Continuing on our journey through explorations of Miss Sophie's adopted second home, we will continue to explore why adding Olomouc to your travel list is a must. Read the first half here as well as some of the classic landmarks that are not to be missed here. Next, we will dive into how Olomouc’s student community brings a wave of progressiveness to the 6th largest city in the Czech Republic.
11. The Presence of Art might be one of the biggest attractions of the city. The Museum of Modern Art is full of modern Czech artists’ work, located just a minutes walk from Miss Sophie’s front door. Now, the newly added David Cerny piece of a life-like human figure greets you above the entrance. This renowned Czech artist notorious for his boundary pushing artworks often found in public spaces, mostly in Prague. In addition to the indoor curated high brow art, there is a strong presence of street art - like this Bohemian king taking a selfie overlooking a vacant wall just next to the museum or the ‘open canvas’ pedestrian tunnel found across the street. The tunnel features pieces from local artists, making Olomouc all the more colorful and self expressive.
12. Local Design Shops are scattered throughout the old town and are full of local works. Entire shops dedicated to the selling of small Czech artists’ creations via co-op, like the Flop Shop, pictured. Some of the most unique and original wearable designs is available here, giving you the feeling of finding a true local souvenir that is one of a kind. The emphasis on originality and showing off your personality over trendy fashions makes this place special.
13. A bikers paradise has made it's home in Olomouc due to it's relatively even terrain. They even have Rekola, a great bike sharing initiative available in a couple Czech allowing visitors to make the most of getting around on two wheels.
14. The nightlife goes hand in hand with the demand for university students to socialize and mingle. There are a few institutions such as Vertigo, Belmondo, or Ponorka, known for their lively and alternative atmospheres. Don’t forget the pasáž, known as "Masné Krámy", just off of Dolní Náměstí and full of smaller bars that students and locals alike often populate until wee hours of the morning.
15. Festivals come and go throughout the Moravian town, keeping up it’s reputation as a lively city. There are several notable events happening throughout the year, such as the Olomouc half-marathon, the Baroque festival, Beer festival, coffee festival and beyond. Check the tourism board's calendar of events here to see what may be happening during your visit.
16. The Antique Shops & Second Hand Stores offer the chance to take away a token of the history here. We know Miss Sophie has an affinity for repurposing vintage housewares and could easily spend hours perusing in and out of the antikvariats for one-of-a-kind finds that tell a story of the city.
17. The Cafe Culture is certainly a part of the pace and intellect of the city. While there are an abundance to choose from, Miss Sophie’s is opening a cafe aimed to mix locals with guests. We love that Olomouc retains some of the historical beauty of Prague without the flashy tourism and hopes to create a space that bridges the gaps between tourist and local.
18. Microbreweries and Czech beer drinking culture, unfiltered (figuratively, and more often than not, literally). We know Bohemians are known for their beer and Moravia has more of a taste for wine. Yet, here in Olomouc the two converge with a presence of some excellent local microbreweries such as Chomout, a fantastic microbrewery located a few kilometers outside of the city. They brew their beers alongside a gastropub serving up excellent. However, if you are not feeling up for the voyage you can enjoy their beers on tap at Miss Sophie’s cafe! Other memorable brews are Moritz brewery holding a strong local following as well as Svatováclavský pivovar, both offer traditional Czech cuisine to go with that liquid gold.
19. This one flying under the radar as an evolving foodie paradise with Entree rumored to be one of the best fine dining restaurants in the Czech Republic. It opened it’s doors on the outskirts of Olomouc in 2015 and many have since made the pilgrimage just to taste their spin on Czech cuisine set in a ‘living garden’. If you are looking for a more casual food experience, one of the best places to chow down happens to be Nepalese food in an Irish Pub (because Olomouc is nothing if not a little bit quirky) known as "The Crack" or catch some of the traditional street food in summer is a grilled "makrela" (locally caught river fish), look for stands in the city center for a local dish.
20. Saving the best for last, The Olomouc Cheese - If there is one culinary speciality in Olomouc it would be the cheese called "Olomoucké tvarůžky" (or Tvarůžky will do just fine). Known for being rather strong scented and distinct, this cheese is synonymous with the region's identity. One shop, Tvarůžková cukrárna, has a modern take on the traditional, offering salty pastries made with tvarůžky created to compliment the cheese's acquired taste. If strong tasting cheese is not your thing, this is an ideal way to test the delicacy. This cheese is no joke, but when in Rome, er… Olomouc!
There you have it, so many reasons to visit Olomouc. We certainly hope you will join Miss Sophie while you discover the treasures in this Morvaian gem. Is it too early to say see you soon? 😉