Should you visit Olomouc?

While we were in the Czech Republic, I decided to take a reader’s suggestion and visit Olomouc, a medium-sized city on Czech’s eastern side.

We were already in Brno, a train ride lasting less than 1-1/2 hours from Vienna. Olomouc is located about 1-1/2 hours from Brno, so I figured what did we have to lose? Since it had been a while since we had couchsurfed, I decided to make an attempt and we found a host pretty easily. Apparently, the couchsurfing community in Olomouc is fairly active.

Olomouc town hall

The city has a year-round population of 102,000 people, but it grows by 30,000 when the universities are in session. She began with the immigration of Slavs during the 6th century.

The region has an unfortunate history of anti-Semitism. Jews began inhabiting the area in the 900s. In 1060, they were forced into a ghetto and forced to wear yellow badges, a practice that Hitler would emulate almost 900 years later. In 1454, the Jews were expelled. Another wave would return in the late 1890s. As tensions with the ethnic Germans in the area during World War II increased, the area experienced its own Kristallnacht, and the synagogue was destroyed. Later 800 Jewish men would be arrested and many of them sent to Dachau. Soon after, the rest would be sent to other concentration camps in Poland. Fewer than 300 of the town’s Jews survived.

Olomouc has a rather fortunate geographical placement, especially for using it as a base of travel. Within 3 hours by train you can be in a number of places in Europe. The Czech train system is pretty good and very affordable, so it’s a perfect combination.

Considering this fact and that it is second only to Prague in the amount of its historical monuments, I was a bit surprised to find that it gets comparatively little tourism.

Olomouc's Poseidon fountain

As we toured the old town with our hosts, and I viewed the wonderful fountains and beautiful architecture, I was even more amazed that Olomouc remains fairly undiscovered on the tourism path.

Located prominently within the square is the Holy Trinity Column. It is the largest Baroque sculptural group in the Republic, and in 2000 it became a UNESCO World Heritage site. Not only is it impressive to look at, but it is also probably the only Holy Trinity column in Europe that also has an inner chapel.

Attached to the beautiful town hall building is an astronomical clock. Rumored to have been built in the mid 1400s, historical documentation places its construction in 1517. The clock is a must-see when visiting Olomouc. It is extremely beautiful and has remarkable details. While it gorgeous, it lacks its former beauty. As the Nazis withdrew from the area, they fired on the clock, and only a few pieces remain. The Soviets rebuilt the clock, but it bears their Communist mark extensively.

Olomouc, astronomical clock

While exploring the old town, I would highly recommend stopping by the Saint Wenceslas Cathedral (Katedrála Sv. Václava in Czech). The cathedral has been rebuilt at least a few times during its history, with the last major reconstruction effort completed in 1892. Although she does appear much older.

For tremendous views of the city, visit the Church of Saint Maurice and climb the tower. Admission is by honor system and costs 20 CZK per person (about $1 USD), and students and pensioners pay half that.

Other things to do in Olomouc

There is a zoo and aquarium in the city that is quite reasonably priced (80 CZK for adults and 50 for kids). We didn’t have time to visit there, so I can’t really comment on its merits, and unfortunately its website is only available in Czech or Polish.

The city has some surprisingly beautiful parks, one of which runs along the defensive walls of the town. It is absolutely gorgeous and has a wonderful asphalt pavement for bikes, scooters, roller skates, etc.

If you’re a more active person, there is a nice system of bike paths, some of which are themed.

From one of Olomouc's parks


Outside the main area of town is the Aquapark, a sprawling complex that has heated indoor and outdoors pools, massage pools, as well as some spa services. The kid’s area is fabulous with sprayers, things to climb on, a stream channel (a nice current that is fun to ride in), water cannon, and 2 impressive indoor waterslides. During the summer, the outdoor pool has some larger slides. There is also a swim-through connection between the indoor and outdoor pools. For smaller children, there is a separate toddler-safe pool. We were pretty impressed, and Tigger gave it an 8/10.

Even their website is pretty cool. You can visit the site to check the water temperatures for the different pools and even find out how many visitors are currently enjoying the pools so that you can plan accordingly. The cheapest rates are at night followed by earlier in the day. They’re open from 9 AM to 9 PM, so you have lots of flexibility.

Lockers are included in the admission price, and they are operated by the chip bracelet you are given to wear while in the park.

Fees vary by the length and time of your visit and the day of the week. We paid for a 3-hour visit during the peak time (between 2 and 7:30 PM). It was 230 CZK ($11.47) for me and 150 CZK for Tigger. There are different price ranges for children, so make sure to check out their site. Also, there is a family rate if you have at least 2 adults.

