I love vacationing at the beach; listening to the waves crash against the shore and sand in between my toes while drinking a fruity cocktail is a dream come true for me but after visiting Olomouc, Czech Republic I have a new found love of the city life.
Olomouc is a completely unknown little town about 2 hours from Prague. I don’t think the people of Olomouc really understand what they have and how they wake up to one of the most beautiful and majestic cities I’ve ever seen. Olomouc has been labeled as the most beautiful city the Czech Republic and the number one hidden gem of Europe by Lonely Planet.
Olomouc is after Prague the largest urban conservation area in the Czech Republic, and features among others a UNESCO World Heritage site the Holy Trinity Column.
Falling In Love with Olomouc, Czech Republic
The beautiful architecture, quaint cafes, and the slow vibe of the small town because it has not yet been discovered by tourists made feel as if I had hit the lottery. I found myself walking down side streets taking photos of the stunning buildings, I stopped a cafe to read a book and I caught up on writing while sipping on Mimosas and just enjoying hanging out with myself.
I had fallen in love with the small town of Olomouc from the food, history, architecture to the lovely people that made me feel right at home. I felt like I had finally met my soul mate.
Olomouc offers the perfect combination of relaxation and entertainment.
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As I sit here writing this I can feel the sun hitting my face as I sat in the cafe drinking a mimosa and how at peace I felt at that exact moment.
Olomouc, Czech Republic is just the opposite of the overcrowded Prague but it still has beautiful architecture, cathedrals, historic buildings and a plethora of history that will leave you wanting more.
Where is the city of Olomouc, Czech Republic?
Located on the Moravia River, Olomouc is one of the largest cities in the Czech Republic. After Prague, Olomouc has the second largest and the second oldest historic preservation zone in the Czech Republic including the Holy Trinity Column, which was erected in the early 18th century and was added as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Olomouc is one of the most charming and beautiful cities I’ve ever explored. The city is lined with cobblestoned streets, majestic cathedrals, and grand palaces that will leave you in awe and wonder.
How to get to Olomouc from Prague
Olomouc is the perfect alternative to trendy, overcrowded Prague and its only two hours away from Prague by express train which is 156 miles east of Prague.
You have two options if you are driving to Olomouc which is to take the D1 freeway down to Brno and then continue up again to Olomouc.
The second option is the northern route, via the E442 from Hradec Králové. The roads are narrower and you need to allow extra time for passing through towns, but if you are going to drive and you are not in a hurry this route is stunning with picturesque views of the countryside that is great for a photo op. There are also some interesting places to stop along the way including Kutná Hora, Hradec Králové, Litomyšl, and Polička.
Olomouc is on the main international train line from Prague to Poland and Slovakia. The fastest trains (SC Pendolino) make the trip in 2 hours. Prices and departure times are detailed in the online timetables.
Buses from Prague to Olomouc follow the freeway all the way down to Brno before coming back up again to Olomouc. The fastest buses take around 3 hours 45 minutes. I wouldn’t suggest taking the bus but that’s just me.
What to do and see in Olomouc, Czech Republic
Astronomical Clock (Orloj)
There are only two astronomical clocks in the Czech Republic and one of them calls Olomouc home. It is a larger than life clock with all of these dials and colors. I wasn’t sure what to make of the clock but after talking with a few of the townspeople I came to the conclusion Some people love it, some hate it and most think it’s quirky.
The clock is part of the town hall building on Horní náměstí (Upper Square). As in any proper astrological clock, there’s a wheel marked with the names of 365 saints (one for every day of the year), so you’ll always know whose special day it is.
This clock comes with a Moscow-inspired bonus — small red bands splice in the birthdays of Communist leaders, too, such as Lenin, Stalin, and St. Toman.
Olomouc Baroque Festival
Olomouc Baroque Festival is regularly the most anticipated cultural event in Olomouc during the summertime. You will enjoy excerpts from Baroque opera, rich costumes, and an impressive stage.
On Sunday, the last performance of the year will take place at W. A. Mozarts opera Apollo set Hyacinthus.
The museum has been awarded, as the only site in the Czech Republic, the prestigious European Heritage Label. The permanent exhibition of the museum introduces its visitors to the spiritual culture of the Olomouc Archdiocese, including liturgical objects and garments, artistic craftsmanship oriental carvings, and artworks from ivory, porcelain, and ceramics.
Churches and St. Wenceslas Cathedral
The streets of Olomouc are lined with beautiful churches which is a testament to the city’s long history as a bastion of the Catholic church. As Moravia’s capital until the 17th century, the most important religious buildings of the land were built in Olomouc.
The monumental cathedral from the 12th century is the most renowned Olomouc church. An originally Romanesque building, it has been completely remade in Gothic style.
The cathedral and its immediate environs, which includes a prince’s palace serving today as the Archdiocesan Museum, make up one of the most beautiful sites in Olomouc.
Explore the ancient Olomouc Castle at the must-see Archdiocesan Museum and the 900-year-old St. Wenceslas Cathedral (Dóm Svatého Václava) which dominates the city skyline with the tallest spire in Moravia (second tallest in the country).
Palacký University in Olomouc was established in 1573, which makes it the second oldest university in the Czech Republic. The University offers degrees in law, music, fine arts, languages, education, environmental sciences, philosophy, theology, and medicine. Olomouc is no different than any other college town, as it is lined with cafés and bars, and plenty of cultural activity.
