Why you HAVE to Visit Olomouc

Why you HAVE to Visit OlomoucWhy you HAVE to Visit Olomouc

Nothing prepared us for the beauty of Olomouc. I read that its Holy Trinity Column was on the UNESCO World Heritage List. I also knew that the town has the 2nd largest square in the Czech Republic (after Prague). But nothing prepared us for all the gorgeous churches (all in a very concentrated area), the multiple squares around town (all adorned with beautiful Baroque fountains), or the general beauty of Olomouc’s buildings. It is a spectacular town.

What makes Olomouc that much incredible is that there are practically no other tourists. We had spent a month in Moravia (the Czech Republic’s easternmost province) and had enjoyed the various towns, the wines, and the relaxed atmosphere that you won’t find in the more popular spots in the Czech Republic. But towns like Brno, Mikulov, and Lednice still had a sprinkling of tourists. Here we were, in late June, and saw less tourists in Olomouc than in any of those other places.

Lots of photos on this post. At the bottom you’ll find some practical information on Olomouc.
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Around the Main Square (officially called the Upper Square, or Horní náměstí)

Holy Trinity Column, Olomouc

Above: the Holy Trinity Column, built starting in 1716 as thanks for ending the 1713-1715 Plague..

Horní náměstí, OlomoucAbove: Town Hall with its bell tower and Astronomical clock.

Horní náměstí, Olomouc, Czech Republic. Why you HAVE to Visit Olomouc

Above: City Plan

Hercules fountain. Horní náměstí, Olomouc

Above: Hercules fountain. There are 6 large Baroque fountains close to the main square, all based on Roman themes (legend claims the city was founded by Julius Caesar)

We stayed at Hotel Pension Hrade while in Olomouc. It was fabulous and within a minute’s walk of the main square. Ask for room #6. It’s a small hotel and fills up fast though. Otherwise have a look at some of the other hotel deals in Olomouc:


Booking.com

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Holy Trinity Column from the Town Hall, Olomouc

Above: views of Holy Trinity Column from the Town Hall.

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Churches

Olomouc is not a big place. You can walk from one end of town to the other in about 20 minutes. So it is amazing that it has so many stupendous churches. Here are a few highlights:

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St. Wenceslas Cathedral interior, Olomouc

Above: St. Wenceslas Cathedral is the most important church in town. It is 1000 years old and has been visited by Pope John Paul II as well as Mother Teresa.

Church of our Lady of the Snows, Olomouc

Above: The beautiful interior of Church of our Lady of the Snows

Chapel of St John Sarkander, Olomouc

Above: the small Chapel of St John SarkanderChurch of Saint Michael, Olomouc, Czech Republic

Above: Church of Saint Michael. Despite ongoing restorations on the interior, this church touched us more than any other. Gorgeous.

Church of Saint Maurice, Olomouc

Church of Saint Maurice views, Olomouc

Above: the Church of Saint Maurice looks plain from the outside but has a beautiful interior plus a bell tower that you can climb for the best views of the town.

There are more churches. But this post would never end if I included more of them here.

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Lower Square (Dolní náměstí)

Very close to the main square (upper square) is Lower Square (Dolní náměstí). It is huge and has fountains, columns and some buildings of importance.

Lower Square (Dolní náměstí), Olomouc

views from Lower Square (Dolní náměstí), Olomouc

fountain in Lower Square (Dolní náměstí), Olomouc

Mozart house, Lower Square (Dolní náměstí), Olomouc

Above: on this building on the corner of the Lower Square is a plaque detailing Mozart’s stay (as a boy) in Olomouc in 1767.

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More images of Olomouc

Olomouc is not a big place and you’ll always end up back at the main square, the focal point of town. Some more photos of that as well as different scenes around town.

Why you HAVE to Visit Olomouc

clock in Olomouc, Czech Republic

Above: Town Hall and the Astronomical clock

 fountain and buildings on the main square, Olomouc

Above: fountain and buildings on the main square

beer keg party, Olomouc. Why you HAVE to Visit Olomouc

Above: Beer Keg party on the main square (because chugging beer while cycling is fun).

views of Olomouc, Czech Republic

Above: views towards St. Wenceslas Cathedral.

