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We found one more reason for you to travel to the Czech Republic and it has nothing to do with Prague. Olomouc is one of the best-kept secret places in the country, unknown by international travelers and free of mass tourism. Here are 12 awesome things to do in Olomouc, places to visit, delicious food to try and of course good Czech beer, to convince you to pack your bags and go. Keep reading and you’ll find a complete travel guide to Olomouc, where to stay, what to do and where to eat.
Olomouc is located in Central Moravia, a two hours train ride from Prague and there is so much history, beauty and things to do in Olomouc that you will be amazed. Our love story with the Czech Republic started many years ago when we visited Prague for the first time. But it was only this year that we truly explored the country and went beyond the tourist attractions to find hidden gems, local experiences, traditional food and meet awesome people.
The Czech Republic is a small country [tiny if compared to the size of our country, Brazil] and in two trips there we managed to see a lot. Olomouc was the first city we visited during our 3rd trip to the Czech Republic, which was a 7 days itinerary in Olomouc, Jeseníky and Ostrava. Our previous trip was a bit longer, 14 days visiting Brno, Liberec, Bohemia Switzerland National Park, Český Krumlov and Prague. [click on the name of the cities to read our guides]
Why should you visit Olomouc now? The answer is simple: it’s a historical city with Unesco Heritage sites, stunning Baroque architecture, cheese tradition, castles and it’s still not as popular as Prague and Cesky Krumlov. Our best advice is travel to Olomouc before the crowds get there, it will happen soon!
The best places to stay in Olomouc
By following the trend and getting ready for all the tourists that will come, the hotels in Olomouc are getting better and offering more than a comfy stay. You can find both types of accommodation in Olomouc, the traditional bed and breakfasts [penzion as they call it in Czech] and the international chain hotels. But such a unique city deserves a unique place to stay.
Miss Sophie’s Hotel is in the heart of Olomouc located in an antique building. You might walk by thinking it’s only a charming café [as I did], but hiding behind that door is one of the cutest and well decorated rooms I have ever slept in.
Miss Sophie’s Boutique Hotel Olomouc has a perfect location, lovely design, a delicious breakfast and a café packed with sweet temptations. What else do you need? It’s a small hotel so book your room at Miss Sophie’s in advance. We strongly recommend their rooms in Olomouc and in Prague [Miss Sophie’s Hotel & Hostel in Prague is awesome, we’ve stayed there as well!]
If you love hostels, Olomouc has a special option for you, Long Story Short is the place to stay and share with other friendly travelers. They offer well designed private and shared rooms, it’s close to the main attractions and to a delicious restaurant in Olomouc.
If you are not convinced that these are the best places to stay in Olomouc, you can check other hotels and hostels at Booking.com, Hotels.com or Agoda. I’m sure you will find the perfect hotel in Olomouc that will match your traveling style and budget.
Awesome Things to do in Olomouc
Among so much history and impressive buildings you will find a lively bar scene, modern arts and tons of events happening all year long in Olomouc. Before going out and about there, visit the Tourism Office that is located at the Town Hall.
At the Information Center you can get all the maps, check out the tours, book a tour guide, book a driver to visit the attractions outside Olomouc and check the events happening in town. You can also buy the Olomouc Card there, a city card that gives you free access to public transportation and free entrance to 80 attractions in Olomouc and around. Most of the places and things to do in Olomouc that we recommend here are included in the Olomouc Card. Choose between the 42 hours or the 5 days card and have fun!
So, let’s go to our list of things to do in Olomouc that makes this city one of the best travel destinations in the Czech Republic.
Discover the Baroque Olomouc
Olomouc old town is magical. Everywhere you look at you see beautiful buildings, churches, huge fountains and impressive columns. Olomouc is opulent! Many people dare to say that it’s a mini Prague, we can’t compare the two cities, but both are definitely worth visiting.
We went on a half day walking tour in Olomouc town, a great way to see and understand why the city is so beautiful and preserved. Our first stop was at the famous Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc Upper Square, a Unesco Heritage site and the most important attraction in the city. It’s impressive during the day and even more majestic at night.
