Olomouc, Czech Republic – an ancient city in the eastern part of the country. It is often compared with Prague: there are the same cobblestone streets, Gothic churches, Baroque palaces and cozy pubs. Olomouc is not very popular with tourists, but it is definitely worth a visit.
The city of Olomouc is located in the eastern part of the Czech Republic, 204 km from Prague and 77 km from Brno. It covers an area of 103 km². The population is 100 thousand people.
Like most cities in the Czech Republic, Olomouc is famous for its rich history and well-preserved sights that are located in the Old Town. The first mention of the town of Olomouc dates back to 1017, when the Great Moravian fortress was located here. In 1253 the city received the title of royal, and in the middle of the XVII century it became the capital of Moravia.
Throughout history, Germany had a strong influence on the city, and by the beginning of the 19th century, Olomouc was almost a German-speaking city. The situation has fundamentally changed after two world wars. The main reason for this is the creation of the state of Czechoslovakia.
Despite the fact that Olomouc has the second largest Old Town in the Czech Republic (Prague in the first place), it is not particularly popular with tourists (primarily because of its remoteness from other tourist places). But it is definitely worth a visit, because the city has a lot of interesting sights of different eras: baroque fountains, Gothic churches, neo-Gothic buildings and the Orthodox Church.
Separately, I want to pay attention to the fountains of the city. There are dozens of them: miniature and large, baroque and modern. Many city fountains are figures of mythological characters who, according to legend, founded this city.
St. Wenceslas Cathedral is a Catholic church, the construction of which began back in 1107. By the XIV century, the construction of the building was completed: now in the central square of the city rises a cathedral in the Gothic style.
At the beginning of the XIX century, the interior and exterior of the building decided to be updated, making it more modern and European. At the same time, the Czech architect Gustav Meretta built a neo-Gothic tower in the temple, which is still considered the fourth tallest building in the country (an observation deck is a good place to take a beautiful photo of Olomouc in the Czech Republic).
Inside the church there are two organs (large and small) and numerous stone sculptures. Visitors are especially fascinated by the bright stained glass windows that are found in most Gothic temples.
Tourists who have visited St. Wenceslas Cathedral in Olomouc say that this attraction can be compared with St. Vitus Cathedral in France.
- Location: Vaclavske nam., Olomouc 779 00, Czech Republic.
- Opening hours: 9.00 – 17.00.
The Holy Trinity Column is one of the symbols of the city of Olomouc. It rises in the main square of the city. At the beginning of the 21st century, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as a unique creation of European Baroque.
The column is not just a beautiful sculpture, but a religious monument symbolizing the victory over the plague in the 18th century. The construction of the landmark in Olomouc, Czech Republic was completed in 1754 – in the same year the plague finally left the city.
The column consists of many elements: 18 sculptures of saints, 14 bas-reliefs, and the Holy Trinity sits on top.
Tourists are very fond of this attraction, because it perfectly conveys the atmosphere of the Old Town.
Location: Horni namesti, Olomouc 779 00, Czech Republic.
This is the same attraction that is more often than others in the photos taken in Olomouc. The City Hall rises in the Upper Town as a symbol of the former greatness and power of Moravia. It was built in 1410-1411. The town hall acquired its modern look in the middle of the 19th century.
The uniqueness of this attraction is that on one of its walls are the famous chimes, made in the style of socialist realism. Also on the watch you can see images of 12 zodiac signs, astronomical clocks and figures of people. The facade of the building is decorated with sculptures of dragons that protect the town hall from uninvited guests.
Now in the town hall there is a gallery where you can get interesting facts about the history of the city. There is also an information center at the entrance to the town hall, where you can take a map of the city and learn more about local attractions.
- Where to find: Horni namesti, Olomouc 779 00, Czech Republic.
- Opening hours: 9.00 – 19.00.
- Cost: adults – 15 kroons, children under 15 years old and students – 10 kroons, children under 6 years old – free of charge.
The astronomical clock in Olomouc is the second such watch in the country (the first and most famous in Prague). They were designed and created in 1517 by Karl Swolinski. The author tried to display the life of people of that time on the clock, so chimes adorn images of both saints and ordinary people.
In the 19th century, the astrolabe was replaced by a heliocentric model of the solar system, and in 1945, during the withdrawal of German troops, the clock was completely destroyed. Only a couple of elements have survived that are today in the museum at the Town Hall.