Olomouc, Czech Republic

Above: Street corner, just off the main square.

views in Olomouc, Czech Republic

rooftops in OlomoucAbove: Olomouc’s skyline.

fountain in Olomouc, Czech Republic

Above: another fountain, with passing tram in background.

Main square, Olomouc, Czech Republic

Why you HAVE to Visit Olomouc

Why you HAVE to Visit Olomouc

Above: a few last images of the beautiful main square.

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Practical information

– Olomouc is easily reached by train: 2:15 hrs from Prague, 2 hrs from Brno. To find the taxi stand, take a left when walking out of the train station (ie. opposite to the indicated signs). There’s a parking lot roundabout. If there’s no taxi just wait a few minutes. Getting to the main square takes about 10 minutes. Taxis run by meter. Trams also run very close to the center and will take about the same time (lines 2, 3,4,6, you can buy tickets in front of the train station).
– We stayed at the Hotel Penzion Hrade which was excellent. Beautiful big room, great location, good breakfast.
time required to visit Olomouc: you can see everything in one full day. It’s worth spending a night as we did: you’ll be surprised by how quiet the town is even in mid-summer.
Moravian wine is great and Olomouc has some very nice wine bars. RecommendedNa břehu Rhôny just off the main square and leading into the lower square.
–  Restaurants: Kavárna s pizzerií Opera on the main square (Czech and Pizza) was good. We found highly-rated Moravská restaurace (Czech food, nice ambiance) overpriced and food just so-so. This is based on one visit to both so take that opinion for what it’s worth.

 

Related: Travel Guide – The Best of the Czech Republic

 

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Why you HAVE to Visit Olomouc
Why you HAVE to Visit Olomouc

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26 Comments

  1. So glad to see someone else visit this great city! When I visited it was the first night of their Christmas market and the main squares were bursting with people. Did make it hard getting certain photos though. Czech Republic really is so much more than Prague.

    1. Really! So it’s a popular place for Christmas markets? I imagine it must be beautiful in the winter with snow on the ground.
      Lots of see in the Czech Republic, we’ve been there many times now and never get bored.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  2. Lots of hard work to revamp your blog but the new look showcases your photos beautifully. The astronomical clock is fabulous as is the Holy Trinity Column and the churches, interiors and exteriors alike. I honestly don’t get people who say “Seen one church, seen ’em all” and your pics show why. Love the name of the church, “Our Lady of the Snows” which is so poetic. This city could definitely turn you into a Czechophile!

    1. Thank you very much Anita. There’s a church with the same name in Prague – not many tourists get there but it’s gorgeous.

  3. Such beautiful architecture! And I can’t believe how quiet it is – that would completely seal the deal for me. (I adore beautiful, historic places but so often they go hand in hand with crowds.)

    Sometimes I dream of visiting every place on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Crazy difficult to achieve in reality but I imagine it’d be an excellent way to find hidden gems like Olomouc. 🙂

    1. Can’t be drinking all the time 🙂
      Actually the beers are good as they always are in the Czech Republic – but the wines are also excellent in Moravia. Really, really good, we were impressed.

    1. It’s a university town Victor and from what I hear it’s a much more vibrant place outside the summer months. Opposite from most places 🙂

  4. Hot diggity dog Frank! I think I’m in love with Olomouc and I haven’t been yet. Your photos have sold me, not to mention, low tourist numbers. You recommend overnight, so I’m wondering, how long do you think someone could stay, without getting bored? ?

    1. I’d say 2 days. But Lissette says she could stay longer. So it really depends on how you like to travel.

  5. Congratulations on the new look for the blog – it looks great plus I agree with you about Olomouc, it’s a gorgeous place that sees very few tourists. If you find anymore places like it please let me know as I’m sure we will be back in Czech at some point in the future!

    1. Thanks Mark. A couple of other pretty places in Moravia: Mikulov and Lednice. Will cover in another post. But Olomouc I think the most stunning.

  6. I have never heard of this town. Usually Prague takes centre stage on any blog posts from the Tzech Republic, so it is great to hear about such a beautiful town not so well known. It looks very quaint, gorgeous architecture and easy to explore on foot. I would definitely want to stay at least one night there and get to photograph those incredible old buildings by night ?

  7. I HAVE heard of Olomouc! In fact – I’ve been there, 2004. And it was really nice, very pretty city, gothic, so few tourists from outside the CP too! Ahhh happy memories! Do they still have that plane that inside is a bar?

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