Safari in Brno

I felt a bit like we were on a winter wildlife safari when we visited Brno in January. Keep your eyes open for sculptures scattered around the city. We spotted wooden alligators and a pack of big cats on the hunt.
Visit Brno in winter: alligator and cheetah

Explore the Labyrinth Under Brno

One of the most fun things to do in Brno is visit the series of extensive labyrinths under the city. Sign up for a guided tour on the old vegetable market square. The exhibits were informative and just a wee bit cheeky. I loved the fake rats placed around to add that extra touch of realism. The Brno labyrinths were used mainly to preserve food and wine but the tour also includes a trip to an alchemist's lab. A guided tour of the Brno labyrinths cost 160 CZK (about 6 EUR at the time of writing).
Visit Brno in winter: Brno's medieval labyrinth

A Cheeky Conclusion To Our Time in Brno

While visiting the Brno Labyrinth, make sure you observe carefully as the tour comes to a close. There is a surprising sculpted set of butt cheeks on one of the arches just before you enter the gift shop. I seem to recall our guide saying that touching the bum cheeks brings good luck? When in Brno...
Bum cheek sculpture at the exit to the Brno Labyrinth

Where to Stay in Brno

How many days should you spend in Brno? I recommend at least 24 hours. As you can see, there is plenty to keep you busy in Brno in winter by day and at night. To get the full experience, it's best to spend the night before returning from Brno to Bratislava. We stayed at Hotel Barceló Brno Palace which was centrally located and meant we could walk everywhere during our visit to Brno. This modern boutique hotel is situated in a historic building with a soaring covered atrium.

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Why Visit Brno in Winter for One Excellent Day
Why Visit Brno in Winter for One Excellent Day
Discover why Brno is worth visiting. Visit Brno in winter. Learn about things to do in Brno Czech Republic (Czechia). Take the train from Bratislava to Brno. Spend one day in Brno in January.
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog
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