There are 7 fountains around Olomouc, 6 Baroque style ones and a modern one, we visited all of them while walking around. Between a fountain and another we stopped by some of the most famous churches in Olomouc, our favorite ones are St. Michael’s Church, Church of the Virgin Mary of Snow and Church of St. Maurice. Olomouc is the religious capital of Moravia and that’s why the city has so many churches and religious sites.
Olomouc Town Hall and the Astronomical Clock
The Olomouc Town Hall is a symbol of the city, for more than six centuries it decorates the Upper Square just beside the Holy Trinity Column. The Town Hall is impressive from the outside and the inside.
My advice is to end your visit at the Town Hall a few minutes before midday. At 12pm the Astronomical Clock goes off and I’m sure you don’t want to miss the action. It’s a unique clock, completely different from the famous one in Prague. Olomouc Astronomical Clock dates back to the 50’s with a socialist realism design. The Communist Astronomical Clock is definitely one of the most unique things to see in Olomouc.
St. Wenceslas Square, Olomouc Castle & the Archdiocesan Museum of Olomouc
In a quiet corner of the city you find the St. Wenceslas Cathedral with its three impressive Neo-Gothic towers. It’s the second tallest church in the Czech Republic and as the other churches in Olomouc it is free to get in, so take your time and appreciate the beautiful architecture.
In the same square you will find the entrance to the Archdiocesan Museum of Olomouc, a place where the religious history of the country is preserved through statues, paintings and in the building architecture. Stroll around the garden and get lost among many corridors. The whole area used to be the Olomouc Castle, that after wars and reconstructions became a cultural and religious center.
The best view of the Olomouc Castle is from the outside. The back of the castle is surrounded by a park, go for a nice walk and admire the building.
Parks and gardens in Olomouc
Olomouc old town is surrounded by green areas. There are many parks in Olomouc, rose gardens, botanical gardens and even a science museum in the middle of the green scenery. Walking around them is a pleasant way to explore the city and see the baroque Olomouc from a different perspective. The parks are also the address of many events and student gatherings. Don’t be surprised if in the middle of your walk you find a band performing or a picnic going on.
Olomouc cheese that will trick your tastebuds
I will not talk about food right now, the restaurants and cafés in Olomouc deserve their own chapter. But while following our list of things to do in Olomouc you must stop at Tvarůžková Cukràrna, a hidden café that serves the Olomouc’s speciality: Olomoucké tvarůžky, the city’s traditional cheese.
This is not your day-to-day café, you will find cheese candies, cakes and pastries that look like desserts but they are all savory. A trick to your mind and taste buds!! If you like strong cheese, go for it, the best pairing would be a traditional Czech beer.
Time for local beer
Talking about beer, visiting local breweries is a must do in Olomouc. In the heart of the city you can find several cozy bars and restaurants serving the local breweries’ specialties. We visited two local breweries, Pivovar Riegrovka was the first one, it’s a mix of a brewery, a steakhouse and a restaurant. The beer is superb and they have different types on different days, so you will never get bored. The food was good too, we had some pizza, a tasty hamburger and some fresh salad with local cheese [my favorite].
Our second beer tasting was at Moritz Tavern Brewery, a very local restaurant with a traditional menu and unfiltered beer. They have a nice garden in front of the restaurant that is perfect for the sunny days. It’s a great place, to go for beers, but for lunch or dinner it was bit complicated, as they don’t have a menu in English, our Czech is awful and the staff couldn’t help us either… so we ended up having a bowl of soup and fries.
If you are not a beer person, don’t worry! The Moravian region is also famous for wine and most of the bars and restaurants in Olomouc serve the best ones. If you want to learn about Czech wine head to South Moravia, Valtice is the city to visit for wine tasting and it’s only 2 hours from Olomouc. There is more about wines on our guide to things to do in Brno and around.