Sculpture in Olomouc
The city of Olomouc has beautiful sculptures sitting in the public square. The Holy Trinity Column on the main square (Horní náměstí) and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Holy Trinity Column is a sight to behold!
Olomouc has six Baroque fountains that are scattered around its two main squares have been joined by a seventh modern fountain on Horní náměstí (Upper Square), which has become the favorite of both locals and tourist.
Bouzov Castle is one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic, and it has been a favorite place for filmmakers for many years now.
Bouzov belonged to the Teutonic Order, an order of religious knights, and nowadays offers several types of tours exploring various aspects of Bouzov’s history and the castle life in general.
They are considered to be the most beautiful cave complex in the Czech Republic. The imagination of visitors comes alive with a view of the mysterious lower chamber. The cave labyrinth is woven by passages connected to a not yet fully explored chasm, which falls to a depth of 65 yards.
Brewery Albert is a family owned brewery, where beer of top quality is rewed for guests of the brewery. The light lager Albert is produced in two versions. The beer gained its name after the industrialist Albert Klein from nearby Sobotin.
Where to Stay in Olomouc, Czech Republic
I have never stayed at a hostel nor have I ever had the desire to stay at a hostel because I had all of these preconceived notions about hostels being dirty and creepy looking folk laying right beside you. Apparently, Long Story Short Hostel is single-handedly changing the narrative on what it means to stay in a hostel.
Long Story Short Hostels is not your typical hostel and the last thing you will question is your safety and cleanliness because Long Story Short is a luxury hostel with beautiful contemporary designed furnishings that serves fresh food made from local ingredients that and will have you posting every cocktail and meal on Instagram and Facebook.
Long Story Short is not just a hostel but equivalent to a 4 or even 5-star hotel in any European city. The name of the hostel is derived from the rich history of the building as the hostel takes up the entire first floor of an actual fortress from the 17th century, known as Podkova.
The owner Eva Dlabalová is the brainchild behind this mindblowing luxury hostel. Eva created the hostel from scratch and turned the old 17th-century building into contemporary luxury accommodations for modern travelers. The majority furnishings are all custom made from the beds, mirrors, lamps, shelves and even the bathroom fixtures.
There is a total of 56 beds varying from dorm rooms, private rooms, and even a wedding suite. If you decide to stay in dorm room no worries you will have access to top-notch bathrooms while guests staying in the private rooms have their own private bathrooms.
I stayed in one of the private rooms and omg! I am so trying to my return trip!
The arched doorways look different from every perspective with the influx of natural light that comes through the hallways and guest rooms.
The main room of Long Story Short serves as the reception, common room and cafe is all located in what I would call the heartbeat of the hostel.
The hostel has a U-shaped layout which coils around the building’s central courtyard.
The charming cafe serves delicious and healthy meals all day. But at the end of the day, it’s the people that make any place good or bad and in this case, Eva and her staff are amazing and I cannot think of a one thing I would change.
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There are plenty of places to sit, read a book, sip a coffee, or gather with new travelers you meet along the way. Long Story Short also has a prime location near the center of town and there is also a great terrace with a beer tent to hang out on during warm summer nights.
Lastly, Eva (forced me) to try a Czech Delicacy which is known as the smelliest cheese in the Czech Republic! The syrečky cheese — which is aged under hunks of meat and is engrained in the region’s identity that when the European Union tried to forbid the product, the Czech government negotiated for special permission to continue to rot their milk in the time-honored Olomouc tradition.
Eva swears this cheese is so yummy and addictive. While I did taste it, I don’t think I will be on Amazon trying to figure out how to ship it back to the states.
Remember it is reputedly the smelliest in the Czech Republic.
Where To Eat in Olomouc
Entrée Restaurant has been proclaimed the Best Restaurant in 2018 in the Czech Republic thanks to its young and creative chef, Premek Forejt, who has gained experience in a Michelin restaurant L’Autre Pied in London.
The dominant feature of the restaurant is the open kitchen, which follows the tradition of the building which served as a theater. Guests can enjoy not only modern cuisine and original design inspired by nature itself, but also the front seat to the best cooking performances by master chefs.
Entrée the epitome of fine dining and can hold its own to any Michelin Starr restaurant in Europe. The restaurant has stunning interiors, polite and courteous staff and a wine list to die for are just a few reasons why Entree should be on your “to do” list.
The food was inventive, beautiful, and delicious and will surely get you out of your comfort zone! Entrée Restaurant is one the best in the entire Czech Republic and definitely the best one in Olomouc by a mile!
This place is breathtaking and just incredibly perfect!
If you are in the Czech Republic and have a day free, this restaurant and city are worth visiting. You won’t regret it!
The menu is divided into 4 parts – garden, water, land, and sky, and draws mainly on fresh and seasonal ingredients. The garden has purely vegetarian meals, the water is represented by fish and seafood meals, the land offers quality meats and the heavenly desserts.
12 Best Things to Do in Olomouc (Czech Republic):
- Holy Trinity Column, Olomouc:
- St. Wenceslas’ Cathedral, Olomouc:
- Hradisko Monastery, Olomouc:
- Olomouc Town Hall:
- Astronomical Clock, Olomouc:
- Arion Fountain, Olomouc:
- Kroměříž Castle and Gardens:
- View from St. Moritz:
- Helfštýn Castle:
- Svatý Kopeček:
- Archdiocesan Museum:
- Bouzov Castle: