Brno, the capital of Moravia, is the second-largest city in the Czech Republic after Prague and is home to about 400,000 inhabitants.
Photo credits: Barbara Kubíčková (ESR 14) and Monique Schneider
Brno is an important center of higher education in the Czech Republic with six universities which, altogether, have 33 faculties. In addition, the city is a very important center of science, research, and innovations, which is why Brno is a lively city with 89,000 students. Many national and international companies have their (regional) headquarters in the city and attract not only Czechs but also people from all around the globe to live, study and work in Brno which makes the city a multicultural hotspot in Central Europe.
The city and its surroundings astonish locals and tourists alike with architectural, cultural and natural treasures.
Špilberk Castle, built in the 13th century, is located atop a hill in close proximity to the city center and provides one of the best views over Brno. Long before it became the Brno City Museum, the castle was used as a fortification to defend Brno and the Habsburg empire against Swedish raids during the Thirty Year’s War and to jail criminals, revolutionaries, and other dissidents in what was considered to be the harshest prison in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
It was right next to Špilberk, where Gregor Johann Mendel made his groundbreaking discoveries in genetics. Today, the Augustinian Abbey premises, where Mendel used to work, contain a museum dedicated to his life and achievements. And right there, at a place rich in scientific history, the gala dinner will be hosted.
Just a 45 min long stroll from Špilberk through Brno’s beautiful city center will lead you to the Villa Tugendhat – one of Brno’s UNESCO cultural heritages. Designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich in the 1920s, the villa is a pioneering prototype of Europe’s modern architecture and is considered to be an icon of modernism. Besides its architectural significance, Villa Tugendhat is undoubtedly one of the most important historical places in the Czech Republic. In 1992, the political leaders of former Czechoslovakia came together in the villa to sign the document that divided the country into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. Today, visitors queue up to visit this beautiful estate, in which various short-term exhibitions are hosted.
Located to the north of Brno, close to the town of Blansko, the Moravian Karst and nature reserve encompasses notable geological features, including more than 1100 caverns and gorges. This area is one of the most important karst systems in Central Europe. Besides the breathtaking view down the Macocha Abyss, four caves are open to the public and can be explored in guided tours. A tour through the most popular cave system in the Moravian Karst, the Punkva Caves, includes a boat ride on the underground Punkva River and a visit of the bottom of the Macocha Abyss.
Every year, Brno hosts the international fireworks competition „Starobrno Ignis Brunensis“ in which pyrotechnists from the Czech Republic and all around the globe come together to light the night sky accompanied by music. The first and last event are always above Špilberk castle and the events in between are hosted at Brno reservoir. Exact dates have not been made public yet except for the first date (29 May), but this series of events usually starts at the end of May and continues throughout the first half of June every Saturday and Wednesday. Information will be available on the homepage.
For more information about the Moravian Karst visit: http://www.moravskykras.net/en/moravian-karst.html or https://visit.caves.cz/en. You can also download a mobile application containing helpful information and tour guides in different languages that can be downloaded and accessed offline (available for iOS and Android).
Brno can be reached by car from Prague via motorway D1/E50, Bratislava via motorway D2/E65 and Vienna via motorways D2/E65 or D52/E461. Be aware that driving on motorways usually requires you to buy a vignette (for more information follow this link). Parking on the hotel premises (Brno Hotel Continental) is limited and costs CZK 250 per night and vehicle.
Direct international trains from Budapest (Hungary), Bratislava (Slovakia), Vienna (Austria), Berlin (Germany) or Beograd (Serbia) as well as EuroCity/InterCity/Express trains running from Prague stop at the Brno central station (Brno hlavni nadrazi). For more information and to purchase tickets see https://www.cd.cz/en/ or https://www.regiojet.com/. For further directions from Brno main station to the conference venue please see the section “Public Transport from Brno center”.
Various national and international bus lines connect Brno with many other European cities. The most common operators are FlixBus and Student Agency. Direct connections from Vienna Airport and Prague Airport to Brno are available (please see the section “By Plane”).
The easiest transport to Brno is using the Brno, Vienna or Prague international airports (each in about 2-3 hours traveling time from Brno, except Brno International Airport, which is located 20 minutes from the city center.
Brno International Airport
Brno 904/1, Tuřany, Czech Republic, Phone: +420 545 521 310
Non-seasonal scheduled flights connect Brno with London, Berlin, and Milan (all operated by Ryanair). Distance to the city center: 12km/20 minutes. To reach the city center you can take a taxi or the express airport bus E76 (see section “Public Transport from Brno center” for more information), which can be found just outside the entrance of the airport (bus terminates at Brno main station). At the airport, several car rental companies can be found in between the departure and arrival terminals.
RYANAIR: Scheduled flights from and to Brno can be found here.
Vienna International Airport
Einfahrtsstrasse, Schwechat 1300, Republic of Austria, Phone: +43 1 7007 0
Easiest transportation from Vienna airport to Brno is by bus (Student Agency) offering 10 connections daily from Vienna to Brno from 13 EUR one-way. The duration of the travel is approximately 2,5 hours. The second option is by train. You have to change trains at Vienna main station. It takes about 2 hours and tickets are available from 9 EUR (https://www.cd.cz/en/ or https://www.regiojet.com/).
Václav Havel Airport Prague
K Letišti 6/1019, 160 08, Prague 6, Czech Republic, Phone: +420 220 111 888
Easiest transportation from Prague airport is by bus (Student Agency) offering a number of connections to Brno from 8 EUR. The duration of the travel is approximately 2,5 hours. The second option is by train via Prague main station and takes about 3 hours starting from 4 EUR (https://www.cd.cz/en/ or https://www.regiojet.com/).
Ivanská cesta, 820 01 Bratislava, Slovakia, Phone: +421 2 330 333 53
The easiest connection from the airport to the main train station in the city is by public transport bus no. 61. The current adult fare for one way is 0.90€ (2 zones, 30 min; orange vending machines can be found at most bus stops). From the main train station, you can take a train to Brno. Tickets are available for example through the Czech national rail (https://www.cd.cz/en/) or through private companies (e.g. https://www.regiojet.com/). Travel to Brno main station takes approximately 2 h.
Public Transport from Brno center to the conference venue
Public transport in Brno consists of trams, buses, trolley busses and trains that are operated on a regular schedule. You can buy tickets from the orange vending machines which can be found at almost every tram stop and train station. Newer vending machines accept credit cards, while bus drivers may only accept cash. Usually, you will need a 60 min ticket which costs 25 CZK. Buying a ticket from a bus or tram driver is more expensive. After 23:00, night buses are operated, starting from and going to Brno main station hourly.
From Brno airport
Brno airport is connected with the main train station via bus E76 (every 30 min during the day) or N89 (every hour after 10 pm). You will need to buy a 60 min ticket which can be purchased from the vending machines inside the arrival terminal (accept credit cards). The bus stop at the airport is called “Letiště Brno” and is located just outside of the departure terminal. Get off at the bus stop “Hlavní nádraží” (main train station), which is the last stop of bus E76. Continue to the conference venue as described below in the section „From Brno main train station (Hlavní nádraží) or bus terminal Brno Hotel Grand”.
From bus terminal Brno Zvonařka
Travel to Brno main train station (Hlavní nádraží) by Bus 40, 48, 50, 61 or 63 (7-9 min) from bus stop Zvonařka. From Brno main train station continue as described below in the section „From Brno main train station (Hlavní nádraží) or bus terminal Brno Hotel Grand”.
From Brno main train station (Hlavní nádraží) and bus terminal Brno Hotel Grand
From the bus terminal Brno Hotel Grand you can walk to Brno main train station in about 5 min.
There are several tram connections from Brno main train station (Hlavní nádraží) to the conference venue at Hotel Continental (Kounicova 680/6, 602 00 Brno-střed):
Tram 1 (direction Řečkovice): From Hlavní nádraží, get off at Moravské náměstí and from there walk to the hotel (total travel time is about 11 min).
Tram 4 (direction Úvoz) or 9 (direction Čertova rokle): From Hlavní nádraží, get off at Česká and from there walk to the hotel (total travel time is about 12 min).
Tram 12 (direction Technologický park): From Hlavní nádraží, get off at Grohova and from there walk to the hotel (total travel time is about 12 min).
More information on public transport and route planner.
IDOS homepage and mobile application (for iOS and Android) for public transport in Brno as well as national trains and busses (available in English).
IDS JMK Poseidon mobile application route planner for public transport in Brno (Czech only, but it is very easy to use).
DPMB homepage and DPMBinfo mobile application for information, ticket purchase via mobile phone and route planner for public transport in Brno (available in English).
The Rail Planner app offers an offline timetable for all European trains and is available for iOS and Android.
Currency & credit cards
The currency in the Czech Republic is the Koruna Česká (CZK). ATMs can be found almost everywhere in the city (also at the airport) and major credit cards are widely accepted. Exchanging money at currency exchange offices should be avoided as they usually charge extra fees. Currency exchange rate is usually close to 1 EUR ≈ 26 CZK.
The voltage and plug size are identical to most of the European countries 230 V/50 Hz (Type C, E).
Throughout the Czech Republic, there is one set of emergency numbers for use in case of fire, the urgent need for an ambulance, or crime. These are as follows:
112 emergency number
150 fire brigade
156 metropolitan police
Insurance card & ID card or passport
It is obligatory for all people present in the Czech Republic, i.e. citizens and tourists alike. to always carry insurance cards and ID cards/passports. Please carry it at all times, as you might be asked to provide sufficient proof of insurance or your ID by members of the Police or Foreign Police.
Czech is the native language in the Czech Republic, but due to its international character, many people speak English in Brno, especially in hotels, restaurants, tourist information centers, etc.
Under Czech law smoking is not permitted in transport stations, pubs, restaurants, hotel lobbies and all enclosed public buildings.
Value Added Tax (VAT) is charged at 21% on most goods. Cash back is the simplest and most widely used VAT refund service that issues cash refunds on departure for a handling fee. Ask for a cash back form when you make your purchase.
Taxi service from airports – estimated prices (one-way):
- Brno airport <-> Brno city center – 450 CZK
- Vienna airport <-> Brno city center – 3.000 CZK
- Bratislava airport <-> Brno city center – 3.000 CZK
- Prague airport <-> Brno city center – 4.000 CZK
It is highly recommended to order a taxi at least one day in advance.
From March to October, Czech Republic (CET) operates on GMT Greenwich Mean Time + 2 hours.
A small tip of 5-10 % is appreciated (not demanded) for good service.
Summer in Brno is usually sunny and temperatures can vary between 20 °C and 35 °C.