5 Things To Do In Brno If You’re New(Ish) To The City
Photo: Česká Street, credit: Z. Moreau.
New (or kinda new) to Brno? Came for the language but stayed for the customer service? Maybe you’re following love, or just needed a fresh start in a different city? Whatever your reason for coming to this amazing city, here are five important things you should do, ideally in your first month.
1 – Pay your dues
It should go without saying, but being an expat comes with responsibilities that you should know and fulfil, once you have figured out how to sustain yourself of course. What’s that? Not hired yet? Easily fixed, just go to Jobs.cz or attend an English-friendly live career event in Brno – Jobspin Multilingual Job Fair -and you’ll find a suitable job in no time.
So once your financial situation is sorted there are dues you have to pay to your new home country. The best way to find out about everything I needed to do was to approach the Integration Center [“Centrum pro cizince”] – they have language courses, professional counselling, employment counselling, social counselling, and many other great services to make your integration to the Czech system and society a pleasant and painless experience. You can explore for yourself on their website.
2 – Explore the city
On to the more fun parts: explore the city, get lost in it. Don’t be fooled by the apparent small size of the centre, because the city is quite spread out, and you can be surprised, especially when exploring outside the centre. Whenever I am in a new city I like to walk for a whole day, choosing which turn to take at random, but another thing I do is take a free walking tour – a perfect way to get to know the city and its history in a nutshell. In Brno there are “Brno Free Walking Tours” run by Martin, who will give you a great tour with personalized story telling. Check out their website here.
Another great way to start getting to know your way around is using the fantastic “Use it” Map, a cool guide crafted by locals that will help you discover unusual and interesting places of every kind. See for yourself.
3 – Discover the cultural life and find your niche
Whoever said Brno is boring should have their heads checked. This city is vibrant and packed with events every day, many if not most of them English-friendly. The expat community here is not limited to just students, and if you’re willing to get out of your comfort zone and explore you’ll find a world of varied cultural and artistic opportunities that would satisfy the most demanding appetite; from summer outdoor cinema to stand-up comedy (Desperate Comedians organizes workshops and soon English speaking shows in the city, follow them on Facebook), as well as regular expats meetings, dancing and language exchanges and classes, picnics, food festivals, trekking and nature walks, conferences, seminars, paddleboard groups, castle tours, board games, IT meet-ups, volunteering, healthy eating seminars, and meaningful meetings, as well as yoga, photo-hunting and drawing groups, music jams, singing meetings, and much more. So if you look you will find your swing (maybe at the swing dance meetings, which are booming in Brno!) and if you don’t you can create it for yourself!
Follow our own events section to stay informed about what’s going on in Brno here.
Another recommendation would be to join Be Brno, a group with a whatsapp group chat where spontaneous and interesting meetups come up every day: join here.
4 – Dive into the nightlife
I did not expect to find the nightlife I’ve found in the short time I’ve been living here. Brno is like two different cities, and it’s at night when it can start to get really crazy, in a good way. Just go down to Jakubske namesti from around 8pm and you’ll see what I’m talking about. And that’s just the start. I’ll be making a top ten of the some of the coolest bars in Brno, but in the meantime, just explore and enjoy.
It’s important to point out that most bars will close at 2am, with a few exceptions in the centre and elsewhere. For those seeking a midnight feast, there’s always a kebab or other fast food place around, but if it’s not too late you can also try Lokal, right at the heart of the nightlife quarter and ready to serve you decent Czech food at a good price, as well as some international options.
5 – Go beyond
One of the amazing advantages of living in Brno is its geographical location. As a Mexican I always find it a little funny how some people in Europe can complain about distances – my home state, Oaxaca, is about the size of the Czech Republic, and it would take you about six hours to get to the coast, something that I grew up thinking was “not so far”, as we would take weekend trips there quite often. Here you can cross four countries in half that time! So check out Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia only 90 minutes away, and from there go to Vienna, only 60 minutes away. You can stroll both city centres in one day, or in a weekend add a city in Hungary. Take advantage of the train system, be smart and use apps like IDOS, or OMIO, tickets between these national capitals average between CZK 100 and 200 (4-8 Euros). If that’s not a deal I don’t know what is, and if you’re a student you’re in heaven, because there are discounts every step of the way.
Now you know some of the key things to do in Brno, feel free to leave a comment if you agree with my list, if you think I’m missing something, or if you would add anything else!
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. The publishing of this article does not constitute an endorsement of or any other expression of opinion by the management of Brno Daily.