Since Czechoslovakia was a communist country, the clock was restored according to the canons of those times. Figures of saints, angels and kings were replaced by athletes, workers and scientists, and a colorful mosaic was laid out around the clock.
The lower dial of the watch has been completely restored: like 500 years ago, the clock counts the days and shows a map of the starry sky.
This is the most popular and unusual landmark of Olomouc in the Czech Republic, photos of which are made by absolutely all tourists.
Location: Horni namesti, Olomouc 779 00, Czech Republic.
Catholic church of St. Mauritius – the largest temple in Moravia, and one of the oldest churches in the city, built in 1141. Named in honor of a dark-skinned officer from Nubia, who refused to make human sacrifices to the Roman gods, being held captive by the Romans. The soldier was executed, and in the 4th century Mauritius was considered a saint.
The building impresses tourists with its scale and the presence of many small details. At the top of the church there is an observation deck, which anyone can visit (from here you can make beautiful photos of Olomouc).
- Address: 8. Května 517/15, Olomouc 779 00, Czech Republic.
- Opening hours: 10.00 – 17.00.
- The cost of access to the observation deck: 10 kroons.
Tourists who have visited Olomouc call St. Michael’s Church the most comfortable and warm temple in the city. This opinion is widespread due to the fact that this is one of the few churches in the Czech Republic, the walls of which are painted in sand and yellow.
The interior of the temple fascinates visitors with a painted ceiling, wooden sculptures of saints and an ornate altar. The church has a dungeon and a patio, which tourists can get into.
- Address: Zherotinovo nam. 220/1, Olomouc, Czech Republic.
- Opening hours: 9.00 – 20.00.
Olomouc Zoo was opened in June 1965, and since then this place has been very popular with travelers. Families with children for the whole day usually come here.
The zoo has dozens of spacious enclosures in which live giraffes, monkeys, lions, zebras, camels, bears. For fish built a separate building with many aquariums. In the center of the park is a large pool for birds. Here you can see ducks, swans, pelicans, flamingos.
The zoo also has a playground and many stalls with souvenirs.
- Address: Darwinova 222/29, Olomouc 779 00, Czech Republic.
- Schedule: 09:00 – 17:00.
- Ticket price: adults – 100 CZK, children under 15 years old – 60, up to three years old – free of charge.
Olomouc has about 100 hotels. A double room per day in high season at a 3 * hotel will cost 30-50 euros. Typically, this price includes a spacious room with a balcony in the city center, free parking, free Wi-Fi and a good breakfast (continental or European). Also, sometimes the transfer from the airport is included in this price and some rooms have a kitchenette.
How to get to the city from Prague
The distance between Prague and Olomouc is 207 km, which can be overcome in 3 hours. Most popular options:
The most reliable and convenient option, as there is a direct railway connection between the cities. Take the Praha hl.n train station Ex Czech Railways (ČD) and get to Olomouc hl.n.
- Travel time is 3 hours 30 minutes.
- Cost – 10-13 euros (depending on travel time). Tickets can be purchased at the departure station.
- Trains run twice a day at 11.30 and 16.20.
You must take bus number 473 at the stop Prague – Florenc. Exit after 3 hours and 50 minutes at the Olomouc station.
- The fare is 15-20 euros.
- Buses run from Prague to Olomouc 4 times a day (at 10.00, 14.00, 17.00 and 21.00).
Prices and timetables on the page are for April 2019.
Interesting to know
- In the evening, be sure to check out the Moravian Theater – the cultural center of Olomouc. The poster includes ballet, musicals, performances, opera.
- This is the second largest city in the Czech Republic in terms of monuments and protected attractions.
- There are much fewer tourists in Olomouc than in Prague, Brno or Karlovy Vary, therefore the prices here are much lower. Unlike the Czech capital, it is a very quiet and calm town. Crowds of tourists will not interfere with visiting ancient sights, and the narrow streets of the Old Town are always free.
- Do not try to explore the city in 1 day: it is better to stop for 2-3 days and in a relaxed atmosphere visit the temples, palaces and other attractions of the city.
Olomouc, Czech Republic – perhaps one of the most underrated cities in Europe. It is definitely worth a visit: it is no worse (or maybe even better) than the famous Karlovy Vary, Prague and Brno.
A short video about a trip to Olomouc.