Ostrava – tourist’s guide to the Czech city with a steel heart

The Czech Republic is a country where life flows slowly and measuredly among ancient palaces, medieval buildings, cobbled streets. However, Ostrava, despite the fact that it is also located in the Czech Republic, is completely different from the city typical of this country. This is not a resort, but a business, energetic village, perhaps this is what attracts tourists from all over the world. For a long time, Ostrava (Czech Republic) was famous for its metallurgical plants, a museum was organized in one of the mines. And the town is famous for the production of beer, the fame of which spread far beyond the Czech Republic.

City of Ostrava

Photo: Ostrava, Czech Republic

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General information about Ostrava

The city of Ostrava is a large settlement and, in combination, the capital of the Moravian-Silesian region of the Czech Republic. Located near the border with Poland. More recently, the city was included in the list of settlements with the most adverse environmental conditions. Today the situation has changed dramatically – most metallurgical enterprises have closed, the mines are also not working, Ostrava is gradually transforming into a tourist and cultural center.

When planning a trip to Ostrava, the main thing is not to succumb to stereotypes that this settlement is industrial and there are no interesting places here. This is not true. The city has a rich history, architecture is represented by a wide variety of sacred, industrial and architectural objects, many of which are turned into museums.

City of Ostrava

Practical information:

  • The city is located on the Ostravice river, where the reservoir merges with Opava and Odra;
  • distance to Prague – 371 km;
  • the climate is temperate – summers are moderately hot, winters are cool;
  • population – about 300 thousand inhabitants;
  • area – almost 215 km2;
  • currency – Czech koruna (CZK);
  • Ostrava is connected by rail with many cities, by train you can get to Prague, Katowice, Warsaw, Vienna, Krakow;
  • Air traffic is provided with Dubai, Milan, London.

Historical excursion

The first data on the city dates back to 1267. On the territory of modern Ostrava, a village formed along the Amber Trail, this route merchants traveled traveling between the Baltic and the Mediterranean. Already in the 14th century, a fortification and a castle were built here. For several centuries, until the 18th century, the value of Ostrava decreased, and it was an unremarkable provincial town.

Street in the city of Ostrava

In the second half of the 18th century, a turning point for the city occurred – coal deposits were discovered, which led to the active development of the metallurgical industry. Coal mining was carried out until the end of the 20th century, but by 1994 Ostrava had completely lost its heavy metallurgical appearance.

Interesting fact! Locals call the city the steel heart of the Czech Republic, as it is associated with the coal industry. For this reason, the indigenous population does not favor Leaving, believing that there is dirty air and many industrial enterprises. However, tourists like the liveliness of the town, the dynamics.

When to go to Ostrava

Ostrava is not a tourist city, therefore, the concept of “tourist season” is not here. Given that the summer in the Czech Republic is not too hot, it is better to choose the period from June to August for a trip. In the second half of spring and early autumn, a great time for walking and visiting attractions. In addition, spring is the time of festivals and national holidays, but theatrical premieres thunder in the fall, the Biennale and cinema events are held.

Music Festival
Music Festival

Attractions Ostrava

Masarykovo Square in place
Masarykovo Square in place

The attraction is not just the main square in the city, but also a business card. It used to resemble a square, but today, after reconstruction, it looks more like the letter “L”. There are several statues on the square, the most notable being the Mariana Column, dating from the beginning of the 18th century. The sculpture is timed to rid the city of the plague. Pay attention to the sculpture of St. Florian, as well as to the bust of President Masaryk, in whose honor Ostrava Square is named.

Another attraction of Ostrava is the fountain, its jets hit directly from under the asphalt, which is very refreshing in the summer.

As tourists note, the most beautiful place on the square is the Old Town Hall, here is now the Ostrava Museum. Also pay attention to the building of an ancient pharmacy, which received the status of a museum.

Interesting fact! In the 19th century, the wooden houses that built up the square were demolished and built brick mansions. After that, the appearance of the square has changed.

Silesian-Ostrava fortress (castle)
Silesian-Ostrava fortress (castle)

In the photo of Ostrava sights in the Czech Republic, the castle looks elegant and bright, largely due to the white color of the walls and the red roof. The fortress was built on a hill, just above the confluence of the rivers Lucina and Ostravice. The castle regularly hosts festivals, cultural events, in the basement you can see the torture museum, the witch museum, a doll exhibition and even an aquarium.

A landmark was built in the 13th century and over the centuries-old history survived several military incursions. Since the beginning of the 18th century, the palace belonged to the Wilczek family – owners of coal mines.

Silesian-Ostrava Fortress

In the middle of the 20th century, the castle was nationalized and in 1963 the landmark was listed as a cultural monument of national importance.

Schedule:

  • April-May – from Tuesday to Sunday from 10-00 to 18-00;
  • June-August – from Monday to Sunday – from 9-00 to 19-00;
  • September-October – from Tuesday to Sunday – from 10-00 to 18-00;
  • November – from Tuesday to Sunday – from 10-00 to 16-00;
  • December – from Monday to Sunday – from 10-00 to 18-00.

Ticket price:

  • adult – 60 CZK;
  • children – 30 CZK;
  • Children under five years old admission is free.
Dolni Vitkovice Mine
Dolni Vitkovice Mine

What to see in Ostrava in the Czech Republic in one day? If you want to fully experience the metallurgical power of the city, visit the former industrial complex, skillfully transformed into a museum complex. It is located almost in the center of Ostrava. The full technological flow remained on the territory, since all the facilities for the extraction and coking of coal, and the production of pig iron remained. You can also visit the Glubina mine, see a tall oven and a pudding oven – the first in the Austrian monarchy.

Interesting fact! The lower region of Vitkovice is a landmark that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There is a cafe on the territory, built at an altitude of 800 meters, this is the highest observation deck in Ostrava.

The cost of tickets depends on the number of objects that are planned to be visited. For adults, tickets cost from CZK 90 to 230. The museum complex is open daily.

Ostrava Zoo
Ostrava Zoo

The attraction is included in the list of the best zoological gardens in the Czech Republic. The total area of ​​the zoo is 103 hectares, the flora and fauna of all continents – bears, lynxes, lions, giraffes, more than five hundred species of birds and reptiles are represented on this territory. For animals created as close as possible to the natural living conditions.

Interesting fact! About 350 thousand tourists visit the attraction annually.

Animals at Ostrava Zoo

The territory of the zoo is divided into different thematic zones, here you can visit the jungle, descend on the days of the ocean, see how nature has evolved over the millennia. The zoo has a pavilion that demonstrates the delights of rural life, children can play on the sports ground and even feed the animals. The cafe serves national dishes.

For greater convenience, given the impressive area of ​​the zoo, a viewing train runs through its territory.

Practical information:

  • near the zoo there is parking;
  • ticket price: adult – 110 CZK, children – 80 CZK, for children under three years admission is free;
  • work schedule: November-January – from 9-00 to 16-00, February – from 9-00 to 17-00, March, September and October – from 9-00 to 18-00, April-August – from 9-00 until 7 p.m.
Observation Deck of the New Town Hall
New Town Hall

The New Town Hall is a landmark that today has become the hallmark of Ostrava. The slender tower, where the observation deck is located, was built along with the five-story building for several years. Work began in 1925 after a competition for the best project of the city hall. The requirements for the building were uncomplicated – functional, concise, modern and stylish. The work of the local architect, Vladimir Fisher, was recognized as the best.

Interesting fact! The observation deck is equipped at an altitude of 72 meters. This is the highest observation deck in the Czech Republic.

In addition, a clock is installed on the tower, the dial of which is highlighted in the dark. In the premises of the city hall there is a travel agency where you can get a free map of the city and detailed information about the sights of the city.

Practical information:

  • entrance to the observation deck costs 60 CZK;
  • there is a new town hall in the city center, near the theater to them. Dvorak.
Stodolni Street
Stodolni Street

This is not just a street, but the most popular attraction in Ostrava. The city artery is located right in the center and is a bright, noisy, cheerful metropolis where no one ever sleeps. Once here, you will forget about medieval castles, narrow, ancient streets, and you will be transported to the world of dancing, music and entertainment. Almost every street house on the ground floor has a cafe, bar or restaurant. Many places are named in an original way and are remembered by tourists for their unusual name. For example, there is the Sherlock Holmes Pub or the Black Spider Club. There is a feeling that in the evening on the Stodolni street the whole city of Ostrava is going to.