Olomouc Modern Art Museum
The Olomouc Museum of Modern Art is in an Art Nouveau building, just beside Miss Sophie’s Hotel. Inside you will find collections from the 20th and 21st centuries and temporary exhibitions from Czech artists.
Exploring Hradisko Monastery
Now that you have visited the main attractions in Olomouc old town it’s time to explore the city surroundings. One of the unique things to do in Olomouc is to visit the Hradisko Monastery, a historical building turned into a public hospital, one of the most beautiful hospitals I have ever visited. The Hradisko Monastery is huge, you can visit the ceremonial hall, the gardens, go up the tower and also visit an interesting museum in the back of the building.
If you suffer from hospital phobia, don’t panic. While walking around the monastery/hospital you won’t see any medical stuff. It feels like you are visiting a palace more than anything else. Usually, the tourists don’t have access to the doctors’ offices and patients rooms, but we visited the Monastery on the 9th of September when the Czech Republic was celebrating the European Heritage Day and all the museums, palaces and attractions were fully open to the public. So we had the opportunity to see some of the medical areas of the hospital.
Holy Hill of Olomouc and the Minor Basilica of Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Holly Hill is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Olomouc, it gives you an impressive view of the city. The Minor Basilica is the main attraction, a pilgrimage site that attracts devotees of The Virgin Mary. We went there early in the morning but I believe it is the perfect place to enjoy the sunset.
We visited the Hradisko Monastery and the Holly Hill by car. Our guide from the Olomouc Baroque Walking Tour also arranged our visit to these two attractions out of the city. If you don’t want to book a tour, you can go there by taxi, Uber or cycling. The road to the Holly Hill is stunning and has a bike path. Of course, you will have to cycle uphill, but only at the end of the way.
Top things to do outside Olomouc
We already gave you 9 good reasons to travel to Olomouc, but the list of fascinating things to do in Olomouc is not finished yet. There are 3 more places and experiences that are worth mentioning.
Visit the fairytale Bouzov Castle in Olomouc region
The Bouzov Castle is located 35 km from Olomouc and you will need a car to go there as there is no public transportation connecting the city and the castle. Although it’s not easy to get to the castle, it’s one of the most visited castles in the the Czech Republic and the reason is simple: the Bouzov Castle is stunning! The guided tour was in Czech but we didn’t mind it. They gave us a booklet with information in English and we managed to follow the tour well. We visited gorgeous rooms, fancy dine tables and an opulent Neo-Gothic Chapel that wowed me.
The castle was constructed in a Gothic style in the beginning of the 14th century to be the residence of the Order of Teutonic Knights, later on, it was restored by the Habsburg Family. It’s a castle that has never been ruined, it was always well-kept and restored, giving it an impressive and romantic look.
Museum of Olomouc Cheese
If you are a cheese lover like myself, then you should visit the Museum of the Genuine Olomoucké Tvarůžky at Loštice town. It’s the same cheese that you can taste in the quirk shop in Olomouc town, the difference is that at the museum you can learn about the process of making it and buy some specialties to take home.
Don’t think Olomouc is only about religious and historical sites, adventure travelers can have a blast there. Jeseníky is the mountain bike capital of the Czech Republic and you can go there for a day or two. Jeseníky Mountains are about 2 hours by train from Olomouc. If you book a mountain bike tour they will probably help you get from the train station to the activity center.
On the Jeseníky Mountains you can hike, mountain bike through exhilarating trails, e-mountain bike to the top of the mountains and even horseback ride. As we love a good adventure we went to Jeseníky Mountains for two days and one night and we managed to get some mud on our shoes and adrenaline pumping through our veins. This region is untouched, despite having a great infrastructure for adventure activities, you won’t find many international travelers there. That makes the trip to Jeseníky even more interesting.
If you follow our suggestions of things to do in of Olomouc and want to visit the Jeseníky Mountains as well, check out our guide to Jeseníky:
Where to eat in Olomouc
This super guide wouldn’t be complete without a section about the best cafés and restaurants in Olomouc. We stayed there for only 3 days, so we didn’t have time to try all the cuisines and different restaurants but we did our best to visit the best ones.
– Entrée Restaurant: a dining experience not to be missed. It’s one of the best restaurants in the Czech Republic serving high-end Czech gastronomy with flawless presentation in a well designed place. Don’t forget to book your table in advance and if you feel overwhelmed by so many options on their menu, try the “tasting menu”.
– Café New One: they say their egg benedicts are awesome, shame on us, we didn’t try it. But the whole breakfast, cakes and dinner menu looks delicious. It’s a super stylish restaurant with a lively crowd, especially on weekends. Side note: they have a great cocktail menu.
– Podkova Restaurant: local food, affordable prices and a beautiful garden. Go to Podkova for lunch or dinner and you can try local recipes and beers. We had lunch there and no words to describe how delicious the traditional fried cheese was. So simple yet so delicious.
– U Mořice Restaurant: I was afraid it would be too touristic as it sits on one of the streets leading to the Town Hall. But again, nothing in Olomouc is touristy and we had another great dinner. Serving the traditional Pilsner Urquell beer straight from the barrel the restaurant menu offers great salads, pasta and a roasted chicken that was mouthwatering. But don’t eat too much because the dessert is the star of the meal there. We ordered a sweet tortilla with ice cream and fruits and were pretty much served a third course.
– Coffee Cat: for an afternoon treat and an extra dose of cuteness head to this cat café. The café is in a hidden corner of Olomouc, follow Google Maps as it’s only a few minutes walk from the Town Hall. The cakes and coffees are delicious, but what caught my attention was the matcha latte, a drink I was addicted to when traveling in Asia and that was hard to find in Central Europe. Coffee Cat was my happy place: adorable fluffy cats, matcha lattes and fast wifi.
How to get to Olomouc
Are you inspired to travel to Olomouc? So it’s time to book your tickets and visit this hidden gem in the Czech Republic. Traveling to Olomouc is easy, the city is well connected by buses, trains and flights.
If you are flying from another European destination or the Middle East you might land at Brno airport or Ostrava airport, both of them are close to Olomouc [70km and 80km respectively]. Intercontinental flights are most likely to arrive at Prague airport. Use Skyscanner or Kiwi.com to search for the best flight to the Czech Republic.
The most comfortable way to travel from Brno to Olomouc, Ostrava to Olomouc or Prague to Olomouc is by train. The Czech Train Company is affordable, they offer 1st and 2nd classes seats and great food on board. Both our trips to the Czech Republic were by train, easy and comfy. The company RegioJet also offers trains from/to Olomouc.
The train from Prague to Olomouc takes about 2 hours and the price will vary according to the seat and time you choose, and also how long in advance you book it. The train from Brno to Olomouc takes 1:30h and from Ostrava to Olomouc only 1 hour. If you are traveling by train in the Czech Republic and around Europe a good option might be the Eurail Pass. We have traveled around Europe with the Eurail Global Pass twice and it was an easy way to visit different countries and cities with only one ticket. Read our comprehensive guide about how to travel with Eurail Pass before booking your train ticket.
Renting a car is also a good option, specially if you have time to drive and stop at the beautiful places you will find along the way. Here you can have an idea of how much it would cost to rent a car in the Czech Republic. It doesn’t matter your means of transportation, it’s easy to get around the Czech Republic
Looking for more travel tips? Read our posts and plan an unforgettable trip to the Czech Republic!
Travel guides to the best cities and regions in the Czech Republic:
- Unique Things to do in Brno, Castles and Wine in South Moravia
- Visit Liberec, a snow paradise
- Discover Bohemian Switzerland National Park
- What to do in Český Krumlov, a fairytale town
- Things to do in Prague, from tourist attractions to hidden gems
Have fun in the Czech Republic and don’t forget to follow our tips on the top things to do in Olomouc and around.
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PS: our trip in the Czech Republic was organized in partnership with the Czech Tourism Board. But as usual, you always get our honest opinion and travel tips.