Visiting in winter

While it’s still a great place to visit in winter, keep in mind you will be missing out on some of the best offerings in the region. Unfortunately, the caves, castles, some of the UNESCO sites, etc., are closed during the winter.


One of the things I really enjoyed about Olomouc was the international flare. Being a university town, there are lots of hip cafes, teahouses (including one called Dobrá čajovna that serves incredibly low-priced sushi between 6-9 PM), and international restaurants.

Naturally, you’ll also find a great assortment of pubs serving fabulous Czech beer and wonderful local cuisine.

Olomouc cuisine

The bottom line

So, should you plan on visiting Olomouc while in the Czech Republic?

If you’re still asking that question, you need to go back to the top and read this post again! YES! In fact, if your time is limited in the country, I’d place Olomouc high up on the list. It’s a beautiful town with a great vibe and is a must-visit while in Czech.

Have you been to Olomouc? Have any great recommendations?

Share This Post On


  1. Glad I read this! I’m headed to the Czech Republic this weekend. I’ll be in Prague and Chomutov, but I love learning a little bit more about the place. All I know about Olomouc is that their cheese is really smelly 🙂

    Post a Reply
    • LOL! Yes! They’re famous for that smelly cheese as well. I didn’t have any. My friend describing it as being similar to sweaty feet just didn’t make it appetizing.

      Enjoy Prague! We’ll be later this month.

      Post a Reply
  2. I agree that Olomouc is worth a visit. Besides all the things you mention, it’s also nice to walk the back streets near the university to the old town walls and to walk around the university campus, which is very old. The university is prestigious and the oldest in Moravia. Now that there are fast trains from Prague to Olomouc, I always recommend going there from Prague as a day trip or, better yet, for 1-2 nights. It’s a great place to see what Czech life is really like and, if you can go to bars, to meet young Czechs.

    Post a Reply
  3. Sometime last Millennium, we studied for a term in Brno. We never made it to Olomouc. But when we do the long-planned return to Brno, we’ll definitely check it out. Thanks for the tip.

    Post a Reply
  4. Very cool. I’ve been to CR once before, but only made it to Prague and the little town of Kutna Hora to visit the infamous bone church. I really loved the country, however, and would happily go back, and next time I’d like to check out some other places. Olomouc sounds unmissable so I’ll be sure to keep it in mind!

    Post a Reply
  5. I was recently in Prague and was really curious about what other cities in the Czech Republic are like. If I make it back I’ll put this on my list of places to visit!

    Post a Reply
  6. Kromeriz is great. The gardens are nice, but so is the palace. I think I went there in early spring? fall? I remember the palace was pretty and there were peacocks. It’s got a great history (including being the seat of the Hapsburg Empire for a while and the set for Amadeus). I also recommend Lednice, Jesiniky (both in Moravia), and Cesky Krumlov in Bohemia. It’s the wrong time of year, but in the fall, all the little Moravian (eastern Czech Republic) towns have parades and festivals where people where traditional dress. The best one I went to is in Uherske Hradiste. 🙂

    In Olomouc: the zoo is decent, especially by European standards, although not huge. It’s up at Svaty Kopecek, which, in the snow, is the best local sledding hill. You sled all the way down the hill, then take the bus back up to the top. The monastery there is also pretty. When I lived in Olomouc, they were still working on St. Maurice’s tower. My Czech friend and I sweet talked our way up there. I’m glad to know it’s been restored. In spring, there is a big flower festival/expo at the “fairgrounds” (Flora) and all the tulips are in bloom. People come from all over in tour buses to see them.

    Post a Reply
    • Friends in Brno and in Olomouc all said the same thing, that we had come the wrong time of year. I feel like, though, if I can be impressed during the middle of winter, then spring through fall must be even better, right?

      Post a Reply
  7. There’s another place not far from Brno, Kromeriz, which is said to have fantastic Baroque gardens. That only makes worthwhile visiting in summer, I guess.

    Post a Reply
    • Yes, the big attractions that make Kromeriz a great visit are all shut down, or might as well be, during winter. We’ll definitely need to go back during spring or summer.

      Post a Reply
  8. I’ve heard such good things about Olomouc, and one of my friends who lives in Prague says it’s her favourite city in the Czech Republic. Apart from Prague, I’ve been to Brno, Terezin (jarring, the site of a former concentration camp), Litmorice and Znojmo (wine!) while there, but never made it up to Olomouc. Next time, for I shall return to the Czech Republic again…

    Post a Reply
    • I haven’t made it to Prague yet, but Olomouc sure has left an impression on me. I’d like to go back and spend some more time. Tigger isn’t too thrilled with that prospect, though. I guess we had different impressions. 😉

      Post a Reply


  1. What to See in Olomouc - […] Should You visit Olomouc? […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *