Photo: Olomouc town hall and main square at dusk
Olomouc is my favourite city in the Czech Republic and one of my favourites in Europe overall. It’s located in Moravia, in the eastern part of the country and easily reached by train (3 hours) or bus from Prague. Olomouc is a lively student town with no shortage of cobblestone roads, narrow alleys, historic monuments and churches, atmospheric teahouses for rainy afternoons, and a large variety of pubs to keep you out until all too late – there are 25,000 students among a city population of 100,000, meaning there’s always some place to go. And where else can you go have a drink in an old Soviet TU-104 airplane that sits in a parking lot near the supermarket. The restaurants are tasty and cheap with a good selection to choose from, and there’s no shortage of cafes either. Even a budget traveler can eat like a king with little need to worry about those tourist traps found elsewhere. Olomouc is basically a mini Prague, minus the kitsch and hoards of tourists. The main square even has one of those astronomical clock things on the side of the town hall.
I’m not really sure why Olomouc hasn’t become more of a travel destination than it is, especially for backpackers. For example, there’s only one hostel here (Poet’s Corner – A super cool place and one of my favourite hostels) compared to how many dozens in Prague or even in Cesky Krumlov. Olomouc is pretty much halfway between Krakow and Prague. Though maybe that’s where the problem lies; people just pass by on their way from one hotspot to the next. But maybe that is also good, as it keeps Olomouc a ‘real’ city and not some circus attraction that the other cities have unfortunately become. And for me, it’s a good thing. I look forward to my next visit.
Photo: Holy Trinity column – UNESCO historic monument
Photo: Street tram and cobblestone roads
Photo: View of the main square from the tower at St. Moritz church
Photo: Church towers fill the horizon, view from the tower at St. Moritz church
Photo: Interior of St. Mary of the Snow church
Photo: Enjoying the unique setting of a Soviet TU-104 airplane and bad 80’s dance music.