Interesting fact! At the end of the street is the subway station, opened in 2007.

Accommodation

Despite the fact that Ostrava does not have the status of a tourist city, the choice of housing here is quite decent. Most hotels, hostels, guest houses and apartments are concentrated in the central part.

Hotel in Ostav

Not far from the Svinov railway station is the Poruba district. The choice of housing here is scarce, and the cleanliness of this part of the city does not differ.

The district of Opava-JIH is quite suitable for rental housing, the only drawback is that it is far from the center and, accordingly, attractions. This disadvantage is offset by the presence of a large large park where you can relax in the shade of dense vegetation and ride bicycles and bikes.

It does not make sense to select housing on the outskirts of the city, since the difference in price with the central regions is not so great, therefore, if you choose housing, then closer to the sights.

Good to know! A double room in a three-star hotel will cost less than 40 euros, and a hostel costs half the price – 20 euros.

Food

Cafe in Ostav

If we talk about national Czech cuisine, it is different in calories, the menu is dominated by fatty pork and beef dishes. For the holidays, traditionally prepared treats from trout and carp. A common side dish is stewed cabbage, potatoes, dumplings.

Interesting fact! Be prepared for the fact that in the cafe and restaurant they serve large portions, one is enough to get enough for two people.

The most popular drink in the Czech Republic, of course, is beer, but you can also order wine. In Ostrava, from the end of the 19th century, they have been preparing a foamy drink according to the original recipe and under its own brand Ostravar. Locals prefer pickled Camembert cheese and blue-green sausages under an interesting name – drowned as an appetizer for beer.

Dishes in the cafe

You can eat in Ostrava in a traditional or hotel restaurant.

  • A three-course dinner with drinks for two costs 40 euros.
  • Lunch in an inexpensive cafe will cost about 5-7 euros per person.
  • Lunch at a fast food restaurant (eateries, McDonald’s) costs about 4 euros.

How to get to Ostrava from Prague

Distance between cities – 370 km. You can overcome it by bus or train.

By train

This is the easiest, most convenient and practical way to travel. Many tourists call this route also the cheapest. The train reaches the Czech city in 3 hours. The flight is offered by three carrier companies:

  • RegioJet;
  • Leo Express
  • CD (Czech Railways).

About four dozen trains leave for the flight daily. Tickets are sold at the station, they are bought immediately before the trip.

Good to know! There are problems with tickets on Friday nights, as well as on weekends, at which time buy them in advance.

RegioJet Train
Regiojet

RegioJet trains are considered the most comfortable. If you book tickets online on the carrier’s website (www.regiojet.com), you can select seats in the car (indicated in green). In the cars there are special children’s compartments for tourists who travel in families. Tickets in such compartments need to be bought only in advance.

Ticket price:

  • low cost class – from 135 CZK to 230 CZK (not every train has law cost places);
  • standart – from 185 CZK to 300 CZK;
  • relax – from 300 CZK to 500 CZK;
  • business – from 350 CZK to 650 CZK.

Good to know! There is no Russified version of the official RegioJet website.

Leo express
LEO express

Leo Express wagons comfortably compete with RegioJet. There is a Ukrainian version on the site, so there will be no problems with booking a ticket. You can also pick up seats in the car. There are three classes:

  • economy – from 160 CZK to 450 CZK;
  • business – from 450 CZK to 750 CZK;
  • premium – from 800 CZK to 950 CZK.

The schedule has 8 flights daily, the first train leaves at 8-00, and the last at 20-00.

As for the trains of the Czech Railways, the fare is more expensive than on trains of other carrier companies. When ordering on the Internet resource there is no way to choose a place.

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By bus
Flixbus Bus

The fastest flight is designed for 5 hours, ticket prices from 200 CZK. Transport is provided by two companies:

  • RegioJet;
  • Flixbus

The myth that Ostrava (Czech Republic) is an unremarkable town where there are no attractions at all. This myth will be dispelled as soon as you find yourself in this interesting village, where an abandoned metallurgical complex, converted into a museum, and a modern street where you can have fun until the morning coexist near the medieval streets.

Video: trip to Ostrava.



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